# Monday, April 09, 2012

The week of March 25th – 31st was one of highs and lows for me. 

The Good

Monday through Thursday I was in Las Vegas to speak at VSLive.  The conference was a blast.  Awesome speakers, interesting content, and fun events.  Not to mentioning the networking with my peers.  My talk on Thursday went very well and I received great reviews.  Oh yeah, and I was upgraded to First Class on both legs.  Life was good!

I left Las Vegas immediately after my talk and was back at work on Friday morning…uneventful day.

Saturday I got up bright and early and headed to Milwaukee for Deeper In .NET.  I have attended Deeper In .NET many times and it is always a great event.  This year was lucky enough to be chosen as one of five speakers for the day long event.  The event went very well until 20 minutes into the last presentation of the day…mine.

The Bad and The Ugly

I was doing my Reach The Mobile Masses With ASP.NET MVC 4 and jQuery Mobile, the same presentation I did 2 days earlier in Las Vegas and using the same machine.  The trouble started with VS11 Beta creating half of a solution when I went to create a new MVC 4 project with the mobile application template.  I was able to skip over that issue with out too much trouble.  Shortly there after the machine started acting wonky and I was starting to get that feeling in the pit of my stomach, you know the one, and it happened…BSOD!  NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!

After the initial feeling of dread it was time to boot back up and quickly get back into it it…until I realized the machine was not powering back on.  And my heart sank!  Here I am in front of over 300 of my peers with a neon #FailWhale sign pointing directly at me.

In an attempt to salvage things I started taking questions of the audience and for about 10 minutes that was going well…until the microphone died.  Seriously!  it was just not meant to be.  The event organizers finally threw in the towel on me and declared it a KO, and swag time.

The Lessons

  • As that was my first huge fail in public speaking I learned that I handle myself fairly well under pressure (I think)
    • At first I had the urge to pack up after the BSOD, but then realized that these people came to learn and the least I could do is do my best to answer their questions.
  • People are nicer and more respectful than I give them credit for.
    • Multiple people asked if I wanted to use their machine once mine puked.
    • At least 10 people came up to me afterwards and offered their condolences.
    • Not one negative tweet came across the events Twitter hash tag.
    • No one threw tomatoes or empty bottles.
  • Always have presentation materials available on an external device of some sort in case of emergency machine swap.
  • Don’t trust beta software for coding heaving presentations.  (I was using VS11 beta and MVC4 Beta)
  • My deodorant works as advertised.
  • In the end all you can do is “Smile and wave boys.  Smile and wave.”
posted on Monday, April 09, 2012 7:52:40 AM (Central Daylight Time, UTC-05:00)  #    Comments [3]
# Monday, February 13, 2012

I am currently in the process of getting my Microsoft Certification mainly because I was told I should.  I have started the process 3 times previously in my career but quickly “fell of the wagon” due to priorities I deemed more important such as bringing you this awesome blog content Smile.  I guess I have never really placed a lot of importance in certifications and figured that my past work/reputation are enough.  Anyone can pass a test with enough memorization of content, but not everyone can deliver quality software applications.

My thoughts on certification

  • I have never lost an opportunity as a consultant because I was not certified.
  • Certification is beneficial to new grads/ new entries in the software development work force.
  • Experience and proven track record should far out way a certification.
  • The content, at least in Microsoft exams, does not reflect the world.
  • You should be reimbursed for your time and fees should be covered by your employer and /or a comparable bonus should be awarded.

So, the point of this post, other than to get something out quick so I can get back to studying for said certification exam 1, is to ask a few questions to you my loyal audience.

  1. Are you certified in any technology/methodology/software practice?
  2. If you are certified:
    1. What are you certified in?
    2. Why did you get certified? 
    3. Did the content you study reflect the real world?
    4. Did you ever lose an opportunity prior to certification because you where not certified?
    5. Since becoming certified have you gotten an opportunity because you are certified?
    6. Did your employer provide compensation/bonus for becoming certified?
    7. What have you gained by becoming certified?
    8. Was it worth it?
  3. If you are not certified:
    1. Why aren’t you?

