In this edition: A guide to better code reviews; interactive coding with C#; what’s new with .NET 4.6; the psychology of checklists; what Google is doing to make Gmail more secure; and Jon Skeet talks about developer’s battle scars.

Sharpen the Saw is a somewhat delayed repost of a weekly newsletter of information I publish for the professional development of software developers. While targeted primarily at developers working with the Microsoft technology stack, content will cover a wider range of topics.

To subscribe, send me an email and I’ll put you on the list. Membership is moderated.


Collaborator’s 2015 Guide To A Better Code Review

Here’s an interesting post from the SmartBear blog with a bunch of guidelines about how to make code reviews works well.

Code review is often overlooked as an ongoing practice during the development phase, but countless studies show it’s the most effective quality assurance strategy

My picks for the three best tips:

  • Review no more than 200 lines of code in a sitting
  • Use Code Review as a team building activity
  • Do a certain amount of code review every day

Read the original post for the full list of 12 tips.

Software and Updates

Interactive Coding with C# and F# REPLs

It is well established that faster feedback leads to better software - this is the driving force behind many current “best practices”, including unit testing, continuous integration, ubiquitous automation and continuous deployment.

Many software development stacks include a REPL - an interative console where you can write code and see it immediately executed. C# and F# are no exception, though relatively few people know of or use them. Scott Hanselmans post on the options for .NET developers is very interesting.

Read more

What’s New with .NET Framework 4.6, Part 1: API Updates

As with every new release of the .NET Framework, there are a lot of new features that might be of use. Here’s the first in a series of posts that show some detail.

Read more

Being Professional

The Psychology of Checklists: Why Setting Small Goals Motivates Us to Accomplish Bigger Things

There are good psychological reasons why making a TODO list is a good way to stay organised. Our brains are hard wired to seek quick reward. It turns out that ticking items off a list is suprisingly rewarding - this is one reason why checklists work.

This post from the Trello blog also highlights the use of SMART goals - Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic and Time-bound.

Find out more

Staying Secure

Google announces changes to Gmail web client aimed at improving user security

GMail have made some simple client changes to highlight situations that might be less secure - when your email is going via a service provider not using the latest encryption standards and when GMail is unable to authenticate the sender of the message.

Find out more

Video of the week

Saving new developers from our Battle Scars

Developer extraordinaire Jon Skeet talks about how we learn through pain and what we can do to make things better for the next generation of developers.

Watch now


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June 2016