Skip to main content


One of the avenues for learning I've leveraged this past year is the Microsoft-sponsored ArcReady three hour in-person, bi-monthly seminar. It's held in a dozen or so cities but mine (Columbus, OH) is coming up on February 4th. Click here to register.

[...and before you look at the remaining post and say TLDR: ArcReady is free, there's usually good swag and there are some very cool/smart folks that attend...]

I enjoy ArcReady because more than likely, you won't see a line of code. As developers, we're constantly exposed to writings and presentations with lots of code. For the most part, I like that and feel it's the best way to learn about software development. However, always approaching from a developer perspective tends to lose the forest for the trees.

My opportunities to code have certainly declined over the years but I enjoy coding and can [gasp] actually read a code book and enjoy it (vs. using it as a reference). However, I'm constantly amazed at how frequently technologists fall to pieces when it comes to compiling an entire solution. We spend so much time and expend so much effort in becoming great developers that we never take a breath and say, "Hmmm, should I really have coded a message queueing application from scratch?" Or, for example, we never stop to ask ourselves, "Can I really create something superior in security to Active Directory?" Or even, "These classes are brilliant, but should I have used interfaces instead?"

At times like these, your 5% time investment into something like ArcReady comes in handy. ArcReady (among other venues) helps you to think about software solutions holistically. We need to be more aware of solutions that are out there, tested, in production, and providing value. What's SaaS? What's SOA? What's PopFly? Should I be using them? Are they a better solution than custom application development?

This type of exposure to non-development learning helps us as technologists remain aware of what's out there and help prevent the limiting of our thinking. So, if you're a developer, considering branching out of developer-only content and expose yourself to a bit of solution architecture. ArcReady is a great venue for this.


Unknown said…
Nice post, man. Good points. Agree!

Popular posts from this blog

Configuring a Development Sandbox for the Azure CTP

I'm getting up to speed on Azure and the other cloud SDKs and need to configure an environment for development, demos and learning. My experiences... First off, if you've read my blog, you know I haven't installed non-productivity software on my core OS for years . Further, I don't get the warm and fuzzies installing CTP software on my core OS. I also love the recoverability and start-over-from-a-checkpoint features of virtualization. Virtual PC (VPC) houses all my development, demo and learning sandbox instances. So, let's start off with a VPC instance. For this to work well, ideally, you need a good 4GB of memory. Further to the ideal, you're running x64 so as to have access to the full 4GB of memory. ACQUIRE AN AZURE SERVICES DEVELOPER KEY To develop against Azure and/or .Net Services and SQL Services, you need an invitation code. Oooh, very exclusive. Pretty people to the front of the line! You can start the process here . If you run into problems, che

SOA Primer

Service-oriented architecture (Wikipedia) Service Orientation and Its Role in Your Connected Systems Strategy Understanding Service-Oriented Architecture Architecting Disconnected Mobile Applications Using a Service Oriented Architecture Service-Oriented Architecture: Considerations for Agile Systems Service-Oriented Architecture: Implementation Challenges SOA Challenges: Entity Aggregation New to SOA and Web Services Service-Oriented, Distributed, High-Performance Computing Service-Oriented Integration Developing Service-Oriented Architectures Messaging Patterns in Service-Oriented Architecture, Part 1 Messaging Patterns in Service Oriented Architecture, Part 2 Implementing Service-Oriented Integration with BizTalk Server 2004 Legacy and Business Partner Integration: Using Service-Oriented Architecture for Integration Service Gateway Pattern Service Orientation in Enterprise Computing Secure, Reliable, Transacted Web Services: Architecture and Composition Application

Get Your Team Foundation Server Hate On!

[Google ranking skyrockets... ;-)] I'm a big fan of TFS/VSTS. However, there are a good pocket of folks who take issue with the way TFS handles or implements a certain feature. Well this is your chance to vent! I'm planning a presentation around the "Top 10 TFS/VSTS Hates and How to Alleviate Them"...or something along those lines. But I need your help. Post a comment below detailing your dislike. If it's legitimate, I'll highlight it in the presentation and [hopefully] provide an alternative, resolution, or work-around. Thanks in advance! Update 7/19/2008: Version Control and Microsoft