Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Running Software with No Admin Rights

Sometimes you are given a machine where you don't have local admin rights.  While it is understandable to lock down PCs to prevent viruses and licensing issues it can greatly hinder work.  The PortableApps platform gives you the ability to run the applications that you need without installing anything or violating any license agreements.  All the programs are free. 

Here are some great free developer tools that run on the Portable Apps Platform
Notepad++
SharpDevelop
Paint.Net
PicPick (This is like Snag It)
Filezilla
Chrome
Firefox
Zim Desktop Wiki
Expresso
WinMerge
Database Browser
Baretail
Skype
TweetDeck
ILSpy
ImgBurn
CamStudio
7Zip
Team Viewer

These are commercial programs that have Portable App Versions or can be run from the Portable Apps menu.
Beyond Compare
Directory Opus
RazorSQL
RoboForm

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

The Easiest Way to Parse XML

I was shocked to learn last week that an entire application was written parsing XML using XDocument instead of XSD.exe.  In my opinion, XSD.exe makes working with XML super simple, yes even easier than LINQ with XML.  What is XSD.exe?  I am glad you asked.

XSD.exe is a tool from Microsoft that is part of the Windows SDK.  It allows you to create an XSD from an XML file and then with great magic and fluffy bunny feet, create C# or VB.NET classes from an XSD file.  What this means for you as a developer is that you can load an XML file into a set of classes with a few lines of code.  You might also want to try xsd2code which allows you to generate generic lists for elements instead of arrays.  If you put the XSD and the generated code in your Visual Studio Solution, Visual Studio will show a nice diagram when you click on the XSD. 

Example Usage of XSD.exe

Generate XSD from an XML file:

xsd.exe myXMLFile.xml /out:c:\somepath\myXSDFile.xsd

Generate C# classes from an XSD file:

xsd.exe myXSDFile.xsd /c /out:c:\somepath



XDocument Parsing



XContainer container = XDocument.Load("c:\\myxmlfile.xml");
List<Product> products = new List<Product>();

foreach (var element in container.Descendants("products"))
{
    Product product = new Product();
    product.Id = element.Element("ProductId");
    ...
   
    products.Add(product);
}


Parsing XML with LINQ

XDocument doc = XDocument.Load("myxmlfile.xml");
var products = doc.Root
                  .Elements("products")
                  .Select(x => new Product {
                              ProductId = (int) x.Element("ProductId")
                          })
                  .ToList();

Deserializing with Generated Classes


using (FileStream xmlStream = new FileStream("c:\\myxmlfile.xml", FileMode.Open))
{
    dataFile deserializedDataFile;

    using (XmlReader xmlReader = XmlReader.Create(xmlStream))
    {
        XmlSerializer serializer = new XmlSerializer(typeof(dataFile));
        deserializedDataFile = serializer.Deserialize(xmlReader) as dataFile;
    }
}


Validating XML in .NET and more

Sometimes XML provided by outside vendors isn't all sunshine and rainbows.  Here are some easy ways you can validate XML.

1.  In a test:

[Test]
public void Ensure_XML_File_Is_Valid_XML()
{
    var xmlData = XDocument.Load("c:\\myxmlfile.xml);
}

2.  Open the XML file in Firefox.  The nice thing about Firefox compared to IE, Chrome, or Safari, is that it will actually point out where the problem is.
3.  www.freeformatter.com is a site that I use on every project.  It has an XML and JSON validators, formatters and much more. You can validate an XML file against an XSD.  Bookmark it now.
3.  XML Validator Buddy is a nice tool for seeing how many errors there are.  All the other validators simply give up after the first error.

Pretty Printing XML in C#

http://stackoverflow.com/questions/1123718/format-xml-string-to-print-friendly-xml-string

More Information About Parsing XML in C#

http://stackoverflow.com/questions/5195728/best-way-to-read-through-xml
http://blog.dotnetwiki.org/XsdTidyXSDMappingBeautifier.aspx
http://www.agiledeveloper.com/articles/XMLSerialization.pdf
http://itsavirtuallife.wordpress.com/2013/04/25/parsing-xml-files-in-net-using-c/


