Sometimes I dislike Entrepreneurs!

Employee Retention: The challenges of recruiting and retaining Gen Y.

21. October 2008 14:10 by Scott in   //  Tags:   //   Comments (1)

The grass is always greener on the other side, but the water bills are more expensive. For the passed few weeks I have noticed problems with companies.  The problems are large and small.  Things need to be upgraded, changed and reconfigured for Gen Y. Companies that are large are very broad and ideas come slow in a company of size. Companies have some major changes that it needs to change if they are to compete in the next 20 years. Most of the workers here today are baby boomers and after viewing a charts of the attrition, companies need to work hard in the next couple of years.

The problems with companies include, but are not limited to:

  1. Career advancement - Publicize requirements for advancement. What is needed to move from Engineer I to II or II to III should not be a secret. What are salary bands for each job title?
  2. Continuing Education - Reimbursement at the IRS cap of $5250 a year does not permit employees to complete the master’s degree program within a reasonable time limit forcing employees to assume additional debt.
    • To safeguard the investment, possibly require a year for year payback. I.E. for every year the company pays tuition, employee guarantees they will remain with the company for the same amount of time after the degree is awarded.
    • Instead of reimbursing employee, pay tuition directly to the school preserving the companies tax write off while protecting the employee from taxes over the $5250 cutoff.
  3. Exposure to Career Path Opportunities - Create a formal new hires program including:
    • Job rotation - In a large company, a formal plan is needed to allow for greater visibility across the range of possible career paths. Give new hires the ability to explore the many different practice areas within the company. One possibility: four to six, three month assignments in different areas of the company.
    • Assign a mentor to assist in career development. The existing mentoring program is one of the best kept secrets at NG and it shouldn’t be. Lack of exposure is keeping the mentoring program from reaching the people it is meant to help.
    • Cross discipline information sharing. Something that combines aspects of Facebook and a blog would allow employees to share knowledge with each other.
  4. Encourage innovation and creativity - Allow the employees to develop new and innovative technologies which would speed up or eliminate repetitive, costly tasks.
    • Create a review board to examine requests for funding to develop tools.
    • Have proposers create a BCA identifying risk / benefit / cost.
    • Create “sandboxes” to allow developers to explore emerging technologies without jeopardizing corporate computing infrastructure.
    • People searching for jobs at the company see the cutting edge technologies that we create, but walk in the door and see the antiquated machines that we build them on and then leave. There must be a way to allow us to use more cutting edge software platforms without adversely affecting the network.
    • Virtualization or private networks within the company would allow software engineers to work with newer tools and provide better solutions to the customer.

Companies often struggle with retaining Gen-Y. The above was a short summary of what should be done to help keep Gen Y at the company in which it invests so much time and money in.  The grass is always greener on the other side, but is it really?  Do other companies all have the same problems?

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Whats up with Stored Procedures these days?

20. October 2008 14:22 by Scott in   //  Tags: ,   //   Comments (39)



When life throws you hard balls, you can either step back and take a swing or bunt the hell out of it.  I just recently went to an information session on T-SQL, Stored Procedures and now LINQ.  These folks discussed stored procedures and why they are so important in the world today.


They stated ideas such as:

