What I Do Is What I Do Is What You Do Or What

Since I got tagged by more than one of my fellow Los Techies bloggers, I figured I better step up and throw down.

While my job history is available on my LinkedIn profile, I’m going to focus on what I do today. The executive summary of the last 20 years spans from Turbo Pascal and dBase III Plus to C# and SQL Server.

For the past six-plus years, I’ve worked at what is now known as RelayHealth. In various forms (the company, not me), I’ve worked for the same company since 1993 (except for a 5 year adventure with TV Guide and a startup company). The company provides electronic communication systems for health care providers (mostly hospitals) and insurance companies (payers). Our network is responsible for a majority of all health care insurance transactions within the United States.

Yeah, big words, what but do I do?

Our most recent project (and the reason I returned to the company) was to create a web-based replacement for our legacy client-server claims management system. The system uses a combination of C++, ASP, COM/ATL, SQL Server, and JavaScript to provide an interactive web-based experience for the users. It’s a large application, and we have a large team (around 20 developers) working on it. In the past year or so, we’ve added some new features developed in C# and .NET 2.0, including some web-services for remote integration.

In the past six weeks, we have adapted agile development as our mode of operation. Just this past Friday we completed our second iteration (yeah!) and are preparing to start our next iteration right after the new year. It’s been challenging trying to keep up with all the new methods while making sure we continue to meet all of our compliance requirements (SOx, HIPAA, etc.). The holidays really impacted our velocity, as well as our ability to fill up the backlog. Hopefully after the first of the year we’ll have better attendance and get some solid plans laid out. For now, a few members of the team are spiked on research for upcoming enhancements.

My toolset includes the following:

Visual Studio 2005, Subversion, Resharper, TortoiseSVN, SQL Server (2000/2005), WatiR, nUnit, CruiseControl.net, FinalBuilder, WISE, PHP, Ruby, and likely some small stuff I left out. Sparx Enterprise Architect on occasion, as well as Mindjet MindManager Pro. We also leverage VMware heavily for development, testing and quality assurance environments. Our application deploys on Windows Server 2003 using IIS6 and SQL Server 2005.

At work, my official title is Software Architect. But I do spend a decent amount of time coding (no non-coding architect here), mostly to determine the feasibility of new technology and then train the rest of the team on how we can apply it to our product.

Outside of work, I spend time with my family, enjoy driving my Subaru STI, and recently added an XBOX 360 for gaming entertainment. I’m a devoted Mac user, rolling on a 15″ MacBook Pro for my personal development projects. I also enjoy movies, music, and Guitar Hero (now Rock Band as well). I continue to spend a great deal of time outside of work on open source projects, learning more about my craft (software development), and playing with technology.

I hope to attend (and maybe even present at) several code camps, bar camps, tech fests, or other development meetings in 2008. I feel the software development community as a whole needs to work together (particularly the .NET community) to establish a solid set of practices for building great applications using the best tools available with the least amount of pain and misdirection.

And me, I tag nobody, for I think everyone has been tagged and I’m the slo-poke.

Enterprise Service Bus using MSMQ in .NET