End of Year 2015

End of Year 2015

Cliched thought it may be, I set goals for myself in 2015, and although there is still almost 2 weeks left in the year, it is close enough to see how I did: Succeed at work.  Did I succeed this year? Well, I didn’t fail. We delivered on projects. We have a vision for the future.  But I can’t claim anything extraordinary. Get Healthier Yes, but it is just the first step on what is hopefully a long journey.  Most…

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Learning to Code

Learning to Code

I am surrounded by conversations recently about learning how to code, and wanted to write out some aspects of my journey to being a coder… The Apple ][ When I was a kid, my dad got an Apple ][ at his office. And on some Saturdays, I would go in and play with it. I had nothing but the manual that came with it, so I pretty much would load up BASIC and start coding the same kinds of things…

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Perseids

Perseids

A couple nights ago, the Perseid meteor shower peaked. On a cloudy, rainy day. But as the sun went down, the clouds cleared to the west. So we drove out to Utah Lake. It was full of bugs, and not the best place for stargazing, but we did lay down, stare at the night sky for an hour or so, and watch some meteors go by. There was only one great bug impressive meteor, but many smalls ones. And the…

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No Adventures in Weeks?

No Adventures in Weeks?

It is true, the adventures stopped for a while. Mostly due to heat. Utah is a desert climate, mostly. Summers are the wrong time to be running around. Spring and Fall… those are adventure times. So for the next 5 weeks, I’m choosing to increase my focus on work. The farm is stable, my other goings-ons in my life are slowing, and it is too hot to do much outside. So I’m hoping for a high-productivity period here for a…

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Weekend Adventures – Early May 2015

Weekend Adventures – Early May 2015

Last Weekend – Diamond Fork Canyon A trip to Diamond Fork Canyon barely counts as an adventure – it is only 10 minutes form home. But I wasn’t feeling up for an overnight trip, so we decided on just heading up here for a bit. It was E and T’s turn this weekend, and they invited their Cousin, K. We went first up to “that place up there with the red rocks”: And much fun was had hiking around the…

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Weekend Adventure 4/25/15 – North San Rafael Swell

Weekend Adventure 4/25/15 – North San Rafael Swell

For this week’s adventure, we had been planning it for a week. Camp out on an old volcano in the west desert, soak in some hot springs, and go collecting crystals in the mountains on Saturday. Sadly, the weather cancelled this entire plan. Everywhere within 2-3 hours looked like it was going to be rainy and cold. But we looked at the weather radar, and found one hole in the storms, on the north end of the San Rafael Swell….

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Weekend Adventure 4/18/15

Weekend Adventure 4/18/15

Springtime is here. It is time to escape the home on the weekends and getting outdoors. We have a lot of choices here in Utah, but we’re starting with a simple rockhounding trip close to home. Just east of Eureka, UT is a fairly well-known spot to collect agate. IT is listed in the rock hounding books and guides, and  there are quite a few posts about it online, so I expected it to be fairly well picked over. But…

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Weekend Coding Babble

Weekend Coding Babble

I tend to spend some time each weekend coding some personal projects, for the reasons listed below. Each reason could be a post of its own, but I’ll save that for another day. Keep up with new platforms and frameworks Experiment in areas not covered by my work. Build tools that my family or I can use around our home Because I enjoy what I do, and want to have some personal projects under my own control But there is…

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Sleep and Code Testing

Sleep and Code Testing

Just more notes on how I tend to work as a work-from-home software developer who works on such a small team than I tend to be a lone coder for most projects… I try to never test code as soon as I am done coding it. I’m still too close to the code at that point, and I miss obvious things. I have a hard time just flipping a switch in my head and coming at my work from a…

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Writing Again

Writing Again

I’m feeling the need to express myself again, even without a specific audience to hear me. I’m doing more artwork these days, and I am going to start trying to write again. As I was looking back through older posts, (while trying not to be overly self-conscious about things I wrote in the past, and remembering that cringing at your old work is a sign that you have grown)… I noticed a set of goals I had written up for…

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De-linking…

De-linking…

Update: One year later, I am re-linking the blog. I’m starting to feel like writing again. I still don’t have a purpose in mind, so expectations should be low for the quality of any future posts…   I’ve never promoted this blog, as I was never sure what I was doing with it, but I have now decided to de-link it from my site. Which means, odds are there won’t be any readers. I’m cool with this. I’ve made a…

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My Code has reached Critical Mass

My Code has reached Critical Mass

I’ve found that applications have a bit of a back and forth to their development over time. They start out with a specific structure, that meet the original requirements. But as customer use the apps, new features are added, usage changes, new bits of code are thrown in. And over time, the clean design that you started with starts to get a bit hairy. But it still works, so while the code might not win you any awards, neither is…

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I have removed Hacker News from my daily reading list.

I have removed Hacker News from my daily reading list.

Hacker News has always been an interesting discussion board.  It focuses on the web startup community, which brings some pros and cons to the discussion. The good of that focus is that there is a lot of talk about new ways of doing things, innovations, and discussions about new technology platforms, libraries, and even business practices. It has always been a good place to hear about new things. The bad is that it has massive blinders on, only really being…

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Code all day, test all night.

Code all day, test all night.

The last few weeks have been 90% beating my head against code, and 10% moments of bliss when things finally work. It seems like everything that should take an hour to get done takes a day, and what should take a day takes a week. But I am seeing the light at the end of the tunnel – I have a plan of attack to debug what I hope is the last of the issues in the morning, then I…

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New Laptop

New Laptop

I just purchased a Lenovo Yoga 2 Pro to help me with a few things: To allow me to work away from my basement office To let me work from Florida next month. To let me test multi-user real-time apps better. To let me test touch-screen UIs better. To free up my old laptop for my kids. And it occurred to me that even though i purchased the lower end model of these, it is still an extremely impressive piece…

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The Myth of Developer Productivity

The Myth of Developer Productivity

Many discussions that I read online talk about making sure that your products are designed in such a way that they are easy to maintain, in order to maximize your developers’ productivity. In theory, that sounds good — efficient development is a good thing. Productive workers are a good thing. Speedy development of new features is a good thing. So what is wrong with aiming for productive software development as a goal? The problem is that productive developers should not…

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Tweaking my Daily Routine

Tweaking my Daily Routine

Working at home is something that requires constant incremental improvements. Sometimes you make an improvement to your office or your tools and equipment. Other times you adjust details of how you work. The trick is simply to identify areas of improvement, then act on them. Today, it is time to try some adjustments to my daily routine to try to resolve two problems. The problems are: My afternoons are never as productive as my mornings. I am in poor health….

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Taking Accountability as a Software Developer

Taking Accountability as a Software Developer

One of the aspects of being an old guy writing code is that I see a lot of behavior from younger and/or less experienced developers that comes off as unprofessional to me. I try not to judge anyone for being unprofessional – I was no better when I was young. But I had older people around who would occasionally call me on my behavior and explain to me that there may be better ways to handle things. Hence this blog post…

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Dear jQuery, I’m not in love with you anymore.

Dear jQuery, I’m not in love with you anymore.

  jQuery is now as pervasive in web development as a javascript framework could reasonably be. And a few years back, when I first started with it, it solved a massive amount of problems, and brought a plethora of bells and whistles to web development. But its killer feature, the one that drove people to use it, was that everything you did with jQuery worked in all browsers. In the days when we all still have to support IE6, that…

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2013 Year End

2013 Year End

This year was spent changing almost everything in our lives: We moved from Colorado to Utah We moved from suburbia to a small farm in a small town. The kids started homeschooling. I started a new job. (10 projects completed, plus one major project still in the works, and 200 specific tasks completed to make those projects happen.) There is almost nothing that stayed the same this year. It is difficult to even begin to write up a review, so…

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Work at the right times

Work at the right times

I wanted to share a perfect example of how your mental state can impact the efficiency of work, and how taking advantage of that can have great benefits to work-at-home programmers: I had a couple fairly simple tasks to complete yesterday afternoon. they did not sound difficult, however after the Christmas holidays, I was not feeling at my best, and just could not wrap my head around what I knew should not be that difficult. My eyes were not able…

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My Work From Home Details

My Work From Home Details

As mentioned in the previous post, I feel that knowing yourself is key to setting up  a highly effective environment to work from home.  I had intended to list details of my specific work environment. But this post has become more of a stream-of-consciousness list of some high-level details and lessons learned over my first year of doing this. I probably should edit this to improve its clarity and organization, but I think I’ll leave it, and possibly expand on…

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The Importance of Self Awareness

The Importance of Self Awareness

One of the keys to being effective while working from home is to be aware of your own work ethic, style and preferences, enough that you can create the ideal working environment for yourself. This means more than something as simple as “I like to code until 1 AM, then sleep in.” It means knowing when you are being effective. It is easy to know when coding is going well, and equally easy to know when you are making no…

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Rekindling my writing

Rekindling my writing

I have had blogs off and on over the years, some of which received significant audiences, with a few notable posts over the years. However, the past 2 years, I have written nothing, and actually deleted most of my old content. I am now feeling that something is missing in my life. Despite the fact that blogs are not exactly the latest and greatest mechanism for online content creation, I find that a blog fulfills something important to me, namely writing. I…

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Recent Lotus Blog Posts

Recent Lotus Blog Posts

Standard disclaimer – the ‘migratenotes’ posts come from a Notes Migration blog that I wrote from 2007-2010.  More Info ——- I’ve recently noticed a few “Goodbye” posts on Lotus-related blogs. And I want to make something very clear – just because someone starts work on Microsoft platforms (Or Google Apps, or whatever), that does NOT mean that your connection to the Lotus world ends.  I admit that I will now sometimes go a few weeks without reading Lotus-related blogs.  But…

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More Angst

More Angst

Standard disclaimer – the ‘migratenotes’ posts come from a Notes Migration blog that I wrote from 2007-2010.  More Info ——- I know, I know… I am done with this blog. No need for any more updates. But I’m also feeling guilty that my last post was probably unfair to the IBM folk. Their attitude just came across badly, and set us against them. So I thought I would provide a little more info on how things are going… We’re down…

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Quick Update from this Defunct Blog

Quick Update from this Defunct Blog

Standard disclaimer – the ‘migratenotes’ posts come from a Notes Migration blog that I wrote from 2007-2010.  More Info ——- Just in case anyone still has me in their RSS readers, a quick FYI: We just hit a nice milestone. We have under 100 apps left in our Notes Environment. As of right now, there are 99 apps remaining. 99 apps in our Notes Environment, 99 apps in Notes… Shut one down, archive it down… IBM did come in and…

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I’m Done — Behemoth Post / Explanation / Conclusions

I’m Done — Behemoth Post / Explanation / Conclusions

Standard disclaimer – the ‘migratenotes’ posts come from a Notes Migration blog that I wrote from 2007-2010.  More Info ——- Before I left on my vacation two weeks ago, I was starting to get more inspired about doing more with this blog. I joined twitter, I starting putting together technical content to post… But  I was also getting tired of SharePoint, as previous posts show. I wanted to take my week offline and see if that refreshed me. It did…

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jQuery Performace Problem & Solution

jQuery Performace Problem & Solution

One of my current tasks is to refactor our SharePoint portal’s design. The original design was heavily laden with tables and large images.And each new subsite had its own master page, style sheet, and images directory. It was performing poorly in the browsers, and making it painful to create new subsites. So I’m making a CSS-based version, removing all the images, simplifying the design while improving performance and flexibility. The end result was much faster, but the look was too…

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Notes Dev Hall of Shame #2

Notes Dev Hall of Shame #2

Standard disclaimer – the ‘migratenotes’ posts come from a Notes Migration blog that I wrote from 2007-2010.  More Info ——- The main topic for today is user-configurable data. It is true that hard-coding data is bad. The values in various drop-down lists, etc, would ideally be populated from data that the business owners can update. But somehow, the idea of “hard-coding is bad” got misunderstood. One former developer obviously missed the point… that the idea was to not require code…

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Roadmap for functions in the SharePoint World

Roadmap for functions in the SharePoint World

Standard disclaimer – the ‘migratenotes’ posts come from a Notes Migration blog that I wrote from 2007-2010.  More Info ——- When people say “SharePoint”, they usually mean any application accessed through a SharePoint portal. In truth, this may actually be SharePoint, but could also mean .NET or InfoPath applications. One of the challenges we’ve had is defining which types of applications really are a SharePoint app vs. InfoPath vs. .NET. But before I go there… why does it matter? It…

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Code Quality vs. Platform Quality

Code Quality vs. Platform Quality

Standard disclaimer – the ‘migratenotes’ posts come from a Notes Migration blog that I wrote from 2007-2010.  More Info ——- If you’ve read the previous post, you know that the code quality at my current job is… questionable. Not all of it, to be sure. There is some good work. But… one bad app spoils the bunch, so to speak. That form that took 10 minutes to open? It made people believe that Notes was a poor platform that could…

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Notes Dev Hall of Shame — #1

Notes Dev Hall of Shame — #1

Standard disclaimer – the ‘migratenotes’ posts come from a Notes Migration blog that I wrote from 2007-2010.  More Info ——- I wanted to share a few choice items that have not only boggled our minds, but also caused endless amounts of helpdesk tickets. 1) The EmployeeID field in names.nsf At first glance, it almost looks reasonable. They added a field to the person document, labelled “Employee ID”, called EmployeeID, and updated nightly from our HR system. All applications look to…

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Bad News From Work…

Bad News From Work…

Standard disclaimer – the ‘migratenotes’ posts come from a Notes Migration blog that I wrote from 2007-2010.  More Info ——- I got bad news today at work… No, not a layoff. But the economy has shut down some projects, as I may have mentioned before. Specifically, it shut down projects there were intended to replace my largest, most complex Notes apps. These two apps are the ones that will make or break this migration, as they are used across the…

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Philosophy on Tools

Philosophy on Tools

Standard disclaimer – the ‘migratenotes’ posts come from a Notes Migration blog that I wrote from 2007-2010.  More Info ——- I’m always very resistant to buying tools for development work, and that is part of the reason that I have not pursued any tools for this migration. The other reason being that, while we are migrating away from Notes, it is intended to be a slow attrition, not an active push to get rid of the platform, so we don’t…

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Level of Satisfaction as a SharePoint Developer

Level of Satisfaction as a SharePoint Developer

Standard disclaimer – the ‘migratenotes’ posts come from a Notes Migration blog that I wrote from 2007-2010.  More Info ——- As we are now a few weeks into 2009, I’ve been thinking carefully about what direction I should take my career. The current economy doesn’t leave me many choices, so this is mostly an academic exercise – the reality is that I will just keep my current job for the foreseeable future. But, were I to have my choice, I…

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End of Year Review – 2008

End of Year Review – 2008

Standard disclaimer – the ‘migratenotes’ posts come from a Notes Migration blog that I wrote from 2007-2010.  More Info ——- It is coming up on the end of my first full year doing this migration. I started the effort last fall, but all my time in 2007 was dedicated to learning SharePoint. But it is now time for the annual corporate performance review. Everyone in the organization now tries to pimp themselves, pontificating on all the wonderful accomplishments from 2008,…

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InfoPath equivalent to @UserName

InfoPath equivalent to @UserName

Standard disclaimer – the ‘migratenotes’ posts come from a Notes Migration blog that I wrote from 2007-2010.  More Info ——- So in Notes, popping in a Names field with a default value of @UserName is a very simple, easy action. In InfoPath? Not so much. I first had to seek out how to even get a name selection control running in an InfoPath form, and then I discovered that the XML data needed for that control made a simple userName()…

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Fun with InfoPath

Fun with InfoPath

Standard disclaimer – the ‘migratenotes’ posts come from a Notes Migration blog that I wrote from 2007-2010.  More Info ——- I’m having fun this week. I’m digging into InfoPath for the first time, as we’re now into some of the more complex forms that really are not readily handled by basic SharePoint lists. I’ve discovered a few tidbits that I wanted to document here. Please note that I’m a flippin’ newbie when it comes to InfoPath, so some of these…

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Under 1000 DBs left

Under 1000 DBs left

Standard disclaimer – the ‘migratenotes’ posts come from a Notes Migration blog that I wrote from 2007-2010.  More Info ——- It may have been quiet on here, but I’ve been busy cleaning up our Notes environment. And we have hit what I feel is a nice milestone we have under 1000 Notes databases left on our productions servers, and that includes the system databases and others that I know we don’t need to worry about migrating. Another 500 should be…

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