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The Economics of Protecting the Red Shirts July 29, 2009

Posted by ActiveEngine Sensei in .Net Development, ActiveEngine, Business Processes, Coaching, Design Patterns, Mythology, Personal Development, Problem Solving, software economics.
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Recently I came across this post from a fellow lamenting the lack of interest on the part of .Net developers in architecture solutions such as IoC, Dependency Injection, ORMs, and the like.  800px-KirkSlapsSelfThis stood out in stark contrast to Java developers who this person interviewed, who either were conversant with the technology or were interested enough to pursue informing themselves further.  Some call this the result of Drag -n -Drop design as laid out in a post  by Greg Young, a Microsoft MVP and .Net developer who has specialized in high performance applications.  Greg maintains in his post Java vs. .Net Developers that drag and drop is mis applied and there needs to be an greater effort the isolate the cases where it is mis used.  This practice has arisen, he maintains, from poor training and lack of awareness of other development platforms. (more…)

New stuff from the Hive-Mind July 22, 2009

Posted by ActiveEngine Sensei in ActiveEngine.
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yfrank1Supercharged development tips baby! It’s frightening!

Revenge of the Fallen July 21, 2009

Posted by ActiveEngine Sensei in ActiveEngine, Agile, Agile vs Waterfall, Business Processes, Problem Solving.
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Did you think you were constructing this:  300px-MovieOptimusPrime_promorender2but you were actually delivering this instead: (more…)

Faith – The Time is Now Again July 18, 2009

Posted by ActiveEngine Sensei in ActiveEngine, Coaching, Mythology, Personal Development.
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Ceiling unlimited
World so wide
Turn and turn again

Feeling unlimited
Still unsatisfied
Changes never end

Winding like an ancient river
The time is now again

Hope is like an ancient river
The time is now again

Neil Peart



Indulge, play the song, drink in the message and go hug your kids, embrace your family, be thankful for your friends, team members, co-workers.

There is so many new things on the horizon.  For those of us who are lucky enough to practice this technical craft called programming, we can be stymied by all the possiblities, the arguments and skirmishes.  These de-rail you.  Build a fortress against the distractions and ignore your fear of change by embracing the challenge of good arguments.  It’s all a chance for you to improve.

When you arrive at work think of what ways you can engage with others.  Can you practice your techniques in a better way?  Recite the Wolf Creedo and end an argument.  Better yet, start a new one in jest and revel in the ideas.  Bang out some code and fight for the day.  What new things can you add to your team’s arsenal if you inspire someone else?  Are you leading or are you a suit sitting in a chair?  Would someone ask you for help or think that you’re too involved in your own head to deign to talk to them?  Have you built an empire above you or below you?  Is your legacy more important than what you have truly done?

Okay, so you’re code was awful – but did someone else still benefit?  Was your code perfect but never used?  Was your ego hurt yet your company still profitable, keeping families fed?  Did your mistakes help others learn?

What matters is that you engage.  Most times it will be painful.  Developers need serenity to produce but I’m telling you man you’re lucky if you have it.  Life is full of the distractions and once you conquer them, you’ll find greater strength and battle hardened capability.  Work at it. Revel in it, share it.  Be grateful and humble.  Win and go home to the ones you love.  Technology is great, but you as a friend, mother, father, co-worker, neighbor, dude in line at Starbucks or grandma at church are even greater.



Sensei’s Playlist – Pay the Rent with Rock! July 10, 2009

Posted by ActiveEngine Sensei in ActiveEngine, Coaching, Mythology, Personal Development.
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You’ve asked for it – well you didn’t actually, BUT HERE IT IS ANYWAY!! Yeahhh!  Music to pump you up.  Rev your ActiveEngine to these tunes, babes, and get stuff done.  Decisively.  As in total victory.

There’s a new page to the site, Pay the Rent with Rock.  Here is the music that get’s me through.  It’s powered by Grooveshark.  Post a comment with a suggestion if you like.  If it cranks and you’re lucky, I’ll include it.  Describe what scenario your song helps you pull things off, helps you get things done, cranks, whatever.

Here’s a sample:


This bloke to the left loves it!!

Resurrection July 9, 2009

Posted by ActiveEngine Sensei in .Net, ActiveEngine.
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Sounds like the title to a sequel.  Well, perhaps that’s right.   It’s been a long time since my last post, and although many of you may be wondering if I have been morning the fact that there will NEVER be any finale to Deadwood as indeed I have, I have been primarily engaged with work.  Lot’s of work.  I did do a grand standing post naming 2008 the year of consistency and yep that was stupid.  Checking the dates on the blog are a good BS indicator.  My only defense is that I have been consistent at work, and in these times that is an achievement in of itself.

My quest has, though, been very consistent.  Rev up productivity.  A year is like a century in the world of technology and much has contributed to my “growth”.  Ewwww – sounds like I’m about to use the phrase “My journey with you has been amaaaazing.”  So scratch that – I’ve gotten smarter about somethings as circumstances have provided me greater illumination.  Yeah.

For one, I’ve learned about the short comings of .Net.  Big short comings.  Big technical debt short comings with respects to RIA.  Am I a jQuery / CSS bigot?  Nope – you just need the right tool for the job.  With regards to domain logic my strength is .Net.  If you were to ask me to create a business layer for an application I would reach for the #, C#.  That said, I am in agreement with Rob Connery – I need to add him to Pantheon along with Atwood and Spolsky – when he pronounced at MIX:

Embrace your inner scripter and stop building rockets

ASP.Net locks you into a box where if you only use the server side controls and rely entirely on ViewState, you cut your ability to adapt to change in half.  Yes – each time you have to re-compile you’re screwed.  Rely on the HTML emitted by the controls, and you’re screwed.  Try to apply CSS to an autogen’ed menu – well, ahh, you CAN’T!  Moving from the UI to the Domain, you can utilize patterns to reduce coupling and isolate the impact of changes but in some cases you need to configure, not develop.  Adding scripting to your app engine can help your users – that’s those who you are working for – introduce alterations to the solution.

I’m babbling here as I try to re-introduce the blog to people, summarize my direction, and bring new thoughts to the table while trying to remain half way intelligent.  Earlier I mentioned RIA, and in the context of ASP.Net there are some truly great things happening that allow you to combine MS platform with awesome Web 2.0 style techniques.  This post by Dave Ward at Encosia will open your eyes to the new possiblities that jQuery bring to the table for great RIA development with .Net.  That’s without Silverlight.  Enjoy.

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