Sunday, May 10, 2009

Moving from GedZone on Live Spaces

This is the first in what I hope will be a decent number of blogs on Blogger. I actually started this blog on GedZone but I'm moving content over here as I'm disappointed in the Live-Spaces blogging engine's capabilities to support extensibility and RSS aggregation. I also have a blog over on Xanga.

So… firstly, a few things about me.

I’m an information technology professional who works for a large IT outsourcer. I’ve been somewhat rudderless there for about two years, trapped between infrastructure software support and software architecture (particularly in the SQL Server area), and catching just about everything Microsoft related that has fallen through the cracks, but largely twiddling my thumbs waiting for work to come along. One specific area in which I’ve spent a lot of hours is in tools support for development with the .NET platform. I can’t say I’ve had a huge amount of time to spend using those tools yet, but I’ve written a couple of hundred pages of documentation for support and development teams on tools such as
SQLNexus, Microsoft’s RML utilities for SQL Server and their Visual Studio Team System Database Edition tools that ship with VSTS 2008.

My employer is currently undergoing some interesting organizational changes as a result of a merger between it and a competitor. One of the things that is happening is that I’m moving across into the Microsoft Solutions Practice, in which my role will incorporate elements of a number of more formally defined roles – solution designs using Microsoft’s various application servers will certainly be a big part of my job, but I will also be responsible (along with my peers) for defining training paths, product capability maps, tools evangelism and standards evangelism. It looks pretty interesting, but I’m having to boost my skills both up into the software architecture space, and sideways into the sales support and software development areas. Just to round all this out, I’ve also decided to work towards raising my profile in the Microsoft developer community, and the blogging on this site will be the first step.

I’ve just got back from two weeks touring around the south west of Western Australia. The trip was a lot of fun (despite having cataclysmic elements such as tipping the car onto its right side
while driving a very loose pebbly dirt road near Pemberton and getting stuck in Manjimup for 4 days). From a .NET learning perspective it was also quite productive! The great thing about driving around on my own is that I had nights to myself, and spent several evenings cutting C# code for some demos which you’ll start seeing up here over the coming weeks.

In the demos, I went back to my “CompSci 101” training and started out with a “Hello World” app. I then built that out with some user I/O, starting out with a static class for tracking the time between console events, and an instantiable class with private properties for file logging. I then reused the classes from my console app in a WinForms version of the Hello World demo. I’ve also started working on a “Demo 2” series that will focus more on inheritance, polymorphism and other OO features such as indexers, serialization and code attributes. I’m also taking pains to introduce a few .NET framework classes in each demo, so the output won’t just be “Here’s the C# language…” – it will be “Here’s the .NET Framework” as well.

Over coming months I’ll be gearing up to actually video-casting some of this material, and preparing live presentations for user groups on more advanced topics. The products that will probably get most input from me in the new role at work will be BizTalk, SharePoint and Dynamics CRM, so expect to see more about these products. I will also be looking to stand up the infrastructure required to record some demos using these tools, and will start posting that material once I’m done exploring the .NET framework.

Well… that’s it for now. Code often… Code well!!!

1 comment:

  1. Hi jeremy,
    Totally agree with your observations about Live Spaces. I have a secondary blog at that I use to talk about my side-interest in Windows Live and am constantly exasperated by the lack of features and overall experience of using it.

    Looking forward to reading about #newdata!



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