Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Say so long to HTML,CSS, and Javascript

So lately, I've been really busy with the new gig, the two side projects, and of course the family.
The new gig is getting better, I've been writing lots of LINQ with respect to xml, and sql. Also, they want to leverage my xaml skills with respect to silverlight. Luckily, I've been working with WPF for the last 3 years and silverlight for the last 6 months. Their will be quite a few new modules that will be added to the suite of online products, but with the help of a new found framework that's built on top of ASP.NET... it should make development a little smoother and quicker. Recently I was searching around codeplex for a lightweight, secure, modular, dnn like portal which allowed me to plug in my own feature set relatively quickly. I need something like this for one of the side projects as well as the day job. After some searching around I found several really cool frameworks that met the above requirements, but they all required knowledge of HTML,CSS, Javascript, etc. Now don't get me wrong... I like working with these technologies, it's just sometimes the debugging experience can be a nightmare. So I found VisualWebGUI... this product gives you a winform like development experience but in the end it's a ASP.NET web application. Imagine a stateful web experience, no data exposed to the client, and everything runs on the server with an AJAX engine underneath to handle client to server communication. This is way to cool not to look at... the best part about it is it's recent support for silverlight as a view engine. With major players like(NetworkD and SAP)already having their own case studies it's sure to get swallowed up by Microsoft very soon. So get this free open sourced framework while it's not a bazillion dollars and discover for yourself what web application development could be like with out client side scripting. ;-)

Develop with Passion
-Jean Paul S. Boodhoo

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Wrox Does It Again!!

This one rocks... er... Wrox!

Bill, Scott, and Devin really did a great job pulling together key topics in ASP.NET 3.5.
This book is huge... weighting in at 1,584 pages not counting the online resources and index.
It basically covers everything any developer would want to brush up on or learn completely from scratch. I was only looking to learn about caching for scaling issues( and it was a great chapter 23), but I learned about so much more. I recently got a new job as a Lead ASP.NET developer and the site I have to fix is a poorly written 2.0 site with lots of table adapter code, custom role management based on a nasty switch statement, custom logging based on a file and poor threading synchronization, etc. It's bad... not to mention all the ASMX stuff. :-(
Anyway, every time I flipped to a new section of the book it had a solution to the problem I was facing with the nasty 2.0 site. For instance, I can use LINQ to SQL to get rid of the table adapter code, role based management is obvious and should have been leveraged from the beginning, custom logging is cool because now I can leverage System.Web.Management.EventLogWebEventProvider which handles writing to the eventlog and database at the same time... for free! Not to mention System.Web.Management.SimpleMailWebEventProvider which handles emailing me about any warnings or errors. A few more chapters in the book that I really like are IIS7, Membership and Role Management (might as well be under the hood), and of course... LINQ.
LINQ to Objects, LINQ to XML, and LINQ to SQL. The book even ends with a chapter on Silverlight. Awesome stuff!

Theirs so much in this book that I couldn't possibly due it justice by listing it all here in this blog post. All I can say is go pick it up if you're a Dev... or at least thumb through it the next time your in the book store. :-)

Develop With Passion
-Jean Paul S. Boodhoo

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

How I Got Started In Software Development

How Old Were You When You Started Programming?
Have I even started really programming yet? I guess I got my first taste when I was around fifteen, The year of Windows 95. This was the birth of Windows Explorer... the predecessor to FileManager. My programming experience back then was fairly basic. I mostly spent a lot of time creating 3D virtual environments in 3DSR4 before it was 3D studio max, and Lightwave 3d v5. I also wrote simple scripts in the 3D environment simply because it was another way of creating models on a more precise scale.
How Did You Get Started In Programming?
My good friend Tom Zymescal (Tom... Tom... Tommmm) He taught me everything from the dark side of chatting in ICQ/Message Boards/IRC, downloading/uploading online, and of course my first OOP language.VB5. Even then, the programs I wrote were not “real world” programs, but simple applications that automated some tasks in windows. In high school I took a C++ class my senior year, but didn't really learn anything significant. After that I went to college for a single semester majoring in computer science and deciding that it was not for me. So I picked up my life and headed some where different where no one knew me or could judge me. I headed to a place were the Windows logo that I grew up with (since 1988 when I got my first computer) was born... Microsoft land (Seattle,WA) It wasn't till after arriving that I realized the playing field was much rougher and more competitive than Houston, TX. So I went to school at night while raising a family to learn C# in The .NET Framework. It was then that I got a rude awaking about how much I needed to learn to be any good... so after school it was time to get a J-O-B! It was then that I learned how to really program. And it was a rough start, writing the most knotty coupled code that was very low in cohesion. It wasn't till I discovered free seminars, meeting expert Microsoft Developers, blogging, and continuing to learn that I realized that I was finally becoming a good developer. ;-)
What Was Your First Language?
My first programming language was LScript for LightWave3D . My first professional language was C# My first Object Oriented language was VB5.
What Was The First Real Program You Wrote?
Man, I can barely remember that far back. It was when I was working in a call center while going to school at night. I built a C# windows application to help Customer Service Representatives manage their callers better! This got me noticed in the company's software developer department. They still use the code that I wrote to this day. ;)
What Languages Have You Used Since You Started Programming?
What is this? Some sort of interview? The programming languages I’ve used professionally are: C#, C++/CLI,JAVA,Javascript,VB.NET, IronRuby, IronPython.
What Was Your First Programming Gig? a small Internet hosting company were I spent many hours building web sites and managing hosting accounts. They're actually still around. ;)
If You Knew Then What You Know Now, Would You Have Started Programming?
Well I definitely would have finished my computer science major, but yes, absolutely! I love to write code and write about code.
If There is One Thing You Learned Along the Way That You Would Tell New Developers, What Would It Be?
Learn to write and communicate well. Software development is mainly about ideas and being able to communicate your ideas well. It will definitely get you places. Also, compromise your ego. When you have an open mind and can come to grips with the fact that you don't know everything you actually open yourself up to learn more.
What's the Most Fun You've Ever Had ... Programming?
My work on the Media Center product during my days at Microsoft. And building prototypes for start up companies looking to get their ideas out on the market. ;)