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Easy Way To Save Excel Data in your Program

Lets face it, everyone still uses Excel for one reason or the other.  I think it's a great tool, especially for organizing and tracking information, creating quick budgets, lists, etc. 

Sometimes at work I get a request for the ability to store Excel data into our database.  For example, we have a QR Scanner that imports data into Excel.  We also have a Scan History table where we store all scans.  Note, we are able to scan traditional bar codes directly into the database, just not the QR Scans.

So, the user wants to copy the scan data into our history database but also assign some other information to it, like a PO Number.  So one of programs I've created is actually pretty simple.

You create a "textarea" input and give it whatever dimensions that seem reasonable.  I also added a Po Number text field for this example. The trick is to separate the data by tabs (but make sure the data itself has no tabs within the cells).  Below is an example of how I separated 3 colu…
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It's Almost March Madness

So being a sports fanatic, March Madness is one of the most exciting times of the year when it comes to sports!  This past winter Olympics has been fun to watch as well!

Anyhow, as a developer I love to create new applications for things such as March Madness.  Several years ago I created a an application on our work intranet for users to make picks on their brackets.  The system also totals up points for making the correct selections (I just have to enter who won the games). 

Again, I probably developed this over 10 years ago.  So, over the weekend I decided to write a new and improved version of the March Madness bracket buster!  And I'm much more happy with this version as it's more user friendly, more appealing to the eye, and the code is much more efficient!

Cool thing about this application is every time you select a team, the pick is saved automatically.  If you would like a copy of this application to use at your work just let me know!



Love the XMLHttpRequest Object

I was reading up on some XML and AJAX stuff the other day and came across the XMLHttpRequest Object - when I come across snippets of code like the example in the link, I always try to figure a way to incorporate it into my work.  I always ask myself is this something I can use and make my software more efficient?

This was something I most definitely could use as we have a system of part numbers in our database.  We have users that select part numbers to enter Selling Opportunities so I was able to use the code to look up the part numbers more quickly, showing the part numbers, qty on hand, and some other pertinent info.
Below is an example of some code:
Page1.asp
<html> <head> <script> function showHint(str) {     if (str.length == 0) {         document.getElementById("txtHint").innerHTML = "";         return;     } else {         var xmlhttp = new XMLHttpRequest();         xmlhttp.onreadystatechange = function() {             if (this.readyState =…

BenBleser.com Has A New Look

I've been working on updating my personal website BenBleser.com and it's just about complete!  I haven't really updated this site for awhile.  I've had the domain since around 1999 and my friends and I used it as a message board (sort of like Facebook).

But I thought it was about time to put some of my accomplishments, biography, activities and such on here to help self promote myself for any potential future opportunities.  The website is entirely dynamic, so if I would want to post something I just login to the admin section for the site.  I also have some sections that are password protected.  So if there's certain info you want to know about me, I want to know who you are! ;)

Staying Fit As a Software Developer

One of the things I love about John Sonmez's book Soft Skills is that he has an entire section dedicated to Fitness!

Fortunately, I've always been someone who has been active.  I played sports in high school, intramural sports in college, and still stay active playing golf, basketball, softball, skiing and more.  I also workout almost every weekday.  How does this help me?

Well, for starters it helps me stay in shape.  As a software developer you're sitting at a desk a lot!  You can't burn many calories sitting at your desk!  My usual weekly routine is to workout every weekday for about 45-60 minutes.  I'll mix in free weights and some circuit training.  I might run a few miles here and there, but usually when I run it's on the weekends.  I try and play basketball every Wednesday night, and this is the best workout ever!  (just try and not get injured!)  You can lose a lot of calories playing basketball! (if you don't like basketball try racquetball)

Second…

Would I Be A Good Programming Teacher?

One of the things I've always asked myself is, "would I be good at teaching/coaching programming"?  I guess after 20 years of programming you'd like to think you could teach but do you have to know everything?  How will I come across to the person(s) I'm teaching?  Would I enjoy it?

I'm starting to realize that you don't have to know everything about what your teaching or coaching.  This has been evident from my own experience and from the books/articles I've read (including the one below).  You just have to ask questions!

Recently, I've been coaching/teaching our network guy at my work learn how to code.  And it's amazing how much knowledge comes out when you start to explain things not to yourself, but to another individual.  Plus I've been reading some books that show that teaching what you learn helps you retain that information even better. I've been learning some new languages and while learning these I'm thinking to myself h…

When Your Co-worker is Dying

This blog post is dedicated to a fellow work and friend of mine of some 14 years.

Ryan Andersen was diagnosed with Stage 4 Lung Cancer about 4 years ago.  The doctors told him he had about 8 months to live.  Ryan was a very unique individual, he spoke his mind and was a very good programmer.  I can attribute a lot of what I've learned in programming (especially in web programming) from Ryan.  We worked together close to 14 years and we became a very strong team.  Every once in awhile I come across some of his comments in our code and I just laugh.

In the workplace, it was a very tough situation knowing Ryan was going to pass away soon, but also try and get as much information from him on the projects he was working on.  We actually were in the middle of a software project that we marketed and sold.  I had the task of taking over, but imagine while you're working with your fellow co-worker, who doesn't think they're going to die.  It was tough.  Not as tough as what Rya…