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Showing posts from June, 2009

Results for HND

Got results for my HND through now. I did quite well so I am pleased now. I found most of the course fairly easy but the final year Software Development Project was a bit of a bitch. Obviously, as with any programmer, the easy bit is writing the software and the hard bit is the write up.

Got 93% (1st) for it anyway so I can now relax.......

Ah relax! What a joke. You know that will never happen. I am still doing the UCPD and also need to sort out the Masters application ( I have had an acceptance email but not the official letter yet).

Still working on the Emarketing course at the moment. The course is really good but I have been on them for quite a while and my only worry is that my work are getting a bit bored of my day release shenanigans. I am still yet to find the inspiration to help my company though. I think much of the course is based around having traditional services or products to sell. It's often not that simple with Software though.

I have one more course to do after this…

Ubuntu Server or not

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Ah I really want to have a mess about with a LAMP set up as I have no experience of setting one up or of working with PHP. Not that I want to move into that realm properly as I love ASP.NET stuff too much I think (even though some peeps would say that the Drag and Drop stuff is evil).

I think a basic appreciation of the dark side would be really good as if I ever wanted to host my own stuff I could save a serious amount of money buy using PHP instead of ASP.NET.

I have a day off today but just don't know if I can bring myself to get busy setting one up. I have a spare computer that is just sitting there waiting to be used. Argh!!! but age of Conan is also so tempting.

Better go and get some coffee and decide. For the time being I am just reading up on some AI theory with Artificial Intelligence: A modern approach it really is a good textbook!

That said I think I am prepared to do anything that does not invoplve tidying up my messy house and doing some washing. The washing machine is c…

VBA Data Connection Problems

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Although I try and avoid the use of VBA now where I can. It can still come in really handy for the occasional app. I created a reporting tool that collects stats from various web pages that we have and then displays them in a way that is nice and client friendly. Apart from a couple of niggles it works really well. The biggest problem I find when programming Excel with VBA is that when something changes it can be a bit of a pain to make the changes in VBA to cope with it (such as a design change in the spreadsheet, moving of columns ect.. ). We are moving over to a new project management / development tool at the moment and as a result my report has had to change what data it collects and where from. Whilst making the change I realised that I had made a foolish error and was not properley cleaning up my data connections when finishing the update (not to mention a couple of other problems). I had been deleting the connections but not the named ranges when doing the tidy up. Anyway, in …

Paired Programming

Have a day off today and just having a quick sit at the pc. Have been doing paired programming at work. Something I have been reading about in Extreme Programming Explained by Kent Beck.

I think it has been working out really well. We took it in turns to write code with one doing the the tests and the other satisfying the tests. Whilst this is undoubtedly good practice I find it strange that it has to get a special mention in programming circles in a way. When I was doing CAD and estimating work we would always sit together, work out the costs, draw it up together and talk about what we were doing ect. I think that was one of the fundamental reasons why I learnt so much about construction in a small space of time.

I definitely think the paired programming gave me a better understanding of how to approach Test Driven Development. Up to now I have approached unit testing the other way round by writing my code and then writing unit tests to cover it. I think that is the main reason why my …

Course updates

Overview
If you know me then you will know I am a big fan of doing courses. I never stop! The latest in my summer of CPD is the Emarketing course from Axis Centre in Nottingham through De Montfort Uni. It forms part of the UCPD I have been studying towards over the summer. I have started it today and it is one day per week until the end of July.

On another note, I have been looking at what course I was going to do next year in September. I currently have a HND in Computing but have found it almost impossible to do the Top Up to the Bsc (Hons) in the evening. It's really annoying. The universities sometimes have no idea about the needs of people working in business. Anyway, the reason I wanted to do the top up was so I could finally get on to my long awaited Masters course in Artificial Intelligence. Just on the off chance after someone at work suggested it to me, I applied directly to do the Masters at DMU and sent along my CV ect.. I got an email back last Friday saying they felt I…

Professional Membership

I have just applied for professional membership from the BCS (British Computer Society). They are a professional body that looks over the UK IT industry. They have quite a few members (approx 65,000). Although there are other IT professional bodies (IAP and IMIS for example), I feel that the BCS represents IT a little better.
I have been a student member for some time and although I haven't really got the most out of it as of yet. I think the biggest problem with this sort of thing is that there are so many people in IT against it. It's a rather strange industry in that sense. Other industries have well established professional bodies and have chartered levels that people try to attain. For example accountants always strive to become chartered. I think perhaps some people in IT don't want to be regulated because they don't want their unprofessional conduct revealed.

People seem to automatically think of these organisations as out to get you or out to steal your money or…

So busy

Ugh finished one course but am still currently engaged in another course. It's called a UCPD (university certificate in professional development) through De Montfort Uni. The place where they do the training is called the Axis Centre in Beeston Nottingham. They offer quite a few different courses and if you do a certain amount of them it adds up to this UCPD.

The reason why I am doing this UCPD is that I have decided to make an effort to to some continuing professional development every summer. Not to mention it means I get one day off work per week for a while :-)

I did an MCP course there a couple of years ago and they are very professional and know thier stuff. One thing I find really annoying is the complete and utter lack of reasonable priced professional courses in the Nottinghamshire area that people can attend to develop thier skills in IT.

I am not talking about doing an A-Level or even at HNC/HND level, but short courses that are aimed at professionals trying to develop thi…