April 12th-14th is the epic .NET Fringe Conference. For those coming from Seattle for the conference, there’s going to be a geek train, there however one major decision that needs to be made. What departure should we board to get to Portland. This is where I’ll need your help to decide. There will be a mini-hack, wifi, food, and likely we’ll actually get the entire car to ourselves with enough of a crew. So sign up, vote, vote often and frequently for your preferred departure time! I’ll see you on the train!
Along with the departure, the trip, events for the trip and more information will be posted on the .NET Fringe site soon, along with additional ideas here.
Here’s the letter, it’s kind of LOLz! I know it’s tough to find .NET Developers (or replace .NET with Java Developers or X Enterprise Language), so CIOs, CTOs and others take note. Here’s what I experience and what I see all the time, embodied in a letter. I will put effort into hooking people up with good jobs, that fit the person, and persons that fit the job, but lately I’ve seen companies that do .NET work in the Portland, Seattle and especially San Francisco areas become exceedingly desperate for .NET Developers. This is what my general response looks like.
“Hello Recruiter Looking for .NET Developer(s), thanks for reaching out to me, however I regret to inform you that I don’t know a single .NET Developer in Portland Oregon looking for work. It seems all the .NET Developers have either A: gone to work for Microsoft on Node.js Technologies, B: switched from being a .NET Developer to a Software Developer or otherwise C: left the field and don’t want to see any software ever again (which always makes me sad when people burn out, but alas, hopefully they find something they love). It’s a funny world we live in.
Even though I’m fairly well connected in Portland, Seattle, Vancouver (BC) and even San Francisco it is rare for me to meet someone who wants to do pure .NET Development. If there is I’ll connect them with you. However if you know a company that is porting away from .NET, building greenfield applications in Node.js, Ruby on Rails or other open source stacks I have a few software developers that might be interested.
Even though this letter is geared toward recruiters looking for coders, there is another letter that I’d like to write to a lot of other companies, that goes something like this,
“Dear Sir or Madam At X Corp Enterprise,
Please realize that lumping a person into the position you’re requesting (.NET Developer) is a career limiting maneuver for many in the occupation of software developers. We software developers are people who solve problems, it happens that we do this with code written on computers. The computers execute that code for us thus resolving the problems that you face. This helps X Corp Enterprise do business better! It’s a great relationship in many ways, but please don’t limit our future careers by mislabeling us.
Also, we’re not resources. That’s just a scummy thing for a human to call another human. Thanks for reading this letter, have a great day at X Corp Enterprise!”
I’d be happy to refer .NETters (or Javaers or COBOLers or RPGers or whatever), but seriously, it seems to be a lost cause out there, even more so for mid-level or beginning developers. Barely a soul is looking for a job as a .NET Developer, but I know a few that look for jobs as software developers every couple of weeks.
Speaking of which, if you are looking for work and you want a filtered list of the cool companies and related information of who to work for in Seattle, Portland or elsewhere in Cascadia reach out to me and let me know who you are. I’m more than happy to help you filter through the mine field of companies and job listings. Cheers!
Finally, I’ve been able to wrap up my first blog entry on the Pluralsight Authors Summit 2014 (AS14)…
It all started with this. I’d received a mission.
NOTE: Click on any image to see the full gallery of images I took at the conference. My apologies for the dirty iPhone 5 camera lens.
I’ve been creating Pluralsight courses for a while now, with two to my name; Riak Fundamentals and Docker Fundamentals. I’ve got others in the works, and a lot of great suggestions that I’ll be blogging about in the very near future. However this weekend I headed to Salt Lake City for the Pluralsight Authors Summit.
I arrived at the airport, a 3 minute walk out and onto the light rail to downtown. I ranted via Twitter on my layover at the mess that SEATAC (Seattle & Tacoma’s Airport) is. Salt Lake City makes SEATAC look like an engineering catastrophe. So it was really nice to land in SLC and be able to walk right onto the train into town.
Wow, Seattle's airport is such a clusterfuck. Wifi is unusable, all chain food, no outlets. It's like I left the northwest. Seattle, plz fix
Immediately upon leaving the airport it did seem a bit like I’d entered Mordor. Looking into the far distance the sky almost burned a brownish red and seemed to have endless darkness as far as I could see. With a twisting cloud or fog structure pushing down upon the southern view from the airport.
