The Greater Fool

It is SQL (Structured Query Language) NOT SBQL (Structured Business Query Language) - Derik Whittaker

It is SQL (Structured Query Language) NOT SBQL (Structured Business Query Language)

It's a self-admitted rant but still good commentary of the dangers of hiding business logic inside of SQL Stored Procedures. Today another instance reared its ugly head as input validation thats was being performed inside of a proc failed due to an idiosyncracy of SQL (the LEN function excludes trailing whitespaces but includes leading ones).

Often I hear/see the performance versus maintenance argument being thrown around when considering the placement of business logic inside of the SQL domain. That is a strawman argument at best. Performance is the least expensive upgrade option. How much does a new bleeding-edge server cost? How much does a senior development resource cost?


Siftables are a ridiculously cool concept that, hopefully, my kids will get to play with in a few years. Watch the video and I challenge you not to come up with a dozen ideas within seconds of how to utilize this product. I believe it can be one of those gamechanger type products that can revolutionize UI design and interaction.

Error Messages

I have been have a difficult time accessing a particular website and it kept return the error message below when I tried to login.  So my response was to try again as directed and it failed again.  It was not particularly urgent, so I waited a few days and tried again.  Same error response.  Again, I waited a few days and tried again with the same results.

So I called the Customer Assistance number as directed.  After wading through two different IVM and twice as many live CSMs, including getting hung up on, I finally reach someone who can help me.  So first question they ask when I give them the error description?

CSM: “Are you using Safari?”
Me: “No”
Me: [Thinking] “I can’t believe this is a browser compatibility issue”
CSM: “Are you using Google Chrome?”
Me: “Yes”
CSM: “Ah, Google Chrome is not a supported platform. Can you try again using Internet Explorer?”
Me: “That was not indicated anywhere on your website or the error message”
CSM: “Do you have Internet Explorer”

You know the rest.  Fire up IE for the first time in a while. Everything works just fine.  Imagine how much time could have been saved if the error indicated something beyond “Unable to Process Request – Try Again Later or Contact Customer Support.”  Even if they would indicate somewhere on the website what the “supported platforms” are, this whole problem could be avoided.  Customers are your friends, they pay your bills.  Don’t make them jump through hoops to use your services.

Perceived Requirements or “All Users Lie” - Casey Charlton - Insane World

...this is a situation I encounter very frequently when trying to extract information from users, domain experts or business analysts about their requirements. They by nature not only have a requirement, but they have an idea of what the solution is, and they phrase their requirements in such a way that they are suggesting the solution to you

Great article about common failures in the first, most crucial, phase of the Software Development Life Cycle. I've come across this in many instances. All users apply their own preconceptions to problems and solutions. Often times, the most difficult task is to strip away all the excess veneer from the actual use case.

One of the most important skills we can learn as developers is to understand the business enough to strip the requirement from the solution. We strive to be agnostic from business logic but unless we understand process, we cannot isolate the core requirements. At the same time, it is important not to fall into the same pitfalls as those business users.

"Trust but verify"

Cheftestant Cross Pollination

I just watched the latest Iron Chef America, Battle King Crab, and the challenger was Chef Amanda Freiteg of The Harisson in Manhattan.  One of her sous chefs, however, was none other than Ariane Duarte who was last seen getting booted off of Top Chef for her lack of butchering skills.  Ironic, then, in this Iron Chef, she was tasked to break down a rack of veal.  She was fairly vocal during preparation (meaning she was actually mic'd and her comments made it through edits).  Most sous chefs on that show rarely even speak.  Of  course, there was no mention of her appearance on that other network.

Last season's Top Chef featured the work of Richard Blais (currently of Flip in Atlanta) , also a previous challenger chef on Iron Chef America, losing to Mario Batali.  It seems that in this current era of rock star chefs, it pays to make rounds on the circuit of the multitude of "Reality Chef" shows across all the networks.  Another cross-pollinator was Ralph Pagano, of Ralph's Deli in Sag Harbor, who made it to Iron Chef America (losing to Bobby Flay), was runner-up on the first season of Gordon Ramsey's Hell's Kitchen, and finally landed his own show on MOJO's Pressure Cook.

Appropriately, Ariane wound up losing her battle to Bobby Flay as well.