  1. Stored Procedures optimize queries.
  2. They stop SQL Injection attacks.
  3. Stored procedures are concrete and cannot be changed.
I wanted to briefly state a counter argument against stored procedures and for T-SQL and LINQ:
  1. Stored procedures do not optimize queries.
    • A SP is not an optimized query, it does not save time.  SP’s used to save time and have been faster in the past, but more and more RAD development has been done without SP’s.  The development has caught up with SP’s and dynamic SQL has now caught up  and in some cases surpassed SP’s.  These days parameterized queries are now cached just like SP’swhich put them on an even playing field.
    • Microsoft LINQ and ADO teams both admit that SP’s are not faster than dynamic SQL.
    • Benchmarks have also been completed which explicitly show SP's are slower over small queries and tie dynamic queries over larger ones.
  2. Stored procedures do stop injection attacks, but you can also do it with parameterized queries. 
    • SP’s are good at this, but it can also be done with parameters.  Putting a value into a parameter means that it will not be a part SQL query string at all.
  3. Stored procedures are very concrete and are hard to change as a developer with a DBA.  This is the problem.
    • As a developer when you push a product out the door, you want to be fast at this.  Developers don’t want to learn two languages in order for their product to be pushed out the door and then go back to the database every time code needs to be changed.  They want dynamic abilities.  When SP’s are hard to change, it might be a bit harder and take longer when you have a DBA.  The inability for SP’s to be changed or created fast is the issue with this kind of development.
  4. SP’s mangle the three tier architecture designed for apps.
    • Instead of having a structure which separates logic from storage, you have storage and logic on the same tier.  This will cause potential problems down the road.
  5. Business logic in a SP does not scale.  Business logic should be in code and not in the storage center.
    • When you have multiple database servers, it is more difficult to keep the triggers and SP’s synced.
  6. There is no Version Control for SP’s.
    • In a place that can be disastrous if you screw up, it should have something.  This is one big reason why people like to avoid SP’s like the plague.  They run away and never move back into town.
  7. SP's are NOT cached and Are NOT Pre-Compiled
    • SQL Server 2000 and SQL Server version 7.0 incorporate a number of changes to statement processing that extend many of the performance benefits of stored procedures to all SQL statements. SQL Server 2000 and SQL Server 7.0 do not save a partially compiled plan for stored procedures when they are created. A stored procedure is compiled at execution time, like any other Transact-SQL statement. SQL Server 2000 and SQL Server 7.0 retain execution plans for all SQL statements in the procedure cache, not just stored procedure execution plans.
If you see the new technologies coming out of Microsoft now, there will be no need for SP’s in the future.  LINQ is taking care of most of this by allowing for a data layer cheaply and efficiently with very little effort by the developer. LINQ handles all these problems and if you truly like a confirmation on all the things I said, just search the internet for Stored Procedures v.s. Dynamic SQL.
The debate these days has two sides. Not “Republican or Democrat”, but “Progressive and Non-Progressive”.  The Progressive folks are not using Stored Procedures these days.

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Starting a new endeavor

17. October 2008 12:45 by scott in   //  Tags:   //   Comments (4)

I have been piddling around with an idea for the past few weeks along with all my other ideas.  Today I met with one of my old bosses at Florida Tech about the idea. She works in the program development part of the school.  Its almost like the R&D department for events at FIT.  We discussed bringing an idea like TED's to the South-East corner of the states.  TED's is creative commons which allows it to be done anywhere with the name of TED's.  I like this fact because it allows us to have the name behind the same caliber of information given. 

We made a small timeline to shoot for March after or before spring break.  This will give us plenty of time to plan and make ready one of the best conferences for one of the best innovative organizations on this planet. I personally think, if done right this could be turned into something amazing!

For all that don't know what TED is, here is a brief synopsis:

TED - TED stands for Technology, Entertainment, Design. It started out (in 1984) as a conference bringing together people from those three worlds.

TED conferences include about 50 speakers world wide to come and express ideas that they have.  These ideas are here to help the world on a small and large scale.  Most ideas at TED have helped the human race as a whole and have brought together innovators from around the world.  These innovators then speak for no longer than 18 minutes.  They talk on what ever they have focused on in life.  They then could win scholarships to help with their ideas and network with CEO's of companies along with other various people.  This conference is top notch and you have the ability to learn so much in a very small amount of time.  It adds the ability to collaborate with thinkers and doers in the world in which they now communicate with each other.

The conference is what I will try to bring to the South East.  I hope to write more on this later.  I will try to keep my progress updated regularly.


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A Revolutionary way to take notes!

