Various tips and tricks often focused on software engineering with specific code examples for you to use in your programming.

FAQ: Starting Your Career in Software Development Pt1

Navigating Post Secondary Education for Software Development Do you have any advice regarding university applications? For university, it's been so long since I've had to go through applications that I'm not sure I have really specific advice. I think it's important to know what schools have for prerequisites and really ensure you nail those down. In terms of which school to pick, that's certainly a personal choice. You'll have so many factors to consider including cost, what programs are offered, relocation, proximity to loved ones, etc... As a hiring manager, personally, I am less concerned with WHERE someone went to school versus what they could showcase about what they have learned. I'd also personally suggest checking out schools that offer internships since it's an excellent way to get real experience! This is something that worked really well for me since…

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OKRs: First Steps for Crushing Your Objectives and Key Results

At a Glance - What are OKRs? If you've arrived at this post, you've probably heard of OKRs but maybe you're looking for a bit more of an introduction to them. Not to worry! We'll keep this light and practical for getting started. OKRs are a framework for helping define, communicate, and measure progress towards goals. Their intention is to not be specifically top-down, but instead there's goal setting and transparency that works both ways. Objectives, the 'O' in OKRs, are essentially single sentence that communicates what you’re trying to achieve. These should drive the point home at a high level, and there's nothing wrong with making them feel exciting. Key Results, the 'KR' part of OKRs, are the metrics that you will be using to gauge how successful you are to achieving your objective. Usually you group about 3-5…

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Timeboxing: Evolving the TODO List to be More Effective

I recently wrote about TODO lists and how they can help with focus now that many of us are working from home. I had a former colleague on LinkedIn mention this concept of "timeboxing" (which I think many people are familiar with the general idea) and how that can improve the effectiveness of a TODO list. I had made a post on LinkedIn sharing my blog article, and here's a comment that came in right away from Graeme Harvey: This obviously got me thinking because sure, Elon Musk is a pretty smart dude, but I also have a lot of respect for Graeme and his perspective on things. So I decided I'd try something out! TODO Lists v1.0 My original TODO lists didn't factor in any timeboxing techniques, but they had some benefits. The engineering mind in me says this…

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TODO Lists: Keeping focused when you feel lost

It's more relevant for more people now than it probably has been in other times in their professional careers, but COVID-19 means remote work for a lot of people. It also means no work for a lot of people too. I've found that a simple tool for me to keep focused is leveraging a TODO list. It's so simple that I think people often overlook the power of a TODO list when you're feeling like you're a bit lost or not making progress. With your TODO list, the first thing I'd suggest is thinking about a daily routine. Now that you're working remote, or in the unfortunate case out of work, I think it's really important that you keep some sort of daily routine to help give you some guard rails. Think about what things you usually do in the…

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Firebase and Low-Effort User Management

I've found myself with some additional time to be creative during the great COVID-19 and lockdown/quarantine days. That's why there's more blog posts recently! Actually, I wanted to take the time to experiment with some unfamiliar technologies and build something. For a project, I wanted to leverage authentication but I'm well aware that user management can become a really complex undertaking. I had heard about Firebase from Google and wanted to give it a shot. For the purposes of this discussion, Firebase would allow me to create something like an OAuth proxy to the system I wanted to build, and by doing so, would end up managing all of the users for me. What I needed to do with Firebase to get that setup was actually quite straight forward. First, you start off in typical fashion registering for Firebase. From…

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CircleCI + BitBucket => Free Continuous Integration!

CircleCI is a service that I heard about from a friend that allows you to get continuous integration pipelines built up for your repositories... And it does it quick and easy. Also, free if you're someone like me and you don't have a large demand for getting builds done! I wanted to write about my experience with getting CircleCI wired up with BitBucket, which I like to use for my project hosting, and hopefully it'll help you get started. First thing, signing up is super easy if you have BitBucket because you can oauth right away with it. CircleCI will show you your projects & repositories that you have in BitBucket and you can decide which one you'd like to get started with. You can navigate to the projects in their new UI from the "Add Projects" menu. When you…

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Easy Steps for xUnit Tests Not Running With .NET Standard

Having worked with C# for quite some time now writing desktop applications, I've begun making the transition over to .NET standard. In my professional working experience, it was a much slower transition because of product requirements and time, but in my own personal development there's no reason why I couldn't get started with it. And call me crazy, but I enjoy writing coded tests for the things I make. My favorite testing framework for my C# development is xUnit, and naturally as I started writing some new code with .NET Standard I wanted to make sure I could get my tests to run. xUnit Tests - The Example Here's an example of some C# code I wrote for my unit tests of a simple LRU cache class I was playing around with: [ExcludeFromCodeCoverage] public sealed class LruCachetests { [Fact] public…

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How to Explain Autofac Modules & Code Organization For Newbies

I've been writing a little bit about Autofac and why it's rad, but today I want to talk about Autofac modules. In my previous post on this, I talk about one of drawbacks to the constructor dependency pattern is that at some point in your application, generally in the entry point, you get allllll of this spaghetti code that is the setup for your code base. Essentially, we've balanced having nice clean testable classes with having a really messy spot in the code. But it's only ONE spot and the rest of your code is nice. So it's a decent trade off. But we can do better than that, can't we? What are Autofac Modules? We can use Autofac modules to organize some of the code that we have in our entry point into logical groupings. So an Autofac module…

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ProjectXyz: Why I Started A Team For My Hobby Project

Who Needs A Team?! I've been building RPG backends for as long as I've been able to code. I think my first one that I made for my grade 11 class is the only RPG that I "finished"... It was text-based and all you could do was fight AI via clicking attack, buy better weapons, level up, and repeat. It was also 10000 lines of VB6 code and so brutal that I couldn't add anything to it without copying hundreds of lines of code. Since then, I've had the itch. I keep rewriting this thing. I keep taking "Text RPG" (super cool and catchy, I know) and rewriting it. I had my first visual representation of this game called Macerus (here's another rewrite for unity), which is actually how I landed my first co-op job. But every time I'd get…

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Unity3D And How to Master Stitching Using Autofac

In Unity3D, the scripts we write and attach to GameObjects inherit from a base class called MonoBehaviour (and yes, that says Behaviour with a U in it, not the American spelling like Behavior... Just a heads up). MonoBehaviour instances can be attached to GameObjects in code by calling the AddComponent method, which takes a type parameter or type argument, and returns the new instance of the attached MonoBehaviour that it creates. This API usage means that: We cannot attach existing instances of a MonoBehaviour to a GameObject Unity3D takes care of instantiating MonoBehaviours for us (thanks Unity!) ... We can't pass parameters into the constructor of a MonoBehaviour because Unity3D only handles parameterless constructors (boo Unity!) So what's the problem with that? It kind of goes against some design patterns I'm a big fan of, where you pass your object's…

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