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profile for Aligned at Stack Overflow, Q&A for professional and enthusiast programmers
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Programming and Learning from SD Productivity Hints and Tips on improving personal productivity
Economics, Agile and .Net Rocks
I enjoyed listening to DotNetRocks - The Economics, Psychology and Science of Agile with Matthew Renze. Matthew had a lot of insights into why agile works, how to propose and defend the idea using data and analogies, and the importance of information and learning. I’ve been thinking about this a lot lately and I listened to it again to take notes on it. I highly recommend listening to this. Below are notes from the show, I’ve also added some organization and my thoughts on some of these points. I’ll ......

Posted On Thursday, May 19, 2016 9:51 PM

Process and Project Links To check out
May I suggest a few items to watch/listen too as you think about process, how to do projects and business better? the world changed about 15 years ago, do we still try to rationalize things based on the old rules? - Why, not what. A lesson from Apple.DotNetRocks - The Economics, Psychology and Science of Agile with Matthew Renze - ......

Posted On Thursday, April 21, 2016 9:10 PM

Codealike is a fun tool
I’m a fan of Codealike and run with their extension while I’m in Visual Studio. It tracks a surprising amount of data on which projects I’m working on, where in the code, time spent building, code languages used, focus, web sites visited to help you gauge productivity (if you let it), many new features in 2014, and they’re even trying to measure technical debt. There’s more there then I have to too look at often, but the premium access (which they gave me 3 months free, thanks CodeAlike!) has a lot ......

Posted On Friday, January 23, 2015 9:26 PM

Cleanup your TestResults folder with a Scheduled Task
I run automated UI test with Selenium (unit testing will do this as well, though not as many files) from the Visual Studio Test Explorer a lot. This creates a new folder inside of my solution location named TestResults for every test run. Depending on what I need to deploy for the test (Selenium chrome driver, images, dlls, etc) the size of that it takes up on my hard drive gets very large after a few weeks. I’ve deleted gigs before. In the spirit of “if you do something more than once, automate ......

Posted On Tuesday, January 13, 2015 5:04 PM

Using Visual Studio Online's new build system to achieve a Continuous Delivery pipeline Presentation
Please visit me and read this article at AlignedDev.I had the honor and pleasure of giving my first presentation at an event at South Dakota Code Camp last weekend on November 7th. Thanks to the organizers and sponsors, I’m looking forward to next year already. I talked about the importance of Continuous Delivery in today’s development practices and how it helps us get quality code to our users quicker and more reliably using automated processes. Microsoft’s build system has improved immensely in ......

Posted On Tuesday, November 10, 2015 4:10 PM

Accumulative Effects
I’ve been a software developer for about 10 years, 8 years in my current full time job and 2 years off and on in a part-time job during college. Every year we do a yearly review with a reflection form to fill out and a discussion after it has been looked at by a few people. This reflection got me thinking about how I’ve gotten to where I am now. 8 years ago I didn’t know .Net or C# (just some PHP I had taught myself in my college job) and was put on an small eCommerce site with WebForms and VB. It ......

Posted On Tuesday, April 7, 2015 7:54 PM

ClipX – an indispensable tool
I found ClipX a few years ago and have used it every day since. The ability to have a searchable history of copied text and images from a hot key (I use ctrl+shift+z) has been invaluable. It’s saved me a lot of time where I can just search for something I copied earlier in the day or even yesterday. It hasn’t been updated since 2008, but still works on my Windows 7 machine. Visual Studio has this with ctrl+shift+v, but I like to have this anywhere in Windows. I’d be open to a newer piece of software, ......

Posted On Tuesday, March 3, 2015 3:16 PM

ctrl+p in Chrome Developer Tools to find and open a file
I was watching part of Using TypeScript for Large Angular JS Applications on TypeScript. In the SourceMaps and TypeScript section, Justin Schwarty mentions that ctrl+p in the Chrome Dev Tools will pull up a list of files (css, js) that you can debug against. This is similar to the ctrl + comma in Visual Studio (or ctrl + t with Resharper). Hopefully, you’re already aware of this, but for me it will be a huge time server. I’ve searched through the tree of files far too often. The official shortcuts ......