Ok, ok. It actually looked like this. But really, check that out, it’s kind of wild looking!
Along the way it cleared up and there were some amazing views to see of the mountains in the distance. It doesn’t really matter which way you look, you’ll see amazing vistas all around.
I rolled on into town and got to see a bit of downtown as the light rail rolled through town. It seems that Salt Lake City has a lot of bike lanes and related things, albeit I didn’t see any bicyclists anywhere. Overall what I could accrue was the city was extremely clean, well kept and the people – which I got to experience the rush hour while coming into town – were calm and chill as I often expect west coast cities to be.
I then got off at Little America Hotel where the conference was taking place. I couldn’t have asked for an easier ride, with the front door of the hotel being barely across the street from the light rail stop. I figured out my room, headed to check in and got some cool swag, then off to drop all my pack off at the room.
Once I rolled back into the main summit conference center I introduced myself to several people and got my photo taken. Somewhere, at some point, you’ll be exposed to my crazy mug somewhere again. I’ve warned you.
I talked camera and video gear with Phil Hunter. Phil has just started working at Pluralsight and is getting some great work put together for them.
After a bit of talking and introductions to new people, we all rounded up and sat down for dinner that evening. It wasn’t just dinner though, there was gambling setup with prizes and more. That unto itself was pretty cool, but being the non-gambling person that I am, I went straight to the food. Which I gotta say was really good! I even got to experience two glassholes (Jim Wilson @hedgehogjim | Jim’s Author Page and Llewellyn Falco @LlewellynFalco | Llewellyn’s Author Page who are excellent crew) try to setup some magic pixie dust unicorn trick with their Google Glasses.
Jon, Shannon, Julie and all of us we sat helplessly while they configured the glasses to do… well I don’t think we ever figured it out really. But a great table to sit at. We had a good dinner. I wrapped up and others went to gamble while I went to get some recovery sleep.
Saturday kicked off a set of talks:
Key Note: Aaron Skonnard @skonnard CEO of Pluralsight – great to get the big picture and see where the company is headed.
Curriculum Overview & Future Direction – Fritz Onion @fritzonion & team dove into specifics of how we’ll grow offerings to bring more courses and material to subscribers in the coming year, making it easier to find, search for and use.
Another great lunch was served, conversations were had and I got to introduce myself to even more great authors. After lunch I met Koffi Sessi @aksessi in person finally and we discussed courses, ways to improve and put together even better content and a host of other topics. We wrapped up with a promise he’d send me some of the music he listens to. Being we both of some really esoteric genres I’m looking forward to what he sends me.
After that I got to check out Video Workflow with Shawn Wildermuth @ShawnWildermuth and Authoring and Time Management with the Dane Down Under Lars Klint @larsklint. After dinner the evening wrapped up with X Things You Didn’t Know You Could Do With Your Blog by Chris Reynolds @jazzs3quence and Tips on Using Windows Azure to Host VMs for Recording Pluralsight Demos by Orin Thomas @orinthomas | Orin’s Author Page.
I’ll dive in with a quick definition and context of what distributed databases are. From there we’ll quickly move into what Riak is, how its architecture lends it toward being one of the premier distributed database solutions on the market today. We’ll take a walk through vector clocks to consistent hashs, clusters and rings managing the world of the distributed systems. Then we’ll dive into a use case with a put and pull of data from a walkthrough implementation of Riak.
Developer Workflow: From Angular.js, Riak, Testing and Vagrant Dev Environments
Each developer has to come up with a workflow that works well for them. Sometimes a lot of the workflow is dictated but there is still a lot that’s left up to the individual. With many modern tools you have a selection of everything from text editor, to IDE to actual operating system distribution. In this presentation I’m going to walk through some of the tooling to help keep all of these things under control during the course of programming efforts. …and yes, this will go beyond just the IDE (or text editor, etc)
By now you’ve heard the words “Big Data” and “Hadoop”, but you’re not sure what they mean, much less how to get started. You’re struggling with storing a lot of data, rapidly processing a huge volume of data, or maybe you’re just curious. There are a bewildering array of options and use cases within the Hadoop ecosystem. Every day I help customers understand their data problems, understand where Hadoop fits into their environment, and determine how they can use Hadoop to solve their problem. This session provides an introduction to what Hadoop is, when it’s appropriate to use Hadoop, and guidance on how to get started.
