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Tech Tips, Tricks & Trivia

by 'Anil' Radhakrishna
A seasoned developer's little discoveries and annotated bookmarks.

Search from over a hundred HOW TO articles, Tips and Tricks

This Week I Learned - Week #185

Friday, October 21, 2016
This Week I Learned -

A reference architecture is a set of standards, best practices and guidelines for a given architecture that architects, consultants, administrators or managers refer to when making decisions on future implementations in that environment. Don't jump into Azure without a reference architecture.

* Cloud is now the default standard for infrastructure

* The idea of AWS, the cloud Infrastructure as a Service arm of Amazon.com, grew from a need to optimize the infrastructure of their e-commerce applications.

If adaptive bots learn from every meaningful human interaction they have, then mistreatment and abuse become technological toxins. Bad behavior can poison bot behavior. 

Azure Reference Architectures - "content is really more of the building blocks for constructing an RA rather than a full RA"

The pattern & practices team, a part of the Azure Customer Advisory Team (!, wasn't it an independent entity earlier), is chartered with discovering, communicating, and promoting techniques that lead to success when engineering for the cloud.

* The Indian software export industry is about $110 billion. It employs around 4.25 million people. It has a 60 per cent market share of global outsourcing and is globally dominant. Of the 10 top software service companies globally ranked by market cap, five are Indian. Of the top five, three are Indian. All of them have a massive presence in India. Of the total number of employees, amounting to nearly 2 million, in these top 10 companies, about 70 per cent are based in India or travel out of India - NDTV

Tech employees have to navigate unclear, overlapping and shared accountabilities that can create confusion, misalignment and competition. In addition, these priorities, projects and assignments constantly shift - Consistent ambiguity

* Telecom regulator TRAI will examine concerns over unsolicited online video ads that download automatically without consumers’ knowledge, pushing up their data costs inadvertently. At about 20-30 paise per MB, data is expensive.

Vikas Swarup, the current official spokesperson of the Ministry of External Affairs of India is the author of the novel Q&A, adapted in film as Slumdog Millionaire, the winner of Best Film for the year 2009 at the Academy Awards, Golden Globe Awards and BAFTA Awards. Vikas Swarup started writing his debut novel in 2003. It tells the life story of the protagonist - an orphan & waiter, in each chapter and at the end comes the question. There are 12 chapters in the novel and the last chapter is named the thirteenth question, when he wins the jackpot.

"Knowledge Brings Fear"

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HOW TO find peak and off-peak traffic timings between locations

Thursday, October 20, 2016
To know peak and off-peak traffic timings between locations, use the "Depart at" feature to know typical traffic patterns at different timings possibly based on historical data
One scenario where this feature can be useful is when you're looking at new places to live & want to find the commute time for different options

Bing Maps has this feature too...

but Google Maps is one up with its "Arrive by" feature which will do the math to tell you what time you have to start if you have to reach a destination by a defined time.

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Change Requests in 2016

Tuesday, October 18, 2016
Today's Dilbert strip reminded me of the current state of web development described in How it feels to learn JavaScript in 2016

Related: Software industry related comics

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Guidelines, Recommendations, Best Practices for Azure Services

Sunday, October 16, 2016
Guidelines, Recommendations, Best Practices from the official documentation:

Also see:
FAQs on Azure Services from the official docs
Azure Guidance by the Microsoft patterns & practices team
Azure Solution Architectures
Pragmatic Approach to Describing Solution Architectures
"My tip for azure is LIMITS. Learn them all, very well"


Tips for more effective white-boarding

Saturday, October 15, 2016
Paraphrased from a Stackoverflow Q&A -

* Use a minimal set of symbols: Boxes, arrows, circles, and lines get you a long way. Prefer simple things to more advanced modeling techniques - everybody understands boxes and arrows. Borrow from UML. Rectangles are things. Lines are associations. 3-D rectangles are servers. File-folder icons are packages.

Think aloud while drawing to help the audience understand what you're drawing.

Communicate with your audience. White-boarding is not one-way communication. If you are unsure whether a message got through or a drawing is understood, just ask.

* When the audience is sufficiently small, get people close to the board, and make pens readily available so people can draw with you. This allows for better visually aided communication, and an even more efficient white-boarding session.

* Take enough time to write and draw "neatly", but prefer a steady communication rate over perfect hand-writing. This is a hard trade-off which requires some practice, and practicing while keeping your writing and drawing understandable will increase both your writing and drawing speed.

* Take a picture of your session. You can throw that up on a share after the meeting and it is great to be able to review past sessions that way.

* Write your label first, and draw the box around it afterwards.