Author Archives: Sharon Cichelli

About Sharon Cichelli

I am a Headspring Senior Consultant, developing custom enterprise software for our clients and leading training classes on the latest Microsoft technologies. I blog about .NET development, best practices in agile software development, and my nerdy hobbies.

How Not to Say "Um" When Presenting

I’ll start with the tip, then unpack the reason why it works and explain how to apply it. To avoid those hemming and hawing filler words—um, y’know, like—and give your presentations the polish of eloquence: Make eye contact. An Excursion … Continue reading 

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Coding with Friends: You should be here, too!

Come hang out with us this Thursday. Polyglot Programmers of Austin is a co-working study group for people learning a new programming language (or their first), 2nd and 4th Thursdays. We bring our laptops and work individually or in pairs … Continue reading 

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Why go to a Prolog talk?

I’m famous!* At this year’s CodeMash conference, O’Reilly Media interviewed CodeMash attendees about our languages and technologies of interest, and I’m in it. Now take note of my face starting at 1:15, when I’m asked what programming language I’d like … Continue reading 

Posted in Conference | Tagged | 5 Comments

PluralSight videos: How to change the playback speed

Once I discovered the secret of how to adjust the playback speed of PluralSight’s training videos, deciding to subscribe became trivially easy. It was never the financial cost that stayed my hand, because the content is excellent, relevant, and plentiful; … Continue reading 

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Improve your LINQ with .Any()

LINQ’s .Any() method is under-utilized, given the benefits it brings in making your code briefer, clearer, and more efficient. LINQ in general improves the expressiveness of your collection-manipulating code by using declarative statements instead of imperative foreach loops; .Any() is … Continue reading 

Posted in refactoring | Tagged | 3 Comments

Continuous Integration: Early indicators mean inexpensive fixes

Earlier this year, I bought a car—my first new car. Although it fills me with sanctimonious hybrid glee (it really does), it’s making me neurotic with instrument panel indicator lights. The low-tire-pressure indicator after the weather turned cold. The insistent … Continue reading 

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Best-Kept Secret: MS Word’s Selection Pane saves time, reduces frustration

It’s probably because I never learned to play first-person shooters, but I have a devil of a time in Word selecting the element I want out of a page full of drawing shapes. Trying to select a text box, I … Continue reading 

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Running JavaScript… With Sneakers!

Code-review time. I haven’t written significant JavaScript in forevs, but I hit upon a use case well suited to it, had a blast coding it up, and am confident that I’ll be completely mystified by it three months from now. … Continue reading 

Posted in arduino, JavaScript, refactoring | 5 Comments

Come to my Arduino talk: Home-built video game console

This Thursday at CTXNA, I’ll give an intro to the Arduino microcontroller, including a walk-through of how I followed PragPub’s instructions to build a video game console. Please join us! No experience necessary. Interactive and fun. Bring your Arduino projects … Continue reading 

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Legacy Operating Systems and Legacy Languages: If it ain’t broke, it still needs fixing

In my travels I’ve encountered systems chugging happily along on outdated, discontinued, unsupported technology stacks. Apps written in VB6, FoxPro, Classic ASP, still running without a hitch because the kinks had been shaken out years ago… Software users delicately avoiding … Continue reading 

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