14. October 2008 20:55 by Scott in   //  Tags:   //   Comments (14)

For the past few weeks I have been testing out a piece of software for note taking.  I found the software by luck trolling through  The software is called Evernote.  It can do almost everything that is need to do when you need to take a quick note.  All the notes live in an online repository.  Without the repository being Google, I worried that the information might not be there forever.  I decided to take a test drive and let me tell you that this thing just kicks ass.  I have it installed both on my phone and several computers where I can access the notes from anywhere.  I fully enjoy this because my last note taking software was the TASKS section from outlook.  Microsoft was doing a better job with them, but Evernotes ability to take notes anywhere is amazing.  To briefly go through what kind of notes it can take:


  • It can take anything typed or from a web browser.  The browser part is quite extraordinary because all you have to do is click a button and it adds a note.  You can either highlight text or make the entire web page a note without highlighting and wa-la, you have a web page that you don't have to bookmark for later.  You can just go back to your notes which then unclogs the bookmarks for the real purpose of what bookmarks were made for.


  • Voice notes
  • Text note - Typed text
  • Ink Note - If you have a touch screen you can write on the note.
  • Snapshot - You can take a picture of some document or anything.  If you take a picture of the document, EverNote has the ability to capture the text off the document so it can be edited for later.
  • Upload a file - Currently this isn't on the desktop version, but you can upload a file which will be saved both on your dektops and the database.


  • I specifically use Evernote a lot when have some interesting piece of code that I want to make sure I have at home too.  Instead of emailing it to my self, I now place it in Evernote, tag it as code and then I am off!

For both os's, you can save, delete, tag, print, categorize each and every note.

I wanted to mention one more thing.  This program is FREE!  The service has limits unless you upgrade, but after using it for several weeks, I have yet to reach my limit.

I hope you will give EverNote a try.  It does also have a IPhone version out as well.

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Another way of thinking about how to store data inspired by ASP.NET

14. October 2008 10:38 by Scott in   //  Tags: , ,   //   Comments (49)

A while back I witnessed how the profile properties of ASP.NET are stored in the database.  All the properties all stored in one string.  There is then another string that describes the properties and how to view them and pull them from the database.

For example you have this string:

Then you have another string that looks like this:

If you break it down correctly you could get something like this:

  • Property Name : SmtpServer
  • Property Type : string (S) <-- Or this could be the Serialize As Type
  • Property Start Index : 0
  • Property String Length : 18

Now the question that I ask my self is:
Does this actually increase performance of the system?

I would argue yes and no.  Since the system could have an infinite amount of members attached to it and a countless amount of profile properties.  It would need to have something like this to decrease the amount of rows owned by a single user in the profile table. To give an example, I could be one user with 20 propertie.  If the application had over 1,000,000 users, that would be 20,000,000 rows.  That is huge and you must design for scale when it comes to an application that could potentially be used by all the world.

I would argue no to small applications.  If you only ever expect 1,000 users to an application, then why build something this complex other than for the thrill of it. This is especially the case when you don't need to worry about space on the system.  Space is cheap, but time spent coding a solution for this sample could be huge depending on experience.

I personally would build a generic code base for two ideas of this kind.  You could first build the generic code for the example above, but there would be another generic sample to build for. Lets say that you knew you were only going to ever store numbers in your database for each user.  These numbers could be used for ID's of another tables real data.  So I only want to store ID's of a table for each user.

I would store them like:

This is because I wouldn't need another cell to split them up with indexes.  I would just split the numbers by the Colon. I would love to hear everyone's thoughts on this and why or why not it is a good choice.  Thanks for the time to read this.

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Windows Mobile CE 6.1 (and Compact Framework) Released!

13. October 2008 08:44 by Scott in   //  Tags: , ,   //   Comments (25)

If you haven't seen it yet.  Mobile 6.1 was just release two months ago.  I just found out and will be upgrading tonight.

