Sep 29

My links of the week – September 29, 2013

Here are my favorite links of the week. Just as a disclaimer, I would like to point out that although some of the articles may not have been posted this past week, but were just found by me during this week and deemed interesting enough to be included in this list.

  • We start with Shanley’s 10x Engineer, an very interesting read on the mythical highly productive programmer, sometimes also known as a Rockstar programmer, as Scott Hanselman names it. Recommended for every developer. Shanley’s article is more detailed but goes in the same direction as Scott’s. After a hard week, with a lot of programming and really no time to produce even a decent blog post and no advancement on the book review I planned to finish, I found these both rather to the point.
  • Jack Clark’s Google goes back to the future with SQL F1 database, describes in The Register’s own style, some aspects of Google’s F1 system that sports, of all things, a reliable relational scheme, with some extensions. This is the system that supports Google’s bread and butter Adwords platform and the article, although not highly technical, argues that it is part of pattern of “turning back towards SQL”. Although this is probably not entirely true, of course there is a reason for the “resistance” of the RDBMS to whatever new technology that showed up during the last 40 years. Interesting read.
  • Joe Chang’s Automating Performance with ExecStats provides a download link to the latest version of a SQL Server performance tool (look for the updated link in the comments) and explains the additions to this latest version.
  • If you are considering Azure, there are quite a few labs that may be of interest. Microsoft’s Technet Explore Virtual Labs! provides an entry point to such labs, with options ranging from Introduction to Windows Azure SQL Database to Windows Azure Websites and Virtual Machines with ASP.NET and SQL Server. Definitely a link to bookmark.
  • Syed Rafey Hussein’s Challenges and solutions – Architecture of a Modern Web Application is a two article series on common challenges in web application development and solutions for such challenges, that make some interesting reading.
  • Dino Esposito’s Aiming for a Truly Responsive Web Experience starts with the Visual Studio website example, to argue for a truly responsive web experience, as opposed to “simply” responsive web design. With the former, you should get not only a different, optimized, layout, but also a full experience that consider’s the devices capabilities. WURFL, used by Google and Facebook is given as an example of a device capabilities database and API that can be used to build such an experience. Definitely a must read.
  • I am ending this week’s post with a non technical article. Brendan I. Koerner’s Forget Foreign Languages and Music. Teach Our Kids to Code addresses the issue of how soon can kids be introduced to programming and the benefits that can result for them, at least in terms of improving their “computational thinking” abilities. A very interesting read.

That’s it for the week. Thanks for reading.

Sep 22

My links of the week – September 22, 2013

This week provided quite a few interesting reads, so it wasn’t easy to pick just a few of them. Not really able to pick a favorite, as there quite a few good posts and no clear “winner”. Anyway, here we go.

  • Jnan Dash’s RDBMS vs. NoSQL: How do you pick? brings back the issue of choosing between RDMBS and NoSQL technologies. It provides some insightful advice on making such a choice. It covers relevant issues to consider, from the nature of data, to operational issues like performance, scale or availability. Although a brief article, it covers the most relevant criteria to consider when making such a choice and it is a very interesting read.
  • Continuing with NoSQL / Big Data articles, Chris Stucchio’s Don’t use Hadoop -your data is not that big is a witty article on how “hot” keywords can cloud anyone’s decision making. It analyses a few scenarios where using Hadoop doesn’t make much sense, even if you would be led to think otherwise, due to Hadoop’s increasing popularity.
  • J.D. Meier’s Cloud Scenarios at your fingertips provides a few decision making points and links to further readings, on the subject of evaluating Cloud Computing as a viable option to be considered for enterprises.
  • Moving to SQL Server performance related articles, The SQL Server Customer Advisory Team blog post When To Break Down Complex Queries provides a few anti-patterns to watch when writing queries, with suggestions to solve the associated performance issues. It’s a very interesting article.
  • Grant Fritchey’s Why the Lazy Spool is Bad analyzes the lazy spool operator, concluding that it is not bad, after all, and includes links to more information on spools.
  • Danny Dover’s The Web Developer’s SEO Cheat Sheet 2.0 is a very comprehensive SEO cheat sheet, that can be downloaded as a very useful PDF file to keep within easy reach, as it can be very, very useful.
  • Bruce Schneier’s How to Remain Secure Against the NSA provides a detailed description of several strategies that anyone can use to foil the NSA’s eavesdropping abilities. A must read.

That’s it for the week.