Experiences and Experiments in Programming

 Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Well the registration for the third Alabama .NET Code Camp is now open!  Each Code Camp here in Alabama has been larger than the last.  This appears to be no exception!  This is shaping up to be the largest code camp yet in Alabama.

The 3rd Alabama .NET Code Camp will be held in Montgomery, Alabama at Auburn University Montgomery.  It will be on October 28th.  Registration will be from 7:00AM to 8:00AM.  We will kick things off with a keynote from the one and only Joe Healy (If you don't know Joe, you should!) and Bruce Thomas of Simplify.  Bruce was the lead organizer on this one and Bruce always does a great job so I know this is going to be a grade A Code Camp.

I have been on the planning committees for the Alabama Code Camps.  The committee is made up of a group of absolutely terrific and dedicated individuals.  I am proud to work with them!  As always we have some great speakers lined up and some terrific presentations.  We have presentations currently lined up on ASP.NET, Windows Mobile, SQL Server, Visual Studio, Vista and .NET 3.0, and lots more!  I will be doing some presentations on Windows Presentation Foundation (formerly Avalon).  And Jeff Barnes will be doing some presentations on Windows Communication Foundation (formerly Indigo).  Check out the list of sessions for more information.

I anticipate that it will fill up fast so get on out to the site and register today!  I will see you there!

Tuesday, September 26, 2006 2:26:29 PM (Central Standard Time, UTC-06:00)
 Friday, September 22, 2006

Well I have successfully upgraded to version 1.9 of dasBlog. I didn't have any problems. For anyone that is interested, the process of upgrading from 1.8 to 1.9 is very straightforward. According to the Scott Hanselman's upgrade note, you should be able to merge any of your own changes into the web.config, backup any custom themes, and overwrite most of the other files.

The process I followed was as follows:
1. merged my changes into the web.config
2. merged my changes and settings into the appropriate files in the SiteConfig subdirectory.
3. I left my content directory and my logs directory alone but copied over everything else as though it were a new install.
4. Once I had everything copied, I browsed to the site, logged in, and changed the administrator password (since in 1.9 it is encrypted and thus it is probably not advisable to change it directly in the config file).

There you have it. Pretty simple. I had no problems and am looking forward to utilizing some of the new features.  Oh and BTW, I am posting this entry from Live Writer so there are no issues with Live Writer and 1.9!

Happy Upgrading!

Friday, September 22, 2006 10:35:20 PM (Central Standard Time, UTC-06:00)
 Tuesday, September 12, 2006

The 3rd Alabama .NET Code Camp will be held in Montgomery Alabama on October 28th.  A call for speakers is open so if you are interested in speaking, visit the site and signup!

Tuesday, September 12, 2006 12:59:48 PM (Central Standard Time, UTC-06:00)
 Thursday, August 17, 2006

I thought I would give Windows Live Writer a shot.  I have been wanting to look at desktop editors and would really like to look at some editors that would run on pocket pc.  As usual, there is too much to investigate and not enough time to do it.  Since this is my first time setting up an app to post remotely, I thought I should make a test entry.

So far, I like this.  If for no other reason than spell-check!  Jeff is the one that pointed Windows Live Writer out to me.  I stay in a hole so much here lately that I don't know what is going on in the world around me...so thanks Jeff for pointing me to a new tool to play with!

Well back to my hole!  Hopefully, I will be ready to get a lot of my WPF posts out here soon (as well as a new skin...if I can ever get it to look like I want)!

Thursday, August 17, 2006 1:26:22 PM (Central Standard Time, UTC-06:00)
 Friday, July 21, 2006
One of the challenges often facing many smaller businesses is the decision to turn away clients or projects (and the revenue that goes with it) that can be counterproductive to the goals and success of the business. Sometimes it really is ok to just say no! Ultimately, you want to find engagements that allow you to help your client succeed as well as promote the success of your business. But what often happens is that compromises are made for the sake of revenue. And there is a difference between receiving revenue and long term success!

