Technical debt

I was talking to a colleague about one of our suppliers and the progress they were making on a new product they were developing. He was surprised to hear how little progress they appear to have made, they had previously been making huge steps in very little time with very few developers, especially surprising when they have been scaling up the development team over the past few months. I explained they are burning some of the technical debt they have collected whilst they still can....

May 26, 2015 · 2 min · matt40k

Slow progress

I’m currently getting bogged down with other projects and unfortunately my final sprint of SIMS Bulk Importhas grind to a halt. On the plus side I managed to swash a few more bugs last month, get a code signing certificate. This will mean all future releases will be signed as coming from me which is great news, it adds a layer of confidence that the code you run is unaltered by a third party....

November 10, 2014 · 2 min · matt40k

WIX installer why you no MSBUILD no more?

Last night I chopped up my WIX installer project – I basically split the actual installer parts into one file – CoreMsi.wxs, the versions into a variable file – Version.wxi and the file list into a separate fragment file – SimsBulkImport.wxs. This worked. Great I thought, simple PowerShell script to generate the file list, I can even grab the main repository complied bin as a artifact dependency – got to love TeamCity....

September 15, 2014 · 1 min · matt40k

SIMS Bulk Import

Overview If your in the UK, the chances are your local school is using SIMS .net. Just checkout the stats on their site. 22,000 schools taking 2,500,000 children’s attendance, every day. That’s impressive.So what is SIMS .net? Well its a MIS system, but what is a MIS system? In the simplest terms its a database that holds the school records, for both students and staff. So it makes sense that you are going to want to interface with it as it’s your at your core when it comes to data sources....

September 3, 2014 · 4 min · matt40k

SOLUS2, will you not just die already!

Well it appears Capita has announced SOLUS2 death day   That’s assuming they don’t put it back. Again. This is bad news. Let me explain why. I’m using Chrome, it’s updated itself I don’t know how many times. If I go and check, all I know or care about is that it is indeed up-to-date, so at some point, it’s updated itself and its worked. If I look at my antivirus I can see it’s updated 3 times today alone....

June 24, 2014 · 2 min · matt40k

I’m sorry, but SIMS8 can’t come fast enough

I haven’t really been on SupportNet, Capita SIMSsupport portal, regularly since changing roles about 20 months ago, the only time I pop on nowadays is to find something when I’m helping out my old team during busyhard times (you never really escape at my work). On this occasion I stopped by the forum and one thing jumped out at me. The lack of progress. Now I appreciate I’m about to unload both barrels into my foot, but I think it needs to be said....

May 27, 2014 · 7 min · matt40k

Why I like Twitter

I have to say I’m really liking Twitter. A lot of my friends can’t see the point. As a social tool it allows gossip to flow really well, how often do we hear that a celeb has tweeted a inappropriate comment or photo. It allows us fans to be alot more closer. As a business tool it allows a new way of interaction, take this example – there is a bug in ....

May 20, 2014 · 1 min · matt40k

DfE big plans for big data

An interesting debate erupted on EduGeekthis month after Graham Reed, a technologist, made a post on Eduware Consultingblogabout the changing data landscapeand how he saw Department of Education (DfE)data exchange and warehouse projects changing the way MIS work and the way they are used. Now of course we need to take it with a pinch of salt, firstly, this is very much early days. At the moment it’s a vision looking to become a project, and we all know how government projects end up post election time....

May 20, 2014 · 4 min · matt40k

Should I purchase Full SQL or is Express enough?

One of the common questions I used to get asked whilst supporting SIMS .netwas, do I need Full SQL. SIMS .netuses Microsoft SQL Serveras it’s relational database management system (RDBMS) so it’s important to ensure the engine is correctly sized for job at hand. Microsoft SQL Serverhas come in a number of editions over the years, I won’t detail all the various editions but the two editions schools should be concerned with is Express and Standard....

May 20, 2014 · 2 min · matt40k