New changes include but are not limited to:

  • Copy / Paste (finally!) - Only touch screens used to do this.
  • Domain Enroll in Settings (Enrolling in a domain will connect your device with company resources.)
  • New home screen (pan left and right to check out missed calls, notifications like email, sms, etc.)
  • Change Master Security Cod
  • Added text input settings
  • Recent Programs when pressing Start menu - Allows you to see recent programs launched.
  • Threaded SMS! - This makes it so MUCH EASIER to carry on conversations.
  • When you compose an email, or SMS, and start typing the name of the contact in the "To:" field, the contact names finally pop up like Windows Mobile Professional!
  • Internet Explorer now lets you define a homepage, and also zoom in and out using a nice and clean interface - ZOOMING feature is AMAZING!!!
  • Task Manager now shows CPU usage as a whole, and also lists it by process
  • Internet Explorer offers 6 zoom modes and copy / paste functionality
  • IE also uses a new font, which looks worlds better
  • ActiveSync will now try to automatically configure your Exchange settings once you enter an email address
  • Wi-Fi indicator in the status bar, just as in Windows Mobile Professional
  • New "Vista" home screen and theme
  • Video Share Calling
  • Remote Desktop Monitor
  • ONE Note Mobile!!!
  • PTT Button can now be reassigned under Start / Settings / Buttons.

 This new CE looks and feels so much better.

 I am two months short on this launch, but if your reading this then so are you!!!

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The next 8 years with Technology.

12. October 2008 08:39 by scott in   //  Tags:   //   Comments (13)

Today I watched a Google Talk today about Technology.  The president nominee spoke about ideas on free Internet, Public opinion, technology within bills that get passed in the house and senate, Public knowledge of bills, and more.

I for one am a Republican with many views against democrats and especially left wing democrats, but I do think that Technology can SAVE THE WORLD.  I have not seen my parties stance on technology, but today I saw the democrats stance on technology.  I ask you to also look at this stance.  Republicans have not shown me what they plan on doing with technology, but democrats have.

So for me and the stance on technology, I lean towards the democratic view even though I am a republican.

I hope all of you also review this video and sit down for an hour and take the time out of your day to do so.  This has greatly increased my chances for voting democrat. 

Please understand, that I am not being political, but to show you what I think should be done in the technology market.

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Pros and Cons for President 2008

7. October 2008 05:19 by Sam in   //  Tags:   //   Comments (9)

I read an article today that talked about swing voters.  The people in the middle of both McCain and Obama that don't know which person to vote for.  I for one am one of those people.  I must say with less than a month to do before the election, I am a bit worried and coming down to the wire.  My GF is pretty much for Obama and I am a republican but lean more in the middle than anything else.  I only choose republican so I actually have a voice during the primaries instead of sitting out and not doing anything about my country.

Since I am in the middle and it is a current toss up on who to vote for, I must say that I am going to make a pros and cons list of what I think are each candidates good and bad qualities about them.  This will hopefully quell my thoughts on who to vote for and a list to look back on when I get ready to vote.

I am doing my best to not be biased.  If you find anything I say to be biased, please speak up.  I also ask that you please give me more pros and cons to make up the decision of a middle ground person.


Pros -

  1. Healthcare - This is a big topic for me.  Health insurance companies today now value a persons life around $100,000.  I honestly think when it came down to it and your life was in jeopardy, you would be more than willing to pay more than $100,000 for your life.  I would too.  I personally cannot be a hypocrite on this topic and only allow my self to be able to afford an operation that is more than $200,000.  Health care MUST provide for everyone and NOT allow for a value to be placed on a persons life.  This is unfair and unjust.  "All Men are created equal, not just the rich."  I personally have great health care.  I love my health care, but I also believe that if you do not have health care, it should be provided for you.  Just like the ability to have an attorney provided for you in a court of law that will help decide if you live or die, you should also have a health care provider without a price of worth.
    Obama has spoken freely on this topic that everyone in the world should be provided FREE health care.  That's why I agree with him.
  2. No Smear about financial problems - Currently, John McCain and camp have not brought anything against Barack Obama about his doings in the financial crisis which leads me to believe that Obama did not partake.
  3. Has not been corrupted - He is young and admirable.  Young people are usually most often the least corrupt in politics.  I can see that since he is so young, the hounds and dogs of politics have not had the chance yet to corrupt this man - Pure opinion.

Cons -

  1. Rev. Jeremiah Wright - Obama has been a member of this church for more than 20 years. He has sat in many of Rev. Sermons and listened to many of the preachers talk.  If you view this video or this video of the Rev., you can see that he bashes America and the white people.  Martin Luther King Jr. chose to use the words, I will judge the person by "the content of his character, and not by the color of his skin".  If this is true, then you cannot compare the Rev. to King.  Also, one last brief note.  If this wasn't a bad church and it was a good church and spoke true to American values, then why did Obama quit his church?



