Steve Fenton

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Steve Fenton is a four-time Microsoft MVP for developer technologies. He’s a Software Punk, an author, a programming-architect, a pragmatist/abstractionist, and a generalising-generalist. His day job spans the worlds of Product Management, Data and Analytics, Support, and Software Development. These are brought together in the DITE Cycle. Like many of you, he’s too busy to remember all of this stuff, so he writes it all down here.

Steve studied Psychology at OSC, and Anarchy in the UK: A History of Punk from 1976-1978 at the University of Reading.

A Note From Steve

The primary audience for the writing found herein is me. It’s super-easy to forget stuff if you don’t write it down, as I did the second time I had to fix a really tricky certificate problem in .NET. If only I had written down the answer, I could have saved hours of irritating replays of all the same steps I had used to find the problem in the first instance. My goal in life is to start a punk revolution in software development. I am also secretly S. M. Fenton the author of The Vanishing Room.

Recent Thoughts

You can review my full archive of thoughts, but the most recent entries are listed below.

A PowerShell script to find an run a scheduled task based on the task argument Posted in: Programming - This is a pretty specific example about finding and running a task in Task Scheduler based on the task’s action argument (the argument passed to the action executed when the task runs). However, the same script could be adjusted to filter the task based on other properties. This task is written as an Octopus Deploy […]
Running a query across multiple SQL Server databases Posted in: Programming - I was working on an issue where I needed to get data from about twenty instances of a database. The schema was very similar across all the databases, but each database was on a virtual machine on the network and had it’s own data. This is a legacy application that at some point in the […]
Adjusting Content for Network Speed Posted in: Programming - There is an experimental specification on the W3C for a navigator.connection Network Information API that provides a rough indication of connection speeds, which you can use to adjust your content. Like many of the modern API proposals, there is concern over it’s use in browser fingerprinting – but hopefully a course-grained version of this will […]
Codeless != Designless Posted in: Programming - This thought is the product of many years of experience of different code-free solutions to problems usually solved with programming. I thought it might end up being an anti-codeless rant when the thought first occurred to me, but it is actually a argument in favour of design. Hence the change of title to “codeless does […]
When people say “I don’t have time to read…” Posted in: Opinion - If you read more than twelve books a year, you will undoubtedly have had someone remark on it. “I don’t know where you find the time,” they say. “I don’t have time to read.” Of course, as the stoics keep telling us; our time is incredibly limited and all we can do is make good […]
Visualise and fix your pull request problems Posted in: Process - I have re-written this so many times, it has reached the stage where I just need to bluntly provide the information with less storytelling than I might like. You should almost certainly be using trunk-based development If work is gonna get queued or handed over, that’s a column Pull requests should be completed within a […]
Automatically fix your namespaces Posted in: Programming, Visual Studio - It is pretty common to clean up a project or solution to move the class files into a better organised folder structure. When you do this, the namespaces often end up reflecting their old location, not the better new location you moved them to. The task of manually updating the namespace and then fixing all […]
Show Reassigned Variables in Visual Studio Posted in: Programming, Visual Studio - There is a really neat new feature in Visual Studio 2022, which is off by default. So, I thought I’d tell you about it to encourage you to switch it on. The feature will highlight variables that get reassigned by underlining them in the editor. When you enable this feature, variables that are assigned once […]
Query pull request history in Azure DevOps with PowerShell and the REST API Posted in: Programming - I needed to get a history of completed pull requests from Azure DevOps and the simplest way to do this was to call the Azure DevOps REST API from a PowerShell script. The examples below assume you have already created a Personal Access Token, which you can get from the User Settings menu in Azure […]
The wrong image seems to be selected from a picture element Posted in: Programming - This post started as a scratch pad as I was looking at helping a colleague implement WEBP images with a JPG fallback for older browsers. They had an issue in modern browsers because the fallback image was being loaded in all cases. Here’s a code example and demo: <picture> <source height="500" width="500" src="webp.webp" type="image/webp"> <source […]