Wednesday, April 2, 2014

A Crash Course in Responsive Design



Preface

I am presenting this material, not as an expert of responsive design or even in CSS, but simply as a person that has gone through it once.  The main goal is to have a simple tutorial that will be useful to you.  Although I have worked with all layers from the User Interface to the Database Layer; I have always considered myself a back end developer.  This thinking primarily stems from my poor graphical ability.  If I drew you a stick figure, you might have a problem distinguishing what it is.  My handwriting has the readability of Egyptian hieroglyphics.   :)  Despite my shortcomings, this year I have tried my hardest to step into front end design.  Normally I have been on large enterprise application teams with super complex back ends.  That is where I usually thrive.  The user interface didn’t need to be anything but battleship gray because it was used internally with one browser type.  Additionally, we would have a person that would be half graphic designer and half front end CSS designer.  The front end designer would create the graphics, the colors, the CSS sheets, and the rest of the developers would simply use the styles and images that were created.  Things have changed drastically for the web in recent years.  Businesses and users are demanding rich responsive web designs.  If you don’t know responsive design, now is the time to learn it.  All my dress socks are black for a reason.  If I can do this, certainly any developer can do it.  I take that back, I do have one pair of green socks.  The color combinations are always exciting if I accidentally put those on in the dark of the morning.  

What is responsive design?

Responsive design is a technique for dynamically changing the layout of a web site for different browser widths giving priority to the most important content.  Ethan Marcotte coined the term.   He has a short book on the subject which is a must read.   
    
Responsive Design is not about creating a mobile specific site.  You have probably seen that done before; a website that has a desktop version and a mobile version.  There are so many devices being released every year that one cannot hope to have a site that will look good if you target a specific device or group of devices.  We don’t detect devices, we care about widths.  Furthermore, responsive design is less expensive to implement than creating a separate mobile site. 

Browser Compatibility

Responsive Design (specifically CSS Media Queries) work with these browsers:
  • Internet Explorer 9 and higher
  • Firefox 3.5 and higher
  • Safari 3 and higher
  • Chrome (any version)

Implementing Responsive Design Step by Step

1.  Create a base style sheet with the styles needed for desktop, laptops and older browsers.

<link rel="stylesheet" href="base.css">


2.  In the base style sheet, perform a CSS reset so that all modern browsers will render the same.

http://meyerweb.com/eric/tools/css/reset/

 

3.  In the base style sheet, tell images, embed, object, and video to resize to their maximum width.  


By specifying just the max-width, images and videos will keep their aspect ratio when resizing.  When the user shrinks their browser the images will automatically resize when their parent container becomes smaller.

/* Media Resizing */
img, embed, object, video
{
    max-width: 100%;
}




4.  In the base style sheet, make the minimum width for the body 320px.  


This is to prevent the user from resizing their browser smaller than the minimum width.  Set the font-size to 100%. We will need this later.

body {
     min-width: 320px;
     font-size: 100%;
}



5.  Add a meta tag

In your HTML page (or master page), add a meta tag to make the width of the browser port default to the device width with no zoom (scaling):

<meta name="viewport" content="width=device-width, initial-scale=1.0">



6.  Create a media query style sheet:

<link rel="stylesheet" href="mq.css">


7.  Create media query stubs

In the media query style sheet, create media queries based on common ports.  You will have ports in between these to tweak your site to look good in whatever size the user resizes the browser.   

/* Tablet Landscape */
@media screen and (max-width: 1024px) {
}

/* Tablet Portrait */
@media screen and (max-width: 768px) {
}

/* Big Smart Phones */
@media screen and (max-width: 640px) {
}

/* Mobile Landscape */
@media screen and (max-width: 480px) {
}

/* Mobile Portrait  */
@media screen and (max-width: 320px) {
}


8.  Decide what content is important.

Design for mobile first.  Ask, "How does this content or feature benefit our mobile users?"  http://www.lukew.com/ff/entry.asp?1117



9.  Define percentages for all your divs.

Below is the most important formula of your life (well concerning responsive design anyway).  Responsive design is about grid based percentages instead of the traditional fixed widths that you are used to.  You will need to convert fixed widths into percentages.

Result = Target / Context

Let’s say we have a navigation div and a main content div.

<div id="nav">
</div>

<div id="content">
</div>


Our wonderful designer, let's call him Doug, has said that the browser width is 1024 pixels and we have a 100 pixel navigation on the side and 924 pixels for the main content.  We are intentionally ignoring any padding or margin to keep things simple for this example. 