Developers have a lot of choices when it comes to storing data. In this session, we’ll introduce .NET developers to Riak, a distributed key-value database. Through a combination of concepts and practical examples, attendees will learn when Riak might be appropriate, how to get started with Riak using CorrugatedIron (a full-featured .NET client for Riak), and how to solve data modeling problems they’re likely to encounter. This talk is for developers who are interested in backing their applications with a fault-tolerant, distributed database.
Think Like a Dev: Cognitive Pitfalls in Software Development
Our own minds are often working against us. What makes estimating so hard? Is there real value in planning poker? How effective are weekly retrospectives, really? Let’s explore how our minds may be working against us in ways we might not realize. We’ll examine the sources of some common cognitive biases, how they apply to our work efforts, and discuss some “strategery” for overcoming them.
Auth0 is a server/service to drastically simplify authentication, identity federation & SSO scenarios; for web & mobile apps. It’s our first big project on node. One of the reasons we decided to build it entirely on node, is the ability to package it and deploy it anywhere: as a service in the public cloud, as a virtual appliance on private cloud, or as an appliance on-premises. In this session we’ll show how we built it. How we use JS for extensibility and easy customization. What worked well, what didn’t. Tools we used, etc.
Hope you have a little patience, this blog entry is going to be pretty long. There was a multitude of conferences, more than a hundred pair coding sessions, more cities, hotels and other things as I criss crossed the country helping to knock out projects, code, fire off some open source projects and generally get some technology implemented. It has been a spectacular year. I also could add, it has thoroughly kicked my ass and I’ve loved it.
2012 Coding Projects
In 2012 I’ve taken the healm of the Iron Foundry Project which led to the creation of Tier 3 Web Fabric PaaS. A Cloud Foundry & Iron Foundry .NET based PaaS. From there the project led to an expansion of leading the efforts on the Thor Project, which is a Cloud Foundry User Interface for OS-X and Windows 7. Beyond that I’ve contributed to and participated in dozens of different projects in various ways over the year. I finished up this year by joining Basho in December and thus, joined the Riak & related Basho Projects.
Expand on prospective services for Cloud Foundry, either I or efforts I may lead to do this.
…there are others, but they’ll have to be figured out during the course of events. Also, there are an easy dozen other projects I’ll be working that don’t particularly have to do with coding, two are listed below. For an easy way to keep up with the projects I’m coding on, leading, participating in or otherwise hit me up on Twitter @adron or ADN @adron.
Big Project Aims for 2013
Thrashing Code Project – This is sort of, kind of secret. It’s going to happen soon, I have a personal schedule for it and I’ll be releasing information accordingly when the site and twitter account goes live.
All of these I’ve either read or re-read in 2012. I set a goal at the beginning of last year to get my ass in gear when it comes to reading. A focused, get it read, understood and learn approach. I think I did pretty good overall. Not a book a week, but I’m getting back in gear. Considering my best year of reading was 100+ books, it might be a difficult to reach that again since I’m a working citizen, versus a child with plenty of time on their hands. But, it’s good to have goals. 😉
The Clean Coder: A Code of Conduct for Professional Programmers
The Rails 3 Way
The Economics of Freedom: What Your Professors Won’t Tell You, Selected Works of Frederic Bastiat
The Myth of the Robber Barons
Excellence Without a Soul: Does Liberal Education Have a Future?
Seven Databases in Seven Weeks: A Guide to Modern Databases and the NoSQL Movement
Surely You’re Joking, Mr. Feynman!
