Series Introduction: Happy and Productive Developers

I’ve been obsessing for the last 8 to 10 months about developer moral and productivity. Early last year, I read the book Team Geek and ran a book club over it with the developers I work with. Everything went downhill from there. I’ve been pouring ideas into a OneNote document for about 6 months now. I’m pretty sure I’m going to get too broad on the topic if I don’t start focusing on getting stuff on paper… or on the web.. whatever. The ultimate goal of this series is to build a foundation of ideas that I can take and present at tech conferences, user group meetings, and other gatherings of tech leadership.

I’ve collected topics from sources such as Fog Creek’s blog, Base Camp’s blog, and several other books and blogs, but the bulk will be from my personal experiences. I’ve gotten to work in an excellent environment for analyzing morale and productivity and I’m in a position/role where A LOT of developers come to me when efficiency is a concern, something is bothering them or they are down in the dumps. I’ve gotten to experience rapid growth in a company, extreme leadership shifts, no leadership, shifts in company focus, failure, success, politics, head count fluctuation, too much work, not enough work, politics (yes, twice) and most importantly…. drama. These sound like some pretty common topics that people in the industry can talk about, but I’ve experienced 100% of them as a developer. I can discuss many of these topics with confidence and I really look forward to putting all of this together.

I will be touching on these topics and more: debunking stereotypes for a better relationship, managing vs leading developers, trust, equipping for productivity and success, finding and retaining good developers, simple perks and benefits, how and why you should minimize distractions, and why no good code is written after the 10th hour.

Feedback will be more than welcome and I’ll answer any questions that are brought up in post comments.

I’m a Technology Architect for Rockfish Digital. I’ve been there since 2007. I love coding and spend most of my time in C# and JavaScript. I’m a firm believer in the Full Stack Developer.

I was quoted on NimbleText.com!

A former colleague of mine send me a message on Facebook a couple of days ago. He had told me I was on the front page of http://nimbletext.com/. If you do anything with SQL statements or arrays, you should check the tool out. It’s incredibly useful.

my quote

What’s really cool? Scott Hanselman was quoted just a few paragraphs about me. I found NimbleText from his list of Ultimate Developer Tools.

Scott

Yeah, it’s kinda silly I’m freaking out like this, but Scott’s one of my development heroes.

I’m a Technology Architect for Rockfish Digital. I’ve been there since 2007. I love coding and spend most of my time in C# and JavaScript. I’m a firm believer in the Full Stack Developer.

Minification Made Easy with VS Web Essentials for Visual Studio 2012

Why do we care about minification?

Minification is the easiest thing you can do to your websites to improve the performance of the front end. Minifying is going to take all your code and cram it into one line. This can decrease the size of the file by up to 40%. That is a lot less for your browser to download and will speed up the rendering of your pages.

Why choose Web Essentials?

VS Web Essentials provides the easiest way to setup minification. The extension can be installed without leaving Visual Studio and it’s very easy to find in the extensions and updates portion of Visual Studio. There are no build events to configure. The minification can either happen on save or be done manually. There isn’t a complicated configuration file that you will need to setup. The extension generates an easy to read config file.

Web Essentials provides a TON of features that make CSS and Javascript coding a lot easier. The extension is very useful even if you are not interested in the minification functionality.

CSS Tricks

You can enable an option to prevent the minification from removing CSS comments that have been marked as important. This will allow you to keep your version numbers and licensing in your comments. I’ve tried to hunt down other minification processes that wouldn’t remove important comments and I couldn’t find any.

Javascript Tricks

You can enable Javascript Source Maps that will allow you to use your minified JS file in development and easily find what line bugs are occurring on. Below are some great articles on Source Maps.

This is the first time I’ve done any video demos before. I’d really appreciate any feedback that would help me improve my presentation skills.

I’m a Technology Architect for Rockfish Digital. I’ve been there since 2007. I love coding and spend most of my time in C# and JavaScript. I’m a firm believer in the Full Stack Developer.

Essential Development Equipment: The Mouse Pad

A while ago I did a post about mech keyboards and how it’s important to make a good investment into one. I got motivated to do some articles over all the random equipment that I would have a hard time developing without. One of my most recent purchases was a new mouse mat. I needed to replace one I had been heavily using for two years.

Your mouse pad is a piece of equipment that I bet you don’t think about very much. Your mouse pad is just as important as the tires on your car. You can go cheap and get some tires that will wear out fast and require frequent replacement, or you can get a good set that will last a while and provide a smooth ride. A lot of things have changed over the years with mice and monitors that justify a good mouse mat.

When looking for a new mouse pad, you will want to pay close attention to the size of the pad, what material the pad is made out of, and the surface or texture of the top of the pad.
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I’m a Technology Architect for Rockfish Digital. I’ve been there since 2007. I love coding and spend most of my time in C# and JavaScript. I’m a firm believer in the Full Stack Developer.

A Couple Tips to Type Code Faster

I’m not too embarrassed to say it, but I was looking at my fingers when I was typing until I was a senior in highschool. I was sneaky with the keyboarding teacher. Over the past year or so, I’ve really been trying hard to learn to type faster and more efficiently.
Continue reading “A Couple Tips to Type Code Faster”

I’m a Technology Architect for Rockfish Digital. I’ve been there since 2007. I love coding and spend most of my time in C# and JavaScript. I’m a firm believer in the Full Stack Developer.

Give Windows More Desktops with VirtuaWin

If you are within 30 feet of me at the office you know I’m grumpy when it comes to workspace. I’m not super excited about moving away from my monitor to only work on my laptop screen. The 1200×800 resolution feel really cramped with working inside of Visual Studio, Flash Professional, and several other IDEs that take up a lot of space on your screen. There isn’t much I can do about hardware so, I started looking for a software solution.

I’d have to say the one thing that the one big thing I wish Windows had was built in multiple desktops. The Mac OS has “Spaces” and several Linux OSes have built in Virtual Desktops. I really enjoy using the virtual desktops in Ubuntu. Windows doesn’t have anything that I’m aware of that is built in like this, but there are several pieces of software that allow you to have multiple virtual desktops. I started using VirtuaWin about a month ago and I’ve been very happy with how the software operates.
Continue reading “Give Windows More Desktops with VirtuaWin”

I’m a Technology Architect for Rockfish Digital. I’ve been there since 2007. I love coding and spend most of my time in C# and JavaScript. I’m a firm believer in the Full Stack Developer.