Software Engineering

For software engineers and those interested in learning about and developing skills in the area.

Learn How to Program in Dart

Dart Language
This is the first tutorial in a series on learning to program in Dart, Google’s alternative to JavaScript. Although no other browser manufacturer has shown any interest in implementing Dart, JavaScript has certain flaws, particularly in maintaining large applications that effectively limit it. Big JavaScript applications are hard to debug and maintain. Google developed its Web Toolkit, or GWT, for developing applications in Java, then translating them to JavaScript. Dart takes a similar approach. You write and test your code in Dart,… continue…

Aligning User Stories, Use Cases and Requirements

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In a previous post, I contended that requirements are still an important part of most enterprise environments, even those that might be using Agile lifecycle methodologies. However, I didn’t specify exactly how those requirements should be captured — or what even constitutes a requirement. This is an important question that spans both Agile and Waterfall methodologies. Many organizations feel that user stories are sufficient to build both code and project structures around. Is it out of the question to consider… continue…

5 Steps to Mastering Design Patterns

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Design patterns are an important part of software engineering today, but what many folks don’t realize is how ubiquitous they are becoming within the full spectrum of IT activities. This is partly due to the flexible nature of patterns. Mastering design patterns is a critical part now of most IT architects’ roles, and from a larger perspective is also becoming increasingly important for most enterprises. Design patterns are meant to accomplish three critical things: Increase the speed of the design… continue…

Is Anti-Virus Passe?

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When security firm Imperva checked more than 80 unreported viruses against several anti-virus solutions, it found that none of the tested programs were able to detect previously unreported viruses and that 75 percent of solutions took a month or more to update their signatures. That isn’t good news, and while Imperva obviously has some self-interest here, their November Hacker Intelligence report, Assessing the Effectiveness of Anti-Virus Solutions, is worthy of a closer read nonetheless. What it means is that we have to depend on a… continue…

Javascript Guru Dishes on How to Be a Stylish Programmer

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“[Programming] style is the part of the program the compiler ignores,” said Douglas Crockford, known to many programmers as the Guru of Javascript. Crockford laughs and said he sees himself more as a mahatma. We spoke at the 2012 Silicon Valley Code Camp at Foothill College in Los Altos, California. While style is personal taste, it can have a critical influence on your error rate. And reducing your error rate will make you more productive, said Crockford. “Qualities that you… continue…

When Software Engineers Whine With Reason

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Not long ago, Slashdot’s Jeff Cogswell set out to see if two business intelligence tools would come back with the same answer to a single question. Two months later, he’s come back with a horror story instead. Not about BI, but about the state of software installation. It’s a tale, he says, of “everything that can go wrong in the customer end of the software world, and some thoughts on what needs to be done, especially in an area known… continue…

Software Architecture Must Accommodate Change

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“The hallmark of a bad design is when the design has to change to accommodate the change in a requirement,” says Juval Löwy, president and chief architect of IDesign. Löwy led sessions on architecture and process at the 2012 Silicon Valley Code Camp conference at Foothill College in Los Altos, California. The ongoing theme of Löwy’s talks was that good architecture is built with change in mind, encapsulating that change by creating functionality where and when you integrate it with… continue…

VMWorld Attendees Get Hands On With VMware Labs

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Last year at VMworld, VMware put out a challenge to those participating in the VMworld labs. The first five who can finish all the labs offered will be invited to come back next year on our dime, said Adam Zimman, Senior Director of Integration Engineering at VMware R&D. Michael Forner, Enterprise Systems Technical Expert for Regional Transportation District in Denver was one of the five members that won last year’s all out labs team. Zimman spoke with Forner as to… continue…

.NET User Group Participation Critical for Success

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“It’s sometimes lonely in front of the computer,” admitted Mathias Brandewinder, when we spoke to him at the 2012 Silicon Valley Code Camp conference at Foothill College in Los Altos, California. He’s the lead for the San Francisco chapter of Bay.NET, a user group for .NET developers. He became active not only to be on the forefront of .NET’s cutting edge technologies but to also meet and engage with fellow developers. According to Brandewinder, the Bay Area is not the… continue…

Drag and Drop Developer? No Need to Apply

It’s a given that companies will carefully check candidates’ job history and education. But increasingly, hiring managers are drilling further down into applicants’ skills to determine if they’re  the right match for the company. “Companies are very cautious about the type of candidate they’re going to bring on in a full-time role,” says Robert Byron, principal IT consultant for WinterWyman Search in Boston. “But before we get to the offer stage, they’re ensuring that this person has the credentials they’re… continue…