Not long ago I had a discussion with the CEO of a small development company. This CEO was telling me a little about their scenario and wanted my input/opinion. The company started out to provide custom software development for enterprise projects in the 1 - 10 million dollar range. They had a small but experienced staff. One of the projects they took on was a large enterprise system that was to be developed and integrated with an already existing business infrastructure. It was a large project and was going to span at least 1-1.5 years. All the resources of the company, including the CEO, except for the sales staff was dedicated to the project. Due to their level of expertise, the development company's staff were put in positions of leadership in the project, acting as senior level developers, and other team leads. All the members of the development company felt very strongly about the project and wanted to see it succeed.

This is where a change occurred. The desire to see the the project succeed became the top priority. Without even realizing it, they forgot their business goals and became dedicated to a project that ultimately was doomed to failure. Leadership in the client's company was not dedicated to the project and there was no true direction. Over that first year, the project became a ship being tossed around in a big ocean. Once the first series of work orders had expired, the client asked the development company to stay on and signed new work orders. Wanting to see the project succeed, they continued in this fashion for more than twice the original term of the project. Project Scope and direction continued to change and it had still not been moved into production.

Since all of the technical staff, as well as the company leaders, were occupied by the client's project, the development company's sales staff had no one to meet with clients that spoke the technical jargon. The business was not really being run; it was just running. The incredible frustration of the CEO finally cleared his head and he was able to realize what had been happening. Upon the next request by the client to extend their working arrangement and sign new work orders, the CEO had a tough decision to make: make a decision to put the client and the project first (even though the client continued to make poor decisions and have no direction), or make the decision that was the best for his company and employees and move on. The decision was made to not sign any additional work orders on the project. The decision was the right decision for the development company.

The development company had a couple of stressful months looking for the next project. But in that time, they were able to focus on strengthening and building the company. They had well defined short term and long term goals and a strategy to acheive them. It didn't take long before they were back on track and headed for success.

The point is that there is a fine line between wanting to help a client succeed and putting the client's success over your own. To be successful, I think you must put your company and your employees first. When trying to make decisions, a good question to ask is "is this the right decision for my company?". Who benefits from the decision you make? You obviously want your client to benefit from your services. That is why you are in business. But not at the expense of your own company.

Friday, July 21, 2006 10:29:46 AM (Central Standard Time, UTC-06:00)
 Sunday, June 11, 2006
Well, we made it.  The world did not end. Maybe I have more time to work on my blogging. I was really glad that the world didn't end because my family got a potential once in a lifetime experience!

Thursday 06/08, we visited a last stop exotic animal preserve called Tigers for Tomorrow. We had an "Untamed Encounter". We got to sit on the ground with some 4 week old baby bengal tiger cubs and feed and interact with them. For those of you who know me, you know that animals are one of my passions. Tigers and wolves are two of my biggest passions, and I think my wife would trade me in for tigers. For us, this was one of the greatest opportunities we have ever had (and may ever have again).

There is no way to describe what an incredible experience it was for all of us. My 4 year old daughter has been talking about it every day since Thursday night. I encourage anyone who reads this to visit the web site and make a donation. Sue and Wilbur are wonderful folks who have dedicated their lives to these magnificent animals and making their remaining days comfortable. While there we became a guardian angel to one of the tiger cubs, Annie. I am certain that we will add other animals to our guardian angel-ship as money becomes available.

Sunday, June 11, 2006 9:20:55 PM (Central Standard Time, UTC-06:00)
 Tuesday, June 06, 2006
Well, I guess it is too bad I didn't jump on this blog thing much earlier.  I have enjoyed it and still feel like I had a lot to learn and a lot of improvement to be made.  However, since so many people think that today (06/06/06) is the last day of the world, I guess I won't be able to make any more posts.  Maybe I will be in luck and the world won't end tonight so I will be able to live to post again!  Just in case, I wanted to say thanks to those that have read my blog!  :)

Tuesday, June 06, 2006 9:42:07 PM (Central Standard Time, UTC-06:00)
Who Am I - Todd Miranda
MVP Visual Developer - ASP/ASP.NET
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