When you receive bad/poor customer service…what do you do?

Receiving poor customer service is somewhat unacceptable. More so if you have paid for a service and aren’t receiving it.

Paul is enduring such customer service pain and has blogged about it here.

Companies need to understand the power of the Internet – and whilst it’s a current medium, the power of the blog should never be under-estimated.

The effect that bad publicity can have on your search engine rankings can be devastating. One need only search for “company name+suck” to realise why. See what I mean here.

Here’s another example.

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031 – SQLBits – John Van Hoof

“Great conference, really enjoyed, it has been fantastic, well worth the Saturday”

SQLBits, the sponsors: Microsoft | Idera
Quest Software | Solid Quality Learning | redgate

Welcome to podcast#31 – In this show I’m talking to John Van Hoof. John asked me about Martin Cairney’s session about Securing SQL Server, which I knew very little about. So I invited John to follow me to the speaker’s area where I knew Martin was busy prepping – unorthodox perhaps, but Martin was very willing to “sell” his session! SQLBits. Watch out for a podcast with Martin – coming soon!

“So you came to SQLBits to pick up some bits”…I’m in the wrong business, move over Peter Kaye, Ricky Gervais, you’re on my comedy turf.

Podcast feed – subscribe here!

This podcast: http://www.craigmurphy.com/podcasts/031-SQLBits-John-Van-Hoof.mp3

Recorded at SQLBits, 6th October 2007, Dave does a good job entertaining a packed room of 120 delegates in a Top of the Pops style!

Video: SQLBits – Dave McMahon – Top Ten SQL Keywords

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Deep Lean Seminar : Nov. 3-4, Cambridge, MA.

A two day deep dive into lean software development success

Further information can be found here:

  • Only do things that deliver value to the customer!
  • Focus on high priority/high payback features first!
  • Eliminate waste – especially in corporate processes!
  • Don’t do it unless the customer wants it!
  • Decide as late as possible!
  • Deliver early/deliver often/deliver good!
  • Build high performance teams – and then keep everything that doesn’t add customer value out of their way!

A seminal 2-day event at MIT in Cambridge, MA. with Mary & Tom Poppendieck, Jeff Sutherland and Nancy Van Schooenderwoert.

This will be a unique opportunity to be in a relatively intimate conversation with these Lean/Agile/Scrum/XP thought leaders for two days. This will be an in-depth discussion of Lean/Agile/Scrum software development challenges, principles and practices. The event is all volunteer run and produced by the Agile Bazaar, an Agile Alliance Affiliate and newly an ACM chapter in the Boston Area.

For one competitive price, you will get:

  • 2-day registration covering all presentations and workshops
  • A formal set of lecture notes
  • Breakfast, lunch and snacks
  • You are invited to dine and socialize with the speakers and volunteers at a local restaurant on Saturday night (all participants are responsible for their own expense).

Deep Lean is an in-depth seminar targeted to people familiar with Lean, Agile, Scrum and XP software development. For those needing more background, we recommend reading Mary & Tom Poppendeick’s first book: Lean Software Development – An Agile Toolkit in advance of the seminar.

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Comment Spam – The Return?

I’m starting to see a handful of spam comments getting through.

They are taking the form of “…wrote an interesting post today on…” – the “person” making the comment and their URL look reasonable enough, except the URL points to a copy of the original post and a shed load of useless adverts. For example:

[…] The Social Programmer wrote an interesting post today on DDD6 – The Recruitment Panel – Your help is needed!Here’s a quick excerpt Colin needs your help! Whilst we’re still voting for the DDD6 sessions, … : Founder of Girl Geek Dinners and software Engineer at Cardinal Health. She has grown up around technology … Insurance Services in Glasgow. His team writes enterprise applications for internal customers using […]

The same trick has come from a couple of domains, I’m tempted to blacklist anything that has “wrote an interesting post today on”, however not right away.

Has anybody else hit upon this problem? Any solutions?

I’m using WordPress 2.3 with Spam Karma. I’ve not looked at Akismet, should I be running that too?

Thanks in advance.

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DDD6 – The Recruitment Panel – Your help is needed!

Colin needs your help! Whilst we’re still voting for the DDD6 sessions, Colin is keen to prepare this session! If you can spare some time, and the panel topic interests you, would be kind enough to consider providing Colin with “your question”?

Thanks in advance.

A panel of experts will answer audience questions on the subject of recruitment – chaired by Colin Mackay. This session is for you if you are looking for a job and want to find out what companies are looking for. You are trying to hire someone but don’t know what to look for. You have been burned in the past and don’t want to repeat the experience. You have a question about recruitment no one else seems to have an answer to.

