What You Should Know About Coding

What are the important things you should know about writing T-SQL code for an organization or on a team? I’m sure that many of you have ideas, and please, feel free to share them with us with a comment. As you think about your answers, think about this as well: what do you wish you’d have known when you started writing code?

I went through university quite some time ago, over 30 years ago, and some things have changed in this industry. Not so much in the way we structure the code we write, though we have gotten much better in some ways. Rather the way that organizations work has dramatically changed. It’s not just this new DevOps thing, but more that many organizations are starting to expect developers to do more than sit in a cube and react to a set of tickets or a specification written months ago.

More companies are expecting developers to think and interact with others, knowing more about other parts of their environment and application. More developers work in teams, and perhaps very interesting to me, the once dreaded and heavyweight code review that seemed to die during the middle of my career has become a commonplace, quick task that developers do every day now.

There’s an interesting piece, written by Ryland Goldstein, about the things he thinks developers should be learning in college or early on. I thought it was interesting to see him open with lines of code (LoC) as a metric, and show the growth in code for some large applications. To me, LoC hasn’t been important at any point in my career, but I know it was talked about while I was in school.

He does talk about some things that good code should have, and I agree that most of the time the language doesn’t matter. I do think his points on reading code, and learning to work with other people’s code is good. To me, this really means we want to adapt and learn to write code in the style that our team uses. That can have a huge impact on group productivity, when we can write in a similar style, and then also read (and review) code quicker because it’s all the same style.

Perhaps the best line is this: ” Every single member of our team (including me) would have a full blown panic-attack if someone ever suggested committing un-reviewed code.” I think too often the database side of things ends up committing (and deploying) un-reviewed code too often. We could to better, even if we need to teach someone how to review our code. Having a second set of inexperienced eyes might not prevent mistakes, but it certainly might help others learn to write better database code.

Steve Jones

Listen to the podcast at Libsyn, Stitcher or iTunes.

Posted in Editorial | Tagged , | Leave a comment

The 2019 State of DevOps Report–Webinar

Tomorrow I get to chat with another giant in the world of DevOps: Jez Humble. I actually met Jez years ago at a conference, and I was honored to shake his hand. If you haven’t read anything he’s written, you’re missing out. He has truly been someone that both works hard to build better software and teach others to do so as well.

The Accelerate State of DevOps report 2019 is available from Google and might be useful in trying to convince others in your organization to adopt a process that improves software quality.

You can also register and watch our webinar tomorrow. It will be broadcast at 4pm BST and 9am Mountain time, which are the main time zones I care about.

You can ask us questions or just listen as we discuss some of the findings.

Register today and we’ll be live tomorrow.

Posted in Blog | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Delete an Azure DevOps Project

Not something you’ll do too often, but you might find yourself doing this if you are setting up PoCs and removing them. A reminder for me, since I stumbled around for 5 minutes before Googling and finding a note on the docs site.

Project Settings

This is the key, and there are a lot of useful things here, including deleting your project. To get to the settings, open your project from Azure DevOps. In the current view, you see a number of items along the left: the overview, repos, pipelines, etc..

2019-09-02 14_33_55-Summary - Overview

Look below these items and you’ll see the gear icon. That will take you to the settings.

2019-09-02 14_34_16-Summary - Overview

The settings page as the name of the project, and a number of tabs on the left. You can change lots of the items, but for this post, stick with the Overview.

2019-09-02 14_35_35-Settings · Overview (AzureMySQLLab) - Settings

Below the Process, are the various sections of Azure DevOps listed, the Boards, repos, etc. If you scroll down the Overview page, you’ll see the Delete Project at the bottom.

2019-09-02 14_35_46-Settings · Overview (AzureMySQLLab) - Settings

Click this, and you’ll get a confirmation dialog. You need to enter the correct name of the project to delete it.

2019-09-02 14_35_52-Settings · Overview (AzureMySQLLab) - Settings

Microsoft knows this is a big deal, so you have time to recover this if you make a mistake. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t treat this seriously, but in case you make a mistake, you can recover things right away if you need to do so.

Once you start to experiment and work with Azure DevOps, you can find the number of projects will grow. Some of those will be test projects or PoCs, which need cleaning up at some point. This is the process to remove those old projects.

Posted in Blog | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

The Crazy Times of Year

Do you have busy times of the year that recur regularly? In some positions I’ve held, we had certain events or processes that always caused additional stress and headaches for employees. As a bartender, certain holidays (New Years, Halloween) were extra crazy. In one company, every quarter was an adventure involving a late, or a complete, night of work. Different industries and organizations seem to have different schedules that regularly stress employees.

Are there times that are tough for you? Or maybe slow times? In a few organizations where my wife worked, the week between Christmas and New Years was always so slow that they’d actually close the office and give people the week off, without it affecting their vacation schedules. That would be a nice perk to have.

This is the busy time of year for me. Spring sometimes gets filled, but this next couple months is somewhat crazy. The first third of September I was in the UK. I returned home, and I have a week and a half off, which I need because then life gets hectic.

The weekend of the 20th, I’m heading back to upstate New York to see my daughter play in a volleyball tournament. That’s exciting since I’ve never seen her play college competition live, and I’m looking forward to the trip. A few days after I return, however, I head to Australia for work. Just a couple days, because I can’t spare the time, which is disappointing to my wife. She’s like to go, but since I’m in Memphis the first weekend of October, there isn’t time for a week in the beginning of Spring down under.

I am home the second week of October, but with a pre-con and SQL Saturday, it will be a busy week of prep and trying to get other things done since the third week of October my wife wants to go back to New York to see our daughter. I’m tempted, but torn since the last week of of the month I return to London before heading to Seattle the weekend after.

I still have other work to do with SQLServerCentral and Redgate in addition to these weekends, and I have the feeling I’ll be ready to knock off travel and just coach kids after the PASS Summit. Right now I’m looking at being committed for part or all of every weekend except for this past weekend until Nov 9.

A tough time, but really, it’s a great job I have with amazing opportunities to see friends and places all over the world. I know I’ll be tired, but it will be a good tired, even with the extra time spent preparing for travel and catching up on chores when I return.

Are there any wild times in your work world? Let us know today.

Steve Jones

Listen to the podcast at Libsyn, Stitcher or iTunes.

Posted in Editorial | Tagged | Leave a comment