Changing URL for the nopCommerce Store Locator with IIS

I was working on what I thought would be a simple request for a client this week – change the default URL for the Store Locator plugin for the nopCommerce platform.  After a bit of digging and looking for an easy solution, I found that the plugin doesn’t support the capability to change the default URL, specifically the ‘/AllShops’ URL that will show a listing of all of the stores added to the application.

For those not familiar, nopCommerce is backed by a series of plugins from the nopTemplates group, which includes plugins such as sliders, menus, and the mentioned store locator.  This store locator allows for adding a series of store locations and having them appear on Google Maps, alongside a listing of all individual stores.  You can see a demo here.

Worry not, there is a simple way to make this work if you are hosting the site using IIS.  First, access IIS Manager, and then access the Web Site that nopCommerce is being hosted on.  Click on the ‘URL Rewrite’  option to show the current URL rerouting rules set up for the Web Site:

Once inside the URL Rewrite module, click the ‘Add Rule(s)…’ option on the right sidebar:

Click on the option to create a ‘Blank Rule’, and then add the following information:

  • Name:  nopCommerce Store Locator /AllShops Redirect
  • Pattern:  store-locator (or whatever you would like the new URL to be)
  • Action URL:  AllShops

After applying this change, test the change using the URL www.yourstore.com/store-locator and ensure that you are directed to the Store Locator, and the URL does not redirect to the /AllShops URL.

What this rule does is treats the ‘/store-locator’ URL as an alias for the ‘/AllShops’ URL for the Store Locator, so it would allow both URLs to point to the same place.  In my case, I wanted to change the URL over, so in addition to setting up this rule, I would also need to set up a redirect to have the ‘/AllShops’ URL redirect to the ‘/store-locator’ URL.  This allows for simulating a true URL change.

One caveat with the is that is you use Visual Studio to Publish the application to IIS, it will overwrite all of the URL reroute rules in place, meaning you will need to recreate this rule to make sure your alias still works.

2018 American Open 1 Results

Overall, a decent weekend at the American Open 1, my weight was pretty good and I think for as consistent as I’ve been (not great the last few months), I’m happy with my results.

Snatches well a little iffy, with pull and power not being an issue, but just making sure I punch up on the bar when I catch.  I’ve been having this issue for a little while now, so that’s something to work on for some time.

Clean and jerks ultimately felt great – I picked up on a stronger lockout on the last CJ, and the big lesson I picked up was to really stick the lockout and be patient in standing up with the bar.

I don’t have anything planned for the next few months.  I’ll just plan on continuing my training and picking up a meet that comes up maybe halfway through the year?

Snatch

  1. 101 (pressout)
  2. 101 (miss behind)
  3. 101

Clean and Jerk

  1. 128
  2. 131
  3. 134

Questions To Ask a Candidate in a Software Developer Interview

Consider my post last week about questions you may want to ask when you’re interviewing for a software developer position, you can also be on the other side of the table, interviewing candidates to work for the place you currently work at.

Depending on how interviews are structured at your company, you might have a hard time thinking of questions that can give you a good feeling of whether the person you are interviewing is a good fit for the company.  One of the overarching things you should be trying to discover in an interview is whether this is a person you would like to work with in the future – whether this person is someone that would be on your team, or whether this person would become a peer you would work with.

Here’s a few questions I’ve used over time that have helped me determine that:

What has been your experience in both jumping into projects in maintenance mode vs. working on a project from start to finish?

This is good to get a feel of what experience the candidate has in the full software development cycle.  You’ll be able to see the difference between someone with a bit of experience that has been through the major phases of releasing an application.  Developers that work solely with maintenance issues may struggle with being able to explain how to actually get a project off the group, especially considering that a good amount of the work up-front is not just coding, but determining a solution to the problem at hand.

In previous projects, what technical limitations did you work under that you would have liked to change to improve the quality of your work?

This question gives a good feel of issues that a developer would have experienced in the past that they may be passionate about to fix.  Things like having a poor build process or branching strategy can be good candidates, or things like having the developers not be involved in the design and planning of the features to be implemented into the project.

Are there any emerging technologies that are coming up that you’re interested in learning?

