News, views, tips and tricks on Oracle and other fun stuff

Top 10 Ways to Know Your Software Project is Doomed

Here is my top 10 from this list of 101 ways to know your software project is doomed:

  1. Developers use the excuse of “self documenting code” for no comments
  2. All of your requirements are written on a used cocktail napkin
  3. Progress is now measured by the number of fixed bugs and not completed features
  4. Your source code control system is a series of folders on a shared drive
  5. Your manager wastes 7 hours a week asking for progress reports
  6. The phrase “It works on my machine” is heard more than once a day
  7. Developers are not responsible for any testing
  8. All code reviews are scheduled a week before product launch
  9. You have cut and pasted code from The Daily WTF
  10. The last book you read: Oracle 8i A Beginner’s Guide.

What’s your favorite one?

7 Comments | Filed in ColdFusion, Oracle

Self Documenting Code is Not Enough

I stumbled upon an interesting article titled: Comments Are More Important Than Code. In this article, the author, Jef Raskin, writes:

Good documentation should be readable on its own, with bits of code showing how the design is implemented (and making it run, of course). Reconstructing code from good documentation is far easier than trying to create documentation given the code.

The essential concept of writing the documentation first, creating the methods in natural language, and describing the thinking behind them is a key to high-quality commercial programming.

Do not believe any programmer, manager, or salesperson who claims that code can be self-documenting or automatically documented. It ain’t so.

This reminds me of a post I wrote about a year ago: Comments Do Make a Difference. It was about a real world experience with code that was not adequately documented. I believe that good code should be self-documenting. But, I also agree with Jef that “good documentation includes background and decision information that cannot be derived from the code” no matter if it is self-documenting or not.

8 Comments | Filed in ColdFusion, Oracle, Tips

Oracle Blogs Ranked by Technorati Authority – July 07 Edition

Last May I published a list of top Oracle blogs ranked by Technorati authority. Since then, I have had requests to publish an updated list. I was reluctant to do it because creating the list takes quite a bit of time. However, last Sunday afternoon, I was able to automate the creation of the spreadsheet. I wrote a ColdFusion page that used the Technorati API to get the Technorati information about each blog aggregated by

Now that I have it automated, I will try to publish an updated list on a regular basis, highlighting the changes in authority for each blog, up, down or unchanged. The list includes ALL the blogs aggregated by, even the ones that have no Technorati information.

As a reminder, the Technorati “authority” is the number of blogs (not links) linking to a blog in the last six months. The Technorati Rank is calculated based on how far you are from the top. The blog with the hightest Technorati Authority is the #1 ranked blog. The smaller your Technorati Rank, the closer you are to the top.

The above list has been automatically generated by calling the Technorati BlogInfo Query for each blog URL. The call was made using an HTTP GET to[apikey]&url=[blog url].

If your blog has a low authority and if you care about boosting your authority ranking you may want to write posts that are interesting to other bloggers (not just to you) so they’ll link to you. I have found the following FAQs helpful in understanding how to have Technorati index your blog:

  1. How do I get indexed? or better indexed?
  2. My posts are not indexed and my post tags aren’t either. What can I do?
  3. Links from other blogs not showing up in search?
10 Comments | Filed in ColdFusion, Oracle | Tags:

Bye Bye 2006, Welcome 2007

As we say bye bye to 2006, I would like to thank you, my dear reader, for reading my blog and spending part of your time leaving comments and feedback.

For me, the highlights of 2006 were:

I would also like to share with you some statistics from the past 12 months (as per Google Analytics and Feedburner):

Top 10 pages

The following pages received the most hits during 2006:

  1. Home page
  2. Format your SQL the easy way
  3. Oracle SQLPlus
  4. Saving/Downloading files to/from Oracle using ColdFusion
  5. Cool SQL function: EXTRACT
  6. Back to basics: outer joins
  8. HTTP POST from inside Oracle
  9. PRAGMAtism in Oracle PL/SQL
  10. Oracle Trace Analyzer is TKPROF on Steroids


Top 10 browsers

Internet Explorer was the most popular followed by Firefox:


Top 10 countries

Almost half of the traffic originated from the US and the UK:


Top referrers

Google was responsible for more than 65% of the traffic, and 10% of the visits were direct, i.e. from bookmarks or directly typing the blog URL:


The number of subscribers to the blog feed has been steadily growing:


In 2007 I will continue to blog about whatever I find interesting and useful to both you and me.

