Which Programming Languages Should I Know? (Part 1)

by Codewiz51 5. December 2015 08:14

I'm in the final 6 to 8 years of my "working" life. I'm looking at the languages that I need to know going forward. I define "know" as being competent at developing solutions with the required language.

This is part 1 in my analysis of where I need to focus my efforts going forward.

JavaScript is an absolute requirement. It is the lingua franca of the web, and is becoming popular with the server side crowd.  JavaScript and one of the major frameworks, such as Angular is an absolute requirement.  Even though I mostly manage developers and development efforts, I need to know this language to be effective.

I've also decided I need to know one popular Windows backend language, probably C#.  I also need to know one Linux side language, which at the moment will probably be Java, as I like it's similarity to C#.

However, there is Python and Ruby Rails to consider.  And one needs to be knowledgable of Big Data coding and querying.

As for the database side, I am currently pretty well tied to SQL Server and PostgreSQL with PostGIS.  While I have enthusiastically adopted PostgreSQL/PostGIS, my not so great experience with Hibernate and geography fields have tended to push me back to SQL Server and Entity Framework as an simpler and better integrated solution.

So, I'll continue to explore where I think this is all headed.  I need to focus my time and learning skills on those programing environments that will be needed over the next few years.


Design | Life | Programming

When you transition from a code monkey

by Codewiz51 17. July 2015 06:01

I pretend to develop software for a living.  As much as I would like to claim I develop software, I really only dabble in it as a hobby nowadays.  I'm older now, and my coworkers and supervisors depend on my experience for a number of functions other than entering code into an editor: estimating, advising on technology, working out project plans and most importantly, organizing people to get stuff done.  I'm afraid my usefulness as a code monkey has passed.  I worry now about transitioning applications developed with new technologies to our current production environment.  I have to ask questions like: "How do I support your software?"; "How do I determine the source of exceptions in your code?"  As developers hurry to adopt new technologies, I have to be concerned with how we support the application.  How does this technology fit with our ability to administer it: how do we secure data delivered by a node.js web server?  Have we really secured our JBOSS server properly?  How well does active directory integrate with Red Hat's OpenShift?  Linux, Apache and JBOSS may be old hat to many, but our administrators are having to make a difficult transition for our newer applications and environment.  Training is time consuming.  Working training in to a busy administrator's schedule is not an easy task.  Determining the most effective training hasn't turned out to be very much fun either.  Even our developers are learning of the difficulty of keeping Java updated and in sync with JBOSS releases, keeping SOLR updated and making code changes for breaking changes in the patches is not proving to be an easy process.

So, to sum up, there is no magic bullet.  Someone will always be looking for the next new thing to help software developers.  But I'm relegated to slogging along, making sure we can implement the technology in a production environment; that we don'y give away the keys to our kingdom because we didn't know how to secure a new technology.

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Java | JavaScript | JBoss | Programming

Mac Mini, USB 3.0, Bluetooth and WiFi

by Codewiz51 8. March 2015 08:27

I recently purchased a 7 port Ankar powered USB Hub.  All was fine with my original layout, but yesterday, I decide to layout my devices to reduce clutter.  Just after completing the rearrangement of devices on my desktop, I started having trouble with my WiFi dropping and then not being able to reconnect.  Shortly thereafter, my Apple Magic Mouse began disconnecting.

I dutifully shutdown my Mini, disconnected all the devices, ran hardware diagnostics, booted in single user mode, cleared the SMC, etc.  Could not find any problems.  Mac booted properly, mouse worked properly, WiFi connected.  What the heck was going on?  I changed out my Crucial memory with the original Apple memory.  The Mac with no devices was working properly.

I started reattaching devices, first connecting the Ankar hub, then external drives, Apple Superdrive, etc.  Boom!  WiFi went flakey.  While turning off the WiFi, my Magic Mouse disconnected.  Rebooting gave me a completely blank screen with only a mouse cursor.  Things appeared to be going down hill quickly and I was not happy, because I had planned to put 20 or 30 miles on my bike in the sunshine.

So I stripped down the Mini again.  Turned off the magic mouse.  Plugged in a USB mouse.  Plugged in a wired network cable.  Booted.  Managed to log in.  Turned off WiFi on the Mini.  Turned on the Magic Mouse.  It connected properly.  Unplugged the USB Mouse.  Started plugging in devices.  Everything continued to work.  Left the WiFi off.  Rebooted.  The Mini came up and I could log on just fine with the wired network cable.  Decided not to tempt fate and left the WiFi turned off.

My (incomplete and unsubstantiated) conclusion was that rearranging the Mini, with all the USB devices sitting close by on the Ankar hub was causing interference with all of the wireless devices I was using.  Since the Mini is not really portable, I decided to leave the network cable plugged in and turn off the WiFi.  However, I'm not super happy about this, because the Mac no longer syncs with my iPhone over WiFi.

I'll settle in with this setup for a while, until I can figure out what to do with all of my USB devices.


OS X | Mac Mini | iPhone

Whither My Home Network?

by Codewiz51 7. November 2014 07:39

I have a small home network that I use for hobbyist programming and R & D on new (to me) technologies.  I lost one of my servers (which also acted as a backup domain controller) a couple of days ago.  There was no real content on the server that I needed to save, and fortunately, the disk drive is OK, it's the motherboard that went out.

I'm debating about continuing to maintain this home network.  It's constantly an issue in terms of maintenance.  If the internal DNS server goes down, my wife gets mad.  If the print server starts acting up, my wife gets mad at me.  I'm working with really old hardware, which could go out at any moment.  You get the picture...

So, I'm debating about just shutting down the home network, removing the two workstations I have from the domain, and going back to being an average hobbyist.  I primarily need access to a SQL Server and an IIS Server.  I have a couple of options.  I can use the services on WinHost as my primary environment. I also have an MSDN account through my company that allows me to set up sophisticated environments for development.  In other words, I have the capability to continue developing, while simplifying my life.

I'll think on this a little more and hopefully get some things implemented over the weekend.



Infrastructure | Life

Setting a StaticIP on Azure Server Returns an Error

by Codewiz51 5. October 2014 15:24

If you ever get the error: "Update-AzureVM : BadRequest: The value for parameter 'SubnetNames' is null or empty.", do not fret.  The fix is simple.  The VM that you are trying to assign a static IP does not exist in the subnet you are trying to assign it too.  I ended up deleting and recreating the server, making sure I used the "Gallery" and not the "Quick" creation option.  Then, ensure you create the VM in your private network.




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