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Curious Perversions in Information Technology

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CodeSOD: Read the Comments

Many many years ago, when I took my first programming course in high school, our instructor had… opinions. One of those opinions was that you should manually syntax check your code and not rely on compiler errors, because back in her day, you had to punch your program into cards, drop it off in the computer lab, wait for the technician to run your batch,...

Error'd: Outages, Prices, and Catastrophe

Shaun F noticed an outage. "Maybe," Shaun writes, "they should use the Cloudflare Always Online service." Meanwhile, at Subway, Maurice R has found the deal of a lifetime. And as we get into Autumn, Lincoln Ramsay warns you to be on the lookout for sudden cold snaps. [Advertisement] Continuously monitor your servers for configuration...

Performance Tuning for Exabyte Queries

While NoSQL databases have definitely made their mark and have an important role in applications, there's also still a place for RDBMSes. The key advantage of an RDBMS is that, with a well normalized schema, any arbitrary query is possible, and instead of optimizing the query, you optimize the database itself to ensure you hit your performance goals-...

CodeSOD: A Ritual Approach

Frequent contributor Russell F stumbled across this block, which illustrates an impressive ability to make a wide variety of bad choices. It is written in C#, but one has the sense that the developer didn't really understand C#. Or, honestly, programming. if (row["Appointment_Num"].ToString() == row["Appointment_Num"].ToString()) { bool b1 =...

CodeSOD: Low (Quality) Code

Like the tides, the popularity of low-code development environments comes in ebbs and flows. With each cycle, the landscape changes, old tools going away and new tools washing up on shore. One one hand, democratizing access to technology is good, on the other, these tools inevitably fail to actually do that. Instead, we get mission critical developed...

CodeSOD: An Hourly Rate

When someone mentioned to Abraham, "Our product has an auto-sync feature that fires every hour," Abraham wasn't surprised. He was new to the team, didn't know the code well, but an auto-sync back to the server sounded reasonable. The approach, however, left something to be desired. syncTimer = new Timer(1000); syncTimer.Elapsed += new System.Timers.ElapsedEventHandler(syncTimer_Elapsed);...

Error'd: Counting to One

Two of today's ticklers require a little explanation, while the others require little. Kicking things off this week, an anonymous reporter wants to keep their password secure by not divulging their identity. It won't work, that's exactly the same as my Twitch password. "Twitch seems to be split between thinking whether my KeePass password...

CodeSOD: Joining the Rest of Us

Using built-in methods is good and normal, but it's certainly boring. When someone, for example, has a list of tags in an array, and calls string.Join(" ", tags), I don't really learn anything about the programmer as a person. There's no relationship or connection, no deeper understanding of them. Which, let's be honest, is a good thing when it comes...

CodeSOD: Supporting Standards

Starting in the late 2000s, smartphones and tablets took off, and for a lot of people, they constituted a full replacement for a computer. By the time the iPad and Microsoft Surface took off, every pointy-haired-boss wanted to bring a tablet into their meetings, and do as much work as possible on that tablet. Well, nearly every PHB. Lutz worked for...

CodeSOD: Like a Tree, and…

Duncan B was contracting with a company, and the contract had, up to this point, gone extremely well. The last task Duncan needed to spec out was incorporating employee leave/absences into the monthly timesheets. "Hey, can I get some test data?" he asked the payroll system administrators. "Sure," they said. "No problem." { "client": "QUX", ...

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