Monday, September 28, 2009

Dumbing down work environments

Our LOB application has a couple of different codelines. Occasionally two will be in use simultaneously for a short period of time. This requires developers to think about where they are working. The TFS task that is assigned contains all relevant information, such as the codeline in which the developer should be working, but there are a couple of people who just always pick the wrong one.

Maybe I need to dumb down the work environment. Right now we've got separate VS2008 solution and project files for the codeline. We've got separate databases related to each codeline. And the multitude of reports are also similarly segregated by codeline. I suppose that I could spend time getting the codeline name somehow worked into all object names, but this feel unnecessarily infantile to the other developers who are able to consistently pick the right place to work.

We have no junior developers on staff. No one is new to our organization either, so it's not like our software development processes are novel to anyone. Maybe I'm being too hard, but my expectation is that if your title is 'Senior Software Engineer' then you should be able to successfully analyze and execute work assignments. Knowing the personalities of the individuals involved I don't think that this behavior is intentional. That leads me to the conclusion that this is either apathy or sloppiness. Or both.

I suppose that this is a sore spot for me because I resent spending so much time merging and synchronizing. When someone works in the wrong place I've got to spend even more time sorting it all out. And then I also feel really petty when I have to scold someone who is a highly skilled, highly compensated professional for making such a rookie mistake. Again.

Friday, September 4, 2009

Windows 7 x64, Toad, Oracle 11g ODAC

After too much time and frustration, I finally got Toad (version and Oracle Data Access Components to work on Windows 7 Professional x64.

For hours Toad wouldn't even acknowledge that an Oracle client was installed. I tried the 11g x86, Instant Client, 10g Oracle x64, finally Oracle 11g ODAC and Oracle Developer Tools for Visual Studio AKA started to work. At one point while trying to get Instant Client to work I manually set the ORACLE_HOME, TNS_ADMIN, and PATH environment variables. I don't know if that had any effect on my success. I'm too scared to remove them to find out considering the fragility of the Toad / Oracle client interaction. For now I'm just happy that my Dell Latitude E6500 can play any role other than netbook.