Articles tagged Opinion Pieces

12 January 2016
12 January 2016

Continuous Delivery: Building a Culture of Trust

Effective team-based software development has more to do with the organisation than the technology. Teams that must cooperate are most productive when there are high levels of trust between teams and within teams. To grow a culture of trust, the participants must take conscious steps to set boundaries, agree on protocols and models, and let a shared purpose emerge.… Read more
17 December 2015
17 December 2015

The Boardgame of Office Politics

Sometimes the stress of interdepartmental friction within organisations can get on top of you, especially between the business and IT when the going gets tough. Simple-Talk's answer is a board game to put it all into perspective. Instead of getting carried away, play the board game instead and reach catharsis.… Read more
14 July 2015
14 July 2015

SQL Style Habits: Attack of the Skeuomorphs

Although we like to think that our programming techniques are progressive and in tune with the bleeding edge of software development practices, too often they are directly influenced by restrictions faced in the post-war decades when computers first became mainstream. As these restrictions no longer apply, is it time to relinquish such things as cursors, 'tibbling', storing display formats, using short names for symbols and primary keys?… Read more
29 June 2015
29 June 2015

Think You Can Be a Software Tester?

We all use software, and we all find it alarmingly easy to find bugs in it. Does that mean that we have a natural talent for testing software? Devyani suggests that there are some qualities that characterise software testers who are very good at their job. No matter whether you were born like that, or if you've worked upon, practised, developed and acquired them over time, they make all the difference.… Read more
29 June 2015
29 June 2015

Questions About Devops that IT Pros are Too Shy to Ask

DevOps isn't a particular technology, nor a job role. It is more of a software development method, initiating originally from system administrators, that promotes ways of enhancing collaboration and communication between development, QA, and IT operations throughout the entire software delivery pipeline with the aim of faster software delivery. Adam Bertrand answers the four most common questions that IT Pro's wonder about, but seldom ask publicly.… Read more
12 June 2015
12 June 2015

Software Engineering: Just How Immature is it?

"Facts and Fallacies of Software Engineering" by Robert L. Glass has become a classic of Software Engineering as cherished as 'The Mythical Man-Month: Essays on Software Engineering' by Frederick P. Brooks. They seem as radical today as when first written, mainly because the software industry repeatedly fails to learn from its mistakes. Dwain Camps reviews the book.… Read more
08 May 2015
08 May 2015

DevOps and the DBA

Michael Fal is a huge advocate of automation and many ways it can improve the lives of developers and DBAs alike, but you can't just automate all your problems away. The real challenge is breaking down barriers and having developers and DBAs functioning smoothly together. You may have heard of DevOps, and so Mike explores what the buzz might mean for database administrators.… Read more
06 May 2015
06 May 2015

Developer-Tester Relationships

In a development team, there are times when the relationships between developers and testers can become strained. How can you turn this potential conflict into something more positive? Is it part of the skill of team-working to find ways of avoiding friction, or should one blame a system that relies on good social skills to work well?… 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
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