Monday, August 01, 2011

Smarter Searching on MSDN

Realized a neat feature of MSDN Search. It searches across multiple sources for information (StackOverFlow, Forums, Docs & Articles) and allows you to filter by Topic and/or Source. So searching maybe this is a good start.

I also found that it doesn't discriminate check out my search for Groovy content. Seems like an interesting first search site.


Sunday, July 31, 2011

Convert Minutes to hh:mm in SQL Server Reporting Services

After running a DATEDIFF in Transact SQL to get the number of hours worked in a particular period, there was a requirement to convert that hours into hh:mm format.
In SQL Server Reporting Services there is the ability to write custom functions in VB.NET for your SSRS reports by just going to properties in the report and clicking the Code tab.

Below is the function I wrote.

Public Function ConvertToTimeFormat(DecimalValue as Decimal) As String

Dim hourValue as Decimal
Dim minuteValue as Decimal

hourValue = Int(DecimalValue)
minuteValue = (DecimalValue - hourValue) * 60

Return hourValue.ToString() + ":" + Int(minuteValue).ToString().PadLeft(2,"0")
End Function

So in my report cells i'm referencing my new function using the Code object.


Wallah, you're done.

Saturday, June 04, 2011

Invest in Yourself (IIY) - Get good technical resources

Been working with lots of new technology in the last 8 months Grails, ActiveMQ, HTML5 and added to that now managing a team with 7 developers who report directly to me.

In the past my approach to gaining knowledge on Microsoft technologies would be MSDN (believe it or not) and non-MS lot's of Google & free online tutorials but many times I wouldn't be able to find enough information to make me really productive and able to give directions to my team in a timely manner. I finally came to the conclusion, I need access to the experts who can get me the information I need quickly. In my search I realized one key thing about most of the experts, they write books so why am I googling all over the place.

That's when I made up my mind to make a major financial investment in myself... I got a Safari account for a whopping $9.99/month! Now I have access to over 8,000 technical books along with videos, articles and rough cuts... i've had a good time with it so far, tough questions have been answered in minutes and not days on Google.

Here are some of the books i'm reading on their site right now.
  1. Clean Code: A Handbook of Agile Software Craftsmanship by Robert Martin
  2. iPhone SDK Application Development by Jonathan ZdZiarski
  3. Groovy and Grails Recipes by Bashar Abdul-Jawad

Those are on my bookshelf now but they're others I've read such as
Grails in Action & Pro HTML5 Development.

So my recommendation spend ten bucks :)

Check out Safari's Repository today for the price of a cheap lunch!