iPhone 6: Style Over Substance

Intro Like many of you, today I watched the Apple media event in which they announced both the iPhone 6 and Apple Watch. I’m not going to talk about the watch, but instead about the phone. For years Apple has been a true cachet brand. They are a luxury item that is sought after for status and image. I don’t blame anyone for owning an iPhone: they’re reasonably sexy and you get to show off the Apple branding.

How I Got A Job At Stack Exchange

Intro Almost exactly 1 month ago today I found myself on a video call with Joel Spolsky. It feels insane to write that, even now, as it was a banner moment in my career. For me it was the equivalent of meeting a movie star who I had idolized since I was old enough to know what movies were. There had always been this Joel Spolsky guy throughout my career that I regularly read about and whose opinions on software development agreed with mine, and suddenly I was talking with him face to face.

How To Guarantee Dev Team Failure

The Problem I think that most devs would agree when I state that the definition of success in the corporate world of development places less emphasis on “good” code and more emphasis on “working” code. Working code is code that can be released to production on or before the deadline, regardless of performance or even bugs in most cases. As a developer, you ultimately feel as if you’ve failed when you toil for nights on end to meet steep deadlines and churn out crappy code.

To Node.js Or Not To Node.js

Intro Node.js – it has rapidly become the “new hotness” in the tech start-up realm. With each passing day, the fan base of Node lovers grows larger, spreading their rhetoric like a religion. How do you spot a Node.js user? Don’t worry, they’ll let you know. One day you’re at a regular user group meeting, sipping soda and talking with some colleagues, when the subject turns to Node. “Have you guys tried Node.

C# Probably Getting New "Safe Navigation" Operator "?."

It looks as if the Visual Studio dev team may be implementing a new operator in a future .NET release. This is due in large part to community demand, which is pretty cool because it shows that the VS team is listening to their customer base; a key part of a successful product. This new operator is likely going to take the syntax of ?. and is known as the Safe Navigation Operator.

Trigger IValidatableObject.Validate When ModelState.IsValid is false

I recently came across an ASP.NET MVC issue at work where the validation for my Model was not firing correctly. The Model implemented the IValidatableObject interface and thus the Validate method which did some specific logic to ensure the state of the Model (the ModelState). This Model also had some DataAnnotation attributes on it to validate basic input. Long story short, the issue I encountered was that when ModelState.IsValid == false due to failure of the DataAnnotation validation, the IValidatableObject.

Interview with InfoQ on SimplSockets

Jonathan Allen of InfoQ conducted an interview with me about one of my open source initiatives, SimplSockets. We discussed the value of TCP over HTTP and why Sockets are still relevant to programming. I’d like to thank Jonathan and InfoQ for the opportunity – it was a great discussion. Check it out here: http://www.infoq.com/news/2013/12/SimplSockets

MVC4 Conditional HTML Attributes

MVC4 made one simple and yet awesome improvement to View rendering that I don’t think many people are aware of. Have you ever had to conditionally add an attribute to an HTML element in your MVC View based on the presence of a variable? The typical use case is applying a CSS class to a div. Most of the time that code looks something like this: <div @(myClass == null ?

Automatically Generate POCOs From DB With T4

The T4 template engine is insanely powerful. I didn’t really realize just how powerful it was until I had a use case for it today. I stood up a database with about 40 tables in it, and planned to use an ORM to access the database. To use the ORM, I needed POCOs (Plain Old C# Objects) that represented my database. Some of these tables had 30-50 or so columns and I didn’t want to code all of this by hand – it would take literally days.

Web API Mapping QueryString/Form Input

If you’re using the Web API as part of the MVC4 framework, you may encounter a scenario in which you must map parameters of strange names to variables for which characters of the name would be illegal. That wasn’t very clear, so let’s do this by example. Consider part of the Facebook API: Firstly, Facebook servers will make a single HTTP GET to your callback URL when you try to add or modify a subscription.