Eric Hexter – About Me

I thought I would take a moment to introduce myself and give some context around my opinions.

For the past 12 years, I have been developing software professionally in consulting, product development, corporate IT, premium Brand web sites and e-commerce.  Until recently, I worked for a well-known golf equipment company as the Director of eCommerce Technology.  In this role I worked on a number of ecommerce sites and learned a great deal about online retail for both new and used products.  I learned a great deal about online marketing and order fulfillment.  It was a terrific opportunity and has really added to my previous experiences working for manufacturing companies.

Recently, I started a new job.  I am working in the role of Technical Architect for Ascentium.  I am very excited about the company in terms of culture and opportunities. More to come on this in the future.

Primarily, I use Microsoft .Net technologies and the Microsoft application stack (IIS, ASP.Net, Sql server).  I had the unfortunate experience to develop, maintain, support, and bring back to life web site based on Microsoft Commerce Server 2002.  This led me to developing some skills in running command line debuggers on production servers and analyzing User Mode memory dumps to help facilitate conversations with the Commerce Server support team about their use of COM and unmanaged code in a managed domain. If you ever meet me in person I could go into great deal about this.

I am an advocate of agile project management and software engineering practices.  I have learned the hard way that writing un-testable tightly coupled code gets you no where fast.  In fact, that type of code usually keeps one in the same spot unable to change and adapt software to the ever-changing needs of the business that uses said software.

As an active member in the Austin .Net Users Group, I am one of three directors who helps run the organization.  I organized and facilitated the 2007 code camp, which was a great success.  For the upcoming 2008 Code Camp, I will serve as an advisor. Many thanks to John Teague for chairing the 2008 Code Camp.  I have some new family commitments that just made running this camp unrealistic for me.  So I am glad to help pass the torch.  I have spent many phone calls and emails with user group leaders across the South Central district helping them understand how to run Code Camps and events, using what I learned from my experience.  I have spoken to User Groups and at the Code Camp as well.  My primary focus is around web site operations, deployment, and web farm management. 

I have been actively working on the following Open Source Projects:

MvcContrib  – This is a project that fills in the gaps of the upcoming ASP.Net MVC framework.  There are many contributors and I am happy to be part of this project.

Tarantino – This is a project that has pulled together some libraries and utilities to facilitate application development and deployment.  The features that I am fond of is the Database Change Management tools, web farm management, and application deployment tools.  Kevin Hurwitz is the primary developer on this project and since he is not blogging I have encouraged his work on this and have been pitching in and really pushing to get some solid documentation in place so that the project can be easily picked up and used to help developer work less on infrastructure.

TDD-Generator – This is a pet project that I am still working out.  It is a Visual Studio addin that generates Test,Interface, & Class files with a few keystrokes.  I found that Visual Studio makes it very difficult and to do things the right way.  The intent of this project is to make creating the code files used in TDD easier and with less friction than developing using the Project-Add  New file metaphor that is built into Visual Studio.  Here is a screen cast which demonstrates the addin

New MvcContrib build released on CodePlex – Build Beta