Tim Murphy's .NET Software Architecture Blog

Misc

Can Sketch Noting Help You Keep Up With Technology?

I saw a post from someone who had created a Sketchnote of one of Scott Hanselman’s talks. It was the first time I had seen this as an defined process for note taking. As I get older and technology moves faster I am finding that it is getting harder to keep up and remember everything I need to learn. This approach looks like it could be part of the solution. This post documents my findings as I start to use sketchnoting. One of the things I noticed as I learned more about sketchnotes is that I have ......

Rejuvenate Your Career

We can all get in a rut after years in this industry. We get comfortable doing what we know. The problem is that technology does not stand still. If we don’t keep reinventing ourselves then we will eventually find that we don’t have the skills that the industry requires. This is so important an issue that I often ask prospective employment candidates how they keep up with technology. So what is my answer to rejuvenate your career? Because I spend most of my time developing solutions for the Microsoft ......

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 ......

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