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Showing posts from March, 2008

Mid-Ohio Connected Systems Developers User Group - Delbert Murphy

Man, I'm pissed to miss this. (I'll be at CINNUG Thursday watching Randy Pagels speak on ALM.)

Monish announced the inaugural MOCSDUG meeting--and they landed Delbert Murphy! I've not seen him speak but he's well known and carries a very positive reputation. Hopefully, I'll catch the live meeting. Details below.



Introducing MOCSDUG (Mid-Ohio Connected Systems Developers User Group) -=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-= The Mid-Ohio Connected Systems Developers User Group (MOCSDUG) has formed to facilitate education and knowledge exchange around topics of Business Process and Enterprise Integration. The group will specifically focus on the Microsoft Connected Systems product stack which includes: BizTalk Server, WF, WCF and other related technologies. The MOCSDUG seeks to connect developers, architects, and IT decision makers in the Mid-Ohio region with best practices, architectural concepts, and case studies. The group will work…

Consulting Exodus Trend?

Is it just me or have a significant number of 'A' players left our consulting firms? People come and people go. Ours is certainly not an industry of "lifers". However, within the past year or so, I've witnessed several of my consulting peers -- the folks I really look up to -- leave the consulting arena for [predominately] full-time technology product firms. A smaller number have left for full-time positions at businesses while an even smaller number left to start their own business|firm|freelance|etc. Their departure struck me as odd because these were the type of folks who [I thought] would eventually become owner / partners at their respective firms. Certainly, the firms will carry on and continue to perform well but the departure of these folks would result in nothing less than a severe case of the hiccups and quite possibly a minor cardiac event. You know who you are. Please comment. Do we [the consulting industry] have a brain drain issue? Is this a normal …

Certified or Certifiable?

As a senior technology professional, I interview a lot of candidates. I also maintain solid relationships with other folks in the community. Frequently, the topic of certifications arises: A good investment? Valuable? A clear measurement of skill? Consensus appears to draw the line related to one's seniority. If you're (for example) just out of school and looking for an instant creditability boost, by all means pursue a certification. Likely, this credential will assist you in overcoming the "junior" tag and likely land you more interviews and client roles. (Note: I'm going to use the terms senior and junior here...no offense to either. Can't think of a better one word description. I was a junior once too.)In stark contrast, the value of certifications drops off the table around the 2-3 year mark. Some in my circles even perceive certifications as a negative for the senior professional. They think, "If this guy is so solid, why is he wasting valuable tim…

VersionOne Agile Management Software

Recently, a professor at a local university contacted us to assist with an approach to managing a class assignment in an agile fashion. Typically, we leverage fairly "heavy" tools to manage agile projects: Rational Requisit Pro, TFS, etc. These students have just a few weeks to develop their solution and the professor didn't want to burn a lot of time learning a management tool.

This situation is analogous to source code control. We don't want something "heavy" like ClearQuest or Serena and we have limited budget. What do you choose? Subversion. Done.

With this in mind as well as taking cost into consideration ($0 budget), I discovered a tool that looks very promising: VersionOne Agile Management software. Disclaimer: I have yet to use this tool but it comes highly recommended.

If you find yourself in a similar situation, give it a shot and let me know how it turns out.

Extending a TFS 2008 Trial

I'm finishing up the leg/prep work for a TFS conversion for a client. We're using the trial until the license procurement completes. When I tried to execute my migration utility (from the old SCM product) this morning, I received this friendly message:






Fantastically, Microsoft created a trial extension tool. You can download it from Brian Harry's blog.

Uninstalling ASP.Net Extensions 3.5 CTP

Now that the ASP.Net 3.5 Extensions (CTP) Preview 2 is here, I needed to clear out the original CTP. It wasn't appearing within Add/Remove Programs. I followed these instructions and this forum post. Basically, plop the CTP MSI (ASPNetExt.exe) into [Root]:\windows\installer and re-open Add/Remove Programs. It appears as "Microsoft ASP.Net 3.5 Extensions CTP".

A Sign from God?

So I'm driving to work this morning and I casually glance at the license plate of the car next to me: it's the first 3 digits of my Social Security Number followed by the last 4! (the middle 2 were absent) What are the odds against this? If it's a message, I sure as hell can't figure out the meaning. The driver and car didn't exhibit any distinctive features. Strangely, it was an Illinois plate.

(Pretty sure I wasn't being filmed for some sort of Life Lock commercial...)

I'm Presenting at Central Ohio Day of .Net!

Very honored to be selected to present the session "What's New with ASP.NET 3.5 Extensions" at the Central Ohio Day of .Net. Hope to see you there!

Hero Write-up: Now this is Customer Service!

My best friend Scott is president/C-everything of a small northeastern Ohio manufacturing concern, KirkKey Interlock. I hadn't spoken with him for a while and wanted to see how Canton fared with the Blizzard of '08 (that's what they're calling it...not me).

I say, "So what's new?" He replies that on Tuesday his primary server (which essentially runs the business) came up with lame with not one, but [a statistically improbable] *two* physical disk failures on a RAID5 hardware array. My friend attempts the fix but gives up pretty quickly after seeing some Linux nasty-grams on the boot screen.

His service provider is an old college buddy who lives down in Raleigh, Cerient Technologies led by Jason Tower. Scott couldn't email out because Exchange was on the toasted server. Being creative, Scott started Treo-emailing photos of the screen. Unfortunately, Jason couldn't receive email because a storm had knocked out a lot of local hosting. [Sigh]

After under…

Not ready for Entity Framework? Then What?

Will Smith and I started an offline thread based on his post "Uninstalling EF Beta 3". Granted, the ADO.Net Entity Framework is still beta and probably won't go gold until Summer, but I wondered what he would use instead. His team is solid but not advanced and he wants to keep complexity to a minimum while remaining as agile as possible. Here's my advice. Your thoughts?
You're probably wise in steering away from 3.5 stuff with an uninitiated staff. I'd probably encapsulate your data access leveraging the Enterprise Library Data Access Application Blocks. You could leverage CodeSmith and NetTiers to quickly generate the data access layer effectively shielding your less-advanced developers from the complexity (they simply call class library methods vs. code ADO.Net 2.0). Later, when you want to shift to ADO.Net Entity Framework or [less likely] LINQ to SQL, you can rip out this data access layer simply replacing it with EF or LINQ. Granted, [obviously] you'l…