Navigation Percent = 100 / 1024

Main Content Percent = 924 / 1024

You would write something like the media query below, keeping all the decimal places you can from your calculator.  

/* Tablet Landscape */@media screen and (max-width: 1024px) {

     div#nav
     {
          width: 9.765625%;
     }

     div#content
     {
          width: 90.234375%;
     }
}


For nested divs, the context changes.  It would not be the width of the browser, but the width of the parent div.  So if we had a left inner div of 200 pixels and a right inner div of 262 pixels, the parent context would be 924 pixels because the content div is 924 pixels.  It might look like this:


<div id="nav">
</div>


<div id="content">
    <div id="left-content">
    </div>
   
    <div id="right-content">
    </div>
</div>


Here is the formula for the inner divs:

Inner Left Percent = 200 / 924

Inner Right Percent = 262 / 924


This is what we would have for the media query:

/* Tablet Landscape */@media screen and (max-width: 1024px) {

     div#nav
     {
          width: 9.765625%;
     }

     div#content
     {
          width: 90.234375%;
     }
   
     div#left-content {
        width: 21.64502164502165%;
     }
   
     div#right-content {
        width: 28.35497835497835%;
     }
}

10.    The strategy.  

My current strategy for remaining compatible with IE7 and IE8:
a.      Create a base style sheet that is percentage based (it needs to be outside of media queries).
b.      Create media queries from largest port to smallest port, overriding behavior as you get smaller.

11.   Change your fonts to use em-based.  

You are also used to creating fonts in points or pixels.  To make your site truly responsive, use the em-based fonts.  For example, to create a heading that is 3 times as large a normal font, it would be 3 em.  More information on em-based media queries:  www.cloudfour.com

h1
{
    font-size: 3em;
}


If the normal font of your page is 16px and you want a 24px heading do this to convert to ems.  You can leave the comments in there for reference.

h1 { font-size : 1.5em; /* 24px /16px */ }



Tips

  1. Don't use device-width or device-height for media queries.  We want the width of the browser port, not the width of the device.
  2. Use the Chrome Developer tools.  I have found that it is the easiest and fastest to use compared to Firebug and the IE Developer tools.  It is easy to change CSS percentages on the fly to see how it will look.  It updates in real time.  Right click and do an inspect element to see the tools.  Click on the width to change it.  After you are finished with the changes, go to the sources tab, select all and copy it into your development environment (Visual Studio, Eclipse, etc.).
  3. Use this piece of software to see if you converted the percentages correctly.  http://download.cnet.com/Pixel-Ruler/3000-12565_4-75312528.html
  4. Use this to make media queries work in IE5+ Firefox 1+ and Safari http://code.google.com/p/css3-mediaqueries-js/
  5. If you don’t want the older internet explorer to be responsive but you still want your website to render, you might need a separate style sheet for tweaks.  http://css-tricks.com/how-to-create-an-ie-only-stylesheet/

    <!--[if IE 7]>
        <link rel="stylesheet" type="text/css" href="/static/css/ie7.css">
    <![endif]-->
  6. IE10 may still have problems with some rendering.  Here is a workaround for that.  http://css-tricks.com/ie-10-specific-styles/

Example Responsive Design Sites


This is from the alist apart book:
http://responsivewebdesign.com/robot/

This is my first site doing responsive design:
www.kellermansoftware.com

This is my second site doing responsive design:
http://team.eas.com


These sites are mega cool
www.msj.edu
www.bostonglobe.com


References


Retrofitting
http://github.com/bencallahan/rwd-retrofitting

Media Queries
http://www.w3.org/TR/css3-mediaqueries

Media Types
http://www.w3.org/TR/CSS21/media.html#media-types

This is the best course on Responsive Design:
http://pluralsight.com/training/Courses/TableOfContents/responsive-web-design

Example Media Queries
www.mediaqueri.es









 



Thursday, March 20, 2014

Top Developer Training Resources

Sogeti Columbus Developers have put together a list of our favorite training resources. 

Sogeti Resources


Video Courses
Sogeti University
(To get to it, request VPN access from the help desk.  Then go to Connex, click on the MyLearning link, then in MyLearning, click on the University link.)

