Agile, DevOps, & US Fighter Pilots

Russian PAK-50
Russian PAK-50 – Now Considered the World’s Greatest Fighter Jet


“Agile” & “DevOps”; Two Sides of The Same type of Coin

In spite of the promotion of the “Agile” development lifecycle, it is a highly flawed technique, which often succumbs to being nothing more than what is known as “controlled chaos”. This is exactly the term that naval aviators use to describe landings on an aircraft carrier; a technique filled with so many dangers and variables that if but a single issue occurs the pilot and craft could be both done. Modern computerized systems aboard such ships have lessened the dangers to some extent by incorporating remote control flight to the planes. However, again if anything goes wrong with the software or the hardware, the pilot is left to land the craft him or herself making the reliance on such software an added danger to pilots in such circumstances. Using such software regularly, the pilots lose their hard learned skills in landing such aircraft, if modern training has taught them such hands-on skills in the first place.

“Agile” has no features or advantages that mature software engineering practices have not already devised and demonstrated successfully across a breadth of different types of software projects. It is merely a methodology that allows developers to escape the necessities of good project implementation and the fact that so many “Agile” projects still incur some level of failure in their endeavors is a testament to this contention.

One of the biggest failings of “Agile” however, is the idea that a developer can do it all following on the trends in the early 2000s that began with businesses eliminating crucial departments that supported the software development process (ie: Quality Control). Between the outsourcing and the reductions in staff, IT organizations were unfairly left to themselves to devise methods to keep the organizations afloat despite dwindling resources. This was the catalyst for such concepts as “Agile”.

However, it was already well known by this time that developers had more than enough on their plates than to be able to start handling increasing technical responsibilities.

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Black Falcon Software Releases MySQL Helper 4.5


The MySQL database is probably the leading open-source database engine in the United States while highly popular in Europe where it receives most of it’s direct competition with PostgreSQL.

Despite this popularity level and the enthusiastic support it receives from the development community, it does have its drawbacks, mostly with it’s confusing, syntactical idiosyncrasies for those coming from a SQL Server environment. Minor syntax issues with stored procedure parameters, variable declarations, and the like tend to cause the uninitiated all sorts of headaches that could cause one to abandon this database’s use. Though the documentation offered is quite extensive it could do better in providing in-depth examples of how to do certain things that would allow new users to avoid the pitfalls of finding rather minor differences in what they may be used to do doing.

Nonetheless, some of the database’s faults lie with the ongoing improvements that have been made to it in the preceding years. Now in version 5.7, MySQL promotes one of the crown jewels of the open-source community with it’s extensive feature set and performance capabilities.

As a result, Black Falcon Software is proud to release back to the open-source community it’s latest version of it’s MySQL Helper component, MySQL Helper 4.5.

Like it’s SQL Server counterpart, this updated version has been rewritten with cleaner code, fixed a number of issues with original test-client processes, provided a new test-client interface, and a smoother ADO.NET transaction process allowing for a single-point of processing and failure. This new release also comes with an updated Help file.  Please also note that like all the other 4.5 data-access-layer versions from Black Falcon Software, source-code is only provided in VB.NET.  However, notes are provided that will explain the best way to convert the code to C#.

Included as well are the MySQL 5.7 reference manual as well as the MySQL .NET Connector 6.9.4 as well as it’s corresponding reference manual.

Though developers may be aware of a later version of the connector, installation has been shown to have issues causing the install to fail. A number of developers attempting to install the later version have commented in the MySQL forums, noting the install issue, which was found also in earlier versions of this software. Black Falcon Software found the 6.9.4 version of the software to be quite stable and has decided to remain with it. However, given the similarities in the software’s API, installing the latest version should provide no issues.

Black Falcon Software hopes everyone who downloads this software will enjoy it and find it a valuable addition to their tool-kits.

If any issues are found while processing calls to your MySQL databases please contact Black Falcon Software using the “Contact” form on the web-site (




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