What I do (with spoilers)

Joe Ocampo (a.k.a. AgileJoe, not to be mistaken for his evil cousin, WaterfallJoe) has tagged me for a What I do post.

I waited a bit because my situation has recently changed and I wanted to cover the new news too when the time was right.

Current Gig

I’m currently a consultant for Helpdesk Response, Inc. (or as we call it: HDRI).  We do lots of work for a very large customer. It’s all ASP.NET development using 2005 and now 2008 with SQL Server 2000 and 2005.  Our customer has a big contract with Microsoft which basically allows them to use whatever and as much as they want of Microsoft software, so we got to play with some of the less commonly known (and less sexy) packages like Host Integration Services (now part of BizTalk).

One of the great things about working there is that the time between building a system and it going into maintenance mode was relatively short because there were many smaller projects. The frequency and volume of projects gave me a very wide range of experience and the ability to quickly see how my (poor) design choices resulted in some nightmare maintenance scenarios. 

The key things I learned from this gig are: Patience, Humility, and Prudence (at least with respect to software development).

New Gig

Recently, Jeremy Miller approached me with an opportunity to come work with him at his new gig and I accepted. Starting this Spring, I’ll have a chance to work under Jeremy and take my new found humility and add in healthy measures of discipline, design, and teamwork.  I’m really excited about this opportunity not only because I’ll be working with Jeremy, but because we’ll be using some different technology and practices that I’ve been meaning to learn over the past few years.  These include: Ruby, FIT/StoryTeller testing, serious agile practice, and many others.

As far as technology, it looks like we may be using: Mingle, StoryTeller, StructureMap, Ruby on Rails ActiveRecord, Ruby on Rails ActiveRecord Migrations

Of course, this scares the crap out of me because I haven’t used any of these and only have an elementary knowledge of them and I’m sure Jeremy expects me to walk in an expert on these (shh… don’t tell him I’m not, ok?).  Looks like I’m in for a serious mind-bending, mind-expanding roller coaster for the next few years.

I the Name of, I Tag Thee

I’m curious about what the following people do these days. So, I would like to tag the following people (in no particular order):

Kevin Miller

Ray Houston

Brian Donahue

Mike Moore (a.k.a. blowmage — pronounced blow-mahj)

Announcing an Austin TDD Randori/CodingDojo Session