Thousands of eBooks
Books 24x7
(To get to it, go to Connex, click on the MyLearning link, then in MyLearning click the Books 24x7 link)

Community Materials

Team Park

Powerpoint presentations
Connex

Transcender Practice Exams
http://www.transcender.com
(Send an email to the Sogeti help desk for access)


Courses and Practice Exams
SkillSoft

(To get to it, go to Connex, click on the MyLearning link, then in MyLearning click the SkillSoft link.  The latest version of Java is required.)

Reference Sites



Learn HTML, HTML5, CSS, JavaScript, jQuery, jQueryMobile, AJAX, JSON and more
http://www.w3schools.com/

The defacto standard for jQuery information
http://jquery.com/

The Spring site
http://spring.io/

SharePoint Tech Center
http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/sharepoint/default

SharePoint Dev Center
http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/SharePoint

MSDN Virtual Labs
http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/aa570323

MSDN Learning Resources
http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/bb188199.aspx

TechNet Virtual Labs
http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/virtuallabs

Example Projects


Github
https://github.com/

CodePlex
http://www.codeplex.com

Interactive Training


Cool site that teaches you how to code
http://www.codecademy.com/

Video lessons, coding challenges and screen casts
https://www.codeschool.com/

Developer Video Tutorials


Video Training by AppDev
https://www.learnnowonline.com/

Introductory Videos on .NET
http://www.learnvisualstudio.net/

Lots of videos on Microsoft Technologies
https://channel9.msdn.com/

Video jump starts on Microsoft development
http://www.microsoftvirtualacademy.com

YouTube has development videos
http://www.youtube.com/

Hardcore Developer Training
http://www.pluralsight.com/training

Videos for developers, designers, business, 3D and Audio
http://www.lynda.com/

Videos on web design, rails, iOS, Android, PHP and WordPress
http://teamtreehouse.com/

Video Courses and eBooks on After Effects, Mobile, Software Development and Web Design
https://tutsplus.com/

Links to Videos, Whitepapers, Quick References, and PodCasts
http://www.dzone.com

Videos on Javascript and jQuery
http://learn.appendto.com/

College Courses


Free online college courses
https://www.coursera.org/

Free Courses from elementary to college level
https://www.khanacademy.org/

Online College Courses
https://www.edx.org/

Podcasts


Scott Hanselman's Podcast
http://www.hanselminutes.com/

Internet Audio Talk Show for .NET Developers
http://www.dotnetrocks.com/

Best Forums


http://www.stackoverflow.com

Books


Giant free collection of programming books
https://github.com/vhf/free-programming-books/blob/master/free-programming-books.md#professional-development


Other


An online regular expression tester
http://regexpal.com/

Connection Strings
http://www.connectionstrings.com/

Regular Expression Library
http://www.regxlib.com

Design Patterns
http://www.dofactory.com

Solid Design Principles
http://butunclebob.com/ArticleS.UncleBob.PrinciplesOfOod

Law of Demeter
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Law_of_Demeter

Test Driven Development
http://jonkruger.com/blog/2009/07/23/tdd-starter-kit-sample-projects-and-links/

FAQ


How do I sign up to take an exam?
You can sign up for the exams through the Prometric testing center web site.  You will need a valid credit card to charge the exam.  You can also print off receipts for your exams from their web site.

How much do the exams cost?
The exams are $150.  This cost is reimbursable by Sogeti if you PASS the exam.  If you do not pass the exam there is no reimbursement.  In the past Microsoft has periodically offered a “Second Shot” where if you failed an exam, you could take it over again for free.  Please visit the Second Shot web site to see if the program is currently active and to take advantage of it.

I passed a Certification exam!  How do I report that accomplishment?
Well, after you do your dance, send an email to your counselor and to Michelle Follman letting them know you passed.  Michelle uses the email as the input for the Global Recognition announcements.  Also, go to this link and enter in your exam information so we can keep track of your progress.


Comment if you would like to add anything!  Thanks

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Compare .NET Objects V2.0 Released

I have an open source project that I have worked on for several years now.  It is a .NET class library that has the ability to perform a deep comparison of .NET objects using reflection.  Initially it was a simple class that handled just lists, classes, properties and fields.  That single classes became bloated after years of adding features.  Version 2.0 refactors all the type comparers into separate classes.  I also made a portable class library build that targets Silverlight 5+, Windows RT 8+, Windows Phone 8+, Xamarin iOS, and Xamarin Droid.

