Thursday, September 24, 2009

Metaphors, valuable assets in conversations.

The company is in negotiations on selling one of my source code to one of our competitors. I was asked by the CEO to talk to the CFO regarding the risks and to come up with a price. The conversation was going nowhere. The CFO was totally lost regarding the source code. It was obvious that he did not understand the context of the conversation. Finally, I told him to think as the source code as a recipe. "Think of us as Coca-Cola (the company) and we have the recipe, the "secret formula", and now some other competitor like Pepsi wants to purchase it."

After that, we were both engaged on the conversations. The CFO was asking questions such as:
  • if we give them the recipe, they (competitors) can make as many cokes as they please.
  • how long did it take your team to create the recipe (in terms of hours, and most of all money).
All these questions contributed to a really good conversation. Afterwards, the CFO and I talked to the CEO and discussed our assessment.

In the book, Pragmatic Thinking and Learning, Andy Hunt explains methaphors and software as the following:
The idea is that any software system should be able to be guided by an appropriate metaphor

I couldn't agree more with him.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Hudson CI

I love the whole concept of Continuous Integration (CI). My first interaction with CI was using Cruise Control along with a team of Thought Works (great guys!). However, I noticed that the configuration is all XML and it could be cumbersome. In my previous project, only a few individuals really know how to configure it.

I have been slacking on using CI (not proud of it) for two reasons:
1. I only have two programmers and they are here in Miami. Most of the time they pair programed together.
2. I didn't want to bring the pain of XML into the company.

However, I just acquired a new programmer and he is located in Mexico. I have also noticed broken builds due to items not being checked, some broken unit tests, etc. Perfect candidates for CI. Last week, I decided that instead of calling the programmers and asked them to solve the problem, I would install a CI server but not Cruise Control. I have heard a lot of great things from Hudson. Today I just finished the installation. Really nice and easy. Now, I need to finished the configuration with the deployment, SVN, and other few items. But, I'm really exited to be back into the CI world. My team should be more effective and hopefully we can increase the amount of deployments. It was wrong for me of not using CI from the beginning. Even if we would have implemented Cruise Control we would be better than today.

Monday, September 21, 2009

mysqldump from external db to local db

Sometimes I need to transfer data from my remote database (product/test) to my local box. I usually use dbUnit to avoid the transfer. However, sometimes I need to use specific data to solve either a specific bug. If you are using MySQL, then most likely you are using mysqldump. It's a really good tool. Here is how I transfer data from my test environment ( to my local box without affecting (delte, truncate, or doing anything to my current schema):

mysqldump -h -uprod_username -pprod_password --skip-create-options --no-create-info --no-create-db --compact --skip-add-drop-database --insert-ignore --where="OPERATOR_SERVICE = 'MBLOX_US'"  upmobile OPERATOR_TBL | mysql -uroot -psecret upmobile

I also use this code to transfer data from my production database to my historic database.