I haven’t written a post in a while, and this has shown up in my Twitter feed a few times. So if you care, here you go.
I decided to take a break from all of the social networking stuff and see how life is/was before all of that. It kept me from “noodling” with my phone which seem to make my wife think I was working. She likes it better when she believes I’m working less, and actually so do I. One plus.
On Twitter I picked up on cool conference that was happening and I attended, and many other bits that help me get (more) up to speed on Silverlight, namely Blend from some very smart people. So I missed all of that “content” in my daily life for a while. But it did help me focus without worrying missing out on what the latest bits/news from Senor Gu and folk. All that stuff is good, and at times hot, but I just had my head stuck in it all of the time.
I was looking through my reader this morning and ran across a post about Pex, Code Contracts, Stubs, and Moles. Very cool stuff, and those bits are just as interesting and at times even more so when I’m not worrying about making four controls bind to some bit in my View Model and the easing that needs to happen when they do. I love the thought of writing tests, but haven’t written anything worthwhile lately. Umm, that statement is wrong on a few levels.
Without the distractions, I’ve had a very interesting tour around NHibernate, Blend, and living in between a service layer and a Silverlight client over the last four months with some Prism and Unity sprinkled in for good measure (and loose coupling).
It’s been difficult, challenging, fun, and educating. I just sent my NHibernate In Action back to the library yesterday and will just try to work off the examples I’ve created so far to make (better) DAL solutions going forward. The point I will make here is one that I shared with another dev recently. I didn’t get here alone, obviously. There’s a sticky note I have stuck to a lamp in my home office:
which is meant to read individuals and interactions over tools and process. I picked this up reading about Agile. A friend of my said once “Know the rules before you buy the tools.” Effectively meaning learn how to write a WCF service (ugly if you like) by hand before you install WSSF. At least you’ll how it’s supposed work when it breaks. Which means I needed to spend some time with some other folks and their code to figure how to apply their solutions to my problems. The (IND) (INT) notion is one that I am building more relationships with folks that I’ve not know before. Collaboration is better when you tear down a few walls, open a few doors, and pry open some windows that have been painted shut. Some of this through volunteering for different things in my community and church.
Another friend who just joined Microsoft encouraged me do more community work – so that one is the list. The list gets (re)built each year. My personal “physical” year starts in October, that’s when I make take a day off from everything and measure where I’ve been and plan where I want to go. I was less modest this year, and put some bigger stuff items on the list. I’m making good gains on it, but things had to fall by the wayside – the social stuff. I still peek a the Twitter client on my phone, but it is the least used app on my phone. Evernote gets most of the action - its amazing what you can remember if you write it down: bass guitar licks, code fragments, really good and really bad ideas, etc.
This helps the development thing seem much less grand and important – which has reduced my stress levels. So when I’m not stressed over a time line at work, my wife thinks that I’m not working so much. She likes it better when she believes I’m working less, and actually so do I. Two pluses, or actually Me++. This is where I’ve been.
More later, until then.