Dan Mackey On ColdFusion Development

ColdFusion, Java, .NET, AJAX, DHTML development and general programming. Daniel is owner and Administrator of CFTagStore.com and works for an Application Development Company in Ireland called Digital Crew. His interests cover all areas of programming in multiple languages with a particular interest in Internet Technologies.

All Articles tagged : Books
2007-02-26 21:28:00.0

37 Signals Getting Real - A fantastic read

Picked up the book Getting Real from the great and fast Lulu.com this week and devoured it this weekend. What a fantastic read....I only wish it was longer!

Everything in the book is worth taking on board, even if you only agree with a fraction of it.

Main Points I Learned:

  • Get your stuff out there! A full product with half the features is better than half a product!
  • Forget meetings and planning and worrying about features, go with your instinct, start the programming and test the water with REAL code.
  • Say no to feature requests - make features earn their right to be in your product. Learn to say NO to people.
  • Knowing what to leave out is more important to knowing what to put in to a product.
  • Forget the hype around frameworks and languages and tools. Go with what you know and use what you feel comfortable using, not what other people say you should use.

Anyway, I wont spoil it all, do yourself a favour and buy this book. It will do you good.

Tags: Books
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2006-06-06 10:36:00.0

Hot Computerless Weekend

This was the first weekend since going to New York that I havent taken my laptop home for the weekend.

I decided to leave it in work on Friday and as this weekend was a bank holiday only got to check my mail etc today. The break was good.

The weather was roasting and I spent the last 3 days lying on the beach reading. I picked up a book called Adventures in Code

"Adventures in Code tells the story of the software industry in Ireland through the experiences of its key figures. It explains how a small country with no apparent aptitude for applications development produced hundreds of small exporting companies and broke through the barriers to selling non-American products in the US. This remarkable achievement deserves attention because it reflects the broader socio-economic-cultural evolution of Ireland over the past 25 years and offers insights into the country’s changing relationships with the rest of the world."

While an interesting read in places, the book had a very poor structure and focused more on stats an percentages than giving insights and anecdotes on software development in Ireland. I found the whole book quite boring and biased. The key figures responsible for the driving of software development in Ireland were painted too favourably and it was apparent the author didnt want to piss people off. For instance, a number of these so called legends wasted alot of money on stupid ventures which were quickly brushed under the carpet.

Even though this book was meant to focus on software development, too many pages were filled with product service companies who wrote NO code such as CadCo and Horizon etc One interesting part of the book was the running theme of cashflow. Nearly every software house ran into cash flow difficulties and struggled along doing Service and Contract work to survive while also trying to roll out some products.

The successful companies achieved this by focusing on specific areas. The message of the book is one we see everyday and that is that companies dont really care how good a piece of software actually is as long as its affordable and saves money in the long term...

It was both blood boiling and interesting though to read about companies in Cork who we are now bidding against for work. At one stage 3 Cork companies were mentioned together and I had a little chuckle cause we have beaten 2 of these companies for contracts in our local area :-)

Tags: Books | My Work
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2006-05-29 21:22:00.0

Joel On Software - The Book

Just finished Joel On Software and to be honest found it a very good book with some interesting ideas.

For years I tried to avoid Joel. He seemed to come out of the blue, I suppose around the time blogging became big. I think it was Keith who stumbled across him one day and we tried to implement some of his ideas in our own company but something about it made me cross and I got the impression Joel preached alot but never delivered the goods. Maybe I was just a bit hasty in my judgement....

One interesting part of the book mentions that web apps will never be able to accomplish the following:

  1. Create a fast drawing program.
  2. Build a real-time spell checker with wavy red underlines.
  3. Warn users that they are going to lose their work if they hit the close box of the browser.
  4. Update a small part of the display based on a change that the user makes without a full roundtrip to the server.
  5. Create a fast keyboard-driven interface that doesn’t require the mouse.
  6. Let people continue working when they are not connected to the Internet.

A good post on this is found here

As Emil rightly points out, everything on the above list has been accomplished bar number 6 which at the rate things are going, it wont be too long before that is nailed on the head.

Using what I learnt reading Joels book, for the Flash Multiple File Upload Control, I am going to write a functional and technical spec to give to Peter and see how the product turns out. If this goes well, we might adopt the whole spec thing properly for all products in the future....

Tags: Books
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