Blog posts from Medium

  • SQL Bug updating masked columns
    While evaluating the migration of some legacy data, a colleague approached me with a possible bug in MS SQL Server masking. We were looking for a way to give newer team members access to some data which is encrypted at rest, but could be returned in clear text in SSMS. Microsoft SQL Server’s Column Masking seemed like a good option to give them some insight into the quality of the data without exposing PII even internally.
    Published: 02/15/2023
  • ChatGPT: killer, but not a silver bullet
    As a software developer, I couldn’t miss the sudden flurry of news articles, blog posts, and Youtube videos about how the freely available, natural language-based chatbot AI is going to wipe out virtually every knowledge worker from software developers to lawyers and accountants, etc. Seemingly, we missed our collective prediction that advancing tech would replace the drudgery of physical work with robots long before it came for those of us in information technology. Spoiler alert: we’re not dead yet. I’ve been digging into OpenAI and here’s why I think this will be a great tool, but not a 100% replacement for developers.
    Published: 01/29/2023
  • Coding outside the box — Reverse IN()
    Being aggressively lazy inspires many of my coding novelties, particularly wanting to type less. I work fanatically to reduce the amount of overall work I do. Future me will probably realize that I just pull more work into the pipeline, but don’t tell “present me” or this will be a very short blog. This post spotlights a quirk of SQL Server syntax I discovered while tightening up some code for a reservation system.
    Published: 09/05/2022
  • Code outside the box (or IDE)
    Our task as programmers is to solve problems. Generally, someone identifies a problem and we’ll crack open an Integrated Development Environment (IDE) like XCode, Visual Studio, Eclipse, etc. to start translating the real world question into computer commands. Sometimes situations arise which call for lines and lines of very repetitive code. Who does boring and repetitive well? Computers.
    Published: 09/04/2022
  • Time to re-tool
    Ramping down from my role as software architect and co-founder of a software company, I looked for some good sources about what to do afterward. Most of the articles I’ve found focus on valuations, contracts, and how to get “there”, rather than how to define what “there” should look like. It’s a bit like focusing on the wedding rather than the marriage. The sense of urgency around a “big day” on the calendar overshadows the importance of deliberately envisioning and creating the ongoing life afterward.
    Published: 09/03/2022
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