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  • russellgilbert 8:12 am on February 3, 2015 Permalink | Reply

    Luvin It! 

    I’m really enjoying using Windows 10. The preview is still a bit clunky, which is fair enough – it’s a preview, but I do think Microsoft has got it right this time. Love the new Start Menu & multiple desktops rock (in fairness they’ve rocked on OSX & Linux for some time). Let’s not be churlish though, I rejoice that Microsoft are moving in the right direction with Windows 10.

    I’m not sure that Satya Nadella will be greatly moved by my plaudits but Satya, here they are if you want them.

    One step back, two steps forward! I eagerly await the finished article… “like greyhounds in the slips, straining upon the start.” as some bloke from the midlands who was quite good with words once wrote. Of course, there’s only one of me and it would be paltering with the truth to suggest I have much in common with a greyhound, let alone a pack of them, but you get the point.

  • russellgilbert 8:09 am on November 24, 2014 Permalink | Reply  

    Uploaded my new personal website over the weekend. Simple stuff right now and just a start but I’ll build on it over the next few weeks.

  • russellgilbert 7:54 am on November 21, 2014 Permalink | Reply  

    Agile & Return on Investment 

    Kay Paulus recently posed the question “How do you measure ROI on bringing in an Agile Coach?” on the LinkedIn Agile & Lean Software Development group discussion forum. For what it’s worth here’s my tuppenceworth…

    As a software developer I strongly believe that what I do is both a science and a craft. I think the science bit is a prerequisite and I understand how to measure it. However, I think it’s the craft that delivers great software and that’s where a large part of the value in my work is.

    With Agile I think, whilst there is a science, the value is even more weighted towards the craft. In my experience the biggest headwind to the adoption of great Agile practices is a strong resistance from corporate culture. Most often, at very senior levels, managers pay lip service but do not really believe in it and are not fully committed. This is the biggest challenge to Agile coaching. True success comes when the answer to ‘how do we measure ROI?’ is ‘We really don’t need to’. If senior managers are already asking the question before you start then you already know their credulity is slim and you have a tough nut to crack.

  • russellgilbert 9:46 am on November 13, 2014 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: WPF   

    Swiiiiish, back it came 

    Maybe I spoke too soon, Maybe Desktop has a future…

  • russellgilbert 9:02 am on November 13, 2014 Permalink | Reply  

    Woooosh! The sound of progress rushing by 

    Even as I write this I’m uninstalling VS2014 (pre-release) from my (pre-release) version of Windows 10 so that I can install Visual studio 2015 (pre-release). I’m guessing that VS2014 has simply been renamed VS2015, it being November already.

    The pace of change in our industry is relentless. As a freelance developer my biggest challenge has always been keeping up with it. But we seem right now to be crossing the threshold of a number of paradigm shifts (actually I’m pretty sure we’ve crossed it). Smartphones, tablets & ever increasing Internet connections speeds have pulled the rug from under our old World and pushed us into a new one. In this new World desktop development seems to be moving towards a niche activity and the gravitational pull of the web and of frameworks like AngularJS and Bootstrap are becoming irresistible and ‘Big Data’ is the meme of the moment.

    Microsoft – an organisation itself going through much navel contemplation and concomitant change – are edging ever closer to unleashing their latest weapon in the war of attrition that keeping up with technology has always been. I’m a really big fan of Visual Studio – it’s a huge, comprehensive & great product. However, tools like IntelliJ are pretty damn good too and have the great benefit of being much cheaper. So Microsoft whilst I have great expectations for Visual Studio 2015 the one thing that would really make it great is to make the ultimate version a less painful purchase for humble freelancers such as myself.

    If you want VS2015 CTP you can get it here.

  • russellgilbert 6:56 am on November 11, 2014 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Goodbye, Hearst   

    Work, the Poor Man’s Mate and the Rich Man’s Toy 

    I recently finished a 10 month Contract at Hearst Health in London & I made many friends during my time there. For those of you who may have missed me on my last day, here’s my goodbye message…

    Fellow chippers at the rock face of technological wonderment,

    Sadly, at the end of today’s toil, I must leave the Hearst family. I understand that an official announcement will be made before the New York Stock Exchange opens later today and that traders in London & the Far East are already discounting Hearst stock. In fact, stocks around the World took a massive tumble yesterday, so clearly the word has been out there for a while! Oh the stock market, what a fickle friend it is!!


