Barbarian Meets Codingbarbarianmeetscoding

WebDev, UX & a Pinch of Fantasy

Barbaric September: Just Got A Theme... And It Is About Love!

Barbaric Monthly is my attempt at building/improving a coding project per month so that I can experiment with old and new technologies, learn ad infinitum, remain excited about the craft and nurture my passion for software development. This Barbaric Monthly is about developing a windows phone application and releasing it to market.

Hmm do not know what happens that I keep starting the Barbaric Monthly mid-month… that’s no way of building anything sort of decent. Mental note: Stop #¤%&$# around and focus.

Anyhow, after a brief brainstorming session I decided that something relatively easy, something that I would be able to pull off by the end of the month, but at the same time interesting, so it will be useful and not crapware, so it will give something to the user, would be a quiz game for couples kind-of-app. (That was a long sentence, got to beware of the prose police)

Basically, it would be a phone app to encourage communication between couples with the spicy wrapping of game dynamics. Below you can see some first mocks:

Paper mockups of the different app screens

P.S: It is amazing before I could stop myself I was thinking about social media integration, customizable avatars, profiles in the cloud, a hundred and one cool features that will be impossible to build in time xDDD

P.S.2: New episode of This Developer’s Life after a long, long time, yey!

Visual Studio 2012 Virtual Launch Event, R.A. Salvatore and 800th episode of .NET Rocks

In 5 minutes the Visual Studio 2012 Virtual Launch Event is starting! Isn’t that exciting or what?! Wonder if they could make something about that ambient music though… before I jump off the window… Anyway, exciting day today, because not only we have the VS2012 launch event but also Apple is supposed to be announcing the new iPhone in something like 30 minutes :). Looks like the next 3 hours are going to be mighty interesting.

Before everything starts and all hell breaks loose, two recommendations:

First, I listened this morning to the Sword and Laser special episode at DragonCon and it was outstandingly awesome. I had not had the chance before to listen to nor see any R.A. Salvatore interview, but that guy is seriously hilarious. Wonderful to listen to him talking about writing and the writing business.

Second, .NETRocks 800th episode with, of course, Richard Campbell and Carl Franklin but also with… Scott Hanselman and Rob Conery! Boom! Do I even need to say anything else?

Update: The VS2012 launch event was pretty good as expected, particularly the super interesting demos by @orville_m on web dev and @nikolelamb on TFS and ALM. Lots of happy talk about current trends in Software Development and how Visual Studio and TFS allow developers to build modern apps and manage the application development lifecycle (Somasegar is not the most charismatic speaker you can find). A Lot of emphasis on continuous integration, continuous feedback, continuous improvement and continuous delivery. They announced Visual Studio 2012 Express, that is now available for download together with all other versions of Visual Studio 2012 but sadly there was no mention of the Windows Phone 8 SDK or when it will be available.

If you want to know more about the features shipped within Visual Studio 2012 and .NET 4.5, Microsoft has released a ton of demos (you can expand each demo category: .NET 4.5 and languages, Web and Cloud, etc) or you can see what’s new by downloading Visual Studio 2012 product guide.

In the meantime, Apple released the iPhone 5 and a bunch of things more.

And now, time to go to bed before Malin exiles me to the solitude, hardness and coldness of the living room couch. :)

Update 2: I have just read the Windows Phone developer newsletter and it looks like the application for Windows Phone 8 SDK Preview is now open until the 17th of September. Quick, quick!

Barbaric September: Releasing My Very First Windows Phone App to Market

Barbaric Monthly is my attempt at building/improving a coding project per month so that I can experiment with old and new technologies, learn ad infinitum, remain excited about the craft and nurture my passion for software development. This Barbaric Monthly is about developing a windows phone application and releasing it to market.

Wo! Time warps around me! Where did that last week go?!? I remember going to welcome my Sri Lankan colleagues on Monday, and then… monthiversay with Malin on Thursday… fast-forward to now that I’m sitting on the couch writing… sick… :)

Talking about time passing fast and unfulfilled goals, one of the objectives I had for this year was to release at least three Windows Phone 7 apps into the Marketplace, fast-forward to today (again) and how many apps have I released? 0, zero, none, null. Sad but true… so there comes Barbaric Monthly to the rescue! This month I will stop playing around, no more half-baked apps, no more exercises, this month I will build [at least] a WP7 app - albeit a simple one - and I will go through the whole process of releasing it to market.

