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.

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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 https://www.visualstudio.com/vs/community/

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 http://www.adobe.com 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.

So what is this blog for?

I’ve spent the past few months bringing my development skills up to date, embracing new tools, techniques and standards, getting to grips with an acronym salad that includes HTML5, CSS, ASP.NET, SQL, LINQ, MVC and C#! Understanding web-design frameworks and add-ons like Bootstrap and Font-Awesome, and ultimately incorporating all this new stuff into my daily work as a full-stack web-developer…

Its proving to be quite an adventure so I thought I’d start this simple blog as a way of giving me a kind of online journal, a place where I can write about things like coding tricks I’ve discovered, module integration, applying old-school tricks to development challenges, or sometimes just having a good old rant about some errant bit of software that isn’t playing ball!

“I’ll be back” – T-101.