This can be a good question to get a feel of the things they are interested in.  Maybe something like machine learning, or a new framework that the developer is interested in trying out.  In particular, this is a good question to get a feel for what kind of stuff the developer truly wants to do, and whether it’s a good fit for the company you work at.  It may shine a light on the fact that the candidate would like to work on data science focused issues when your company focuses on web development, for instance.

What is the best trait a developer can have?

Alongside the questions above, this one gives a feel for the types of traits they value in the development team.  You might get someone to answer that they should be focused on having high code coverage for the projects they work on, or they may say that a developer should be able to communicate well with all business units.  In particular, it’s nice to hear a specific trait, as opposed to hearing that they are simply very good at software development as a whole.

2018.02.22 Training

Today felt good – I took Peaches for a walk beforehand which is a good way to get warmed up beforehand. The snatches felt tougher than I would have expected, but I’m glad to have gotten through without any misses.

Snatch

  • 70 x 3
  • 75 x 3
  • 80 x 3
  • 85 x 3
  • 85 x 3
  • 85 x 3
  • 85 x 3

Snatch Pull

  • 100 x 5 x 5

Seated Box Jump

  • 5 x 5

2018.02.19 Training

I didn’t sleep well last night, so that might have caused an issue with my lifting today.

Below the Knee Power Snatch

  • 70 x 3
  • 75 x 3
  • 80 x 3
  • 85 x 2
  • 85 x 2
  • 85 x 3

Was supposed to have three triples at 85, but I missed the third attempt for the first two.

Power Clean and Power Jerk (1+2)

  • 90 x 3
  • 95 x 3
  • 100 x 3
  • 105 x 3
  • 105 x 3
  • 105 x 3

Clean Pull

135 x 5 x 3

These felt really good.

Questions To Ask For a Software Developer Position

If you’re interviewing for a software development position, it’s worth asking some questions during the interview to get a feel of what the company is like and what your day-to-day is going to be like.  Remember that an interview is supposed to be a two-way conversation between you and the company, and that you are interviewing the company as well as having the company interview you.  Here’s a series of questions I’ve found based on research and personal experience:

Can you give me a summary of what my day-to-day responsibilities are for the first six months?

This one is good since it’ll give you a good hands on idea of what you’ll actually be doing.  You can find out whether you’ll be spending most of your time in an IDE developing, and how much time will be dedicated to other activities.  You might find out that they have a daily stand-up or other regular type of meeting.

What does the overall deployment process look like from a developer’s machine to the production environment?

With a question like this, you want to get a feel and see if they have processes such as the following:

  • Version control branching strategy
  • Peer code review process
  • Continuous integration/delivery
  • Automated testing
  • Multi-environment deployment structure

This way, you an get a feel for how mature the software development cycle is for the company.  A company with a good software development process with have an answer for most or all of these points.

What is the overall review process for the growth of an individual, and the methods of giving feedback?

You want to get a feel here on what your growth in the company would be like.  Do they have a structure for their developers that you can be promoted to?  Do they have a managerial and technical track (depending on your interests)?  In addition, you want to see how you would receive feedback throughout your tenure in the company.  A good sign would be managers having 1-on-1s with their team, or a scheduled way to regularly being able to communicate.

What is the policy on working remotely?

Depending on your interest, you may want to get a feel of how flexible the environment is in terms of your physical presence.  Getting a feel for if they have the facilities set up for remote work (VPN, Slack, etc.) and getting a feel for what the policy might be.  In some cases, it can be a case where you can work remotely whenever you like, and in some cases, you may have to run through some hoops to be able to work this way.  If you’re interested in potentially moving to having multiple days of remote work a week, this question will give you an idea of whether it’ll be feasible.

When can I expect to hear back from you?

Just for understanding the right timing in when you’ll expect an answer regarding their decision.  One thing to consider is that getting an offer immediately in the interview is not always a great sign.

Pluralsight Path for WordPress

2018.03.26 EDIT:  Added a few courses, specifically on testing, blogging, and creating a child theme.

When going through a new technology, I like to check and see if I can find a Path available at Pluralsight.  I’ve been able to get some guidance in picking up technologies such as React, Angular, Node, and a few others, as the path gives you a good series of coruses to go through to round out your knowledge in the specific technology.

However, Pluralsight currently doesn’t have a path for WordPress – so I went ahead and reviewed the course selection available and tried to make up something of my own.  Here’s what I came up with:

Beginner

Intermediate