751 reputation
59
bio website
location Aberdeen, United Kingdom
age 42
visits member for 3 years, 8 months
seen May 30 at 8:19

C# and Delphi.Net coder by day, wannabe rock star by night.


Jun
6
comment Can one forget programming if it is not practiced for some time?
In the past my employer scored quite highly on the Török Test (5/8). We slowly wore them down to 2, though it's recently crept back up to 3 with rumours of a 4 :-(
May
2
comment How should I assess answers to the programming assignment I use for hiring
@Ned - personally I think you've pitched it about right. I think it's more valuable to see if they can fill in the gaps without prompting than to see if they can type the correct code from a complete spec. We do a similar thing (a spec with room for interpretation) and as such, and as Frank says, we can't judge it on any absolute criteria - there's no right or wrong, no "scores", just a taster of how the candidate approaches things. Are they a careful, detailed oriented coder? Or are they sloppy?
Dec
27
comment How to get hardware specific ID
Note also that, even when you can get them, HDD IDs are not unique - e.g. in a previous job we discovered that all Dell's of a certain model had the same HDD ID, presumably due to ghosted drive images.
Dec
27
comment How to get hardware specific ID
Yes, be careful of multiple MAC addresses per computer - I've fallen foul of this with my work laptop, where I usual use a wired connection, but sometimes disconnect and go wireless - same computer, two perfectly legitimate MAC addresses.
Dec
4
comment for vs. foreach vs. LINQ
He's not saying you would only get one result from the IEnumerable - he's saying that the SQL query (which is the expensive part of the method) would only execute once - this is a good thing. It would then read and yield all of the results from the query.
Dec
1
comment what is message passing in OO?
I like this answer - explains the differences and their implications.
Sep
3
comment Specific reasons for still using Subversion?
This is one of the reasons we went for Mercurial (and TortoiseHg) over Git. The advantages of distributed version control and decent tooling and IDE integration.
Aug
15
comment What is the relevance of resumes in the age of GitHub, Stack Exchange, Coursera, Udacity, blogs, etc.?
I think you're missing the part where a potential employer goes from "never having heard of you" to "wanting to hire you". Sure, once they've decided they like the look of you then github, stackexchange etc are great resources, but you have to get them over that initial "why should I care?" hump, and a summary document is still the best (and usually only) way to do that.
Jul
25
comment Storing and maintaining serialized objects in C#
The BinaryFormatter is also the least change tolerant option. We've had endless struggles with it and now wish we'd never used it. See: stackoverflow.com/a/703361/505697
Jun
14
comment Should a server “be lenient” in what it accepts and “discard faulty input silently”?
I think @DanielB makes the pertinent point - you can't have a blanket "error handling policy" - you have to carefully consider how to handle each potential error in the context in which it occurs.
May
18
comment Getting users to write decent and useful bug reports
Have to agree with @fish. We can give our testers all the guidelines in the world - doesn't make them actually produce useful bug reports. And I'm talking about people who's job it is to report bugs - if we can't motivate them with guidelines we've got no hope at all with actual users. The only thing we found effective was actively closing "useless" bug reports as "not enough information" - they got the the message pretty quickly then. I don't advise it for external users though :-)
May
10
comment Should a senior developer refuse to take paper exams during an interview?
@Snorfus - totally agree - if I went for an interview with no technical content then I'd be really worried about the quality of the people I'd be working with if I joined that company.
Apr
26
comment Will adopting a DVCS mean there will be a positive impact on development speed?
@Andrew Finnell - wasn't actually SVN - teamcoherence.com/versioncontrol.aspx - not too bad when the team was 4-5 people, but didn't scale at all well. Shame as the dev actually works for us (which is why we adopted it in the first place)
Apr
22
comment Will adopting a DVCS mean there will be a positive impact on development speed?
Can't really agree. We were in a situation where our (C)VCS system's lack of useable branching and merging was causing severe bottlenecks when we were trying to stabilise code for a release (while trying not to just tell all the coders to "stop checking in code"). I'm not sure any amount of clever workflow could have given us the ability to separate "stabilising" from "continued development" that switching to Mercurial gave us.
Apr
19
comment How can one best avoid writing bloated GUI code?
+1 Where I work we often don't review GUI code - "it's just GUI, skip it". And I'm as guilty as anyone. Strange thing is that in my personal projects I spend a lot if time trying to get nice clean GUI code. Guess it's just a culture thing.
Nov
3
comment In .net, why can't values of intrinsic data types (such as DateTime) be null?
The title of the question is quite misleading - the title asks why null types can't be placed on the stack, but the body of the question asks why value types can't be null.
Aug
18
comment Why isn't the line count in Visual Studio zero-based?
Because no one answering this question has a sense of humour? ;-)
Jul
30
comment What are good keyboards for programming?
Got one in the cupboard, but can't use it anymore as the connector is PS/2 and it doesn't work with a USB adapter :-(
Jul
30
comment What are good keyboards for programming?
Been using one at work for 4 years now. Great keyboard, very comfortable, keeps everyone else off my PC as they can't use my "strange" keyboard :-)
May
23
comment Best practices for recovering usernames
Only slight downer is if you ever want to change your e-mail address (as I recently did) - you then have to go round every damn site changing it :-(