    It’s been a privilege to work with you all and a rewarding experience to be part of the place for the last few months. By way of a small repayment for what you have all given to me I have decided to reward you all through the gift of the rhyming couplet  – not quite as valuable as green shield stamps (thus, I date myself) but nevertheless yours to cogitate upon at your leisure…

    Work, the poor man’s mate and the rich man’s toy

    By Russell Gilbert, Raconteur and all round idiot.

    I struggle home with ne’er a friend

    My toil at Hearst has reached its end

    Bereft, forlorn and full of woe

    My job is done and I must go

    With hope & fear I’ll look for work

    For somewhere else to be a berk

    Finally, and in the hope of shining a little light onto the dark art of the development manager, I feel compelled to draw into your collective consciousness the immortal wisdom of another geek, who’s wit & sagacity exceed those of this humble wordsmith by a considerable distance…

    “It is a mistake to think that you can solve any problem just with potatoes”  – Douglas Adams, 1952 to 2001, the great man lives on.

    So long peeps, it’s been bodacious.




    Software Development Manager (London)

  • russellgilbert 12:09 pm on April 20, 2013 Permalink | Reply  

    Windows 8 Wish List 

    As part of my mission to figure out what the Metro Modern UI version of Idle Oxen is going to look like I’m trying to get up close and personal with Windows 8. I’ve got a 23″ touch screen all-in-one PC on my desk and the more I use it the better Metro Modern UI feels. I’ve now got my tiles organised as I want and I’m using apps like The Register, MetroTwit, LinkedIn et al and they work really well in this paradigm. However, there are a few things I would really, really like that just aren’t there…

    Top of the list is a decent Tasks app that integrates with Exchange & Office 365. Telerik have one but it wants to use my photo library (why?) and the Exchange integration is, by their own admission, limited. My Windows Phone 8 does this out of the box, as do iPads & iPhones. I just don’t understand why Windows 8 doesn’t.

    Second on the list is a decent way of organising favourites for the Metro Modern UI version of IE10. The single big long strip that’s provided is rubbish if you have more than a handful of favourites, as is pinning them to the start screen. It seems to me a function that’s crying out for semantic zoom, so it’s a bit of a mystery, to me at least, that something better isn’t in place.

  • russellgilbert 7:35 am on November 8, 2012 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: #dotnetdevnet, @jonskeet   

    Time is an Illusion, Lunchtime doubly so 

    Even in this age of Relativity and Quantum Mechanics the equations of Newton are still pretty useful in the every day World. And so it is with .Net and time, surely DateTime is all you need? Not so, dear reader, not so!

    Yesterday I went to my first DotNetDevNet meeting at UWE in Bristol and was lucky enough to hear Jon Skeet talk about Time, DateTime, JODA Time and (fanfare now please) NODA Time. I always thought most Governments were barking mad and when you hear what’s been done by them to time over many centuries that view is merely strengthened. I shall henceforth always celebrate the 30th of February 1712 as a hallowed day!

    Anyhoo, for any .Net developers who are serious about storing dates, please take a good look at NODA Time, I reckon it rocks!

  • russellgilbert 8:02 am on May 27, 2012 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: #dddsw, Black Marble, Chris Alcock, Geff Lombardi, Richard Fennell   

    DDD Southwest 

    Just got back from DDD Southwest. Another great day of outstanding technical talks. Geff Lombardi did a thoroughly absorbing hour on Entity Framework 5. Richard Fennell, from the always outstanding Black Marble gave a great presentation on the new unit testing features in Visual Studio 11, showing off a whole bunch of really great improvements. I also particularly liked Chris Alcock’s run through of Web Sockets and SignalR.

    If you develop software and you get a chance to go to a DDD day don’t pass it up. To make your joy complete they’re free!

  • russellgilbert 11:39 am on May 18, 2012 Permalink | Reply  

    Mastering LOB Development for Silverlight 5 

    Just finished reading a new book on writing Line of Business Applications using Silverlight 5 & I recommend it to anyone interested in the subject.

    It’s great to find a book aimed at developers working on Line of Business applications, rather purely addressing the programming concepts. This book is full of useful examples of the problems you’re likely to come across and gives clear and concise solutions. I found the journey through the book logical and the writing style easy on the brain. In each chapter the concepts are explained, the detail is then clearly articulated and there are real World examples to help the detail sink in. Everything you need to know to develop professional applications is in there, from basic coding through, validation, consuming data from services, integrating with other web applications and logging & security.


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