Here on the west coast of the United States, we celebrate new year later than the rest of the world. At the time of this writing, there is almost 12 hours till we welcome the arrival of 2007.

My next post will be next year 🙂

Happy New Year!

Comments Off on Bye Bye 2006, Welcome 2007 | Filed in ColdFusion, Oracle, WordPress | Tags: ,

Do You Have These Symptoms?

One of my ex-coworkers emailed me this photo. The subject of the email was: Winner of “not my job” award.

When I looked at this photo, the word “laziness” started flashing in my mind. My thoughts then wandered to laziness as it related to programming. I then asked myself: what is laziness in programming? Here are a few thoughts:

  • Laziness is when you do not follow best practices.
  • Laziness is when you do not handle exceptions.
  • Laziness is when you do not research problems before asking dumb questions.
  • Laziness is when you do not check out what’s new in new versions.
  • Laziness is when you do not take the time to learn every feature available to you.
  • Laziness is when you do not comment or document your code.
  • Laziness is when you do it the quick and dirty way.
  • Laziness is when you do start coding before even understanding what the program really does.
  • Laziness is WHEN OTHERS THEN NULL.

Throughout my career I was guilty of being lazy. But some may argue that good programmers are not only lazy, but also dumb:

…for a lazy programmer to be a good programmer, he (or she) also must be incredibly unlazy when it comes to learning how to stay lazy – that is, which software tools make his work easier, which approaches avoid redundancy, and how he can make his work be maintained and refactored easily.

…a good programmer must be dumb. Why? Because if he’s smart, and he knows he is smart, he will: a) stop learning b) stop being critical towards his own work… a good programmer, when confronted with a problem from management, will adopt this mindset of being dumb; he will start asking the most simple, child-like questions. Because he doesn’t accept the parameters suggested to him that someone thinks make up the problem.

So, you should always try to be lazy in an “unlazy” way, and dumb in a smart way.

12 Comments | Filed in ColdFusion, Interesting, Oracle | Tags:

Hundreds of Free E-Books, Wow!

I came across this Chinese website that has hundreds of e-books about Oracle, Microsoft, Dreamweaver, Flash, Java, PHP, mySQL, Linux, Cisco and many many more, all ready for your online reading pleasure. I do not think this is legal. At least, it is as legal as software piracy.

2 Comments | Filed in ColdFusion, Oracle | Tags:

Oracle and ColdFusion Job Opening

We are looking for a full time developer with Oracle and ColdFusion experience. To be qualified, you need to have a minimum of three years experience in:

  • ColdFusion, HTML and JavaScript
  • Oracle SQL and PL/SQL
  • B2B E-commerce development and support

Experience in Microsoft BizTalk and SQL Navigator is strongly desired.

It also helps if you live or are willing to work in the Portland Metro area and like to have me as your coworker 🙂

If you’re interested please contact me.

Update: This position has been filled and the job opening has been closed.

Comments Off on Oracle and ColdFusion Job Opening | Filed in ColdFusion, Oracle | Tags:

Oracle is Female Oriented, Adobe is Male Oriented

According to Microsoft’s new adCenter Labs Demographics Prediction tool that enables you to “predict a customer’s age, gender, and other demographic information”, is female oriented with following confidence: 64% female and 36% male. Continue reading…

2 Comments | Filed in ColdFusion, Oracle | Tags: ,

That Fine Code

So, I was tasked with changing a simple ColdFusion application. The application was written by a former co-worker who was also a “ColdFusion developer”.

The application has an HTML form in a login.cfm page that submits to a login_action.cfm page.

Now, take a look at this login_action.cfm, what am I supposed to do? Go hang myself? The following is an exact copy/paste: Continue reading…

13 Comments | Filed in ColdFusion | Tags:

Oracle Bloggers Frappr Group

Spam is a disease. It spreads like a disease. There is email spam, blog comments spam, and now Frappr spam. The Oracle Bloggers Frappr Group, and for the first time since its creation, has been hit with spam. Luckily I caught it early and deleted the spammers and their messages. So, to protect the group against spammers, I have turned on membership moderation. I have done the same for the Adobe MX bloggers group.

Comments Off on Oracle Bloggers Frappr Group | Filed in ColdFusion, Oracle | Tags: , ,