It’s not like I’m trying to learn Urdu!

So this past few weeks has been a flurry of training, starting with online courses on mongoDB, which will be complete in about two weeks time.

Working from the premise that those who say you can’t teach an old dog new tricks are talking nonsense I decided to take the plunge and signed up for some new Python/Django courses at Udemy, one course was free, or I wouldn’t have bothered, and one was reduced as a special offer from $200 down to $10!

As I recently received a, much delayed, payment from Shopify on my partner program account we’ll have to see if the course was worth the admittedly small fee I paid!

To round out my 2017 development skills overhaul I also took on a short tutorial in Angular, seeing as everybody is raving about it, it also puts me three-quarters of the way down learning the MEAN stack!.. MongoDB, Express, Angular, and Node.js.

One I’ve upgraded the hosting arrangements for ComDotty I plan to publish some demos and examples of what I’ve been up too…

“I’ll be back” – T-101.


One step closer!

So after a dearth of updates to this little blog I have finally have a few thing to say!

Right up there at number 1 is my success with the first level of my training in managing and developing on the NoSQL database system mongoDB!

I passed the M001 course with flying colours! Hooray…

Course Completion Confirmation M001

I’m also deeply into learning C# and MVC on ASP.NET using Visual Studio and have just completed a little sample application using C# and my newly acquired mongoDB skills.

The problem I have now is putting my little app online so I can show off my abilities, my current hosting arrangements only pay lip-service to ASP.NET configuration and Web Deploy so it looks like I shall be moving elsewhere in the near future!

“I’ll be back” – T-101.

To SQL or to NoSQL, that is the question.

After years as a SQL database admin and developer I decided to take the plunge into the mysterious world of unstructured database systems by signing up for a mongoDB developers starter course and opting to take advantage of the mongoDB Atlas cloud service…

Will my adventure prove fruitful? Well so far using my development language of choice, vb.Net, seems fraught with issues not least of which is a lack of documentation, but hey-ho, it’s about time I brushed up my C# skills anyway!

At least I’m doing something new!

“I’ll be back” – T-101.

Acronyms for the unwary…

Computing is full of acronyms…

The latest two I’ve come across are a little more amusing than most…

CRUD: It stands for Create, Read, Update, Delete and refers to the 4 actions a user performs with data stored in a database.

DRY: Don’t Repeat Yourself, in other words don’t do the same thing twice, don’t cut two bits of code when you can write it the once and use it in multiple places!

Of course the logical combination of writing efficient code for managing database records would mean that you’d be keeping your CRUD DRY! Boom, boom!

I’ll get my coat…

“I’ll be back” – T-101.

Tweaking Bootstrap.

Really? The Bootstrap model isn’t funky enough for you? You want to add some clever tricks?

OK, we all know that making changes inline by using the “style=” attribute isn’t the best (or right) way to go about giving your jumbotron a blue background, but how to make it blue without all the grief of digging through the bootstrap.css file, and then updating the minified file afterwards?

Well this is the simplest way I know, just override the settings in bootstrap.css by using your own .css file, so if you want a blue background on your jumbotron simply make the modified declaration in a fresh file (mycss.css) like this;

.jumbotron {
    background: #337ab7; /* ComDotty logo blue */

All you have to do then is make sure you include your custom .css file after bootstrap.min.css and Roberts your mothers brother… Give it a moment, you’ll get there 😉

There is a secondary advantage to dealing with custom css using your own file. Everything you’re doing is in one place and once you’re finished there are any number of online and downloadable utilities you can use to minify the file if it gets that big!

So, my first, genuine, useful tip on the blog… Enjoy it for what its worth!

“I’ll be back” – T-101

Ah, I bet that confused you…

What is a “full-stack web-developer”?

I can do back-end systems and database work, managing Microsoft servers and their web server software, Internet Information Server (IIS – not to be confused with ISIS or the International Space Station, that’s the ISS) SQL Server databases, e-commerce platforms, credit-card payment gateway integration and server side programming, and I can do pretty front-end development that works on computers, tablets and smartphones…

What tools do I use?

Most of my day-to-day work is done using Visual Studio, I use 2015 – Community edition at the moment, to be honest for simple HTML editing it’s probably a bit of a sledgehammer but as the jobs I do come in a lot of different flavours I stick to VS 2015, I will probably upgrade to the next stable edition when Microsoft make it available, another advantage of Vs 2015 is that it is free to download from

An advantage of VS is the tight integration with SQL Server which, for me, is the standard for building database driven web applications.

You don’t get far in web-design and development without being able to handle images! It doesn’t matter if you’re a Rembrandt of computer graphics or just want to make a .ico file, sooner or later you’ll need a graphics package, I’m a long-time user of Adobe Photoshop and recently upgraded my old CS version to the CC version currently available via I also chose a copy of Illustrator and to subscribe to the Adobe Creative Cloud while I was at it.

I also have a bundle of little applications and utilities, WS FTP, Coffee Cup Image Mapper, a neat little firewall tunnelling utility that lets me expose my local webserver to the Internet for testing purposes and a simple HTML editor called Homesite that isn’t available anymore, I just keep a copy installed as I’m a sucker for old-school style HTML editing.

So those are my main programming/development and graphics packages… I’ll talk about them more, and some of the jobs I do with them, in the future.

“I’ll be back” – T-101.