There will be a question box on the day for you to post your questions, but if you want to email in advance, you can email your questions to colin@scottishdevelopers.com.

Submissions by email close at 23:59 on the 23rd November.

The panel consists of:

Sarah Blow: Founder of Girl Geek Dinners and software Engineer at Cardinal Health. She has grown up around technology and HR with parents in both industry sectors and works closely with Women & Technology and companies to create a better understanding about how women may be recruited in different ways to men.

Barry Dorrans: Senior consultant for Charteris PLC and Microsoft MVP. When interviewing he takes the red pen and becomes intellisense for whiteboards.

Frank Kerrigan: Development team lead for Erinaceous Insurance Services in Glasgow. His team writes enterprise applications for internal customers using C# and SQL Server. Frank has been in devolvement and support of enterprise systems for 15 years.

Karl Lightfoot: Recruitment Consultant that for the last 9 years day in day out has only been recruiting developers in the Midlands region for the largest IT Recruitment consultancy in the UK. He has successfully recruited for large and small corporations through different market states of the supply / demand of talented Developers from Visual Basic 3 to .Net 2005.

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New poll – brand my podcasts!

A good buddy has suggested that I get a name for my podcast “show”.

I kind do like “Murphy’s Minutes”, however since that would be stepping on the toes of the mighty Scott Hanselman, so I’ll refrain from that.

I’m toying with the idea of “In Conversation”, as in “Craig’s in conversation with …” And I’ve received some feedback that suggests this might work.

However, since I’m a democratic kind of guy, I’d be interested to know what you think: there’s a poll on the right hand side of this blog – would you be so kind? Thanks muchly!

Feel free to suggest other names in the comments.

The right hand side is this ——————> way!

brooba.com – start-up requires Chief Technology Officer

brooba are looking for a CTO, somebody who is at the forefront of technology, no smoke, no mirrors:

The CTO of Brooba.com would be expected to guide us on our technological path.

So far we have used C#, ASP.NET, Microsoft SQL Server and AJAX. We are keen to hear from people who have had access to or interest in mobile (phone) technology and Facebook’s F8 development platform.

The rumoured opening up of other social network platforms Orkut and MySpace, also provide plenty of future development potential for us!

We really believe we have a fantastic product to unleash on the world! We are literally creating a new technological platform from where we can impact upon a global industry!

We are looking for technological wizards only, magicians need not apply!

It will be a hugely challenging experience for the right person, if you’re that person get in touch.

The CTO will be working for equity to start with, there’s no point in us pretending we have a huge salary on offer.

contact: stuart[at]brooba[dot]com

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Free [developer] conferences – I have a hypothetical question.

Gary has raised some great points over here.

Without thinking about any specific developer conferences that you’ve attended recently or are about to attend…

…would you be willing to pay a small sum of money, say £5 to £10 to attend a large scale (300+ attendees) full-day conference?

Yes, I know that they then aren’t free, but the monies raised would be used to help cover travel expenses for speakers and for subsequent events, etc.

Remember, this is a hypothetical question.

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So what’s wrong with 3-Column WordPress themes?

A while ago I fired off a tweet about WordPress themes. Gary responded, as did Oliver.

I can’t seem to find one that just works out of the box.

So, in order to demonstrate what I see as a problem with a theme, here are couple of examples.

Firstly, this one was a perfectly good theme, however notice how the Comments (1) has lost the trailing )

And this one was great too, but why does the post count have to appear on a new line?

Yes, they are probably easy enough to fix, but that means hacking the theme…and when an upgrade to the theme comes along, I’ll have to remember to extract the hacks and re-apply them. Not fun. I’m probably going to have to write my own theme, who knows when I’ll have the time do to that.

In the meantime, whilst I’m happy enough with this Clean [BlueHaze] theme (it’s a 3-column theme, but the left-most column makes it feel like a 4-column theme), I’d be happy to receive recommendations for 3 column themes, minimal, fluid (i.e. wide content area), decent configuration for the column widths, WordPress 2.3 compliant and no hacks required.

Is that a too big an ask?

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030 – SQLBits – Attendees Jane Dallaway and Jim Shilling tell us what they think

SQLBits, the sponsors: Microsoft | Idera
Quest Software | Solid Quality Learning | redgate

Craig, Jane and Jim

Welcome to podcast#30 – I spotted Jane and Jim squatting on the floor near Chicago 1, so I squatted down and had a chat to them about SQLBits. This podcast starts rather sharply, I had been recording a chat that the three of us were having, then just jumped into the podcast content!

Jane – I’m still waiting on that photograph of me!!

Podcast feed – subscribe here!

This podcast:

Jane’s web site, etc.
Brighton Bloggers

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