Wednesday, 24 February 2010

NOTE: Successes and Tools

My previous post was our 100th and marks quite a milestone. Since starting in July last year, Google Feedburner tells us:
  • yesterday we achieved our highest ever number of subscribers: 156
  • we've clocked-up 36,000 views
  • our most popular post of all time is Dashboards & Scorecards: What To Measure with 1,055 views (note that the widget in our right-margin shows popularity over the last 7 days)
And Site Meter tells us that the average visit length is over 2 minutes, so we know that you're reading the articles as well as just looking at them ;)

The NOTE: blog was preceded by the NOTE: email newsletter, the archive of which is still available from our web site. As I reflected in my December What's It All About? post, this blog endeavours to cover the range of experiences and knowledge that a professional SAS developer might be expected to encompass. In other words, the blog includes hints and tips on SAS syntax, but it also covers a range of other topics related to software development including:

  • Requirements capture
  • Design decomposition
  • Modelling
  • Construction techniques and development processes
  • Refactoring
  • Configuration management
  • Peer review
  • Dynamic testing
  • Effort estimation
  • Written and verbal communication
  • Interpersonal skills

Thank you for supporting the blog, and I'm glad you find it of interest.

In doing my work for I find myself away from the office a lot. To keep up the pace of posts I need a small collection of gadgets and technology. My favourites are:

  • My Acer Aspire One that's small enough and light enough to take into any pub and restaurant in the evening, yet with a big enough screen (and enough computing power) to make it eminently usable
  • The Blogger blogging platform and associated Google services (described in Building the Blog) that provide such a range of flexible means of maintaining the blog and its posts, and keeping track of its usage
  • Morose Media's WMWiFiRouter that allows me to remain connected whenever I need to be
  • My trusty HTC HD2 mobile phone, running Windows Mobile and Morose Media's WMWiFiRouter!
And finally, a special mention is due for DropBox. It's like a memory stick in the internet cloud, and it keeps all of my blog stuff synchronised between laptop, office computer and any web terminal I may happen to use. I highly recommend it, and the first 2GB are free! It uses Amazon's S3 storage service (so it's reliable), it adds its own encrypted AES-256 layer (so it's secure), and reviews that compare it with other services (such as JungleDisk) regularly rate DropBox as top due to its user-friendly integration with Windows, Mac and Unix (and iPhone, but not Windows Mobile).

If you're interested in DropBox, use this link to get a free account and contribute an extra 250MB to my own DropBox. Given that NOTE: is free and offers no advertising, I hope you won't mind me offering this referral link!