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Dominic Burford - Professional Profile



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I am a professional software engineer and technical architect with over twenty years commercial development experience with a strong focus on the design and development of web and mobile applications.

I have experience of architecting scalable, distributed, high volume web applications that are accessible from multiple devices due to their responsive web design, including architecting enterprise service-oriented solutions. I have also developed enterprise mobile applications using Xamarin and Telerik Platform.

I have extensive experience using .NET, ASP.NET, Windows and Web Services, WCF, SQL Server, LINQ and other Microsoft technologies. I am also familiar with HTML, Bootstrap, Javascript (inc. JQuery and Node.js), CSS, XML, JSON, Apache Cordova, KendoUI and many other web and mobile related technologies.

I am enthusiastic about Continuous Integration, Continuous Delivery and Application Life-cycle Management having configured such environments using CruiseControl.NET, TeamCity and Team Foundation Services. I enjoy working in Agile and Test Driven Development (TDD) environments.

Outside of work I have two beautiful daughters. I am also an avid cyclist who enjoys reading, listening to music and travelling.

 

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GeneralBuilding native enterprise apps is (probably) the wrong approach Pin
Dominic Burford28-Nov-17 1:05
professionalDominic Burford28-Nov-17 1:05 
GeneralAppropriate vs Consistent Pin
Dominic Burford9-Nov-17 3:24
professionalDominic Burford9-Nov-17 3:24 
GeneralCreating Generic RESTful API Services Pin
Dominic Burford20-Oct-17 5:01
professionalDominic Burford20-Oct-17 5:01 
GeneralIs your software team a democracy or a dictatorship? Pin
Dominic Burford16-Oct-17 21:44
professionalDominic Burford16-Oct-17 21:44 
GeneralSimplifying updating data Pin
Dominic Burford21-Sep-17 22:46
professionalDominic Burford21-Sep-17 22:46 
GeneralWhen 100% code coverage is not always enough Pin
Dominic Burford21-Jul-17 5:11
professionalDominic Burford21-Jul-17 5:11 
GeneralThat's the app in the app stores Pin
Dominic Burford18-Jul-17 5:00
professionalDominic Burford18-Jul-17 5:00 
GeneralDefensive Programming Pin
Dominic Burford28-Jun-17 7:23
professionalDominic Burford28-Jun-17 7:23 
When you're driving down the street, you presumably always err on the side of caution. When waiting to exit a junction or roundabout, you wait until it's safe to pull out into the traffic, even if the approaching car may be indicating to turn into your junction. As you approach a junction and you see a car waiting to pull out, you instinctively keep a cautious eye open in case the car suddenly decides to pull out.

When you learn to drive a car, you are taught to drive defensively, and most people continue to drive this way throughout their lives. Expect the unexpected, never assume anything or take anything for granted. When we drive we assume that everyone around us can potentially and possibly make mistakes.

By the same token, Defensive Programming works along the same lines. Your code should always expect the unexpected, and never make any assumptions. This is the he(art) of Defensive Programming.

Wikipedia:
Defensive programming is a form of defensive design intended to ensure the continuing function of a piece of software under unforeseen circumstances. Defensive programming practices are often used where high availability, safety or security is needed.

Never trust input from a user or external application. Both of these are completely outside of the control of the programmer, and so therefore you have absolutely no control over what will be input. If you don't control the input, then you must assert for its validity.

Never assume the user will enter valid input. In fact, it is far safer to assume the exact opposite. Assume the user will enter complete garbage and ensure this garbage is rejected by the application with a suitable error message given. This already immediately makes the application more robust by protecting it against users entering garbage for input. If the user is supposed to enter a date, ensure that this is all they can enter. If the user is supposed to enter a number, ensure this is all they can enter. I'm sure you get the idea. The same rule applies to inputs coming from external systems. If your application integrates with another system, ensure that any inputs are stringently asserted beforehand.