Project Information

https://comparenetobjects.codeplex.com/



NuGet Package

http://www.nuget.org/packages/CompareNETObjects/

Monday, March 3, 2014

A Regular Expression That Parses Leap Years

We recently had some end users that put in some invalid dates that bypassed our standard regular expression for date validation.  Users put in 02/29/2014.  In case you didn't know, 2014 is not a leap year.  I found a great regular expression on RegexLib that handles leap years.  Even though we are talking about client side validation.  It should be said that server date validation should also be performed.


http://www.regexlib.com/REDetails.aspx?regexp_id=279

Here it is:
((^(10|12|0?[13578])([/])(3[01]|[12][0-9]|0?[1-9])([/])((1[8-9]\d{2})|([2-9]\d{3}))$)|(^(11|0?[469])([/])(30|[12][0-9]|0?[1-9])([/])((1[8-9]\d{2})|([2-9]\d{3}))$)|(^(0?2)([/])(2[0-8]|1[0-9]|0?[1-9])([/])((1[8-9]\d{2})|([2-9]\d{3}))$)|(^(0?2)([/])(29)([/])([2468][048]00)$)|(^(0?2)([/])(29)([/])([3579][26]00)$)|(^(0?2)([/])(29)([/])([1][89][0][48])$)|(^(0?2)([/])(29)([/])([2-9][0-9][0][48])$)|(^(0?2)([/])(29)([/])([1][89][2468][048])$)|(^(0?2)([/])(29)([/])([2-9][0-9][2468][048])$)|(^(0?2)([/])(29)([/])([1][89][13579][26])$)|(^(0?2)([/])(29)([/])([2-9][0-9][13579][26])$))

I was skeptical because the regular expression is so long and it is easy to make a mistake with something this complex.  I created some NUnit tests to verify the functionality.  I would have to say that Saurabh Nath did an excellent job.

Here is the set of NUnit tests that I created:

[TestFixture]
public class LeapDateTests
{
    private Regex _dateRegex;

    [TestFixtureSetUp]
    public void Start()
    {
        _dateRegex = new Regex(@"((^(10|12|0?[13578])([/])(3[01]|[12][0-9]|0?[1-9])([/])((1[8-9]\d{2})|([2-9]\d{3}))$)|(^(11|0?[469])([/])(30|[12][0-9]|0?[1-9])([/])((1[8-9]\d{2})|([2-9]\d{3}))$)|(^(0?2)([/])(2[0-8]|1[0-9]|0?[1-9])([/])((1[8-9]\d{2})|([2-9]\d{3}))$)|(^(0?2)([/])(29)([/])([2468][048]00)$)|(^(0?2)([/])(29)([/])([3579][26]00)$)|(^(0?2)([/])(29)([/])([1][89][0][48])$)|(^(0?2)([/])(29)([/])([2-9][0-9][0][48])$)|(^(0?2)([/])(29)([/])([1][89][2468][048])$)|(^(0?2)([/])(29)([/])([2-9][0-9][2468][048])$)|(^(0?2)([/])(29)([/])([1][89][13579][26])$)|(^(0?2)([/])(29)([/])([2-9][0-9][13579][26])$))", RegexOptions.Compiled);
    }

    [Test]
    public void TestDaysInMonthFor2014Positive()
    {
        for (int month = 1; month <= 12; month++)
        {
            for (int day = 1; day <= 31; day++)
            {
                //Thirty days hath September, April, June, and November
                if (month == 9 || month == 4 || month == 6 || month == 11)
                {
                    if (day > 30)
                        continue;                       
                }

                //Except February which has 28
                if (month == 2 && day > 28)
                    continue;

                string dateString = string.Format("{0}/{1}/2014", month, day);

                Assert.IsTrue(_dateRegex.IsMatch(dateString), dateString);
            }
        }
    }

    [Test]
    public void TestDaysInMonthFor2014Negative()
    {
        for (int month = 1; month <= 12; month++)
        {
            for (int day = 1; day <= 31; day++)
            {
                string dateString = string.Format("{0}/{1}/2014", month, day);

                //Thirty days hath September, April, June, and November
                if (month == 9 || month == 4 || month == 6 || month == 11)
                {
                    if (day > 30)
                        Assert.IsFalse(_dateRegex.IsMatch(dateString), dateString);
                }

