Tool Envy

Currently I’ve been doing a lot of work using a product and language that most developers consider dead. It bothers me at times, but the tools suits the job and plays the bills.

But recently there’s been some cracks in my pragmatic attitude.  I attend the local SQL Server user group and the presenter is running a laptop with three virtualized servers to demonstrate how to troubleshoot database connections.  I port a project to C# and I’m loving the productivity of Visual Studio and the fact I can handle files with different encodings without having to jump though a bunch of hoops. I’ve started dreaming of creating applications instead of glorified data scrubbers.  I’m starting to wake up…

I may not have the greatest hardware and a MSDN subscription, but I have a decent workstation and a copy of Visual Studio 2008.  I’ve scrounged a decent library of digital and dead tree references. I have one of the best user groups in the nation and a few interested coworkers. I have projects in mind and itches to scratch…

 

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Progress Report

  1. Oops! I’ve been negligent in updating this blog.
  2. I’ve played around with Mercurial at home and work, but haven’t committed to it.
  3. Still reading the SQL Server books, blogs and playing around. No deep diving yet… :(
  4. More success on the C# front. I ported one of my small Python projects at work to C#, but most of my time has been spent doing the Amish ETL CRUD in Visual FoxPro.
  5. I’ve made about one third of the NTSSUG meetings this year so far, which isn’t bad considering I bought a house, got married and ended up going to about a dozen family events.
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Prime goals for a prime year

2011 is a prime number and should be a prime year for projects. Besides the normal health, wealth and family goals for the year, here are some personal professional ones:

  1. Keep this blog updated
  2. Use source control on personal projects. Mercurial seem to be the best bet for small developers working in the .NET world.
  3. SQL Server certifications and development
  4. C# projects for learning and fun.
  5. Continue networking at SQL Server meetings and events.
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Last Post! (of 2010…)

Wrapping up the year and there have been a lot of changes in my personal life, but the programming career has stagnated. I’ve been reading SQL Server and C# books and working through exercises, but the septic tank programming I do at work, cleaning up others  data,  can zap my motivation.  While on vacation I’ve been reading and exploring possible projects for development. I’ve been playing with some Racket exercises to help sharpen my functional skills.  In a ideal world I could build hardware, antennas and develop in Scheme, but in reality I’m pushing main stream bits for a living.

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A return to the web…

Many years ago before most people knew of blogs, I ran a technical web site. It was labor of love that detailed the aspects of a little known geeky corner of the nerd world. I also spent several years building and managing web sites for many others including corporations and nonprofits. After a long grind of a decade, I was burned out and switched to more traditional corporate application development and data bases analysis work. I still maintained a presence the web though various bulletin boards and discussion sites, but never felt the need to have a private forum or soap box from which to espouse my views. But now that time has come…

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