Posted On Tuesday, January 13, 2015 4:03 PM

Visual Studio Test Settings selection problems
I had a strange problem where I couldn’t correctly run MS tests (with Selenium for UI automation) from Visual Studio. In the Test menu, there is a test settings selection option. Here you can choose a testsettings file. I was chosing this and only seeing “Last Selected Test Settings” instead of the name of the file I chose. I finally got this fixed by opening a Visual Studio command prompt and running devenv.exe /ResetSettings. I still don’t what caused it, I’m just happy to be able to run the tests ......

Posted On Monday, December 22, 2014 10:28 AM

Project Management Resources
I was asked to share some resources and thoughts on what I’ve been a part of in the past to our new project management. I like sharing resources :-) and have been thinking/learning about this a lot in the past few years. Here’s part of the email that KanBan, Agile, TFS for work items, Lean, Startup culture are all things I've seen as useful. Technical Debt article I wrote from HDC 14: http://www.geekswithblogs.n... ......

Posted On Wednesday, October 29, 2014 4:02 PM

Engineering Culture
This is a very good video of how Spotify is adapting Agile to their organization and using interesting ideas such as Scrum, trust over control, empowering the individual, Continuous Deployment, Continuous Improvement, learning from failure, “Minimum Viable Product”, getting feedback from A/B testing, “Minimum Valuable Bureaucracy”, LEAN, retrospectives, hack weeks, etc. It’s worth the time to watch and learn. There are a lot of great ideas in these videos! Where is your team/company right now and ......

Posted On Tuesday, October 28, 2014 6:30 PM

When is it time to create, rather than just learn?
I like to read and learn the newest programming approaches, especially web technologies. A lot of times, it feels like drinking from a firehose! My curiosity has been very helpful for my now 7.5 year career and I enjoy learning, but sometimes I wonder what the balance should be between reading/watching/listening versus doing. Brian and I had a conversation the other day on our Slack site: Me: We should setup another weekly lunch meeting to watch some Pluralsight on {insert latest JavaScript or C# ......

Posted On Monday, October 6, 2014 1:49 PM

Restructuring my work day to be more productive
I was recently at HDC 2014 (#HDC14 on Twitter) and a keynote by Jack Skeels from Agency Agile “Mastering Agile and write more code” was a great presentation on why Agile doesn’t always work and how we need to adapt it to our specific organizations. Why aren’t we more productive? One main take away for me was the idea of Flow (see the graph below, which I optimized for a smaller kb size, thanks to Mr. Morrell from AgencyAgile for the emailed permission to include it). If you’ve ever suddenly realized ......

Posted On Thursday, September 11, 2014 5:48 PM

HDC 2014 – Technical Debt is Good*
I was able to go to the Heartland Developers Conference again this year. As always there was a lot of great speakers and it was a lot of fun. I’m going to do a few posts with notes I took from the presentations. Steve P. Green gave a great talk “Technical Debt is Good*”. I’ve written about Technical Debt before, but Steve explained it in a new light. He explained Technical Debt very well and then talked about how it can be used as a communication and development tool, as long as you identify and ......

Posted On Monday, September 8, 2014 6:48 PM

Problem Steps Recorder in Windows
I just found out a new to me tool, that’s been around for a long time, that could be very useful. It’s called Problem Steps Recorder. Go to the start menu and type in “psr” and hit enter. This pulls up a helpful tool that will take screen shots and let you enter comments to send for a bug report. I’ve found it in Windows 7, but it looks like it is in Windows 8 as well ......

Posted On Tuesday, September 2, 2014 3:24 PM

Technical Debt
If any of you don't know about the concept of Technical Debt in your projects, this is a good presentation about it and how to handle it. Some would say any code that doesn't have tests written for them is debt. Also the broken window analogy from the Pragmatic Programmer, where if you have bad code the whole thing can start to fall apart is a good one. Or if you have to do something quickly, and can't design or re-factor and much as you want, you might take on that debt with intentions of "paying ......

Posted On Tuesday, August 26, 2014 3:09 PM

Useful VS Key shortcut – next build error

This is a quick post to share that ctrl+shift+12 will go to the next build error in Visual Studio (2013 for sure).

It’s been useful for me when refactoring and making a mess to clean up… hopefully that means I’m not doing something wrong :-).

Posted On Friday, June 27, 2014 11:43 AM

My user voice feedback for Visual Studio. It is hanging on testsettings editing.
If you have had Visual Studio hang when editing a testsettings file, please vote up my feedback to Visual Studio. http://visualstudio.uservoi... I run into this every time I have to update a testsettings file or change some properties on the Vm test agents. Thanks, Kevin ......

