Gant Software Systems

Blog Posts

A C# Bulk Image GrayScale Converter

I frequently evaluate potential user interface layouts to determine which of a set is the most appropriate for the intended application. Usually I break this process down into three parts, all of which have to pass for the design to be considered acceptable. Frequently parts from multiple prototypes may be combined that are the best of the set in particular categories. These parts are as follows:

How To Read A Book On Soft Skills

Since I’m going to soon start adding some book reviews as part of my regular blogging rotation, I’m going to share an insight that I didn’t really realize was insightful. That is, for a very long time, I read a lot of books incorrectly, in way that not only insured I would get little value out of them, but that also insured that I couldn’t act upon any value I got with much success.

A C# Bulk File Downloader

I think about code a lot. I expect that a lot of other developers do as well. But one thing that I think most of us miss while we are building huge systems to automate tasks for other people is how easy it is to code up simple things that improve our own lives and make things easier for us. Sometimes, all you need is a stupid little script and I’ve decided to have a feature on this blog for highlighting these sorts of things in the hope that it will generate some interest, both in programming for people just getting started, and in automating some of the drudgery out of life for those who are a little more seasoned (this is a polite way of saying “jaded”, “cynical”, or “old” in some quarters). Note that this code is for a very narrow task, probably won’t be repeatedly used, and thus does not meet particularly good standards for cleanliness, code commenting, etc. I believe that this sort of coding would be tremendously beneficial to the general community of computer users and I find it incredibly sad that such minimal skill levels aren’t taught. I imagine people actually spending the time to click through and manually download over a hundred (currently 192) episodes of a podcast in order to get the whole set (RSS will get you some, but it cuts off) and my mind reels at how much time and effort they will waste doing that (or worse, they miss out on an awesome podcast that can teach them a lot).

Top Ten Ways To Achieve High Turnover In Your Development Department

Judging by the actions of a few companies I’ve encountered over the ten and a half years of my full-time, professional programming career, many companies would like to quickly lose their most talented people, preferably to their competitors and preferably for easily and cheaply avoidable reasons. Towards this end, I’d like to offer a list of suggestions of ways to make absolutely certain that your development staff is interested in greener pastures, no matter how much barbed wire they have to climb to get to them. Here are my suggestions for how to achieve near perfect turnover (except for sadists) within a three to four year period.

Social Media Integration With Wordpress

Today I finally went to the effort of setting up an account on IFTTT. For those not in the know, IFTTT stands for “If This Then That” (yeah, that acronym isn’t quite right, but the service works great). Essentially what you can do with this tool is set up various sorts of automation for tasks on the internet, using what IFTTT refers to as a “recipe”. A recipe has a couple of pieces:

New Blog

Today I’m starting my journey into blogging. I expect things will be slow for a bit as I am currently working on the following items for the business:

T4 Templates: Multi-File Outputs Considered Harmful

I’ve been working on a side project with a good friend and it uses T4 templates fairly heavily for wrapping database code (no, we couldn’t use EF for this when we started – we might look at it again later though) and for building up a nice wrapper for templated email. It worked like a champ, until I decided to do a bit of code cleanup to make it more aesthetically pleasing to myself. I was getting concerned because the code generated by the templates was somewhere north of 20,000 lines, declared well north of 100 separate classes with dozens of interfaces and lots of logic for interacting with the database (and with caching). It was all beautiful, clean, eloquent code (ok, I’m lying, but it wasn’t ugly enough that I hated it) and did its job remarkably well. I heartily recommend the Tangible T4 Text editor plugin for Visual Studio, as it makes a lot of this code work quite smoothly and pretty much never gave me a problem (I had to look up which tool I was using – I promise you I could remember off the top of my head if it broke regularly).