                //Except February which has 28
                if (month == 2 && day > 28)
                    Assert.IsFalse(_dateRegex.IsMatch(dateString), dateString);
            }
        }
    }

    [Test]
    public void TestLeapYearsPositive()
    {
        for (int year = 3000; year > 1800; year--)
        {
            if (!IsLeapYear(year))
                continue;
           
            //February 29th
            string dateString = string.Format("02/29/{0}", year);
            Assert.IsTrue(_dateRegex.IsMatch(dateString), dateString);

            //February 30th
            dateString = string.Format("02/30/{0}", year);
            Assert.IsFalse(_dateRegex.IsMatch(dateString), dateString);

            //February 30th
            dateString = string.Format("02/31/{0}", year);
            Assert.IsFalse(_dateRegex.IsMatch(dateString), dateString);
        }
    }

    [Test]
    public void TestLeapYearsNegative()
    {
        for (int year = 3000; year > 1800; year--)
        {
            if (IsLeapYear(year))
                continue;

            //February 29th
            string dateString = string.Format("02/29/{0}", year);
            Assert.IsFalse(_dateRegex.IsMatch(dateString), dateString);

            //February 30th
            dateString = string.Format("02/30/{0}", year);
            Assert.IsFalse(_dateRegex.IsMatch(dateString), dateString);

            //February 30th
            dateString = string.Format("02/31/{0}", year);
            Assert.IsFalse(_dateRegex.IsMatch(dateString), dateString);
        }
    }

    private bool IsLeapYear(int year)
    {
        //See:  http://www.timeanddate.com/date/leapyear.html
        bool evenlyDivisibleByFour = year%4 == 0;
        bool evenlyDivisibleByOneHundred = year%100 == 0;
        bool evenlyDivisibleByFourHundred = year%400 == 0;

        if (!evenlyDivisibleByFour)
            return false;

        if (evenlyDivisibleByOneHundred && !evenlyDivisibleByFourHundred)
            return false;

        return true;
    }
}

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Creating Official Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube Share Buttons

With a little bit of Javascript, HTML, and Meta Tags it is quite easy to create the official buttons for Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube.

Create an official Facebook Share this button:

Generate a share button
https://developers.facebook.com/docs/plugins/share-button/

More information about open graph tags:
https://developers.facebook.com/docs/opengraph/howtos/maximizing-distribution-media-content

Add this to your HTML Tag:
<html xmlns:fb="http://ogp.me/ns/fb#">

Add these meta tags in between the <head> </head>:
<!-- Begin Facebook Meta Tags -->
    <meta property="og:title" content="My Page Title" />
    <meta property="og:url" content="http://www.myurl.com/" />
    <meta property="og:image" content="http://www.myurl.com/images/someimage.png" />
    <meta property="og:description" content="This is a description" />
<!-- End Facebook Meta Tags -->


Add this Javascript after the body:
<!-- Begin Facebook Button Javascript -->
<div id="fb-root"></div>
<script>
    (function(d, s, id) {
        var js, fjs = d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0];
        if (d.getElementById(id)) return;
        js = d.createElement(s); js.id = id;
        js.src = "//connect.facebook.net/en_US/all.js#xfbml=1";
        fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js, fjs);
    }(document, 'script', 'facebook-jssdk'));
</script>
<!-- End Facebook Button Javascript -->

Here is the actual button:
<fb:share-button href="http://www.myurl.com" type="button_count"></fb:share-button>

Create an official Twitter share button

https://about.twitter.com/resources/buttons#tweet

Create an official YouTube Subscribe button

https://developers.google.com/youtube/youtube_subscribe_button

Create buttons for Pinterest, Google Plus, and Linked In

http://www.sharelinkgenerator.com/


Thursday, February 20, 2014

Getting Certified in Java

Java Certifications are through Oracle

http://education.oracle.com/pls/web_prod-plq-dad/db_pages.getpage?page_id=458&get_params=p_track_id:JSE7Prog

There are two levels for the Java certifications, the associate level and the professional level.