I have not quite thought yet what is exactly what I am going to build this time, but please follow along because I will be revealing more details in my next post on these series.

P.S: Did you have the change to see Nokia’s event on Wednesday? Wasn’t that Nokia Lumia 920 beautiful? Way to Go Nokrosoft!

Barbaric August: TheUltimate Extreme Makeover

Barbaric Monthly is my attempt at building/improving a coding project per month so that I can experiment with old and new technologies, learn ad infinitum, remain excited about the craft and nurture my passion for software development. This Barbaric Monthly is about developing a personal task management system with a command line interface.

August has come to an end and so has Barbaric August! I am pretty satisfied overall, I was able to work on it a couple of hours more this weekend, add support for a new command complete task and put some basic styling in place. The most important thing I am taking from it, however, is that it was a blast!. And it’s funny, when I started implementing it I had such vague ideas of what I wanted to do, and now, I cannot stop thinking about an infinite number of possibilities and directions in which to improve it. So it is absolutely great that is has become both a source of fun and joy, but also a fountain of new ideas for improving my knowledge in different areas of software development.

Anyhow, here it is The Ultimate Personal Task Management System in all its glory after ~10 hours of development:

Look of the Ultimate Task Management System At The End of Barbaric August

Yeah… I may have gone a little bit overboard with the whole SkyNet theme, but I thought it was freaking hilarious XDD. Imagine… your CLI assistant having different personalities… how far could one push that idea… to which remote extremes of genious could it lead I am too ignorant to fathom…

As I said I applied some basic styling with my limited designer skills (re-learning CSS for the 9th time) and below you can appreciate the makeover:

Comparison of before and after applying a basic design

If you want to learn more about this project, you are more than welcomed to follow on the Barbaric August feed. I will be adding ones last, more detailed, wrap-up post this week, don’t miss it! :)

P.S. On a side note, I had the chance to play Bastion this weekend at last, and it’s freaking great! Such care to detail in every aspect of the game, art, music, mechanics… you can really appreciate how Supergiant Games has put their soul into it and the soundtrack reminds me somehow to Firefly (even to Malin! :O). Brilliant!

Barbaric August: And Thence Skynet Was Giveth A Way To Remember

Barbaric Monthly is my attempt at building/improving a coding project per month so that I can experiment with old and new technologies, learn ad infinitum, remain excited about the craft and nurture my passion for software development. This Barbaric Monthly is about developing a personal task management system with a command line interface.

Omg this week has been hectic! Sprint at work is nearing its end and I have been multiclassing Code-Wizard/ScrumMaster, which basically means two jobs for the price of one. I have tried to make time to work some magic in Barbaric August, but I think I have barely managed to scrape 7 hours for it these last two weeks. I do not honestly know how the heck does Uncle Bob find those extra 20 weekly hours to practice the craft but kudos to him :).

Gandalf with a shotgun: because Wizards sometimes run out of spells

I did work a little today, and I am happy to say that my Barbaric Monthly SkyNet has now a proper data access layer! (Did I somehow forgot to mention that I have been doing everything in memory all this time? xD) It is surprinsingly easy to hook up an ASP.NET MVC website with a database using Entity Framework Code First. I substituted my fake and temporary Unit of Work Context for a DbContext and created a custom Database Initializer to seed the database with some fake data and voilá, two steps and you got it, all unit tests passing and everything working beautifully.

And I’m afraid that… that was pretty much it for today fellas! I have one day remaining to finish the prototype and make a video wrap up. What?? A video what? Yeah, you read it right, I have planned to record a nice wrap up video after every Barbaric Monthly, it may be catastrophically horrible, but as a friend of mine told me today: ”No one remembers a coward”. Back with you soon…

P.S: If you get the chance take a look at any of these books by @JulieLerman, she’s the go to person for anything Entity Framework related: