Wednesday, June 13, 2007

What's Your Programmer Personality Type?


I can't get enough of these dumb online personality tests:


You're a Doer.
You are very quick at getting tasks done. You believe the outcome is the most important part of a task and the faster you can reach that outcome the better. After all, time is money.
You like coding at a High level.
The world is made up of objects and components, you should create your programs in the same way.
You work best in a Team.
A good group is better than the sum of it's parts. The only thing better than a genius programmer is a cohesive group of genius programmers.
You are a Conservative programmer.
The less code you write, the less chance there is of it containing a bug. You write short and to the point code that gets the job done efficiently.

Now it's your turn to take the Programmer Personality Test.



 Sunday, June 10, 2007

Tech Ed 2007 Day 5


By the last day of Tech Ed, I am exhausted.  Many people have already left, and the ones that remain are often burned out.  The only reason any of us attend day 5 is that there are always awesome sessions saved for the last day.

I spent the morning in the Dev Lounge, trying to blog, but mostly talking to people.  My first session was the Birds of a Feather that Shawn and I were moderating.  On the way to the session, I ran into Don Demsak and invited him to join the discussion.  Don came, and added many insights.

I was pleased with the interaction in our BOF.  Attendees seemed interested in the subject, and contributed frequently to the discussion.  Shawn had someone take notes, and we'll each post those on our respective blogs.

Douglas White, whom I had dinner with two nights previous, attended the BOF, and we continued discussing the topic through lunch.  After lunch I attended a talk on implementing CMMI with Team Foundation Server.  This was a niche topic, but I'm square in the middle of that niche.

I was totally conferenced out by this point.  I met up with Geff and Randall to say goodbye, and I went back to the room to catch up on some sleep.  I'll have some reflections on the week once I return to Knoxville.



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Tech Ed Day 4


After picking Michele up at the airport and settling her into the room, I headed to the Convention Center for more interaction.  I didn't attend any sessions on Thursday.  Instead, I spent my time in the Technical Learning Center talking to people.

I had a very intense conversation with Tim Mallalie from the Entity framework team.  He helped me understand the difference between the Entity framework and the Entity Data Model.  As teh conversation proceeded, we got into a discussion of the tools support for the entity framework.  He reported that they will have limited tooling at release in April, but they will have an extensibility model to encourage third parties to begin building tools and utilities to work with the EF and EDM.

I let Tim know about the conversations I had with Ken Levy about VSX, and offered to look into extending the EDM tooling options.  He seem very excited, and gave me his contact info, along with the contact in charge of the extensibility API.  After that, I talked to Ken about this development, and he asked me to get in touch with him once I had the VSX installed, and I was ready to work with it.

This is a very exciting development.  I think this could turn into a useful Codeplex project by the time the entity framework ships in April 2008.  Watch this space for further developments.

Thursday evening is always the big conference party.  This year, I was able to bring Michele with me, and we both enjoyed it very much. 



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 Friday, June 08, 2007

Tech Ed Day 3


Wednesday was exciting and choc full-o-goodness.  I spent a lot of time talking to people inside Microsoft.  If you've never been to Tech Ed, you may not appreciate how valuable this interaction is.  There are representatives of every team inside Microsoft standing around for the sole purpose of interacting with customers.  This is a terrific opportunity to find out about features and technologies you may be interested in. 

I attended one breakout session on test driven development.  It was the best session I've seen this week, and I will be sharing the slide with my peers when I return to the office.  This is a difficult practice to sell to people with little experience.  There were some good examples used to explains the benefits of a TDD approach.

At lunch, I had a great discussion with Noah Coad and Abhijit Rao about encouraging change at the developer level.  We agreed that developers must experience the pain of suboptimal practices before we embrace best practices. 

Back in the developer area, I sat down with Sam Guckenheimer to discuss organizational change around development process.  Sam said that most decisions to pursue CMMI or ISO process certification are motivated by the desire to pursue business opportunities that require those credentials.  This correlates with my experience.

Sam agreed that this is not a technological problem, but an organizational change issue.  Sam recommended the book Leading Change for guidance in implementing change at that level.  I'll most likely constrain my efforts to developer practices, but it's good to know about the resources.

I took a few minutes to visit with Bill Vaughn at the SQL CE booth.  I didn't realize that CE could be hosted in an ASP.NET session.  Bill asked why I might want to do that.  My reply is that my blog runs on flat xml files currently, and SQL CE would handle more performance and scalability than this solution, while maintaining the xCopy flexibility.

I spent some more time configuring my laptop, and a VPC to demo some tools for Ken Levy. I had a problem forming a network connection between the laptop and the running vpc image.  After fooling with it for a few minutes, I realized I could get expert help.  I found the VPC kiosk, and a MVP there, got me straightened out.

Once I had things running, I found Ken Levy and demoed my extensions to the Visual FoxPro IDE to connect to Team Foundation Server.  I showed the Version control tool I built for my employer.  Ken understood this tool immediately.  Next I showed the work item editing control I built using the Windows Forms Interop Toolkit.  Ken wasn't familiar with the toolkit, and it took a minute for him to see what I was doing, and what the potential uses are for the interop user control.

Ken then called his boss and Amanda Silver, a PM for Visual Basic, over to show them the potentials for this toolkit.  Ken then jumped into brainstorming about how to render WPF inside this control.  Next, we talked about how to provide tools for VFP developers to move to .NET.  We agreed that I could use the VSX tools to build some familiar tools in Visual Studio, so that Fox developers can ge