Oracle Certified Associate, Java SE 7 Programmer
Exam:  1Z0-803 Java SE 7 Programmer I

Oracle Certified Professional, Java SE 7 Programmer
Exam:  1Z0-803 Java SE 7 Programmer I
Exam:  1Z0-804 Java SE 7 Programmer II

Youtube videos
http://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=java+tutorial

Pluralsight videos
http://pluralsight.com/training/Courses/TableOfContents/java1
http://pluralsight.com/training/Courses/TableOfContents/java2

Books
http://www.amazon.com/Programmer-Study-Guide-1Z0-803-Oracle/dp/0071789421
http://www.barnesandnoble.com/listing/2688649705432

Cheat Sheets
http://refcardz.dzone.com/
http://www.digilife.be/quickreferences/QRC/JAVA%20Programming%20Guide%20-%20Quick%20Reference.pdf
http://introcs.cs.princeton.edu/java/11cheatsheet/
http://mindprod.com/jgloss/jcheat.html

Sogeti Resources

Email the help desk to request practice exams.  Sogeti owns a license.
https://www.transcender.com/dept.aspx?dept_id=130900

MyLearning
There are MANY courses and quizzes for Java.  Just search for Java.

Books 24x7
We have three books for the associate exam.  Search for: 1Z0-803
We have one book for the professional exam.  Search for:  1Z0-804

Connex
There are several study guides and power point presentations.
Search for: Java introduction
Search for: Java study guide





Thursday, January 30, 2014

Preparing for Exam 70-486 ASP.NET MVC4

70-486: Designing ASP.NET 4.5 MVC Web Applications
http://www.microsoft.com/learning/en-us/exam-70-486.aspx

Free Microsoft Virtual Academy Training
http://www.microsoftvirtualacademy.com/training-courses/developing-asp-net-mvc-4-web-applications-jump-start

YouTube Videos
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pIv6yR9Q1IA
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WzJQtG8dhso
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O2ESsnAVND8
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FI---vWwPaU
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N1hxrgJHjNA
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TSXt94IgCi8

Pluralsight MVC 4 Training
http://pluralsight.com/training/courses/TableOfContents?courseName=mvc4

Microsoft Exam Companions
http://www.microsoft.com/learning/en-us/companion-moc.aspx

Study Guides
https://docs.google.com/document/d/1iZ8RS6VuB0GFO2BQdYxkmywK1ZBn75fzzGm9F5s82l0/edit?pli=1#heading=h.y9ur3pw3yseg
http://www.bloggedbychris.com/2012/11/06/microsoft-exam-70-486-study-guide/
http://geekswithblogs.net/WTFNext/archive/2013/05/29/exam-70-486-study-material-developing-asp.net-mvc-4-web-applications.aspx
http://thinketg.com/how-to-pass-microsoft-exam-70-486-developing-asp-net-mvc-4-5-web-applications/

Practice Tests
http://certification.about.com/cs/sampletests/a/mcsd70315.htm
http://certification.about.com/od/practicequestions/Microsoft_Practice_Tests.htm
http://www.msexpert.com/exams/examlist.asp -  You have to register but it has a TON of practice tests.

Books
http://shop.oreilly.com/product/0790145374820.do

Sogeti Resources


Books 24x7
Search for: MVC4

Connex
There are several study guides and PowerPoint presentations.
Search for: MVC4

Friday, January 24, 2014

What did Sogeti do?

Our corporate office letting their hair down:


Preparing for exam 70-480: Programming in HTML5 with JavaScript and CSS3

Exam 70-480: Programming in HTML5 with JavaScript and CSS3
http://www.microsoft.com/learning/en-us/exam-70-480.aspx

Free Microsoft Virtual Academy Course

http://www.microsoftvirtualacademy.com/training-courses/learn-html5-with-javascript-css3-jumpstart-training

YouTube Videos
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k0f9pC8b3wM
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9gTw2EDkaDQ&list=SPzmyR17f55-J7oZew4QxQ7cfw7d3__ZZs

Pluralsight HTML5 and CSS3
http://pluralsight.com/training/Courses/TableOfContents/introduction-html5-css3

Pluralsight HTML5 Fundamentals
http://pluralsight.com/training/Courses/TableOfContents/html5-fundamentals-2e

Pluralsight Javascript Fundamentals
http://pluralsight.com/training/Courses/TableOfContents/jscript-fundamentals

Microsoft Exam Companions
http://www.microsoft.com/learning/en-us/companion-moc.aspx

Practice Tests
http://certification.about.com/cs/sampletests/a/mcsd70315.htm
http://certification.about.com/od/practicequestions/Microsoft_Practice_Tests.htm
http://www.msexpert.com/exams/examlist.asp -  You have to register but it has a TON of practice tests.