 

I would love to hear what everyone has to say on this.  Thanks for your time.

posted on Monday, February 13, 2012 4:27:00 PM (Central Standard Time, UTC-06:00)  #    Comments [2]
# Thursday, September 23, 2010

On this, my final day at my current employer, I have mixed emotions.

  1. Excitement – I am very excited to become a part of the Skyline Technologies family.  I feel that they certainly have the most to offer at this point in my career.
  2. Disappointment – I am disappointed that my vision of the future and my current employer’s vision could not align.
  3. Confusion – This is the emotion I am having the most difficulty with.  It all comes from when I asked myself “What did I gain from working for my current employer for the last 5 years?”  The first things that come to mind are experience and knowledge.  But does this have anything to do with my current employer?  As a consultant, to be completely honest, all my current employer did was arrange for the client and myself to speak.

 

I am going to stop there.  I don’t want to dwell in the past.  All I can say is that in the last 5 years I have grown more than I had in the previous 5 years and what more can you ask for.

Here is to the next 5 years….

posted on Thursday, September 23, 2010 8:54:19 AM (Central Daylight Time, UTC-05:00)  #    Comments [0]
# Friday, September 17, 2010

Earlier this week I got into a bit of spat with a couple of Tweeps on Twitter.  It started with someone I follow and respect re-tweeting something someone tweeted about him which basically said the tools which he is associated with aid developers in creating bad design.  I responded to this tweet in support of this person whom I respect by saying…

Tools don’t do bad design.  Bad developers do bad design.

Immediately after tweeting this I got multiple reply’s stating that just because you do bad design or write bad code you are not necessarily a bad developer. 

To be blunt…this confused the hell out of me.  If you knowingly create a bad design or write bad code how can you be a good developer?  I guess the key word in that previous statement is *knowingly*.  But if you don’t know what good design/code is in my book you can’t be a good developer.

Don’t get me wrong.  We have all been in the position when due to forces outside of our control we have been forced to write imperfect code or create a less than perfect design.  To me this is one place where you can quantifiably determine the good developer from the bad developer.  A good developer, when writing imperfect code due to factors outside of there control, will do one or more of the following:

  1. Get upset because they know they are writing less than perfect code/design.
  2. Leave a comment stating why the code/design was done in this factor.
  3. Add a ToDo for refactoring later.
  4. Will do the imperfect code/design in such a way that the refactoring effort will require less effort.

This argument of writing bad code does not a bad developer make really rattles me.  That is exactly what it does!

OK…Let me have it!

posted on Friday, September 17, 2010 8:58:51 AM (Central Daylight Time, UTC-05:00)  #    Comments [1]
# Friday, September 10, 2010

In the past 10 years I have gone from being an intern doing VBA in Access to architecting and coding enterprise level systems with some of the coolest technologies and methodologies.  I have learned so much, and have had a great time doing it.  Sounds perfect right…but not for me…I want more.  Up to this point, for the most part, I have done all this in a bubble.  Until recently I haven’t been overly involved in the development community and today I am officially declaring the end of that.

I have recently accepted a position with Skyline Technologies.  I am very excited about the opportunity of bringing my knowledge and experience to the group at Skyline.  I am going to use this new start as a spring board to getting more involved in the development community locally and beyond.

What really inspired me though was listing to John Sheehan on Rob Conery’s new podcast This Developer’s Life.  If you haven’t started listening to This Developer’s Life yet…do it…now!  In episode 1.0.2: Fame and Notoriety Rob talks to John Sheehan and Scott Hanselman about fame and how it relates to their careers.  Of course Scott was great, and hilarious, as usual but what I really enjoyed was John’s story.

In one particular part of the interview John details a point in his life when he decided to “raise his profile” and details what his goals where and how he was going to do it.  To me this sounded like a great starting point and what better to add that extra motivation than making it public! :)

Raising My Profile – a 12 month plan

  1. One substantial blog post per week.
  2. Speak at at least 6 user group meetings or conferences.
  3. Contribute to one or more open source projects.
  4. Raise my Twitter follower count to at least 250 legitimate followers.
  5. Become an MVP

So that’s my plan…and we will see how it goes!

posted on Friday, September 10, 2010 5:30:00 PM (Central Daylight Time, UTC-05:00)  #    Comments [0]