The Innovator’s Dilemma: The Revolutionary Book That Will Change the Way You Do Business
The Lean Startup: How Today’s Entrepreneurs Use Continuous Innovation to Create Radically Successful Businesses
8 Things We Hate About IT: How to Move Beyond the Frustrations to Form a New Partnership with IT
Smart and Gets Things Done: Joel Spolsky’s Concise Guide to Finding the Best Technical Talent
Node for Front-End Developers
First Contact (In Her Name: The Last War, #1)
Cloudonomics: The Business Value of Cloud Computing
The REST API Design Handbook
HTML5: Up and Running
Triumph of the City: How Our Greatest Invention Makes Us Richer, Smarter, Greener, Healthier, and Happier
Book Reading Aims for 2013
How God Changes Your Brain: Breakthrough Findings from a Leading Neuroscientist
Discourse on the Method of Rightly Conducting One’s Reason and of Seeking Truth in the Sciences
The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin
Wrestling with Moses: How Jane Jacobs Took On New York’s Master Builder and Transformed the American City
Bikenomics: An Introduction to the Bicycle Economy
Everyday Bicycling: How to Ride a Bike for Transportation (Whatever Your Lifestyle)
Just Ride: A Radically Practical Guide to Riding Your Bike
Continuous Delivery: Reliable Software Releases through Build, Test, and Deployment Automation
Building Web Applications with Erlang: Working with REST and Web Sockets on Yaws
Think Complexity: Complexity Science and Computational Modeling
Windows PowerShell for Developers
How to Use the Unix-Linux vi Text Editor
Sketching User Experiences: The Workbook
Information Architecture for the World Wide Web: Designing Large-Scale Web Sites
How to Change the World: Social Entrepreneurs and the Power of New Ideas
Mission, Inc.: The Practitioner’s Guide to Social Enterprise
Complex Adaptive Systems: An Introduction to Computational Models of Social Life (Princeton Studies in Complexity)
Thinking In Systems: A Primer
Thinking, Fast and Slow
Programming in Objective-C
Learning iPad Programming: A Hands-on Guide to Building iPad Apps with iOS 5
Cocoa Programming for Mac OS X
Getting Started with GEO, CouchDB, and Node.js
Suburban Nation: The Rise of Sprawl and the Decline of the American Dream
Design Patterns in Ruby
…and the two books I’d like to re-read this year because they’re just absurdly entertaining and I’d like a refresher of the stories.
A Confederacy of Dunces (I’ll be reading this for the 2nd time)
The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy (Yup, just want to read it again)
My 2012 Coder’s Year in Photos
What I’ve put together here is a photo story of the year, hopefully it’s entertaining in some way. With that, here’s a review of the year, cheers and happy new year! 2012 started with one of my last hack sessions as a Seattle Resident at Ruby at Racer weekly meetup.
Meanwhile some of my last views from Russell Investments. Absolutely beautiful, epic and awe inspiring views of the Puget Sound from the Emerald City of Seattle.
Then a fitting image, from the business meeting floor of the same building, the settings sun for my departure.
February of 2012 kicked of with my return to Portland, Oregon. Stumptown regularly welcomed me back more than a few moments.
One of the first meetups I attended back in Portland was the DevOps Meetup.
That DevOps meetup just happened to have a session on one of the code bases I was working with, Cloud Foundry.
While my move consisted of many a couch, as I just couch surfed for the first 45 or so days I was back in Portland, I finally moved into a place at the Indigo in downtown.
The new system, albeit a great Christmas present from 2011, became the defacto work system of 2012 and remains one of my top machines. Mac Book Air w/ 4GB RAM, i5 Proc, 256 GB SSD. Not a bad machine.
A view from on high, looking down upon the streets of San Francisco from the New Relic Offices. Thanks for the invite and the visit, it was great meeting the great team at New Relic San Francisco!
Getting around on my first trip to San Francisco of 2012. Thanks to John, Bjorn, Bill, John and the whole team in Portland and San Francisco for the invite. Great talking to you guys.
On the same trip it began pouring rain as I’d never seen before in San Francisco. I sat by Duboche Park, staying warm and away from drowning! Arriving outside was one of the MUNIs that eventually I was rescued by from the torrential floods and returned to downtown, dry and intact!
…and Julia thanks for the tour around San Francisco and the extra tasty lunch at EAT!! Good times!
Amidst all these images, I threw together some into a collage. There are a number of awesome coders & hackers of all sorts in these images. Shout out to Jerry Sievert, Eric Sterling,
…and alas I’ll have another zillion images and such as we all roll into 2013 and onward. Cheers! For some more new years posts I’ve found useful check out this list, which I’ll be adding to over the next few days.