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Robert Baillie

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16 years Oracle and counting. 10 years XP and laughing! A view on eXtreme Programming, PHP with Oracle and software rollout that actually works
Updated: 14 hours 40 min ago

Throw it away - Why you shouldn't keep your POC

Sat, 2014-12-13 04:32
"Proof of Concepts" are a vital part of many projects, particularly towards the beginning of the project lifecycle, or even in the pre-business case stages.They are crucial for ensuring that facts are gathered before some particularly risk decisions are made.  Technical or functional, they can address many different concerns and each one can be different, but they all have one thing in common.  They serve to answer questions.It can be tempting, whilst answering these questions to become attached to the code that you generate.I would strongly argue that you should almost never keep the code that you build during a POC.  Certainly not to put into a production system.I'd go so far as to say that planning to keep the code it is often damaging to the proof of concept; planning to throw the code away is liberating, more efficient and makes proof of concepts more effective by focussing the minds on the questions that require answers..Why do we set out on a proof of concept?The...

The opportunity cost of delaying software releases

Thu, 2014-10-09 05:02
Let me paint a simple picture (but with lots of numbers). Some software has been built.  It generates revenue (or reduces cost) associated with sales, but the effect is not immediate.  It could be the implementation of a process change that takes a little time to bed in, or the release of a new optional extra that not everyone will want immediately. It is expected that when it is initially released there’ll be a small effect.  Over the next 6 months there will be an accelerating uptake until it reaches saturation point and levels off. Nothing particularly unusual about that plan.  It probably describes a lot of small scale software projects. Now let’s put some numbers against that. At saturation point it’s expected to generate / save an amount equal to 2% of the total revenue of the business.  It might be an ambitious number, but it’s not unrealistic. The business initially generates £250k a month, and experiences steady growth of around 10% a year. What...

How do I type e acute (é) on Windows 8

Wed, 2014-10-08 08:32
I keep on forgetting how to type é on Windows 8 (I used to CTRL+ALT+e, but that's now often reserved for the Euro symbol) I then tend to run a search on Google, and end up being pointed towards 8 year old answers that point you to character map, options in old version of word, or the old way of typing the extended ASCII character code. They all suck. And then I remember - it's easy. You start by pressing a CTRL + a key that represent the accent, then type the letter you want accented. For example, CTRL + ' followed by e gives you é. Brilliant! The great thing about using this technique is that the characters you use (dead letters) are representative of the accents you want to type. This makes them much easier to remember than the seemingly random character codes Here are the ones I know about: KeystrokesAccent typeExamplesCTRL + 'acuteéCTRL + `graveèCTRL + SHIFT + 6 / CTRL + ^circumflexêCTRL + ,cedillaçCTRL + ~perispomeneõCTRL + SHIFT + 7 / CTRL + &Diphthongs / others a =...