Portable Development Environment

Building websites on the side has been a very productive way to make a little extra cash now and then. I don’t tend to take on overly large clients but more mom and pop type companies, smaller non-profit organizations, churches, that kind of thing. I cut them a fair deal and they don’t tend to be overly demanding, however there are times that something needs to be changed sooner rather than later or there is an issue that has surfaced that I need to deal with right away. This has happened enough that I know that I don’t want to leave all of my development tools behind anytime that I go anywhere. However, I don’t always want to carry my laptop with me every time I go on vacation. I have discovered a compromise in the way of portable apps. Continue reading

Project Management with Trello

Trello is a Kanban style project management board. The gist of Kanban is the use of lanes and cards. Lanes represent the stages that an item must pass through in order to be completed. Each card represents a certain task or group of tasks that can be assigned to individuals. As each stage is completed the card is moved from one lane to another enabling a very visual and easily identifiable overall picture of the progress of the project.  Continue reading

Using Source Control with BitBucket, Source Tree and Visual Studio – Part 3

Conflicts are caused when two branches both have changes to the same file that could potentially overwrite each other. Source control keeps track of these kinds of changes and will alert the developer to these issues. Resolving conflicts is an important part of being able to use source control. Conflicts are discovered when trying to merge one branch into another. In the last part of this series we are going to look at how to manage conflicts with SourceTree.

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Using Source Control with BitBucket, Source Tree and Visual Studio – Part 2

In part 1 we looked at installing our source control tools and setting up our first repository. To truly make source control as powerful as it can be we need to create new branches for various changes that we make so that we can switch back and forth between different versions of our site. In part two below we are going to look at how to do just that.

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Using Source Control with BitBucket, Source Tree and Visual Studio – Part 1

Source Control is a concept that I had overlooked for several years. As the sole developer for several companies over the years I did not see the need for source control mainly because I did not understand source control. Source control ultimately is a way to protect you from your own mistakes and the mistakes of others. By using source control you can have a way to easily go back to previous versions of your code if you made some changes to an area by mistake or if the client decided that they did not like the new changes and wanted the old ones back. All of these situations have happened to me. Had I been using source control these would not have been the major issue that they turned into.

BitBucket is a website that is run by Atlassian and offer free private repositories. These repositories can be easily accessed and controlled with Atlassians GUI git client called Source Tree. The following describes how to install git, source tree and create a BitBucket account as well as how to set up your first branch and create a Visual Studio project to work with source control. Continue reading

Banking System Pre-Interview Coding Sample

I blogged about the increasing tendency for employers to give potential candidates some form of programming task to complete before an interview. The FizzBuzz test is on the simplistic end of the spectrum. The opposite side is something like this Banking System application. This test is as follows:

A banking system is developing a system to manage its employees. The first phase will implement basic employee information and activities. Additional company personal may be added in the future.

The application needs to contain the following business requirements: Continue reading