A quote from an email I saw come across this evening:
Otherwise, what’s the point? Pile up one xml on top of the other?
I couldn’t resist. A cheap shot at Java. I’m just bitter after being exposed to one too many Java frameworks in the past that seemed to think that “you can never have too much XML” was a mantra to proudly live by.
On Thursday, October 25th, I spoke to the CIS club at Missouri Southern State University. The presentation won’t win any awards (no presentation of mine ever will.) I put the Powerpoint up on SlideShare. I promised the students and professors in attendance that I would follow up with a post on my blog with links and other info that might be helpful.
If you’re interested in an internship with Gestalt’s Joplin office, please send your resume to my email address: jhoover at gestalt-llc.com. I’ll make sure your resume gets to the right people within Gestalt.
Agile Software Engineering Some of the agile software engineering best practices I mentioned during the presentation were Test Driven Development (TDD) and Continuous Integration (CI). Since MSSU is focused on .NET, here are some links that might be helpful related to TDD and CI:
YouTube Videos Coco had asked how Gestalt was using YouTube. I mentioned that we used it as part of a recruiting effort. We had a contest open to the employees to see who could make the coolest recruiting video on YouTube. The results of that contest can be found here. The winner (as voted on by Gestalt employees) was John Moffet’s PatrolNet Woes. In an act of shameless self-promotion, I’m embedding my video below.
Recommended Read A book I’m in the process of reading that I think would be extremely beneficial for college students to read is My Job Went To India. I’m about a third of the way through and the advice is practical and especially relevant for those entering the IT workforce these days.
RSS There were some questions about RSS during the presentation. May I suggest checking out the Gestalt Blogs RSS feed? This feed has all the posts from Gestalt bloggers, with quite a few being out of the Joplin office. My personal favorite combo for subscribing to and reading RSS feeds is Firefox and Google Reader.
Open Source Below are the links to all our current Open Source projects:
Horrible title, but I couldn’t resist. Apparently, I need to get in a time machine and catch up on the latest and greatest in version control systems (VCS). Bazaar (bzr for short) is a distributed version control system along the lines of BitKeeper, git, and a number of others. I’d be lying if I told you I completely understand the advantages of a distributed version control system over a centralized one like Subversion. But, the cool guys from Joyent seemed pretty hyped up about Bazaar as their VCS of choice in one of their podcasts I listened to a couple of weeks ago. Oh, and that little Linux distro uses it too. What’s the name again? Ubuntu. That’s it! Ubuntu uses Bazaar to manage the complexity of such a large code base.
I started to read a bit more about decentralized VCS; knowing that Linus Torvalds is a HUGE proponent of it I figured I’d see what he had to say. I found this crazy long email reply Linus gives about a month ago to Adam Treat of the KDE dev team, who asked Linus some questions about moving from Subversion to git. It makes my brain hurt trying to think about version control in the way Linus does. I’m not even going to try to summarize his thoughts here because I’m still processing them. I hope to come back and elaborate some more if I get the time to check out Bazaar and further investigate if distributed VCS is something that makes sense for a company like Gestalt to consider using.
P.S. Knowing version control systems, the important functions they serve and how to properly use them in configuration management is key to being an ideal QCer on an agile team in my (rarely) humble opinion.
After getting an hour or so to focus on coding around the Twitter issue I previously posted about, I think I have a fix. For whatever reason the Twitter API is accepting requests from CURL but not from Twitter Tools use of the PHP library Snoopy. Not all PHP installs have the CURL extension installed, so my code uses it if it’s there, otherwise it defaults back to the code Alex King, the author of Twitter Tools, wrote to use the Twitter API.
I’m going to leave a comment on Alex’s site pointing him to this post. I’m putting the code here for download if anyone wants it. I’m also leaving a patch file here for Alex in case he’s interested in using it. I’m not sure it’s worth it or not – not my call. I’m just happy I can spam…errr…inform those at Gestalt using Twitter when I have a new post on this blog. Sure, they can do that even better using RSS, but that’s not as cool as saying you got it off Twitter. Heh.
This is not an issue in Alex’s code, as he points out in a recent blog post. This is an issue with Twitter’s infrastructure, which users are noticing more as the service has grown. Scaling web apps/services is hard. I’ll have a post on that in the not so distant future.