Oct 13

My links of the week – October 13, 2013

This weeks links cover multiple subjects from to NoSQL to Performance Tuning and  Responsive Design.

  • Buck Woody’s Data Science Laboratory System – Document Store Databases is the 9th article on a series hosted on the Simple Talk website, on setting up a Data Science Laboratory server. The whole series is a great read. In this article, the concept of a document store database is presented. The system chosen for the server is MongoDB and the author provides a brief walk-through of the installation process and includes links to multiple useful references on MongoDB. An excellent read.
  • Microsoft’s Patterns and Practices Team Data Access for Highly-Scalable Solutions: Using SQL, NoSQL, and Polyglot Persistence is a guide to on how to design and build applications and services that can take best advantage of SQL and NoSQL databases by combining them into a polyglot solution. It provides an end to end walk-through of a business application that uses SQL Server with a variety of NoSQL databases, showing how the designers selected the databases to closely match the various business requirements.
  • Brent Ozar’s Performance Tuning kCura Relativity is an excellent overview on how to approach performance tuning in a real world case and includes links to other useful resources for performance tuning. A great article on performance tuning.
  • Jes Schultz Borland’s Get a Report of Your Server’s Top 10 Worst Queries provides a guide to finding a SQL Server server 10 worst performing queries, and building a report with the results, using SQL Server Reporting Services. The article includes additional links that may be of use, even to tune the offending queries, once you find them. A good read.
  • Allen McGuire’s My DBA Toolbox is a good example of a DBA toolbox. Includes links to tools, scripts, articles and blogs that should be present in a DBA’s arsenal.
  • SMG Research Reveals DBA Tools Not Effective for Managing Database Change is an unsigned article that addresses some findings of a study that “examines the views of application development and deployment professionals in large organizations with $100 million or greater in IT department spending”. Including in the findings is the high number of organizations surveyed that feel that the DBA tools available are not very effective dealing with database application changes. The article includes a downloadable infographic with some interesting and surprising figures. A very interesting read.
  • Kenji Hiranabe’s Modeling in the Agile Age: What to Keep Next to Code to Scale Agile Teams raises the question of whether modelling is still useful, in an age where Agile methods are mainstream and working code and tests are considered the most important team artifacts. The article proposes a strategy to overcome the difficulties of making models live beyond conversations, based on keeping “big picture models” on architecture, domain model and key use cases. An excellent read.
  • Rockford Lhotka’s Does .NET Have a Future? addresses the future of .Net as a relevant technology. The author’s opinion is that not only .Net, but also Java and the underlying operating systems (Windows, Unix / Linux) will gradually fade away into “the misty twilight of time”. The article explains how this relevance fading will occur and how developers can deal with the this obsolescence and points to Javascript as the alternative platform. An interesting read.
  • Konstantin Lebedev’s So We Wanted To Build A File Uploader… (A Case Study) is an article describing Russian email provider Mail.ru development of a file uploader to overcome the difficulties experienced with their previous Flash based uploader. An attention grabbing article on the development process, up to the final result, a file uploader using multiple technologies and freely available on GitHub.
  • Daniel Mall’s Now With Responsive, is a great walk-through on the conversion process he used to make the site responsive. The article addresses several steps, from CSS to Sass conversion, changing the page location where javascript is loaded, using webfonts and resolution independent graphics. A very interesting read.
  • Rachel McCollin’s Design-Based Media Queries proposes a rethink of the way breakpoints are usually employed in designs. Considering the frequent design-based media queries are becoming untenable,  due to the explosion of devices used and the multitude of resolutions featured, Rachel proposes defining breakpoints based on the design, to make sure that the designs adapt to any devices widths while ensuring readability and to ensure that navigation items are large enough to be used in touch based and mobile devices. A very interesting read.

That’s all for this week. Thanks for reading.

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.