South Staffordshire Green Party

I wanted to help a friend, Andy Wootton, bring some attention to the Green Party candidate, Claire McInvenna, in South Staffordshire. Take a look at his blog. My local Green Party branch is North Staffordshire.

I’m not stating a political preference, but I do like to help make people aware of discussions. The UK is not a two-party democracy. Use the comments to post Staffordshire party and indepdent web sites. The link spread might help.

Learn vi with Agile Staffordshire

Learning how to use a tool is one of the best value-for-time activities for a software developer. Vi isn’t a new tool; on the contrary it has a long and distinguished history as an editor. There’s a real treat planned this evening with Agile Staffordshire and I encourage you to stop by and join in. Details are available on the Agile Staffordshire Blog.

Jason Underhill and Paul Williams have organised a superb showcase of vi being used in a professional context as a tool for software development. These two know their craft and will definitely have some useful and interesting articles to show you.

Agile Staffordshire January 2015

January’s Agile Staffordshire session looks set to be another great one. It will be great opportunity to acquire some experience with version control software. Git techniques will be presented in this session by the abundantly capable Paul Williams. Stop by on Meet-up and let Agile Staffordshire know that you’re intending to join in!

Network Utility OS X Yosemite

Network Utility has moved again in the latest release of Mac OS X (Yosemite).

It is located in:

Macintosh HD > System > Library > CoreServices > Applications > Network Utility

Alternatively, you can launch the program from the System Report menu (under ‘Window’). From the Apple Menu, click ‘About This Mac…’. Click ‘System Report…’ and from the ‘Window’ menu, click ‘Network Utility’.

Mac OS X Yosemite - About This Mac
About this Mac… shows system information about your device.

Once the Network Utility is running, use the context menu from the dock icon to show the location of the application in Finder or pin it permanently.

Network Utility - OS X Yosemite
The Network Utility – a useful program that keeps moving location.
Network Utility shown in Finder.
Network Utility shown in Finder.

Why does it move?

I would like to know why this application keeps moving. For the longest time, Network Utility was located under ‘utilities’ in ‘Applications’. That made sense. Can anyone enlighten me as to why the location of this useful application is continually obfuscated?

BCS and Agile Experiences

On Tuesday 4th November 2014 at 18:00, the North Staffordshire Branch of BCS and Agile Staffordshire are getting together for a special event. We will be sharing experiences in a series of lightning talks and exercises. This will be a great opportunity to network and learn more about what is going on in the area. This event is also ideal for students with an interest in software development who want to know more about practicing agile techniques in the industry. Continue reading “BCS and Agile Experiences”

Agile Staffordshire July 2014

This month’s Agile Staffordshire session is going to a be a real treat. Ian Russell is scheduled to deliver a session on F#, a functional-first programming language. This is of particular interest to me as I have no experience with functional-first programming and this session should prove to be a good opportunity to ‘dip my toe in the water’.

You don’t need to be a ‘member’ to take part. The Agile Staffordshire sessions are open. Just register your interest on the Meet-up page and read the blog for information.

Agile Staffordshire May 2014

A reminder that Agile Staffordshire is meeting up tomorrow at Staffordshire University for the Lean Code Challenge. As usual, details are available on the Agile Staffordshire Blog and you can register your attendance on Meetup.com.

I will be there and I hope to see you there too! New members are always welcome, it is a good opportunity to network with industry and academia.

Coding Standards – any standard you like

We (those who develop software) still argue over coding standards. I do not refer to meaningful discussions over clarity, readability or group/project management. I mean crazy, ranting and aggressive behaviour towards one another over a ‘trivial’ matter.

Before anyone jumps on my face for using the word ‘trivial’, I offer the following advice:

  • If you work at a place with a compelling reason to adopt a style, adopt it and join in on constructive discussions about its use at the appropriate time.
  • If you have a personal preference, then apply it consistently and bask in the loveliness of your own code.

I do not think code standards are trivial and pointless. I think they are important and create clarity. I think arguing about code standards is unimportant. Actually, I think arguing about code standards is more than unimportant, I think it can be destructive for communities in general. It really does not matter what the requirements are, we have programs to format source code at the speed of a key stroke.

PHP, for example, has a number of standards to consider:

That list is not exhaustive, there are many other code standards to consider and they are usually related to various application frameworks. Big choices, big decisions – so big that I can configure my IDE of choice (PhpStorm) to convert my source code to any of them, almost instantly. I can also configure hooks to format code according to a project specifications, which can even be done automatically before commits. Unless you are pair-programming and decide on a mutually acceptable standard, code in whatever standard you like and simply convert it for your needs.

Why argue? Get along with each other and create software instead; you might even catch yourself smiling more!