Found: One Positive Aspect of Video Tutorials

So, this may not be strictly speaking a SoftwareCraft topic, but I suspect there’s some correlation: people in our industry are possibly more likely to have encountered Video Tutorials than others – so I hope it’s ok for me to sharing a couple of thoughts on this topic in this venue.

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Fighting The Hydra: Precognitive Build Servers

Quick Link to Precognitive Build Servers, by Michael Feathers. If you’re a Software Developer (whether that’s your job title or not ;), it’s worth reading – and grokking for a while.

There’s an implicit problem in automated test execution in a build pipeline: the number of tests keeps increasing. […] the duration of a build is going to keep increasing. […] Build performance tuning has become a part of daily life on many development teams, and there are many options. […] We can use prior experience to maximize the speed of feedback that we get from a build. Kent Beck experimented in this area years ago with his JUnitMax project. […] I’ve been experimenting with a variation of that: build a map of test failures to files which were modified in the commit where the failures occurred. Then, on every new commit, take the set-union of the set of tests that have ever failed when the files in the commit have been touched along with the set of all tests recently introduced, and run them as the build. My theory (which I have not been able to verify yet) is that for many projects this process may converge in such a way that nearly all of the failures that occur for a full build will occur for this abbreviated build. […] If it works, you essentially have a build which foretells failures in the future based on failures in the past: a precognitive build.

Cool, isn’t it?

MS ups the ante on Security Certificates in October

About a week ago (yes, I’m catching up on slightly older news), Microsoft published a Support article aimed at IT professionals (and Sys Admins in particular) about an upcoming update.

If you’re managing a secure site (or any resource protected with RSA Certificates), you may want to read through it, since it announces that an update available for all supported versions of Windows (KB 2661254) blocks RSA certificates with keys shorter than 1,024 bits. The same minimum-length constraints is already in place in Windows 8 (and Windows 2012).

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Windows Phone 8 RTM

As I mentioned about a week ago, there have been some questions on whether Windows Phone 8 was MIA.

News come from ZDNet that this is not the case, and that, in fact, Windows Phone 8 has reached the RTM milestone and has been shipped to partners on September 14th.

This is reassuring news, as it keeps WinP8 on track for the launch on October 29th.

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Reading List 4

6 links from my bookmarks, in no particular order:

  • ∞.js: a UITableView for the web: it speeds up scrolling through long lists and keeps your infinite feeds smooth and stable for your users by the kind folks at AirBnB
  • Milwaukee Police News: an interesting take on web design for an institutional site, showcasing scrolling parallax effects. As usual, please be careful when you use large graphic elements (as the scrolling background images in this case) as they can distract the reader from the actual content. But you knew that already, right?
  • Top request For the Web Platform? A Google Moderator poll on what features we might like to see become ubiquitous on the Web. I gathered a few votes on my one entry, and one response from Paul Irish himself – see if you can find me.
  • 25 Free iOS Design Resources: because you know you are a designer, and you have to get into the Mobile Platform, right?
  • Pinterest: Devops is hard, but do it anyway: if the people behind one of the most successful stories of the last 2 years say so, it’s probably worth reading a bit more about it, no?
  • 4 Geek Laws That Rule Our World: as a Software and Technology Professional, you’re probably familiar with these 4, but it’s good to see how they apply to other contexts. Also, it clearly states Brooks’ Law (“Adding manpower to a late software project makes it later”) so it’s a handy bookmark to save for future reference. You know, when/if you are ever tempted to throw in more people (don’t! You’re doing it wrong)

Balsamiq 2.2 Released

Balsamiq Mockups is one of those products that everyone should look at, if they haven’t already. Users will find it really valuable (at least, that’s been my personal experience, even in an enterprise-grade team-wide environment); Business-oriented people (Managers, Enterpreneur, VC’s) will find the history and philosophy of the Balsamiq Company simply inspiring.

Anyways, today the latest update to Balsamiq Mockup is available online. See the Launch Blog Post with more details. Congrats to the team – it seems like this was a huge update and the result is looking great!

VS2012 Launch Day Quotes

While there was a lot of buzz about another media event today (cough…iPhone5..cough), some were gathered in Seattle for the Visual Studio 2012 Launch Event.

Lacking the gift of ubiquity, and having a few other things to do, I didn’t watch the latter live, but found an awesome post by David Starr of Elegant Code. You can see the most valuable quotes he collected throughout the day, but here’s the double-filtered list by yours truly:

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