Tim Murphy's .NET Software Architecture Blog

Misc

Is It Time To Specialize?

Over my career I have made a living as a generalist. I have been a jack of all trades and a master of none. It has served me well in that I am able to move from one technology to the other quickly and make myself productive. Where it becomes a problem is deep knowledge. I am constantly digging for the things that aren’t basic knowledge. How do you make a product like WCF or Windows RT do more than just “Hello World”? As an architect I need to be a jack of all trades. This is what helps me to bring ......

Cookie Cutter Versus Custom Development

I recently had a potential client ask for an estimate of some work they wanted done. They already had a price in mind which I was pretty sure I couldn’t come close to. The reason for this is because they were comparing off the shelf, commodity type development to the custom development that it would require for my team to do the work. So does this mean that custom development can’t be the right answer if a subject area has commoditized? Not in the least. In many cases (but not all) these quick solutions ......

Windows 8 App Wish List

As I have been using Windows 8 more some of them apps that come with the system have been missing some features that I would like to see. So Microsoft, here is my wish list for some new features. Skydrive Copy files from one folder to another in Skydrive Get public and read only URLs of a file OneNote MX Print a page Mail Accept/Reject appointments Sort inbox Search inbox (use the search charm) Print email Store Keyword search (use the search charm) del.icio.us Tags: Windows 8 ......

Off To DevConnections

It is unusual that I get to go to conferences.  I think I am really going to enjoy this one.  The speaker list is top notch and it looks like the weather is going to be beautiful.  See you when I get back.

To Start Or Not To Start

On a recent Windows Weekly podcast Mary Jo Foley and Leo Laporte had me talking to my Zune HD (practically yelling) as they discussed if Microsoft got it wrong with Windows 8 by taking away the start button and forcing Metro full screen apps on users. Leo’s main argument was around the fact that the reason people buy big screens is so that they can have multiple windows open at the same time on the same screen. I really took exception to this. Even with every version of Windows leading up to Windows ......

Blogging Withdrawal

Did you know that blogging is a drug and that if you go too long without posting something you actually go into withdrawal? It turns out to be the case, at least for me. Whatever the excuse may be, when I go for a long stretch without a significant topic posted I feel anxious, almost as if I had abandoned my child. Lately the IT consulting business has been so busy it just doesn’t leave much time to blog. Working a full day at one client and then doing support work for others in the evening is seems ......

Windows Live Writer 2011

The new WLW 2011 has been a shock to the system. I am used to having my history/drafts and and plug-ins at the ready down the right side of the window. Plug-ins are now under the insert tag on the ribbon. The history and drafts are now under a drop-down file menu in the ribbon. I’ll have to see if this configuration works for me. There doesn’t seem to be an option for a “classic” setup so I may end up looking for a new blog editor that is more efficient for me. I realize to some people these may ......

What I Learned From Thirsty Developer

A few months back I sat down on a conference call with Dave Bost and Clark Sell to record an episode of Thirsty Developer. I had suggested that we could talk about Office Open XML and how it can be used to automate the generation of documents. Now for a number of reasons this episode will never see the light of day (at least not as we originally recorded it). But the reason that sticks in my mind is that the story wasn’t there. As technologists we spend a lot of time learning tools, languages and ......

Curating Employee Blogs

I’m not sure if it is ego or a desire to inform our community, but many of us try to post to blogs on a regular basis. Many companies choose to have their own blog server to host content from their employees. But this doesn’t always work, especially when your employees already have a community presence before joining the team. Recently our company has been trying to conquer this very issue. The first question is “what are your goals”. For us it is to aggregate blog postings/articles that could be ......

Why Twitter Needs Third Party Apps

Yesterday Twitter released their Windows 8 native application. This is just a short time after releasing an update for Windows Phone. It took my all of two minutes determine that these applications are unusable for the way I use Twitter and their web site doesn’t cut it either. Now I admit that my usage may not be the same as the majority of Twitter subscribers, but I don’t think it is entirely outside the norm either. I use multiple accounts because of user groups that I work with and employer accounts. ......

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