Tuesday, October 09, 2012

SqlServer Database Collation and TempDB

Insightful article (as always) from Kimberly Tripp on changing SqlServer database collation and possible side-effects when joining TempDB tables.

Tuesday, July 03, 2012

Joel Spolsky and the Google Toolbar

I was listening to the "I'm Feeling Lucky: The Confessions of Google Employee Number 59" audiobook the other day, and was surprised hear the following:
"One of those products was a toolbar that tucked a searchbox right into users' browsers, enabling them to conduct Google searches without going to google.com. The product had been worked on by Joel Spolsky, a contract developer, based on prototypes developed by my UI team colleague Bay Chang."

I think the Google toolbar was introduced in 2000, back when the Joel-on-Software blog was in its heyday. But I don't remember Joel ever blogging about being involved in the Google toolbar development. I did a quick search now, and all I encountered was this Fog Creek discussion forum posting from 2003. Would be interesting to find out more on that...

Tuesday, June 12, 2012


I was about to write my own little posting about ITIL, until I stumbled upon Jeff Ello's article on computerworld.com. He expresses the problem with things like ITIL much more eloquently than I could, so let me just quote him:
For example, ITIL is a self-described set of "best practices for IT Service Management." Many companies have spent many millions implementing ITIL-based processes, despite the lack of any science confirming its efficacy. The logic of ITIL is hard to argue with. But while each new faithful implementation shows short-term promise, I have yet to see a mature ITIL-based organization that isn't oversized, misshapen and grossly inefficient.

It's not that ITIL doesn't work -- in fact, it works exactly as one should expect. ITIL groups are acutely aware of their costs and processes, which is a primary goal of following the ITIL program. On paper, it's very convincing. But ITIL organizations develop a resistance to pragmatic, incremental innovations that others quickly, if sometimes recklessly, adopt. This not only frustrates existing innovators; it makes hiring innovators a contrary act. Over time, that leads to an overall shift in staffing, with deficiencies in key roles that further deteriorate the group's ability to keep up, much less lead. While others race by on an uncertain diet of cheaper, faster, better, stumbling every so often, ITIL groups are typically forced by the weight of their own bureaucracies to stagnate, then belch changes in massive, expensive eruptions.