Posts Tagged ‘Best Practices’


I have a minor in economics and have always found it interesting how economic forces that appear negative for the masses still leave many untouched, and in some cases benefit some who work around and avoid the downturns. Might have to write a white paper some day how I am avoiding the media created recession of 2008. Over the last few months I have been looking for ways to be one of those who avoid the recession. I know, crazy talk if you listen to the so-called experts in the mainstream twisted media. I for one refuse to become a casualty of this economic situation, and so far am winning this battle.

This evening on Twitter I tweeted some of my keys to being successful during these times. I figure that only 10 people will read the tweets, and if I blog about it maybe 10 more might take the time to read.

You will not find sage advice on how to invest or how to survive smaller revenues. I have not had good luck working with investors (bad luck listening to alleged experts, see key #1), and I have no intention to making less money (see key #2). I am once again sharing key strategies of my success, which some people think is nuts (see key #4). Please be advised, your mileage might vary, and take it for what it is worth (free).

  • Key numero uno – most pundits are full of themselves and advice should be avoided. Same for elitists and extremists.
  • Key numero dos – know how to duck when morons throw shoes at you, and know how to laugh about it afterwards. Translate: avoid negative people.
  • Key numero tres – Be willing to take on work no one else wants to touch. Finding a niche funds growth and builds loyalty in customer base.
  • Key numero quattro – something learned in Kindergarten: share. Sharing with others helps promote good will that lasts a lifetime, good karma.
  • Key numero cinco – positive thoughts, positive results.
  • Key numero seis – surround yourself with good, genuine, and smart people.

Sure these are more zen-like than solid things you can add to your to-do list, but that is how I work. Take a view that is higher and visionary and work down. I am sure you can take each one of these keys and build to-do list items that will move you forward. These to-do items will be specific to your situation and environment.

Key #5 has served me well over the years and is one that negative people hate. “It never works” – if you believe this you are correct. I prefer to work the opposite way. These are words I repeat all the time. Hope you enjoyed some initial thoughts on how I am planning to live above the recession experienced by others. I look forward to hearing other ideas too.

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Last night one of my clients was implementing their vertical market application half way around the world. The onsite support people were reporting an error when the app was started: “Invalid path or file name.”

Thanks to the new error handler we implemented in the app I tracked this problem down to a single line of code:

CD &lcDataPath;

Looking at the value of lcDataPath it became instantly apparent what the problem was, spaces in the folder name. The tech support person right away explained to me the standard for the install is no spaces in the folder names. This site deviated from the standard folder name recommended by my customer. Now she knows exactly why the original developers proclaimed this “requirement” years ago.

I have not been burned by spaces in code for a long time because I always use indirection in my code whenever I deal with file names or folders.

CD (lcDataPath)
DELETE FILE (lcFileName)

I posted this issue on Twitter earlier today and Andrew MacNeill noted this is probably a great rule to add to Code Analyst up on VFPX. I agree. I am now curious how many developers do not test their applications in folder structures with spaces in the name. I just checked my development machine and all my test folders are space free. But I do install my applications on a virtual machine in the Program Files folders and this tests out the space problem.

Yet one more reason why we have standards at White Light Computing and why the adoption of industry best practices gives us more solid deployments and apps in production. Fortunately the onsite tech people were okay with renaming the folder, otherwise my customer would have been hiring us to review the application for other macro expansion gotchas.

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