Welcome to Niche Software, a MicroISV based in Wellington, New Zealand.

The primary goal of the site is as a host to my writing - mostly entries in my blog, but also including more detailed articles and the occasional highly opinionated editorial. A secondary, but still important, goal is to be a place to post some tools, utilities and toys that I have written. As I tend to develop applications that "scratch my own itch," most of these are fairly technical in nature. Please check out the license on any item you download - while many are free, some are not.

Sharpen The Saw - August 2021

Jul 31 2021 sharpen-the-saw

In today’s post: An obsession with primitive types can be a problem; Ways to refactor to introduce semantic types; WSL now supports GUI apps and it’s wonderful; Lessons from Japanese martial arts; How to prepare to break a habit; Spam blogs; Why your sleep excuses are wrong; Morning habits and happiness; and Phil Haack’s most excellent CodeMania 2012 keynote.

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Gesticulation Driven Development (GDD)

Jul 24 2021 other-methodologies

Imagine this: While tackling a subtle bug in a complex application, you make a simple change that you think will address the issue. But when you run the tests, a whole bunch of seemingly unrelated tests start to fail. You reverse the change, and they pass again, so it’s most certainly your change causing the problem.

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Magpie Driven Development (MDD)

Jul 10 2021 other-methodologies

Imagine this: Your team has a big release date coming up next month. This is a big deal, as you’re releasing a bunch of new features just prior to the industry’s biggest trade show. This morning you found out to your surprise that one of your senior developers has just about finished developing a critical new web-service. Using Rust.

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Mandelbrot Screensaver

Mandelbrot Screensaver is a screensaver that automatically generates images from Mandelbrot fractal, generating a never ending display of fractal images on your screen.

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WordTutor

WordTutor, a tool for running interactive spelling drills: the easy way to improve your spelling.

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OOS Alarm

OOS Alarm is a repeating alarm clock which pops up regularly to remind you to appropriate breaks during your work each day.

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Becoming a Better Developer

In this talk I pass on some of the things I've learnt about being a better developer.

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Static Analysis for the Win

We all know that the earlier we find a bug, the cheaper it is to fix. Shouldn't we therefore be doing everything we can to identify bugs as early as possible?

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The Pragmatic Programmer

Unusually for a technical book published in 1999, The Pragmatic Programmer remains thoroughly relevant to the modern developer. I present a review of this book, looking at how it is relevant to the modern developer.

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Writing Maintainable Code

One core skill that every developer should cultivate is the ability to write Maintainable Code - code that can be easily understood.

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Geek Communication

In June 2014, presenting to the first cohort of the Enspiral Devacademy talking about the nature of "geeks" and how to communicate effectively with them.

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Unit Testing 101

A beginners introduction to unit testing, based on Roy Oscherove's book Art of Unit Testing. Presented to both Software Quality New Zealand and to Statistics New Zealand.

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