Software Architecture: A Misunderstood Concept- Part #1

March 20th, 2014 Aref Al-kamel, Sr. Technical Consultant

Software Engineering (SE) or Architecture (SA) is similar to any other engineering disciplines- such as electrical or chemical or civil engineering- but it differs slightly since it is not dealing with the physical world.

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Singletons CSS

March 11th, 2014 Carl Paradis, UI Consultant

In this post, I am going to share a simple solution I have used on several projects which helped me maintain my CSS code. I call it Singletons CSS*.

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Calling Privileged Client .NET Code from a Web Application – Part 3: All the Myriad Technical Details – Build Steps 4 – 6

March 10th, 2014 Bob Snyder,

This final installment of our odyssey of configuring a stack to invoke a privileged DLL from a web page covers the remaining elements of the stack, and a quick description of how to step through the code to observe it in action and of course, debug.

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Automating Database Updates in Spring Integration Tests with Liquibase

March 9th, 2014 James Cox, Consultant

The goal of this post is to show how you can leverage your database change management process to keep your test schema up to date

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Another Penny Game exercise showing the importance of synchronization and cadence

March 5th, 2014 Phil Van Sickel, Senior Project Manager

A very well known exercise for teaching the importance of small batches and flow is the penny game.  When I first played this game, I was amazed at the impact just changing the batch size has on throughput.   The setup of the game is quite simple.

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Silverlight Application Library Caching (A Lesson Learned)

March 2nd, 2014 Adamo Mosca, Consultant

I was recently working on a Silverlight application where we used Silverlight Library Caching to help speed the load time of the site. By using library caching you specify different .ZIP files to build containing the assemblies your site needs. When a user accesses the site, all the .XAP and .ZIP files are downloaded simultaneously thereby speeding load time. Another benefit of library caching is that the browser will cache the resources so when the user re-visits your site, the browser will retrieve the resources from the cache instead of making a trip to the server.

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Life as a Senior Project Manager

February 24th, 2014 Grant Liddle, Consultant

I’ve had the opportunity to interview a fair amount of people since I joined Summa.  I believe an interview is a two-sided affair and enjoy when candidates ask as many questions as I ask of them.    So, I’d like to share my thoughts on this topic and paint a picture of the responsibilities you can expect to perform as a Senior Project Manager at Summa.

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Unit Testing Your UI

January 27th, 2014 Gabriel Obregon, Consultant

I’m a huge fan of unit testing front end code no matter what platform I’m coding in. The rule about being smart about what you test is even more important with UI code. Uncle Bob said, “having dirty tests is equivalent to, if not worse than, having no tests.”

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Debugging in Node

January 21st, 2014 Doug DiFilippo, Consultant

Using a proper debugger was something I avoided in Node for the first few months. I made some assumptions that it would be hard to set up or cumbersome to use so I plugged away with my `console.log` statements when I needed to track down a bug. When I finally decided to try it out I was pleasantly surprised. Not only was it extremely easy to get started, but I also had options!

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Not-so-technical Development Practices That Can Help a Software Project Succeed

January 16th, 2014 Rich Koch,

There are many pieces to the puzzle that make up a successful software development project — from an awesome multi-faceted team to realistic deadlines and requirements. Usually playing the roles of an individual team developer and a team lead of some sorts, I have noticed a pattern of some things we have put into practice over the years that have helped make projects successful. The practices are definitely from a developer & lead perspective and I share some of these ideas below:

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Keeping Up with Podcasts

January 14th, 2014 Chris Winters, Consultant

Keeping up with software development is difficult. Blog posts, forums, articles, conferences, user groups, Twitter — there’s so much to filter. But it’s vital: I believe that to be a successful generalist software developer over a long span of time (10+ years) you have to be ready to reinvent yourself at any time. The trick is to recognize when you need to do that. And that requires knowing a little about a lot.

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Can AngularJs Be Used in .NET Applications? How So?

January 13th, 2014 Aref Al-kamel, Sr. Technical Consultant

Since the release of ASP.NET MVC, there are many open source libraries that developers can use in their ASP.NET applications. One of the most popular ones are the binding frameworks that come handy for SAML and Silverlight developers. The fact is that there  are  handful of JavaScript binding frameworks but the ones that stand out are Knockout, Backbone and Angular.

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10 Ways To Practice Programming

December 17th, 2013 Martin Andrew Habich,

Inspired by my recent sojourn to SCNA 2013 (the annual Software Craftsmanship of North America Conference), I’ve been thinking about ways to improve the mechanics of my programming

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Why Agile is So Popular: Are You Ready?

December 16th, 2013 Grant Liddle, Consultant

Agile has gained an enormous amount of popularity in the world of software development over the last 12 years. There are a variety of methodologies that categorize themselves as “Agile” and a wealth of information available on the Internet through forums, blogs, articles, whitepapers and books (the digital variety, of course) on each one. There’s even a career path dedicated to the “Agile” profession which includes titles such as Product Owner, Scrum Master, and a variety of flavors surrounding the coaching profession (Agile Coach, Enterprise Transformation Coach, etc.) At Summa, we have been helping our clients adopt Agile within their organizations and deliver high-value projects on time and within budget for over seven years.

So what is agile? What does it mean to “be agile?” And WHY is it so popular?

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Tools I Can’t Live Without: Apps I Always Install on a New Development Machine

December 9th, 2013 omar.ornelas, Consultant

We’ve all gone through the task of setting up a new development machine, either physical or virtual. It’s not always the most fun thing to do, sitting there watching those progress bars go to 99% in a minute and then wait another hour for the last 1%. Even though we might not want to go through that experience, it’s just part of being a software consultant. With that in mind, the following are a couple of the applications I always install on my development environments — and even on my home PCs – to make my job a little easier.

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