Martin Fowler, a Software Development Soothsayer

February 26th, 2010 § 0 comments § permalink

What Agile really means to the future of software development
Martin will call upon his more than 20 years of software industry experience to talk about how the history of the software also serves as a roadmap for what to expect in the future.

Martin had three very drastically different mini talks rather than a single long presentation. I really liked this approach since it helped keep my short attention span.

I. Continuous Integration and Continuous Deployment
His presentation comparing Feature Branching and Continuous Integration was just a regurjitation from his older articles, discussions from other presenters at other events, and a book he recommended by Paul M. Duvall. I won’t bore you with it.

Something that caught my eye was Continuous Deployment and what he called the “build pipeline.” He had an awesome flowchart/diagram to explain this, but I’ll try and do it with a list. I’ll include the tools I currently use in our development environment at work, if they apply.

  • Commit Task – usually kicks off a full build of the main stream on a build server, not a local machine
    • Compile: Visual Studio
    • Tests: NUnit
    • Assemble: NAnt
    • Code Analysis: NCover and FxCop
  • Artifact Repository – this can be a file share to maintain each build version from the Commit task above
    • Binaries: CruiseControl.NET
    • Reports: NUnit, NCover, and FxCop
    • Metadata: I have no idea what this is, any ideas?
  • Acceptance Task – of a specific version in the Artifact Repository
    • Configure Environment
    • Deploy Binaries
    • Smoke Test
    • Acceptance Tests (customer focused)
  • Performance Task – of a specific version in the Artifact Repository
    • Configure Environment
    • Deploy Binaries
    • Smoke Test
    • Performance Tests
  • Deploy Task – of a specific version in the Artifact Repository
    • Configure Environment
    • Deploy Binaries
    • Smoke Test
    • Run

I’ve got the Commit Task and Artifact Repository down to a science at my job and it’s a good reassurance that I’m doing this right! I’m going to see what it’s going to take to get the rest of the “build pipeline” implemented. I’ll also see if Cruise is something that will work for us.

I already have so many books I’ve started reading and not finished, but Martin recommended another interesting one that’s still classified as a “Rough Cut”: Continuous Delivery by Dave Farley & Jez Humble.

II. Domain Specific Languages
I forgot my Hydrocodone in the car and my right-bottom part of my mouth was throbbing. The last time I took a pill was lunch and it’s been the longest stretch. I was a little distracted by that, so sorry for the significantly reduced notes.

Martin had an awesome explanation (in his book) about how to get from code configuration to XML configuration and then finally to a DSL configuration represented in Ruby. SO CLEAN! I really need to finish reading my books instead of starting new ones.

“XML is like violence. If it’s not working, you’re not using enough.”

Martin as also quite impressed about the possibilities of DSLs and the impact of Language Workbenches. He recommended us to watch this video from Intentional Software.

“If you try to solve a problem with regular expressions, you end up with two problems”

III. Controversial Topic: Diversity, Women & African American in Software Development
Although there were no slides, I didn’t really like this talk and I found it quite inappropriate. It is definitely a heated topic and should be discussed, but I don’t think this is the right forum. I’ll leave this topic alone.

Four Wisdom Teeth Removed

February 22nd, 2010 § 0 comments § permalink

Thursday, the Farewell Feast

We all decided to have our last supper at Sinh Sinh. We had bunch of our favorite dishes – walnut shrimp, pan fried noodles, Peking duck, bo` lu’c la’c, and orange-peel beef. What a cheap and awesome dinner! Thanks to everyone who came out to say goodbye to our wisdom teeth!

Friday, the Operation

In the morning my brother and I had the operation at Sandalwood Dental on Friday by Dr. Bloom 7 am and 9 am, respectively. Our parents took care of us since we were wheel-chaired out to their car after our operation early Friday morning. After the operation, we’ve each been given a bottle of 30 Hydrocodone pills as a part of our pack.

Hydrocodone gets me really itchy and anxious and everything gets loopy. It’s like being high and drunk at the same time without the hangover and nausea. It cures pain like no other and it definitely helps me get through the days and nights. Without it, I’d be in bed all day to try and sleep through the pain.

Saturday and Sunday, the Pain

If you should ask, the second day after the operation is the worst. That day was Sunday for me and it started around 2 AM. I debated with myself for an hour to either try and sleep through the pain our get out of bed all groggy and dizzy to get another pill. The pain escalated ridiculously, so I stumbled out of bed to find where I last put the medicine bottle. On my way back, I realized my brother was also in pain and had a hard time sleeping, just like me.

Here’s a hint he gave me that I’ll pass on to everyone after this kind of operation: sleep with your head in a raised position. Sleep on a bunch of pillows!

While at my parents’ house, I found a Williams Sonoma I made it a point to learn a few recipes while at my mom’s house:

  • Broccoli Cheese Soup
  • Baked Potato Soup – add bits of real bacon!
  • Chao – a Vietnamese rice porridge dish. It really quite easy.
  • Homemade Chili – mix this with chao and it’s a bad ass meal!
  • Gumbo – I’ll need a bigger pot if I’m going to do this myself.

Monday, the Recovery

I really thought I would be able to make it back to work on Monday, but when I woke up Monday morning, the nausea, headaches, and dizziness kicked in. It wasn’t due to the pain, it was all because of the medicine. I decided to reduce my intake from two pills every six hours to one pill every four hours. This way, I’m not on a crazy high/trip.

Anyway, I think I’m back to normal and I hope I can make it into work just fine tomorrow morning.

FeedBurner Migration Confusion

February 20th, 2010 § 0 comments § permalink

Some of you may know that Google will end FTP publishing support for Blogger. Well I’ve decided to move to WordPress and to do that, I need to update my FeedBurner’s original source. Sounds easy right?

Here are my assumptions and below are some screenshots that show why I failed:

  • thomasnguyencom[at]gmail.com is my FeedBurner account email address
  • Since I did the migration a while back, it will show up when I look at “My Feeds”

No Feeds?!

  1. After I signed in (via http://feeds.feedburner.com/) using thomasnguyencom[@]gmail.com. As you can see, no feeds show up.
  2. My first choice was to try and migrate my old account, but as you can see I already did this back in the day.
  3. The only other choice I had to do was to add my account again, but no success.
  4. I did some research and found out that my Google-FeedBurner account used the email account associated with my old Feedburner account – contact[at]thomasnguyen.com.
  5. After transferring the account to thomasnguyencom[at]gmail.com, everything is now just fine and dandy.
  6. YAY!

Please note Google, I can only sign in with my contact[at]thomasnguyen.com email for FeedBurner, not GMail, or anything else Google related. It’s a confusing configuration.

Las Vegas Visit, I’ve Lost Count.

February 9th, 2010 § 0 comments § permalink

The Asian Pose.B A T
E N O
N N M
This was one of the weirdest and most interesting Vegas trips I’ve been on. From an awesome old wise Italian driver (Mike), to a blackjack dealer full of jokes (Peter), and even a waiter who sat with us for coffee (Thuong).

“What’s the secret your marriage” -Ann
“She smooths out the bumps in the road” -Mike, our Italian driver

“I say ‘holy mccow’ because I’m Chinese.
*awkward pause*
If I’m Indian, I saw ‘holy cow’.” -Peter, the blackjack dealer

I would write the whole story, but you just had to be there to get the full effect. I’ll be adding more pictures as I go through them. It’s unfortunate that the Grand Canyon pictures (or any picture really). James put it right in his post about Washington, “I am small and insignificant“.

Hoover Dam Security Zone. Then the Fog Cleared Out! Don't Look Down! A Holy Rock

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