Archive for August, 2009

Personal Source Control with Google Code & SVN

August 26, 2009 Leave a comment

I’m reading The Pragmatic Programmer at the moment, and one thing they recommend is to always use source control, even for small prototypes and personal projects.  Now I’ve been using source control at work ever since I started coding, but I’ve never given serious thought to using it at home – I only have a single machine for a start.

But that’s not really an issue these days, as there are a number of Internet hosts that can act as your source control server – and this gives the additional advantage of being able to access your code wherever you can get on the ‘net.  And as well as being a good way of backing things up,  you also get a full revision history, which can be handy when things go pear-shaped!

Now, I don’t want to spend any actual money on this, but that’s not a problem as there are many open source options available – I didn’t look too hard here as I’ve already used Subversion (SVN) at a previous job and it has a big following, and is supported by most of the online hosts.  Same with the client, which is the part I had to install on my machine – TortoiseSVN integrates with Windows Explorer, is free, easy to use, and has all the functionality you’d expect.

TortoiseSVN in action

TortoiseSVN in action

So the main thing to do was chose a host.  Again, there are many free options – this site has an excellent comparison of the available options, including several free ones.  One of the main things you need to decide is whether you want your code to be open source or not, as several of them only host open source projects.  I’m happy enough with that, so after a little research online I went for Google Code, which has a lot of space, unlimited users, and some useful features.  Two minutes to create a Google account, then you can crate a new project by entering a few basic details, and you’re ready to rock & roll!

Creating a new project in Google Code

Creating a new project in Google Code

Once you’ve got TortoiseSVN installed and your Google Code project set up, you just need to upload your project – this blog has some useful tips that will get you up and running in a couple of minutes.  And that’s it!  In less than 10 minutes you can be up and running with a full source control solution, including online administration:

Google Code administration page

Google Code administration page

And if you want to get someone fixing your defects for you, all they need is an SVN client and you’ve got yourself a development team.  If I’d known it was that easy, I’d have done it years ago..

Roy Osherove’s TDD Masterclass

August 25, 2009 Leave a comment

Roy Osherove is giving an hands-on TDD Masterclass in the UK, September 21-25. Roy is author of “The Art of Unit Testing” (, a leading tdd & unit testing book; he maintains a blog at (which amoung other things has critiqued tests written by Microsoft for MVC – check out the testreviews category) and has recently been on the Scott Hanselman podcast ( where he educated Scott on best practices in Unit Testing techniques. For a further insight into Roy’s style, be sure to also check out Roy’s talk at the recent Norwegian Developer’s Conference (

Full Details here:

bbits are holding a raffle for a free ticket for the event. To be eligible to win the ticket (worth £2395!) you MUST paste this text, including all links, into your blog and email with the url to the blog entry.  The draw will be made on September 1st and the winner informed by email and on

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August 17, 2009 Leave a comment

So, welcome to my new blog!

If anyone’s actually reading this, I’ll be fairly surprised – but that’s Ok, as I’m doing this partly for personal benefit.  Like many others, I find that teaching subjects to people helps to crystallise them in my head, and it also makes me go that extra step in research so I’m well prepared when someone asks a tricky question!  And as I don’t have much opportunity to present interesting subjects at my current job, I though I’d try a bit of blogging as an alternative.

So, a little about myself and what might be appearing here.  I’ve been messing about with computers since my dad got me a Spectrum +3 (the one with the disk drive!) many years ago.  I dabbled with a bit of +3 BASIC at the time, and have been involved ever since – I started coding properly in Pascal at college, then went onto C, then university taught me the ways of OO coding in C++ and Java (not to mention a bit of assembler).  Happy days!

Unfortunately during my work experience I got involved in VB6, although I was happy enough to be getting paid for programming.  But when it came time to get a proper job, although I really wanted to stick with C++ or Java, as I had VB experience that’s all the agencies would give me.  Working for big companies using tools I didn’t like sucked all of the fun out of programming for me, and I kind of lost my mojo, not touching a line of code outside the office for a few years.

Even though I moved onto VB.Net, I didn’t really get back into it until I started studying for a job change – I fancied moving over to C# for a few reasons, so I though I’d better get up to speed before the inevitable technical tests.  So I bought a copy of Pro C# 2008 and the .Net 3.5 Platform, by Andrew Troelsen, and started studying.  This is a really well-written book, so much easier to read than the dry uni textbooks I’d seen before, written by an enthusiastic guy who seems to feel about software the way I used to, and it reignited my interest in programming.

Before long, I was coding away in the evenings, listening to podcasts, and reading the many interesting blogs out there – and I couldn’t believe how much I’d missed out on!  There was TDD, DDD, Agile, OR/Ms, mobile development, Silverlight, XNA Game Studio, so many interesting things! So I set about reading up on all of these interesting new technologies, trying things out in code, even going to geeky programmer meetings, and spreading the word to other developers at work.

And this is where you find me now, with a bit of knowledge and a keen desire to find out as much as I can about these topics, as well as all of the new things that seem to emerge every other week (now that I’m paying attention!).  In this blog I hope to write technical articals about development practices, TDD, patterns, and so on, as well as book reviews, personal findings, and anything related to development or .Net I think people should hear about.

Anyway, that’s much longer than I intended it to be any my lunch hour is officially over, so watch this space!  And maybe after a few weeks I’ll get around to putting my first actual post up…

Categories: Personal