Monthly Archives: November 2006

Eager Finder SQL

EagerFinderSql allows custom SQL to be specified when doing eager loading of associations through the :include option to find. This allows for purpose-constructed queries to be used and still result in a fully linked object model.

Project Communication

Many software projects fail to deliver on-time and on-budget and a factor in that is normally inefficient project communication. Studies have shown that software teams that consistently deliver on-time and on-budget communicate in an effective manner. These teams stay in contact constantly, but wisely use each other’s time during the communication process and are careful not to waste other people’s time. Below are some tips for enhancing project communication when working in software development projects:

Web Design Goals

Working with legacy software systems provides its own considerations, but there are some general goals that can be stated for web-based software applications. To the degree that the nature of system upgrades substantially touches these areas of system design, it is important to consider the following goals within the system design. Well designed applications should meet the following goals in order to provide lasting value:

Thoughts on Extreme Programming

A popular trend in systems development circles is the so-called Extreme Programming Paradigm. XP has proven to be quite effective at rapidly producing system functionality, and it includes many practices that should be considered by any development team (e.g., Test Driven Development or TDD). However, there are many pitfalls to XP that don’t necessarily make it the best technique for many organizations. Extreme Programming is a technique that is used to much profit by many organizations today. In contrast to the more “rigid” documentation guidelines outlined above, Extreme Programming is characterized by a much more streamlined time-bounded development process. Typically developers work in teams and communicate directly with the stakeholders. They then choose a part of the problem to focus on and develop something in a fixed amount of time; to the degree that features cannot be accommodated within the stated time frame (often weekly, sometimes monthly), these features are ignored in order to have something to show. The stakeholders then inspect the result and suggest modifications or improvements to the developers who continue with the process until the stakeholders are satisfied. While this can be very effective at showing progress in the short-term, it suffers from a lack of long-term memory. Over time, stakeholders change or original goals were forgotten. Extreme Programming is best suited for ephemeral projects, such as a consumer-facing website, that often don’t have a lifetime beyond several months. It is inappropriate for corporate development of mission critical systems that have complicated requirements and whose stakeholders can change over time. Successful corporate development efforts borrow the best practices from Extreme Programming, such as Test Driven Design and Pair Programming along with the most useful of the Waterfall design practices, such as the reliance on use cases and functional specifications, to create lasting products.

Cozumel January 2006

Pictures from dive trip to Cozumel in January 2006: Cozumel 2006-02.

Utila April 2004

Pictures from dive trip to Utila, Honduras (one of the Bay Islands) in April of 2004: Utila 2004.

Palau January 2005

Pictures from dive trip to Palau in January 2005: Palau 2005-01.

Channel Islands 2006

Pictures from Dive trip aboard the Truth Aquatics Vision in July 2006: Channel Islands 2006-07-15.

Costa Rica/Cocos Island

Here’s a link to pictures I took while diving in Cocos Island in Costa Rica from August 25th through September 5th 2006: Costa Rica 2006-08.