Do programmers dream in Byte Code?

This is Boss's blog , by day I am the Managing Director of Black Marble , by night I am an MVP for BizTalk and spend my life evangalising development to all.

EPICenter 2010 : Software Development War Stories

Recently I had the pleasure of speaking at EPICenter Ireland at Trinity College Dublin with my great friend and colleague Steve Spencer on our experiences over the last few decades <sigh>

This blog contains many of the links and subject information from this talk however here is a useful quick summary of some of the resources mentioned.

I think the summary I would like to pass on is, treat people well, don’ let them take advantage, provide good opportunities for training. One person what is the killer sign to watch out for, my answer “we will have to start from scratch”.

The guide to people and estimation came from  Rob Thomsett, “Double Dummy Spit, and Other Estimating Games,” American Programmer (now Cutter IT Journal), June 1996

The 13 symptoms of unhappiness came from Sam Guckenheimer Microsoft for reference here they are

13 Symptoms of Unhappiness

  • It's the code, stupid!
  • Actually it's the requirements!
  • No, the problem is that you neglected the architecture!
  • Architecture, schmarchitecture. I just want a working build.
  • What good is that the way we mix up versions?!
  • Not code versions, but the environments, don't you get it?
  • Ever heard of security?!
  • Yeah, but you ignored performance, duh!
  • So what if it worked in the lab -- it's still unmanageable!
  • Oh, and did we mention testing?
  • Since you're not measuring it, you can't manage it anyway!
  • With a process like that, what do you expect?
  • It's our culture - you'll never change that.

The project success factors came from : The Standish Group International, The Standish Report, 2001

•Dynamics of Software Development

–Jim McCarthy (Microsoft Press 2006)

•The Pragmatic Programmer

–Hunt and Thomas (Addison Wesley)

•The Productive Programmer

–Neal Ford ( O’Reilly )

•Team anti-patterns


EPICenter 2010 : Microsoft Phone 7 Summary

Recently I had the pleasure of speaking at EPICenter Ireland at Trinity College Dublin

This blog contains many of the links and subject information from this talk however here is a useful quick summary

The Tools for developing Microsoft Phone 7 applications are free (see below), Applications are either built as Silverlight or XNA however a lot of the components are common. The phone chassis is set by Microsoft allowing us all to receive updates and have a consistent platform. The phone screen size is 800x480 or 480x320, Capacitive touch:4 or more contact points,Sensors: A-GPS, Accelerometer, Compass, Light, Proximity, GPU: DirectX 9 acceleration, Camera 5 mega pixels or more.

Microsoft provide a Market place approx 100USD ( 57UKP+VAT ) , Unlimited paid apps , 5 free apps, 70% revenue share (in your favour) , customer payments by credit card and mobile (all done by Microsoft), device unlock and a great sales support infrastructure

from the main site you can download all the tools and links to forums.


EPICenter 2010 : SQL Modelling Service Summary

Recently I had the pleasure of speaking at EPICenter Ireland at Trinity College Dublin

This blog contains many of the links and subject information from this talk however here is a useful quick summary

Repository Database

Built on SQL Server 2008

Stores model definitions (structure)

Stores model instances (data)

“M” language

Declarative text-based modelling language

Aimed at “curly-brace” programmers

Can be used to define models for repository database

““M” is to TSQL what C is to assembly” – Don Box

“Quadrant” modelling tool

Graphical tool used to edit model instances

Targeted at End users “Business Analysts” and architects


SDK Download

Repository database

“M” modelling language (MSchema, MGrammer)

IntelliPad editor



Speaking at SQLBits The 7 Wonders of SQL


I am really pleased that I will be speaking at SQL Bits The 7 Wonders of SQL on SQL Modelling Services. SQL bits 7 is running from 30th September - 2nd October 2010 at the Heslington Campus of York University

You will have the first chance to see features from the next release of SQL Server – Denali. The first two days have a nominal charge and day three is free.

The agenda is here it is looking like it will be a great event


Outlook Social Connector

Earlier today I was trying to use the Outlook Social Connector for Linked-in Facebook and live but it would not display the View/People Pane

the answer was odd after ensuring the add in was selected in File/Options/Addins, I changed the registry

HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Office\Outlook\SocialConnector  key=RunOSC, from the value 0 to 1

after some checking on the web it looks like this is a problem a lot of PDC Acer users are having.

hope this helps


Managing SQL Azure Databases with Houston

SQL Azure Labs have released Project Houston a lightweight web based Database management tool for SQL Azure. Houston allows you to develop, deploy, and manage SQL Azure and includes support for basic database management tasks like authoring and executing queries, designing and editing a database schema, and editing table data.


Bill Clinton@WWPC

WWPC2010 049

It must be said that Microsoft has provided me with some of the most memorable and sometimes surreal opportunities in my life. Today was most certainly one of those occasions. I was privileged to see former President Bill Clinton deliver a powerful and passionate speech about the world in which we live and the work that he is doing to help. His message was one of realism and hope, kindness and practicality, stark warning and insight. A portion of Bill’s speech focused on partnering by encouraging businesses to help people and other business, even though helping other businesses grow might not always make immediate sense to a hard nosed business leader.

The speech hit me quite hard and it made me very feel proud of the social aspect the Black Marble has been treading for many years and our continued support the business, professional and development communities in the UK and Ireland

Rest assured that Black Marble will continue and expand its social commitment to groups such as BizSpark and WebSpark over the following year


Teaching Programming with Kodu

The awesome team at Microsoft responsible for Kodu have now now released a new technical preview which has a load of enhancements including save and publish for games

get it here

They have also released a Classroom kit which is VERY VERY good, it would be great if there was an update for UK Teaching but I am sure they will do that at some point.

get it here

also recently a new version of Small Basic (0.9) is out

get it here