Oct 20

My links of the week – October 20, 2013

This week saw the release of Windows 8.1 and Visual Studio 2013. It was also the week of PASS Summit 2013, but surprisingly this is possibly the week where more SQL Server related posts are included.

  • If you are interested in Visual Studio 2013, I have compiled a list of the links I found most interesting in Visual Studio 2013 Resources.
  • Robert Sheldon’s SQL Server SQLCMD Basics provides a detailed description of the features available witthe SQLCMD utility. A very good read.
  • Aaron Bertrand’s Use Caution with SQL Server’s MERGE Statement addresses some of the bugs that have affected the MERGE statement since it was made available with SQL Server, some of which seem to be present even in the preview releases of SQL Server 2014. It’s a comprehensive analysis and a must read for anyone considering the use of MERGE statements.
  • John Sterrett’s SQL Server Performance Root Cause Analysis in 10 Minutes is the introduction to a series of posts that address analysis of performance problems in SQL Server. The article includes links to several articles that include scripts covering multiple aspects of performance analysis.
  • Moving to responsive design, Syed Fazle Rahman’s Building Responsive Websites Using Twitter BootStrap provides a detailed guide to developing responsive websites using the popular Twitter Bootstrap. It also includes a link to a previous article from the same author, that addresses the use of Twitter Bootstrap for complex designs.
  • Jake Rocheleau’s Popular Web Design Trends for Responsive Navigation analyzes several techniques found in great responsive websites. It’s a very interesting read on several of the ways that can be used to design navigation elements in responsive websites.
  • Carlos Cessa’s Mobile First With Bootstrap 3 provides an analysis of the changes in the recently officially released version 3 of Twitter Bootstrap.
  • Jessica Enders’s Flat UI and Forms addresses some of the issues that affect forms as a result of the move to flat user interfaces and proposes some solutions to improve affordance, better distinction between form elements and a more clear hierarchy between form elements.

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.