The Microsoft Developer Show #9 – Certification

The Microsoft Developer Show #9 – Certification

The next installment of the MS Dev Show is now available on The Podcast Network where I chat with Rob Farley on the topic of Certification. More specifically we talk about Microsoft Certification and the examination process involved in becoming certified. We also talk about the value of certification in both the eyes of the candidate and their employer (or potential employer).


IMHO vendor certifications are probably not worth much more than the paper that they are written on.  Maybe the samecan be applied to a University degree.  I must admit that when I’m looking for new employees I look for a University degree, yet place little value on whether they are vendor certified.  What do you do? How important are exams, or for that matter any form of tertiary education.  Do you think that ongoing professional development is a good thing?

Australian Developers are "shallow" and "sloppy"

Australian Developers are "shallow" and "sloppy"

Over the weekend the co-author of our recently published book, Professional Visual Studio 2005, contacted me to point out a fantastic review of on Amazon.  Well, it was fantastically funny and as Andrew points out it would be great if anyone else who has read the book could post a review ;-).


Unfortunately the actual review has been pulled from the Amazon website, but in summary it makes the following claim:


So the next thing i did was to find out who were the authors, and there you are: two experienced/accomplished but “Australian” developers. In my albeit limited experience, the majority of Australian developers were shallow in their understanding of highly complexy technical stuff, and they write code in an exremely sloppy fashion. But these two guys are supposed to be the creme de la creme of .NET developers in that country, or maybe not?


Does this apply to New Zealand developers or are we all too busy farming sheep and making award winning films?

Windows Mobile Device Center

Windows Mobile Device Center

For those working with Vista and are armed with a Windows Mobile device you should check out the beta version of the Windows Mobile Device Center which extends Vista RC1.  If you aren’t already aware Vista will ship with a cut down WMDC which simply allows you to connect to your device.  In order to partner with your device you need to download this update.  AFAIK the plan is to make this an update that will appear in Windows Update when you have a device plugged in.  IMHO this sux and is again another black mark against mobility.  In the same way that the Windows Mobile 5 sdks should have shipped with Visual Studio 2005 (instead of just WM2003SE), the full WMDC should ship with Vista!

Database roles

Database roles

Brian Madsen wrote an interesting post following Greg Linwood’s presentation at my home user group, the Perth .NET Community of Practice.  I would like to make a follow up comment on this as I have a slightly different opinion to Brian:

When it comes to an application that uses a database there are a number of roles associated with building that application.  I don’t want to get into the nitty gritty of what the roles are called but essentially they fall into a couple of broad categories IMHO.

  • Interaction Designer:  This role is primarily responsible for building the front end application such that it is usable, presents the information in an appropriate format and will get good user adoption.  NB: This function is actually where a LOT of applications fail!
  • Developer: This role is responsible for coding the business logic for the system – extracting and manipulating data into a format that can easily be consumed by the user interface.  Quite often this role is merged with the Interaction Designer role but in large projects there are quite often coding tasks that just require manpower to get classes written that serve a particular function.  NB: Most of the code this role rights should be easily tested using Unit testing.  This role should NOT be concerned with how indexes are structured etc, rather they need to define what data they need to retrieve and update.
  • Database Designer: This role is the only role that should be concerned with what indexes are on the database.  If an application is performing badly (at the data tier), it is NOT the responsibility of the developer to reindex the database.  Through collaboration with the developer (ie the user of the data) the database designer is responsibile for structuring the database such that the developer can work with the data.
  • Database Administrator: IMHO this is an operational role and if an application has a good SLDC then the database administrator should NOT be reindexing.  Any changes to the index should be applied as a new version of the application.  Of course, this doesn’t hold where a database is being used by multiple applications and is not being versioned in line with the application.  Regardless, there should be some lifecycle management around any changes that are applied.

There may be other roles/points that I haven’t considered, so please feel free to add your 2 cents worth 😉

Building Cross Platform Applications with The Microsoft Developer Show

Building Cross Platform Applications with The Microsoft Developer Show

The next show has just been published where I chat with Jeff Arnett, Windows Embedded MVP, about building applications that work across multiple platforms.  As a fellow mobility MVP I can associate with the difficulties faced by developers wanting to port code between different platforms.  In my previous role at AutumnCare we spent a lot of time maintaining a common code base, and now at Intilecta we are having to do the same process.  Check out the latest show to here more!