Friday, October 12, 2012

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Influencer Appreciation Week: Jonathan Cogley

In 2008, I was the only developer where I worked. While it afforded my the opportunity to "work the whole stack". it also meant I could often get stuck, and getting unstuck was hard. I decided that there was probably a user group that I could join to spend some time with my peers. An internet search landed me at the RockNUG website. As it happened they had just had their monthly meeting and the speaker, Jonathan Cogley, had given a talk on TDD. Since I had discovered TDD the previous year, I clicked on his bio to learn a bit more. On his site I happened across a job posting. There are very few moments in life you can attribute to "fate", but here I was staring at a job description that read as if I had written it in response to the question "write a job posting for your dream job". A week later I had a new job. Working at Thycotic was an amazing experience. I learned about what doing development right looks like and I got to help many other companies see the benefits of Agile and TDD as well.

Thank you Jonathan for giving me the opportunity to learn and spread the joys of Agile and TDD.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Influencer Appreciation Week: Jean Paul Boodhoo & Joey Beninghove

In 2006 I was working on a Smart Client application. Scouring the internet for help with "best practices" I stumbled across an episode of DNRTV with Jean Paul Boodhoo. He was talking about this thing called test driven development. I had read a couple of books on XP, and I had written a couple of unit test in my previous job, but I had never heard of this concept of TDD. It made perfect sense to me, but I had alot of questions. I sent a very long rambling email to JP, not really expecting him to respond. I was shocked the next day when he actually called me on the phone to help answer my questions. It was amazing, and started me on my way to becoming and Agile developer.

A few months later Joey Beninghove managed to get JP to Richmond to teach his 1 week Nothing but .NET class. I immediately signed up. The class was amazing. It introduced me to the concept of design patterns and helped me understand TDD better that I had managed to learn on my own. It also came with my first copy of ReSharper.

Thank you Jean Paul, for taking the time to respond to me, for introducing me to Agile. And thank you to Joey Beninghove for making the class possible.

Monday, October 8, 2012

Influencer Appreciation Week: Scott Guthrie

I personally preferred ASP development over Cold Fusion development. I think that was mostly influenced by my oreference for Visual InterDev. That's not to say I didn't have my complaints. Making good objects was tedious. Handling form data was tedious. Typing all those <% %> was tedious.

Then in 2001 I read about a new thing being developed by Microsoft called ASP.NET.  Man this thing was awesome and made making my pages so much easier. I could make a page and the controls would automagially maintain state between page posts. I could load a page on my WAP phone and it worked!

I couldn't afford Visual Studio but I slowly migrated my development time from Visual InterDev to spending most of my time in WebMatrix. A language war broke out, and being a self-taught developer my insecurity drove me to learn C# because I thought it looked more like what "real" programmers use (I had pervious.y made several failed attempts to learn to make applications in C++).

I fell in love with ASP.NET and still love it today. thank you Scott Guthrie for giving us ASP.NET.

Influencer Appreciation Week: David Schwartz

I was an interactive designer who wrote the occasional PERL script and Java applet, when my friend David called me to ask if an idea he had for a website was possible. The idea was to have a page where someone would log in daily and answer a few questions that would be customized by an administrator.

I had recently read about this thing from Microsoft called Active Server Pages and told him I though that with ASP, his idea was possible. He asked if I could build a prototype and I agreed. After a trip to Barnes and Noble, I sat down with "ASP for Dummies" and the prototype turned in to yet another failed dot com.

This was the start of my career as a professional programmer. Thank you David for turning me into a web developer.

Influencer Appreciation Week

I am declaring this week "Influencer Appreciation Week".

This weekend I attended Richmond Code Camp. Spending a day with my peers, I reflected upon how I love what I do. People who get paid to do what they love are very lucky and I really appreciate how my career has turned out with respect to my overall life happiness. But I didn't get here on my own. I began my career as a graphic designer. I landed here as a result of interactions with people who directly or indirectly nudged me into where I am today.

So I thought I would spend this week thanking them.