Will Froese

Software development, a software agency, and electrical utilities

Will Froese

Hi, I'm Will.

I'm a software team lead at Eleven Winds (an agency) where I get to write code, handle software design & architecture, mentor and train people, and more.

I currently lead Product Development for Utilismart, where we build tools for electric utility companies.

a backlit keyboard

Taking Over a Legacy Codebase

Earlier this year a client of ours decided to make us their sole software development provider and I became the lead of that team.

Unfortunately, the code base was not in a good state (that’s what we in the business call an understatement), and that was causing a lot of problems. I had been working in parts of this code base for a few years, but now that I was running the entire team, I finally had the chance to address the root of the problem, rather than just putting in patches on top of patches.

a shelf full of books

Software Estimation: Demystifying the Black Art

Classic situation: your manager comes to you and says

We’ve got a new project coming down the line - here’s a spec, I need you to do an estimate - I’m thinking we can get this thing done in 8 months.

Or am I the only one whose manager tells them what they want the estimate to be before asking for an estimate?

Anyway, the “spec” is a one-page doc, and it’s a bazillion dollar project that they don’t want to pay a bazillion dollars for. No pressure.

The bottom line is estimating isn’t easy, and I have a hard time feeling confident in my estimates. So a few months ago when I had the chance to read through Steve McConnell’s Software Estimation: Demystifying the Black Art, I picked up a lot of useful info.

the earth from space, showing lights from cities

Software Development in the Utility Industry

All companies are software companies in 2019, but there’s a fairly large variance in how fast companies adopt the latest software advancements, particularly along industry lines. In some industries you move fast and break things, and other industries you wait two weeks for people to respond to emails so you can do some actual work.

I’m always interested in hearing from other developers what it’s like working in their domain so I thought it might be interesting to review the state of software in the (electric/water) utility industry, from a software developer’s perspective.

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Automating Deployments of Oracle PL/SQL

Some time ago I found myself taking over an existing set of systems built on top of a lot of Oracle PL/SQL, with no automated deployments in sight. I didn’t quite have enough sense to run in the opposite direction, so instead I built an automated deployment system.

ambassador bridge in Windsor, Ontario

Windsor Software Companies & Jobs

I thought it might be useful to compile a list of local companies in the Windsor area that have software or web developers on staff. The purpose of the list is to help people get to know our local software landscape a bit better, but also to help students and anyone else who is looking to get into the field.

a screen showing some code

Pull Request Review Checklist

In any organization, there are certain requirements that code has to meet before it’s considered production ready. I find it helpful to have an explicit documented checklist that is the base for reviewing any pull request.