Tuesday, October 31, 2006


The first I heard of this was from Wesner Moise's Blog talking about the work he's doing on NStatic.

Monday, October 30, 2006

I'm not this guy.

There's another Brian Deacon that is doing a fine job of helping me stay anonymous on the net, but it certainly doesn't make ego-surfing any fun. Although it was gratifying to see that at least my Amazon profile showed up at the very bottom of the first page of hits on google. (W00t! I made it to the first page!)

But you can imagine my confusion one day when I got a VHS tape in the mail of a movie about Jesus and flipped it over to find that I played Jesus. I at first thought it was a very cleverly executed proselytizing gimmick, and that down the street was an identical copy of the tape, but with Joe Smith playing the role of Jesus.

But the other guy is way over in England (that place is lousy with Deacons), and as far as I can tell, he has few opinions on software.

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Welcome to the show...

Because I thought, really, the net needs Yet Another Software Blog where some opinionated geek explains to the rest of the geeks all the ways in which they are mistaken. Well, maybe not, but I thought it would at least spare my coworkers my-not-so-occassional harangues. And they're nice people and really don't deserve it.

By the way, if you yourself are not a geek, then just smile and back away slowly. You won't find anything here even remotely interesting, and probably for the most part it will just sound like speaking in tongues.

So, a little about me, as long as you're here. I'm an application developer in San Diego, California. I work for a company that I don't care to implicate, as I'd like to reserve the right to bitch about them at some later point. But mostly I have nothing but good things to say about them. They work very sincerely at creating a culture that respects the employees, with the transparent goal of not having to pay us as much. It seems to be working for them. Company culture is a big deal to me, and I'll probably blab about it some more down the road.

As far as my geek credentials go, I am currently a double agent doing both .Net and Java development. I've been programming for about 10 years, or a little longer than that if you want to call what I was doing in those first couple years programming. But I suppose we all start out that way.

I have been a number of flavors of developer over the years, but only recently have I been able to finally get paid for doing non-Windows programming. I was a C++ guy for a few years, mostly ATL but some MFC as well. But for a long time before that I was a Visual Basic hack. Oh, the horrible spaghetti I wrote in the early days!

I made two bets early on for both VB and Java, and taught myself both. I even got certified in both. But the VB was so much more in demand at the time, that I got sort of sucked into the Microsoft world without ever deciding if I'd like to or not. Eventually I got an MCSD, and I'm in the middle of re-upping to an MCSD.Net. While at the same time chasing an SCEA. I don't personally put much stock in the value or meaning of technical certifications, but studying for an exam is a good way to round out the the corners of a particular tech that you might not otherwise get exposed to.

Back in the build-up to the dot-com boom, though, when a pulse was all that was required to score a high-paying job, the MCSD thing seemed to impress a lot of people. It seems to ebb and flow in importance. Feels like people are paying more attention to certifications again.

My reintroduction to the Java world seemed to coincide with a gaining interest in all things Agile. Although Agile seems to be a newer word -- it was all about XP at the time I got interested. At that time, and still today, the whole thing felt a little culty and unrealistic. But there were and are quite a lot of really valuable pieces to be picked out of it. I am not an advocate of any One True Process, but I have definitely become a Unit Test Zealot. And I'm probably just short of being a Continuous Integration Zealot. I've seen and believed in the value of the nightly build since about '99, but once I stumbled onto CruiseControl, I thought, "There is just no good enough excuse to not be using this."

My previous soul-sucking job, which I now just refer to as "the very bad place" left me feeling no creative spark from the work I was doing, so I decided to teach myself Linux. I think getting a MythTV out of it was the original goal, but I was quickly distracted by all the other neat stuff to stick to my plan. Then I got quite bitten by the Linux bug, and some of that self-righteous OSS stuff has started to rub off on me. It doesn't help any that the open source stuff I use just keeps working. Stay tuned for a rant on the evils of Weblogic. There just aren't enough voices out there badmouthing that POS tool for vendor lock-in.

I'm hoping my bet on Linux doesn't take as long to pay off as my bet on Java. I would love to be able to pilot a Linux box all day to do my development, but since I'm planted firmly in both camps, and Java does play nice with Windows, my options remain limited.