Books
http://shop.oreilly.com/product/0790145373939.do

Study Guides

http://www.bloggedbychris.com/2012/09/19/microsoft-exam-70-480-study-guide/
http://davidpallmann.blogspot.com/2012/08/microsoft-certification-exam-70-480.html

Example Project
http://codeshow.codeplex.com/

HTML5 Cheat Sheets
http://www.addedbytes.com/cheat-sheets/html-cheat-sheet/
http://media.smashingmagazine.com/wp-content/uploads/images/html5-cheat-sheet/html5-cheat-sheet.pdf
http://refcardz.dzone.com/refcardz/html5-new-standards-web-interactivity
http://refcardz.dzone.com/refcardz/html5-canvas-web-standard
http://refcardz.dzone.com/refcardz/html5-websocket
http://refcardz.dzone.com/refcardz/html5-web-workers
http://refcardz.dzone.com/refcardz/html5-mobile-development
http://refcardz.dzone.com/refcardz/html5-indexeddb

Javascript Cheat Sheets
http://www.addedbytes.com/cheat-sheets/javascript-cheat-sheet/
http://www.cheatography.com/pyro19d/cheat-sheets/javascript/
http://refcardz.dzone.com/refcardz/object-oriented-javascript

CSS Cheat Sheets

https://www.addedbytes.com/cheat-sheets/css-cheat-sheet/
http://media.smashingmagazine.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/05/CSS3-Help-Sheet1.pdf
http://refcardz.dzone.com/refcardz/corecss-part1
http://refcardz.dzone.com/refcardz/corecss2
http://refcardz.dzone.com/refcardz/corecss3

Sogeti Resources

Email the help desk to request a practice exam.  Sogeti owns a license.
https://www.transcender.com/practice-exam/microsoft/70-480.kap

MyLearning
Course:  Introduction to HTML5 and CSS3

Books 24x7
Search for: HTML5 CSS3 javascript

Connex
There are several study guides and powerpoint presentations.
Search for: HTML5

How do you get your MCSD Web Developer?

MCSD
http://tinyurl.com/mcsd2014

Programming in HTML5 with JavaScript and CSS3.  Exam 480
http://www.microsoft.com/learning/en-us/exam-70-480.aspx

Developing ASP.NET MVC 4 Web Applications.  Exam 486
http://www.microsoft.com/learning/en-us/exam-70-486.aspx

Developing Windows Azure and Web Services.  Exam 487
http://www.microsoft.com/learning/en-us/exam-70-487.aspx

Friday, January 17, 2014

Learning about design patterns from the Brady Bunch



My favorite design pattern is similar to the Brady Bunch house.  When I visited Universal Studios in California several years ago we drove past several houses during the back lot tour.  It was also cool to see the clock tower from Back to The Future and the town square for Dukes of Hazard.  They were all Facades.  They had a simple front but there was nothing behind them.


I am a big proponent of KISS (Keep It SimpleStupid).  As developers, we all spend much of our life doing maintenance.  It makes sense to craft software so that it easy to understand.  Make your application easy to use for both the end user and future developers.  Maintenance costs will be reduced and it will be less frustrating to maintain.  The developer that maintains the code may be you coming back to it years later.

The Façade Design Pattern can be thought of as caller to several more complex systems.  The Façade Design Pattern is one of the easiest to understand and in my view, a critical part of enterprise architecture implementation.  One of my measurements of quality for an enterprise service or system is how easy it is to use. 

The Facade Design Pattern

A code example for Kellerman .NET FTP Library:

FTP ftp = new FTP;
ftp.Host = "MyHost.com";
ftp.UserName = "greg";
ftp.Password = "secret";

ftp.Connect();

There is a lot of underlying complexity in the FTP protocol.  The Connect method has a lot of functionality behind it.  This complexity is hidden from the developer using the Façade pattern.  The connect command opens a TCP/IP socket, opens read and write network streams, resolves the host name through a DNS server, connects to the server, waits for the server to respond with a 220 welcome message, and then logs in using the UserName & Password. 

When we develop applications, libraries, or services; we need to take great care to make things as simple as possible.  The Façade pattern is an integral part of that strategy.  

More information:
Facade Pattern Examples in C# and Java
Facade Pattern Example