Pros -

  1. Pro-Life - Senator McCain is for life.  "Why should a life be taken out of convenience?"  It doesn't matter when the soul enters the body.  When I was in sex education, we were always told that the sperm takes less then 5 hours to enter the egg.  Upon entering is when a new life starts.  It doesn't matter about theology, what matters is the fact that life should NOT be taken out of convenience.  Lets say I am in a traffic jam and if I see someone kill another person just because they were too slow, that is a taken life out of convenience.
    Some will argue that the mother loses all abilities to better her self.  Well honestly PROGRAMs should be in place that when young women become pregnant, they still have the ability to continue on with their life without sacrificing the life of a new born.
    Some also argue that the president cannot do anything about this topic.  I beg to differ, because the president has the ability to pick the new and upcoming Justices of the Supreme Court which allows them to overturn Roe v.s. Wade.
  2. Education - Education has been a hot topic for decades.  People always think throwing money at the system will help it change and over the years, we have hoped for this change.  Obama thinks this way about Education.  McCain is not.  McCain thinks parents should have a choice on where their kid goes to school and also think the money should follow the kid.  This allows for schools to either reform or be pushed into garbage.  This will then allow for a School system to be shut down and rebooted.  Higher new teachers with better equipped ability to teach better.  This is a radical move when it comes to education, but when throwing money at a system that doesn't seem to get better doesn't work.  I say lets try it a different way.
  3. Trust - John McCain is a man I can trust.  I honestly think I can trust him.  He has shown me that I can trust him through his service as a veteran and POW.  If you must know what I am talking about, read this and then you decide if you can trust him.  Please be advised, this article was put out before he decided to run for President. - The article is fact, but my trust is opinion.

Cons -

  1. Keating Economics - John McCain is undoubtedly involved in the Keating Economics which was involved in the saving and loan crisis in the 90's.  The video is here.  Keating was looting the savings and loans, and McCain does not deny it.  After looking through the facts, of the five senators who worked with Keating on non-regulation of savings and loans. John McCain and John Glenn are the only two senators to 're-enlist' in the Senate. Keating tried to de-regulate the economy as with what John McCain says to do now. McCain speaks here that deregulation contributes to the growth of economy, but does it also allow for less oversight which allows for the ability to corrupt?  So is deregulation a good thing?  Honestly, no.  It is not a good thing and hers why.  If we had deregulation then there would be no checks and balances in our government which then allows for more corruption.  Our fore fathers wanted checks and balances so no ONE MAN would have absolute power. That holds true today for deregulation.

Please feel free to make comments on this post, because it will be something I will also take into account.

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A LINQ lesson

2. October 2008 12:18 by Scott in   //  Tags:   //   Comments (47)

I needed to get a query completed like this in LINQ.

Select max(uid) as uid, Serial_Number from Table Group BY Serial_Number
I thought about it for a while but didn't get anywhere.  I kept testing until I asked another person and they came up with:
        using (DataContext dc = new DataContext())
            var q = from t in dc.TableTests
                    group t by t.SerialNumber
                        into g
                        select new
                            SerialNumber = g.Key,
                            uid = (from t2 in g select t2.uid).Max()
This code is very nice and sweet.  It allows you to select the all MAX Rows of a table with a grouped table column. 
Hope you enjoyed this little lesson.  I decided to save this syntact because it is something I will most likely come accross again.
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Found Hacker news

1. October 2008 20:13 by Scott in   //  Tags:   //   Comments (1)

I found a website a few days ago that is very credible to things like Digg and technorati.  Its called Hacker news and is offered by which is a nest for startups. Hacker news is a very narrowed view of haaackers who work all day to hack away at jobs.  The site is pretty simple in its design, but looks extremely valuable to the person looking to use the NITCH developer community.

 It also uses Open ID which is great so I don't have to register and remember yet another password.

Website can be found here.

Thanks for reading.


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