Holiday Reading : Cyprus

I spent the past couple of weeks in sunny (excruciatingly hot) Paphos, Cyprus.  In a similar vein to last year’s Holiday Reading : Lanzarote, I took a lot of reading material with me…

With the exception of Sharp Ends they are all quite old books that I had never got round to reading.

Books

Sharp Ends – Having read all of Joe Abercrombie’s other books this latest collection of short stories was recently released, thankfully in time for my holiday.  It didn’t pull me in quite so far as the other books, but such is the nature of the short story beast.  It’s always great fun reading about “The Bloody Nine” and the new characters introduced left me wanting more.  Hopefully more is in the pipeline.

The Da Vinci Code – I watched the Da Vinci Code film many years back.  Aside from vaguely remembering there was a blonde monk who enjoyed whipping himself, all other details had been lost.  I read Angels and Demons recently and decided to continue with The Da Vinci Code.  It’s fascinating how Dan Brown mixes history with story.

The Moon of Gomrath – This is another old book from the 60s, I read the Owl Service last year, and subsequently Elidor.  Fast paced high fantasy, not a long read and won’t be for everyone.  If you like Wizards, Cat Armies, Dwarves, Elves, Possession and Witches you’ll like this one.

Adrian Mole – Sparked by a recent conversation in the pub with a couple of friends I decided to revisit Adrian Mole’s Diary.  The stories are hilarious and level of detail make it so easy to relate to.

The Restaurant at the End of the Universe (Hitchhiker’s Guide Book 2) –  Another Comedy classic, Hitchhiker’s guide will no doubt be familiar with a majority of the audience likely to be reading this blog given the subject matter.  The humour is incredibly sharp and had me chuckling to myself (and groaning) throughout.

Paphos Shore
Paphos Shore

 

 

 

Web API Tutorials Part 5 : Azure Deployment from Visual Studio

Microsoft have made it extremely easy, almost trivial to deploy your web applications to the Azure cloud from Visual Studio.  Cloud capability is incredibly powerful for scalability, particularly in enterprise level applications and affords Developers with the option to make their infrastructure as Agile as their Software.

Outcome

By the end of this tutorial, we’ll have deployed our Web Application directly into a Web Site in Azure using their Platform as a Service offering (PaaS), meaning we don’t need to worry about a Virtual Machine, updates, and a myriad of other concerns. Continue reading Web API Tutorials Part 5 : Azure Deployment from Visual Studio

Web API Tutorials Part 4 : Controller Attribute Based Routing

Web API offers some powerful routing behaviour.  Let’s look at how we can use this in our app to avoid needing a new Controller for every Translation we wish to offer (again, ignore the fact our sample is likely only ever to require two way!).

We currently have a single AlphabetToMorseController with our old ITranslator implementation.  In the previous tutorial we abstracted our service into an extensible dictionary, this should allow us to take our Translator Key as a routing parameter and our string to translate as a parameter in the URI on our API.

Outcome

By the end of the post we’ll have refactored the existing AlphabetToMorseController to a generic TranslatorController, with our ITranslatorService being injected.  The Key will be provided through a Web API Route, and the Get Requested to the Controller will return a collection of available Translators. Continue reading Web API Tutorials Part 4 : Controller Attribute Based Routing

SqlBulkCopyCat

I set myself a personal goal recently…

publish a Library on NuGet.  So that’s exactly what I’ve done.

SqlBulkCopyCat is a configurable wrapper around SqlBulkCopy in .NET for SQL Server, born out of a personal frustration at work of being pushed towards using SQL Server Integration Services (SSIS) for copying large amounts of data between databases with no real alternative for anything robust without the baggage of taking on SSIS dependencies and the associated bloat in the Development Environment.

Continue reading SqlBulkCopyCat

Review : Dark Days by D. Randall Blythe

As a drummer, Chris Adler of Lamb of God has always been an idol of mine (his signature sticks are my go to), and I’ve been a huge Lamb of God Fan for a number of years now.  The story of their front man, Randy Blythe getting arrested on Manslaughter charges on landing in Prague Airport, Czech Republic two years after the alleged incident was truly shocking.  His book, Dark Days, recounts the ordeal and offers an insight into his incredibly strong outlook on life and how he made it through the other side.

Continue reading Review : Dark Days by D. Randall Blythe

Web API Tutorials Part 3 : Translation Abstraction

There’s a famous quote in the world of Software Development:

“We can solve any problem by introducing an extra level of indirection.”

In my experience, this is almost certainly correct, this post will see us adding in an additional layer of Abstraction to allow us to simplify our Controller(s) and manage our Dependencies in a more straightforward manner.

Outcome

Last post saw us implement our Translation PCL into our Web API using Dependency Injection.  The problem is that our ITranslator Interface only handles a single Translator Implementation, such that when we inject from our Container we can’t currently translate more than one direction.  We’ll look into the why’s shortly, but by the end of the post we will have created :

  • ITranslatorService Interface;
  • TranslatorService Implementation and Unit Tests.

Continue reading Web API Tutorials Part 3 : Translation Abstraction

Web API Tutorials Part 2 : Translation PCL with Dependency Injection

Portable Class Libraries afford great benefit when it comes to sharing code across platforms/usages.  We can share a single library across our UWP App where it’ll run locally and on our Web API where it’ll execute behind our endpoint.  Dependency Injection has been made very accessible with the latest ASP.NET MVC Web API.

Outcome

The current MorseCoder.PCL targets only Windows 8.1 as it’s point of API Reference.  We’ll need to change that to extend it to the wider .NET Framework (we’re not doing anything prohibitive, so this isn’t a problem).  By the end of the post we’ll have updated our PCL to target what we require, and integrated it into the Web API Project using Dependency Injection to pull in an instance of our Translator from the IServiceCollection container.

Continue reading Web API Tutorials Part 2 : Translation PCL with Dependency Injection

Web API Tutorials Part 1 : Web API

ASP.Net MVC Web API provides a straight forward controller based approach to creating RESTful HTTP based web services.  It should be quite familiar to anyone with an ASP.NET MVC background.  This tutorial won’t be focussing on what is and what is not RESTful, (there’s plenty of that already, and can get a little religious!).

Outcome

By the end of this post we’ll have created an ASP.Net MVC 5 Web API Project, and a new Controller ready for implementation.

Continue reading Web API Tutorials Part 1 : Web API

Development Team Leadership First Steps : Part 12

Bugs

Despite what your boss might like to think, Bugs are a fact of Software.  There’s a number of things you can do to minimise the occurrence, the severity and the impact bugs might have, mostly centring around having a reliable set of Unit Tests.  Regardless of your best efforts, they will still find a way through the net, it’s how you handle them that matters.

Be Honest

My first piece of advice would be to be honest about them, and the root cause, however embarrassing to you or your team it might be.  It’ll be too late to cover it up, so don’t waste your time thinking of excuses.  Get to the root cause and come up with a plan to resolve it.  If it’s a major problem in Production it’ll be on your shoulders to come up with a strategy to expedite a resolution. Continue reading Development Team Leadership First Steps : Part 12

Development Team Leadership First Steps : Part 11

I recently read The Software Craftsman, as mentioned in the review, one of the areas that struck a chord with me was the viewpoint on Legacy Code.  I deal with a lot of Legacy Code in my day job, I’ll share a few of my own thoughts and experiences on the matter.

Legacy Code – Respect

It’s important to treat Legacy Code with Respect, from all angles.  Treat it with respect regardless of how poorly some of the code may have been written, or how antiquated the technology may now be.

Continue reading Development Team Leadership First Steps : Part 11