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Unfinished side projects are the bane of a hacker’s life. How many incomplete apps are languishing in forgotten folders, 80% finished but destined never to see the light of day?

It’s the Dev equivalent of writer’s block. We love working on the interesting and the challenging parts, but it’s that final 20% that kills us. The mundane and the dull — the bits at the end that make all the difference between code that runs locally and a published app that anyone can download or use. It’s the difference between a side project and a product.

But writer’s block is…


Gryphon Sql is a Windows desktop (64 bit) application that takes a CSV or Tab delimited text file and builds a SQL script from its contents. Version 1 has basic functionality that allows you to filter which rows and columns in your data file are used to build the script.

Download here

YOU provide the template SQL that’s used to build the script. YOU choose the columns in your file that form part of the final script. And YOU apply conditions to select the rows to use when building the script.


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I’m a software developer living and working in Dublin, Ireland. Except I’m not.

For the past three months I’ve been living on the Canarian island of Lanzarote, 100 kilometres off the North African coast. My job is the same as it always was: writing code, building new features into the company’s SaaS app, going to meetings, writing documentation — all the usual dev tasks that you’ll encounter at any startup anywhere.

Three months ago, as the world was tumbling into its Covid nightmare, myself and my girlfriend took a long weekend break in the sun. A couple of days after…


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The Problem

Business analysts and developers work with data in different ways. By and large, analysts work with Excel spreadsheets output from company applications, from Power BI reports, or from CSV extracts provided by developers. The developers themselves tend to be more comfortable accessing raw data via SQL queries.

The difficulty with this divergence is that it’s often the business analysts who decide that selected data records need to be updated, and it’s then the job of the developer to perform that update.

The problem then becomes how to update a SQL database from an Excel file that was manually created or…


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I’m a backend developer with little experience of the frontend. My JavaScript skills are basic at best. A new app I’m working on requires a polished and maintainable UI, which lead me to investigate the top three frameworks of the day: React, Angular and Vue. I chose Vue as the learning curve seemed smallest, and after watching a couple of Pluralsight courses felt confident enough to make a start. [1]

DevExtreme [2] is a full JavaScript component suite from DevExpress. I’ve used DevExpress desktop components in the past and have always been impressed with the polished and professional look and…


What developers can learn from writers

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“Ideas are easy, implementation is hard.” Does this sound familiar?

If you read the same blogs as I do, hang out on the same websites, listen to the same podcasts, you’ll have heard this gem a thousand times. But rarely are we offered advice on what to do about it. How do you get from idea to product? How do you get through that implementation phase and see your app released to market?

So many side-project developers hit the coding equivalent of writer’s block. We have the idea, we know how to write code, but we can’t seem to progress…


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A solo developer building a fully featured commercial application faces a number of challenges not faced by startups and dev teams, the largest of which is he’s on his own: one decision maker, one perspective, one opinion, one set of skills and experience.

There’s no one to shout out when a bad decision is made, there’s no voice of dissent in the room, no one suggesting alternative solutions. The solitary developer has only his own experience and knowledge to rely upon when building something new and pushing it out to market.

What’s generally absent from the solo developer’s toolkit, and…


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These past few days I’ve been thinking through the tech stack that I’ll be using for my new Dev Knowledge Base app. The prevailing opinion is to use what you know, what you’re good at; that building a new app is not the time to be learning a whole new stack.

There is truth in this. By day I’m a back-end web developer. Choosing the latest .Net Core for the back-end of DevRecall was a no-brainer. Why pick something different when there’d be a steep learning curve with many unknowns along the way? Especially considering that the latest .Net …


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I’ve had eight jobs in seven years. Eight companies. Eight code bases. Eight different ways of doing things. I’ve been onboarded eight times and I’ve made eight sets of notes on how to access databases, where to find production logs, how to set up test environments and how to update Jira tickets in line with each company’s always unique way-of-doing-things.

There was the “Setting up Biztalk” document — a 24–27 page monstrosity whose page count depended on which dev’s copy I was reading. There was the never ending OneNote file I was emailed to help me set up my dev…


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Do you have side projects sitting idle in folders or git repositories, untouched for months or years? How many are 80% complete? Functional and occasionally used by you but not in a fit state to sell or to give away? How many seemed like great ideas at the time?

The sorry state of the side project is the bane of every hacker’s life. We have an idea. We get stuck in after work or at the weekend, all eager and filled with passion. Weeks or even months pass, progress is made and then we stop or we move on. …

Darren Devitt

Serial app builder and contract software engineer, Dublin, Ireland. https://darrendevitt.com/

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