Posted On Tuesday, May 13, 2014 11:03 AM

Use LinqPad to Kill Windows Processes
You can use the TaskManager and right click processes or you can use taskkill /im myprocess.exe /f in the command line or you can use LinqPad. Open LinqPad, change to C# Statements, paste var processes = Process.GetProcessesByName(... processes.ForEach(p => p.Kill()); and click run. It will kill all msbuild.exe processes. Change the name as you need to. Process is in the System.Diagnostic.Process namespace ......

Posted On Wednesday, May 7, 2014 4:09 PM

Getting Started with Behavior Driven Development
I've re-posted on my [new blog]( this post, I wanted to share some thoughts and resources that I’ve collected since learning about Behavior Driven Development (BDD) (as of June 2013). Thinking in BDD terms has really helped me in improving my software development and thinking through problems. I remember a day when it clicked. It was an exciting time for me and I don’t planning on going back to the old approach. ......

Posted On Tuesday, June 11, 2013 10:18 AM

A few hints to get started with writing code to test your code
I’ve talked about and shown examples of testing with code (we usually say Unit testing) with fellow developers, but it seems that there is always a barrier to getting started. Here are some of my thoughts on helping you get past that barrier. Notice that I avoided “Unit testing” in my title. I break testing with code into several categories, that help me think and talk about testing. Unit Functionality of test directly, with dependencies removed through mocks or fakes. Behavior (BDD) Test the expected ......

Posted On Friday, May 2, 2014 4:42 PM

Thinking about Productive Work as a Software Developer
Since I started my career as a Software Developer about 7 years ago, I’ve realized that perception of what a valuable use of my time while at work has changed. Scott Hanselman blogged his productivity tips which got me thinking about this more. Meetings I have many times grumbled when a new meeting pops up in Outlook. I have been a part of a lot of time wasting meetings, but there are several that are very useful. Daily stand ups or Scrums are essential to keep everyone on the same page. Retrospectives ......

Posted On Thursday, April 3, 2014 11:57 AM

Benefits of Behavior Driven Development
Now posted on aligneddev.netContinuing my previous article on BDD, I wanted to point out some benefits of BDD and since BDD is an extension of Test Driven Development (TDD), you get those as well. I’ll add another article on some possible downsides of this approach. There are many articles about the benefits of TDD and they apply to BDD. I’ve pointed out some here and copied some of the main points for each article, but there are many more including the book The Art of Unit Testing by Roy Osherove. ......

Posted On Friday, July 26, 2013 10:44 AM

A co-worker (Scott) sent out this email and it was so good I asked him if I could share it with all of you. I changed the latitude and longitude to random locations to protect the innocent. “Stumbled across this method this morning while coding all the math out by hand to calculate distances. This one is definitely worth filing away for future reference, saved me a ton of work. This was added in v4 of the framework, and is in the core framework install, so should work in services as well as client ......

Posted On Wednesday, June 26, 2013 11:30 AM

Development Tools I use
I'm moving to a different location and computer for work, so for my own sake (and maybe yours) I'm documenting it here. Time tracking written in Silverlight by my friend David ( : I even bought a license last year Notepad++ Workrave - helps me remember to take breaks clipx - clipboard memory Evernote : Gunnar Optiks seem to help my tired eyes or a light prescription with reflective coating. This is an ......

Posted On Friday, July 27, 2012 2:43 PM

Macro to Add using System.Linq
I have Visual Studio 2010 setup to remove and sort settings on save with the Power Commands extensions. This is great, but sometimes it removes the using System.Linq at the top. I also find myself scrolling to the top to add the using when I first add System.Linq. So I wrote a quick macro to do it for me. Sub AddUsingLinq() DTE.ActiveDocument.Selectio... DTE.ActiveDocument.Selectio... DTE.ActiveDocument.Selectio... = ......

Posted On Tuesday, June 5, 2012 1:18 PM

Speed up your Silverlight Debugging for large projects

Speed up your Silverlight development by avoiding to have to build all projects in a solution.

Posted On Friday, November 18, 2011 3:53 PM

A quicker way to work with Resx files in Silverlight

Ease the pain of working with Resource files in Silverlight by using a macro.

Posted On Friday, November 4, 2011 12:55 PM

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