September 30, 2008

Unit testing and PInvoking pt.3

In the previous parts of this short series (that took a long time to finish) I looked at testing code that depends on pinvoke calls. I did this by wrapping the PInvoked functions in a class and then injecting that class into the depending code. I used the wrapper class to put some checks around the platform invokes to smooth some rough edges of the calls to unmanaged land. This creates a nice reusable interface around these calls but now we have the same problem we started with, testability. In this post I'll look at adding a final layer of indirection to be able to test this code.

September 24, 2008

Process weirdness and how to solve it

I had a weird problem today. For a piece of software I'm creating I had to start an executable and then poll it periodically to see if it was still living. If it didn't respond for a certain time my program had to kill it and start over. There's a neat class in System.Diagnostics that can do this. System.Diagnostics.Process. But I found sometimes it acts a little strange.

September 22, 2008

Motivation

Jurgen Appleloo posted this question on his blog. He wants to know what motivates you to do your job very well. He also promised $100 in books for the best answer if that isn't motivating I don't know what is.

Actually I think the question is the wrong way around. I do this work because I love doing this. I had no work I would be programming (and looking for a job, I'm not that wealthy). I don't just love the technology, I love helping people finding solutions for their problems.

Here is what I answered;

I'm motivated to do my job very well from the start. Actually the thing that get's me motivated is being able to do my job well. But that's not easy.

It means removing obstacles that keep me from doing my job like unwelcome interruptions, unrealistic deadlines, obstacles that keep me from communicating with future users. It means enabling me to work with tools and technologies that not only look good in demo's but actually make my job easier. It means giving me time to play with more of those tools. And most of al it means working in a team with people who are as passionate about software development as I am.

Now about those books....

September 13, 2008

Another Stack Overflow review

images_2Joel Spolsky of Joel On Software and FogCreek fame and Coding Horror Jeff Atwood have been kicking up a lot of dust recently with Stack Overflow. We've been able to follow the developments around the creation of this site for about half a year now on their podcast http://blog.stackoverflow.com. And the site has been open for beta testers for one and a half months. I've been hanging around there for the last two weeks too. And since the site is going to be opened to the public tomorrow I thought this might be a good idea to write down some of my experiences and ideas around the site.

September 12, 2008

Visual Studio "Add Interface" context menu

Sometimes it seems Visual Studio is set up for a completely different programming style than mine. For example the context menu's in the solution explorer has an "Add Class" item that I use often but there is no "Add interface" item. It's easy to customize Visual Studio so I set about adding this. Should be easy right? Right... I even had to write VBA to get it done, I feel dirty. But I got through it so you don't have to, enjoy!