Microsoft Project Alternatives

I have been using Microsoft Project for a long, long time—throughout my entire career. However the biggest drawback is the lack of transparency that resources have into a project. Microsoft Project is quite expensive and can add up if you have a large team working on your projects. With this, I looked into quite a few online tools that allowed for my team to review project plans and see tasks assigned to them. In general I was looking for an online tool that was as close to Microsoft Project as possible, here is my list of alternative tools and the drawbacks I found.

Glossary of Design Terms

When discussing projects in the past there’s little doubt I’ve used some design terms without realizing that my more tech-focused colleagues might not have any idea what I’m talking about. As designers these concepts become second nature to us it’s easy to forget that not everyone knows the true travesty of widows and orphans.

So in an effort to instill a better understanding of what designers do I’ve put together a brief glossary of graphic design terms and I thought I’d share it.

The Trouble with WordPress

I hate WordPress. There, I said it.

Ok, hate is a strong word, and it may be slightly misdirected. I respect what WordPress has done: they’ve made website development more punctual, convenient, and accessible. More people than ever can start up and customize their own website with (relative) ease.

It’s far from perfect, but my issues aren’t directly with WordPress; it’s themes. I hate the themes.

But themes have become so synonymous with WordPress that working with it has become the bane of my existence. Any excitement accompanying new projects ends up being short-lived when they’re followed with instructions to “find a theme”.

What They Don’t Teach You at School

All of the years. All of the thousands of dollars. All of the polytime abstract binary trees you waded through to get to this point and yet… you still don’t feel quite prepared?

Well, of course.

It’s about the same with any university degree, but with Computer Science in particular. The time, the money, it’s spent on learning the concepts you need to be involved in your industry, but it doesn’t really prepare you for being a part of the regular workforce.

Your first real job is a milestone. It’s a celebration, the exciting first major development in your hopeful career. It just might be that there are things about work you weren’t prepared for in school. What are those things? Let’s find out.

WTF is “this”?

If you were to list top 10 things people hate about JavaScript (or ECMAScript), the keyword this will probably be in there. People who are new to JavaScript often spend countless hours debugging, only then to find out that this is not behaving in the way they expected. Due to all the negative reputation attached to JavaScript, it’s pretty common for developers to simply go “It’s JavaScript, and it sucks, period.” But the surprising truth is that the keyword this actually has a well-defined behavior. In this blog, I will talk about the behavior of the keyword this for ECMAScript 6.

gantter for Google Drive – Product Review

As a follow up to my last blog post Microsoft Project vs SmartSheet for Project Management a new tool was brought to my attention, gantter, a free tool that syncs directly with Google Drive. While I appreciate that a completely free tool integrates extremely well with Google Drive, the application itself has a long way to go for me to switch from MS Project. Here is a list of issues I have with gantter.

A Short Look at .NET Code Contracts

A step up from asserts, “design by contract” is an interesting methodology for developing correct software. By adding information about preconditions, postconditions and invariants to the public surface of an object or type it’s easier to test whether or not something will act as expected in a live system.

Since version 4.0, the .NET Framework has included the ability to specify contracts for classes and interfaces via the lesser-known System.Diagnostics.Contracts namespace, as well as tools for static and runtime contract checking via the Code Contracts project from Microsoft Research.