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May 2005 Blog Posts

Blogger Experts

Silly rabbits, there are very few methods out there that you can point to and say "That's the one".   The wonderful thing about programming is that there are many ways to get to point B from point A. The wonderful thing about blogs is that you can often find several ways to get to point B from point A. The wonderful thing about a skilled developer is that they can parse through these ways, test them out, and figure out which one makes the most sense to them for the problem worked on at the time. The wonderful thing about the community is that...

Friday fun

I am a Gauntlet Adventurer.I strive to improve my living conditions by hoarding gold, food, and sometimes keys and potions. I love adventure, fighting, and particularly winning - especially when there's a prize at stake. I occasionally get lost inside buildings and can't find the exit. I need food badly. What Video Game Character Are You?

More Of Why Asset Management Is Important

As all my loyal readers know, I'm mere weeks from releasing Easy Assets .NET and so a lot of my focus is now turning towards marketing and sales.  Remember that the goal of proper Asset Management is to save you and your techs using the help desk feature time and effort when working with your assets.  This sounds alright on paper, but let's throw some real numbers against it: Scenario 1: The Small Business Let's take a look at a typical small business with a pretty low cost per employee: Total Employees: 50 Incidents / Employee / Year: 12 Cost of Employee Downtime: $40/hr Downtime Per Incident: 60 minutes So 50 employees,...

Build vs Buy - Reporting

Here's a good example of where build vs buy kicks in: One of the developers I'm mentoring was tasked with writing a summary report that had 3 groupings. Since the company currently has no reporting software, the poor junior developer was trying to have a datagrid in a datagrid in a datalist and juggle the sub querying and binding of all 3 at runtime.  At the rate things were going he had already spent more than a day on a report that a decent tool could have whipped up in less than a few hours. We can't have that, so I had the...

New Site Is Up

In preparation for the standard and enterprise launch I've reworked the website with the help of graphic designer extraordinaire Brian Lanier. You can view the site at http://www.easywebapps.com.  I'm very pleased with how it turned out.   Brian is available for freelance work, you can hit him up here: Brian C. Lanier - Design work of all types - 3D, Web, Corporate Identity brinskee@yahoo.com  www.lizwatkins.cc/blanier/

Rethinking Compensation II

My previous post got my wheels really turning over how I would design a compensation system if I were in charge of a large corporation.  Basically, there are 3 components of a total benefits package which are salary, tangible benefits (medical/health, vaction time, etc), and intangible benefits (environment, tools, coworkers, etc).  First, a brief rant on fiscal responsibility Some people have skepticism about my post that the wealthy owners of corporations do not care enough to provide a great package to their employees.  Whose fault is that however?  It's certainly not the employer's fault.  It's our fault.  That's right, you heard...

Rethinking compensation

You know, I've had many conversations in the last few months about compensation with my contacts, and I have hit upon a common theme.  Those of us who have experience, confidence, and ability seem to agree with the following statement: "I would take a paycut to work less hours" Yes, there is a magic time and place when your experience level and salary reaches a point that suddenly the money doesn't mean as much.  You want to spend more time with your family and kids.  You want to pursue other interests.  Bottom line, you want to develop yourself in directions you've never...

Coming Soon...

Hey, if Sahil can post a book cover, I can post a product box.  =)

Why Asset Management Is Important

Sahil asks on this post: "Since most of your audience are computer geeks, how about an english friendly, non-mba description of what "Asset Management" is .. and why should I care?" Well, the MBA description isn't so bad.  So here's a small business lesson that is common sense, but important to the concept of Asset Management.  You see, a business is designed to make money.  Duh right?  Well, once you are operating a business, there are two main ways that you can make more money: Increasing revenue/sales. Lowering costs. Asset management focuses on #2.  At its most basic description, Asset Management means simply keeping track...

Images, Thumbnails, SQL Server, and ASP .NET - Level 200

Ok, it's been a bit of time since I posted some technical content.  I seem to be the only codebetter blogger who has big business aspirations and is launching a real ISV so I've been trying to mix that content into the Codebetter feed for those of you who have similar aspirations.  I think it's time to get back to some technical content though. Using SQL Server to manage images (or other files) is a frequently asked question of mine.  I have come across several clients in my consulting career where they were simply dumping the files into a physical directory on the...

Easy Web Applications : Consulting Services

<LifeUpdate> I know I haven't had much in the way of updates for my ISV for a while, but I've been crazy busy: I have the project I'm finishing up now (http://www.ihomeschool.com is the marketing site, my team is building the application) I'm working on a few jobs for some contract clients of mine.  Over the past 6 months I've been using supplemental contract work to build relationships with subcontractors, offshore firms, and banking some cash for expanding my own operations which will hopefully involve hiring some of my subcontracts on as full time employees. Still putting the finishing touches on Easy Assets .NET... the...

Domain Manager Pattern

Since december, my domain manager pattern has been tweaked in a few places to make it a little more sturdy and support composite keys, etc. I've updated my original HowTo article

Here's a nifty free tool

http://www.paymon.net/Pages/Show.aspx?page=17 Image compression tool for those of you who want to allow users to upload large images without having to have the user go through the pain of compression.  In a test it chunked down a 1.2mb image I uploaded to a mere 50ish kb.  Image still looked good when displayed as well.  The tool was very easy to configure and use. Look for an article this week from me about image upload, generating a thumbnail, store/retrieve image data from sql server in Easy Assets .NET. Yeah, I suppose I should mention that I'm adding a feature to assets to allow pictures to...

Scott doesn't use datasets in ASP .NET Applications

Scott doesn't.  I do... sometimes. I generally prefer business objects and collections thereof for a good chunk of my ASP .NET applications.  This is mostly because by extending business objects with properties, methods, and events I can gain a level of control that isn't possible with the dataset.  Using a datareader to populate these objects is fast and easy. However... in the case where I am just displaying data, such as binding results to a combo box or showing a summary grid, I tend to use a datatable or dataset.  But why? I don't want an open connection/datareader in my UI layer.  I...

When you have a plumbing problem, hire a plumber

I'm a big believer in letting the specialist do what they do best.  I think that a lot of problems in the IT world are caused by people who want to be all things to everyone.  It is important that we realize that although we may have a broad skillset and understanding (basic understanding of all pieces of an application is vital!), it is important to realize when certain tasks are better off handled by a specialist. In setting up and launching my ISV I've learned this lesson in spades.  For example, take my website.  Granted, it is very clean and...

 

 

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