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I’m Supposed to Know Great post for developers who are struggling with unrealistic expectations of what they should know and what they shouldn't. Thirty-forty years ago, it was possible to know a lot about a certain environment - that environment was MS-DOS (for non Mac/UNIX systems). . There was pretty much only a handful of ways to get things going. Enter networking. That added a new wrinkle to how systems worked. Networks back then were finicky. One of my first jobs was working on a 3COM + LAN and it then migrated to LAN Manager. Enter Windows or the graphical user interface. The best depiction of the complexity Windows (OS/2, Windows NT, etc) introduced that I recall was by Charles Petzold (if memory serves) at a local user group meeting. He invited a bunch of people on the stage and then acted as the Windows "Colonel", a nice play on kernel. Each person had a role but to complete their job they always had to pass things back to h
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Elevating Project Specifications with Three Insightful ChatGPT Prompts

For developers and testers, ChatGPT, the freely accessible tool from OpenAI, is game-changing. If you want to learn a new programming language, ask for samples or have it convert your existing code. This can be done in Visual Studio Code (using GitHub CoPilot) or directly in the ChatGPT app or web site.  If you’re a tester, ChatGPT can write a test spec or actual test code (if you use Jest or Cypress) based on existing code, copied and pasted into the input area. But ChatGPT can be of huge value for analysts (whether system or business) who need to validate their needs. There’s often a disconnect between developers and analysts. Analysts complain that developers don’t build what they asked for or ask too many questions. Developers complain that analysts haven’t thought of obvious things. In these situations, ChatGPT can be a great intermediary. At its worst, it forces you to think about and then discount obvious issues. At best, it clarifies the needs into documented requirements. Note

Brandon Savage: Hating Old Code Is a Sign Of Growth

Hating old code is a sign of growth. In late 2021 I took a hard look at some code I wrote back in 2013. I  hated  it. The design was all wrong, it didn't follow best practices or good standards, and it was a mess. A product of its time, sure: there were no type hints, no return value definitions, and no Psalm annotations to process. But it was still  ugly  and I was embarrassed. Ever have this experience? Hear the good news: it's  normal , and perfectly fine. Writing code is a learning process, from day one to the day you stop doing it for good. You're always growing, always improving. It's like reading your writing from high school: you're a better writer  today than you ever were then. If you hate your old code, it's a sign of growth, in you and in your skills. Don't concern yourself with how awful the old code is; focus on making the new code great, and bring the old code to the new standard.

5 Great Reasons to attend Virtual FoxFest

What's coming up? Virtual FoxFest is coming up soon (sessions start October 14th). Like last year, the conference is entirely virtual yet includes great breakdown rooms and sessions to add that nice one-on-one feel that you get in person. It's also staggered so you can choose which days you want to attend - October 14th, 20th and 26th. This is great if you can't break away for a consecutive three days. But really, I've gone through the sessions and I see five great sessions that I'm eager to check out. 1. A Decade of Thor (Rick Schummer) Thor has been an extension for Visual FoxPro that many developers swear by, yet many don't know even exists. Visual FoxPro's built-in extensions are great but Jim Nelson's Thor supercharges your IDE. I can't believe it's been ten years - so Rick's session should be able to not just whet your appetite but give you all the reasons you should be using it. 2. VFP C++ compiler.  Last year, we saw DotNetX as well

Twenty Is Myth Anil Dash has written a post of remembrance every year since September 11th, 2001 (yes, on the day). His blog has lots of other great things on it - but the ONE post I always look for is his post. We were away at DevCon in San Diego that day. I was up early and was able to absorb the news firsthand. I have an affinity to New York for a number of reasons: my sister lived there, we honeymooned there and it is New York. But the days that immediately followed in 2001, I saw the heartbreak of attendees who were waiting to hear from loved ones there. It was an entire surreal experience of being in a city with an military base. Fighter jets flew everywhere while no commercial planes could be seen. I recall the first flight that took off from the airport. But Anil was there in New York that day and his posts have always struck me, providing a personal experience that goes beyond the media recaps and speeches. He notes that this

Why the js/ts Visual Studio Experience is a welcome addition and what it needs more The promise noted in this announcement sounds very exciting. Sure, you can do most of this already with VS Code - but encouraging this type of development directly in Visual Studio is awesome. The one thing I would like to see is built-in support for Cypress - my e2e testing tool of choice. ( Https:// ) - which is a great tool for Vue and React apps.