“Once in every show there comes a song like this..”

My personality means I am always wanting to push myself further by learning new things, pushing my boundaries and taking on new challenges. This was, in part, the reason why I took on the challenge of presenting at DDD events many years ago and a major part in the difficult decision to leave my current position as Development Director at Morning Data. It is an inevitable decision once you realise you’re not pushing yourself as much as you should, much like the inevitable emotion-rousing song in musical theatre.

When I joined the company back in February 2003 I was the very first employee and the first to introduce the company to the world of the Microsoft .NET Framework. Bring us forward to the current day and I leave the company as their Development Director having risen through the roles of Senior Developer and Head of Development. I leave behind me a fantastic team of excellent, talented, first-rate developers and co-workers whom I have had the pleasure of calling my colleagues and will continue to call my friends.

With the company we broke the golden rule of rewriting software and successfully proved that it is possible if managed and handled properly within the team. Between us we introduced Continuous Integration, Build Radiators, Continuous Deployment, Unit Testing, TDD, Kanban boards, morning stand-ups, the infamous WAT board and as much agile as we could stomach. The company is now poised for many, many great things and wish them all the success in the world. For me its onto a brand new challenge and it all starts tomorrow.

In June 2011 I presented two sessions at DDD South West. The first was the normal Rewriting software presentation but the second was a chance to attempt something new. At DDD Scotland I had spoken to Guy Smith-Ferrier about doing a 20/20 presentation on Build Radiators and I was thankful for being given the chance to do so at DDD South West. What I didn’t expect was that on the day, in the line-up for the lunchtime 20/20’s, right before my slot, was Gary Short and his 20/20 on Asymptotes and Algorithms.

To say that Gary pulled off his 20/20, with as much practice as you can get on a train from London to Bristol, minus the time it took to put the slides together, in an absolutely impeccable fashion, will not surprise many. He is a speaker who it is simply a joy to watch. How was I supposed to follow him? I tried, and I didn’t do quite as well.

Download the video file: Build Radiators: Hot or Not

Judge for yourselves!

For those of you who don’t know what a 20/20, or Pecha Kucha, presentation is then I would suggest a quick to trip to the Wikipedia.

If you’re using TeamCity as your Continuous Integration tool then you will be glad to know there’s a really easy way of getting a Build Radiator set up – and it’s very a quick job too, thanks to TeamCity doing most of the hard work for you by making a status page available.

The status page contains all the information we need for a basic Build Radiator but as it stands the default status page isn’t much to look at. With the help of a bit of jQuery to apply some jiggery-pokery and a little bit of CSS we can turn the text-heavy page into a starter for your own Build Radiator.

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I love Build Radiators. The ability to pass information to a team of developers easily and immediately is far and above one of the most important things any CI method needs to do. (Apart from manage the whole Continuous Integration model)

Ever since we plugged in the Continuous Integration tool that is TeamCity I have been totally immersed in the world of Build Radiators, otherwise known as Build Status Screens or Build Notifiers (or the big red light that flashes whenever a build fails).

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