Use
C#
Assert()
statements to ensure the inputs meet the expected types and values, and only proceed if they do. Otherwise throw a meaningful error. Be as strict as necessary. Only values that meet the exact format expected of the application should be allowed through. Everything else should be rejected. Instead of asserting for what is invalid, instead assert for what is valid, and process accordingly. There is probably a much longer list of ways that something can be wrong, than there is for ways in which it can be right. So it is probaby better to assert for those cases.

Before consuming a resource, ensure that the resource is valid. For example, when accessing data from a database connection, check that the database connection is valid and is open.
C#
SqlConnection connection = new SqlConnection("myDatabaseConnectionString");
connection.Open(); //what if this line of code fails!!
SqlCommand cmd = new SqlCommand("myStoredProcedure", connection)
When reading values from a database, don't assume that there is any data and don't assume that the data is valid. There may be no data or the values returned may be null for example.
C#
SqlDataReader reader = cmd.ExecuteReader();
string firstName= reader["firstName"]; //what if there was no data or the value for firstname is null!!
Don't assume that a variable contains a valid value, or that is has even been properly initialised.
C#
MyMoneyClass money; //declared but not initialised
decimal funds = money.GetFunds(); //this will cause an error as it has not been initialised!!
Defensive Programming is a minsdset as much it is a programming paradigm. Assume nothing, assert everything, expect the unexpected.
"There are two ways of constructing a software design: One way is to make it so simple that there are obviously no deficiencies, and the other way is to make it so complicated that there are no obvious deficiencies. The first method is far more difficult." - C.A.R. Hoare

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modified 29-Jun-17 5:03am.

GeneralMy first year - How time flies Pin
Dominic Burford19-Jun-17 1:40
professionalDominic Burford19-Jun-17 1:40 
GeneralShould software architects write code? Pin
Dominic Burford16-Jun-17 4:22
professionalDominic Burford16-Jun-17 4:22 
GeneralEnsuring your data is safe with Azure SQL Database Pin
Dominic Burford2-Jun-17 2:24
professionalDominic Burford2-Jun-17 2:24 
GeneralWhat makes a Senior Software Engineer? Pin
Dominic Burford30-May-17 21:53
professionalDominic Burford30-May-17 21:53 
GeneralMore Software Interview Skills 101 Pin
Dominic Burford25-May-17 6:03
professionalDominic Burford25-May-17 6:03 
GeneralSoftware Interview Skills 101 Pin
Dominic Burford12-May-17 5:44
professionalDominic Burford12-May-17 5:44 
GeneralBeat the Thrashing Pin
Dominic Burford5-May-17 6:03
professionalDominic Burford5-May-17 6:03 
GeneralWorking with Azure Blob Storage Pin
Dominic Burford27-Apr-17 2:29
professionalDominic Burford27-Apr-17 2:29 
GeneralWrestling with Apple Pin
Dominic Burford20-Apr-17 3:37
professionalDominic Burford20-Apr-17 3:37 
GeneralTwo unit tests, zero integration tests Pin
Dominic Burford10-Apr-17 22:39
professionalDominic Burford10-Apr-17 22:39 
GeneralThe Mediocre Mindset Pin
Dominic Burford29-Mar-17 1:10
professionalDominic Burford29-Mar-17 1:10 
GeneralHow much code coverage is enough? Pin
Dominic Burford21-Mar-17 5:14
professionalDominic Burford21-Mar-17 5:14 
GeneralThe Mythical Full Stack Developer Pin
Dominic Burford14-Mar-17 3:18
professionalDominic Burford14-Mar-17 3:18 
GeneralCreating your own private NuGet server Pin
Dominic Burford2-Mar-17 0:36
professionalDominic Burford2-Mar-17 0:36 
GeneralConsuming a dependency using NuGet Pin
Dominic Burford28-Feb-17 6:05
professionalDominic Burford28-Feb-17 6:05 
GeneralCoding Standards Pin
Dominic Burford24-Feb-17 6:02
professionalDominic Burford24-Feb-17 6:02 
GeneralSoftware Architecture Challenges Pin
Dominic Burford17-Feb-17 1:31
professionalDominic Burford17-Feb-17 1:31 

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