We Love When People Learn to Code

by Nate Lowry 3/5/2014

We love when people learn to code and we love teaching folks to code. It’s a great investment in ourselves and our community. Omaha Code School has been in the news lately. They have quite the space.

But, like true hipsters, we thought of this first. :) More...


Community Service

Scoping Selectors in CSS and jQuery: Working Small to Big

by Nate Lowry 11/8/2012

CSS and jQuery selectors can be very powerful, but with great power comes great chances to mess things up (yes, you can quote that). One such problem I've seen is applying these selectors at a much higher level than is needed. This may work for some cases, but will probably end up causing headaches and bugs down the road. Let's look at some CSS and jQuery examples. More...

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Software Development Tips & Tricks

Exceptions: Exceptionally Slow

by Nate Lowry 10/4/2012

For almost everything you do, there’s always more than one way to skin a cat crack an egg, and coding is no exception. Ask 1000 programmers to write the same program and they will write it 1000 different ways. Sometimes this can get you in trouble and oftentimes experienced coders will see pitfalls before they make it into the code. Here’s a lesson learned we found that might help you in the future. More...


Software Engineering

Using Lucene.NET for Searching PDFs

by Nick Sherrill 4/17/2012

Note: This post was co-authored by Emily Douglas.

For one of our recent projects, we developed a public-facing website that needed the ability to search through a large number of archived PDFs. This may sound trivial, but we had some unique needs and situations we had to work around (isn't that always how it is): More...

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Software Engineering

Deploying Console Apps via MSBuild

by Adam Miller 12/14/2011

VS2010 and MSBuild don’t provide a good way to deploy windows apps using continuous integration (especially to different environments). Over the past couple days I’ve wasted a lot of time manually deploying my apps to test them on dev. Brian Gansemer has talked about creating hooks for deploying ClickOnce apps as part of the build process, but I wanted to keep my apps as regular console apps. Here is the solution I came up with to automatically deploy my project. More...

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.NET Development | Development Methodologies & Best Practices | Software Development Tips & Tricks

Load Testing in Visual Studio 2010

by Adam Miller 9/29/2011

Have you ever wondered if your custom data access code is any more efficient than simply loading a DataTable? Not that I'd recommend using DataTables except for certain situations, but Visual Studio 2010 Ultimate makes it easy to load test your data access classes to determine performance. More...

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.NET Development | Development Methodologies & Best Practices | Software Development Tips & Tricks | Software Engineering

Book Review: Code by Charles Petzold

by Doug Durham 8/18/2011

This summer we hosted 23 interns at the Don’t Panic Labs office. These interns were placed into four separate teams, with each team tasked to develop a product based around a specific need. Spencer Farley, who was a member of the Carnac team and is now a member of the Don't Panic Labs team, shares his thoughts on the book Code: The Hidden Language of Computer Hardware and Software by Charles Petzold.

As Mr. Petzold states in the preface, Code is "a unique journey through the evolution of the digital technologies that define the modern age." So, how computers work? Yes, but so much more! Code is not special because of its subject but rather because of how it weaves together the many and varied pieces that compose the topic. More...

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Software Engineering

ASP.Net Page Properties

by Adam Miller 7/14/2011

​Below is an example of how I like to use properties to access HTML items from code-behind.  It allows you to have strongly-typed objects and a single point of access to HTML items. More...

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.NET Development | Development Methodologies & Best Practices | Software Development Tips & Tricks | Software Patterns

Dodgeball and Coding: More Alike Than You Think

by Nate Lowry 7/6/2011

Recently, one of our intern teams and two full-timers got to hop down to the Boys & Girls Club for some volunteering. It wasn’t your usual volunteer outing; they got to play dodgeball with the kids! More...

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Community Service | Software Engineering

SELECT Build Deploy from TFS 2010

by Nate Lowry 6/30/2011

TFS has always provided great ways to build your projects and solutions:

  • Builds are easily started and reviewed by different members on the team
  • Builds are automatically versioned and backed up
  • Work items and bugs can be associated with individual builds

Deploying a web application is a slightly tricky matter. These apps are easily deployed from an individual developer's machine, but it would be nice to publish them with the scheduled build. More...

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.NET Development