10 March 2015
10 March 2015

Meet the Faces of Software Release – Full House

Patrick Roach has already introduced us to the first set of software engineering Greats features in the Release! card game, and they already make up a strong hand. Now that the team at Inedo have interviewed everyone who's lending their face and support, Patrick introduces the rest of the roster, covering everyone from Kathy Sierra to Gene Kim, and points out just how they've contributed to our field.… Read more
10 February 2015
10 February 2015

Meet the Faces of Software Release

Around the middle of last year, Alex Papadimoulis introduced us to Release!, the game about building software. With their wildly successful kickstarter, and enthusiastic support from many pillars of modern software development, the team have create a fun game with a strong pedigree. Patrick Roach is the lead game designer for Release!, and who better to introduce us to the software engineering Greats who have contributed their support and their faces to the game.… Read more
21 January 2015
21 January 2015

Release Testing Is Risk Management Theatre

"You cannot inspect quality into a product" - Harold Dodge. The adoption of Continuous Delivery often leads to the discovery of suboptimal practices within an organisation, and the Release Testing antipattern is a common example. Steve Smith explores the questions: what is Release Testing, and why is it an example of Risk Management Theatre?… Read more
06 January 2015
06 January 2015

Going to Extremes to Release Bug Fixes and New Features

XP is no general panacea; but for the right team, and for a product that needs to release bug fixes and new features as fast as possible, its benefits are obvious. Working on one of Red Gate's most popular tools, SQL Prompt, Aaron Law and David Priddle use Extreme Programming (XP) . But is their adherence to XP a personal preference or does it bring real benefits? We sent Matt Hilbert to find out.… Read more
14 November 2014
14 November 2014

The Salesforce Platform: The Return of the Citizen Programmer

The current popularity of the Salesforce software development platform has taken the industry by surprise. The current IT culture favours the esoteric, yet here is a development platform geared to the idea that anyone can use it: a populist language like BASIC. Does this threaten the careers of professional developers? Paradoxically, not at all, says Dan Appleman. … Read more
30 October 2014
30 October 2014

Staying Ahead of the Game

Matt Hilbert has noticed a term that keeps popping up: The Next Generation DBA. He believes it's been coined because change is afoot, and a lot of change that will transform the way DBAs work. But what exactly is going on - and what can you do to actually become a Next Gen DBA?… Read more
21 October 2014
21 October 2014

Does NoSQL = NoDBA?

There's a joke doing the rounds at SQL conferences and seminars: three DBAs walk into a NoSQL bar and leave when they can't find a table. You may have heard it before, but it made Matt Hilbert sit down and ponder. What's happening? Is there a division opening up between the newly fashionable NoSQL followers and DBAs? Matt bravely enters the shiny new world of NoSQL to investigate.… Read more
17 October 2014
17 October 2014

Data Is Crazier than You Think

As a society, we have an unrealistic respect for data, especially if it has a decimal point somewhere and uses metric units. We who are in the business of data need to cultivate a renewed interest in the sceptical and rigorous science of statistics: it is too important to leave to 'Data Scientists'. If the data is wrong, or the way we analyse or report it is misleading, much of what we do is pointless… Read more
15 October 2014
15 October 2014

The Role of the Technical Architect in Development

What do Technical Architects (TAs) actually do when in a development role? Are they just senior developers 'pushed upstairs' into a management role? Is there a clear distinction between a TA and a product, or project, manager? In an increasingly automated and joined up development environment, the role is important, varied and wide-ranging; as Grzegorz Strzelecki explains… Read more
07 October 2014
07 October 2014

Building a Better NuGet

NuGet is the standard package manager for the Microsoft development platform including .NET. It has transformed the ease of getting and installing the latest version of .NET packages, tools and frameworks. It relies on NuGet package authors to get packages right but there is little documentation for them to go by, and there are a few inevitable problems. Ed Charbeneau offers advice from experience … Read more
22 September 2014
22 September 2014

Ninja Immutable Databases

'Immutable' databases operate under the principle that data or objects should not be modified after they are created. Once again they hold the promise of providing strong consistency combined with horizontal read scalability, and built-in caching. Are Immutable databases a new idea? Are they different in any way from the mainstream RDBMSs.… Read more
22 August 2014
22 August 2014

Chris Date and the Relational Model

Chris Date is famous for his writings on relational theory. At IBM in the seventies, and afterwards, he was a friend and colleague of Edgar Codd, who invented the principles of the relational database. Chris took on the role of communicating and teaching Codd's relational theory, and reluctantly admits to a role in establishing SQL as the dominant relational language. Richard Morris interviews the well-known author and computer scientist… Read more
14 August 2014
14 August 2014

Managing Memory with Third-Party Components

Integrating third-party .NET components and libraries into your codebase can be tricky at the best of times, so when we started thinking about memory management we decided to go straight to the source. Chris Massey got in touch with the developers at Aspose, creators of a huge range of .NET components, to learn how they think about .NET memory. … Read more
09 July 2014
09 July 2014

Observations from ALM Forum 2014

Earlier this year Karsten Kempe enjoyed a double premiere: he became a Visual Studio ALM MVP, and he then participated in the ALM forum for the first time. While several people from Red Gate did attend the forum, Karsten's write-up of the 3-day event is thorough and republished here in English with his kind permission.… Read more

Improving SSMS One Add-in at a Time with Vladimir Yangurskiy

As a serial developer of open-source software in his free time, Vladimir Yangurskiy was bound to be noticed by Red Gate's SSMS ecosystem champion David Pond. One of Vladimir's projects, Supratimas, has since become the ecosystem's most popular SSMS add-in. Melanie and David sat down with Vladimir to talk about his tool, writing add-ins, and what he'd like to see added to SQL Server Management Studio.… Read more
16 June 2014
16 June 2014

My month with Release!

Alex and his team at Inedo are developing a game - inspired by development strategies like Lean, Agile and DevOps - about software and some of the people who make it. In this opening of a short series, Alex looks at how games affected his office culture, what he's learned about designing games to do more than just be fun, and how his team are hoping to share their passion with the developer community.… Read more
20 May 2014
20 May 2014

Writing Outstanding Proposals

Oftentimes you will be forced to learn how to write proposals without a whole lot of help. You can learn, and be taught, the skill of writing an outstanding proposal, but you can't do it without a fair amount of practice. Today, Dwain explains how to write proposals that can be judged to be outstanding and what, specifically, that means.… Read more
13 May 2014
13 May 2014

Branching and Merging: Ten Pretty-Good Practices

In the course of rescuing a development from 'merge misery', it became increasingly apparent that there were a number of practices for managing branches in the Version Control System that would have reduced the pain and effort of the subsequent merge, and made the dream of continuous delivery come closer to reality. From the experience comes some well-tested ways of making branches and merges a stress-free part of application development.… Read more