Climate Crunch

by topher 21. October 2008 20:40

for some strange reason i've been thinking quite a lot recently about starting to blog again, so much so i decided last week to start up shift-in.com as a development only blog, following my adventures in coding. and as soon as the first post went up i really wanted to start writing about other things that are going on in my life at the moment.

i really want to keep shift-in.com purely about software development, and not about the other things that are going on in my life at the moment, so i really needed a place to start to vent all those things that do not belong on the development blog, although i anticipate them crossing over from time to time.

the major thing that kicked my arse into starting to write this right now was something that happened at work today. something that i think at least to some degree will change me in the coming months.

the funny thing is that as i write this i'm still not too sure where this content should live. i'm still very much in love with jobshy.com, and i'll have that domain until the day i die i'm sure, but a lot of people know about that, and since the start of this year i've felt restricted in what i can write on there. i need some where else to vent. i love recording the things i've been doing and thinking, it helps me concrete the memories and rationalise about them, and as i'm far more proficient with a keyboard than i am with a pen and paper, this is my outlet. but where does this text belong?

i'm going to put this up in a hidden location under jobshy.com until such time as i get some more inspiration. at least that way i can update it from anywhere, and thats the point about having one of these things.

today was a funny day. last friday night after work at the pub a more senior member of staff told me to keep an eye out for an email or two, as there was some rather large news on the way. with the whole climate crunch in full swing right now, thats no surprise.

well at 0945 this morning we got the email from the executive director that there will be inevitable redundancies as a result of the current 'climate crunch', we then, not 15 minutes later, got the follow up from our department (i.t.) head saying the same thing, then 10 minutes after that all the developers got a meeting request with the head of i.t. wicked.

obviously a lot of thoughts start circulating around in your head about what we are going to be told, but you know what? i'm not fussed about the final out come. truth to be told my job is not taking me anywhere i want to go anyway, and if i was to be let go it would be a blessing in disguise.

'we are not a software house' is what i'm repeatably told on almost a weekly basis. however, just because we are not churning out, off the shelf large software solutions does not in any way mean that you can side step the fundamentals of software analysis, design, development, testing and delivery. and for some odd reason, so far this company has thought they could, and even in my short time (18 months) of being there i've seen it come back and bite us time and time again.

since being there i've introduced versioning, unit testing, mocking frameworks, build scripts, automated builds, design patterns, and god knows what else...you know what, before i got there there wasn't even a single label in vss (i know, i know, i'm working on getting rid of vss), how can you seriously say you're a professional developer and you dont even know what the concept of a tag or a label is all about?

am i worried about the news that we were brought today? no. and thats not because i dont think i'm going to be one of those that gets made redundant. on the contrary, i think i might well be one of the (un)fortunate. but if i am, its the long over due start of a new chapter, this one has been dragging on.

p.s. i've decided that this is close enough to development that i am actually going to put it up on shift-in.com.

IIS6, WCF, BizTalk, Sql and Permissions

by topher 13. October 2008 22:52
the project i'm working on at the moment will be drawing to a close in a few weeks, in fact the go-live date is mid november sometime, so that means i need to get things off of my local pc and into some test environment. this is where all the fun starts.

as the post title eludes to i'm using biztalk to integrate a data feed from a third party into one of our sql db's (which is abstracted away with a wcf service hosted in iis6), and then on to a final resting place of yet another third party down stream somewhere.

i've never been a web man, i've always been a winforms man, rich client through and through me, so the only permissions i've ever had to deal with is the occasional readonly file.

i've been developing on a local instance of biztalk for some time, talking to a wcf i've also had running locally hosted in iis, and i've been using unity for dependency injection and wrote a rather noddy file based implementation of the repository so that i could get things up and running, with out the need to get my hands dirty with the whole database bit just yet.

everything was working hunky dorey until this weekend when i started on writing the sql implementation of the repository. things are not all fine and dandy any more.

as i've managed to steer clear of any kind of iis development, when i ran into problems with user impersonation this morning i also immediately, and rather annoyingly ran smack into a brick wall.

the db requires integrated security, and as the wcf service is iis hosted it's running as the aspnet account, and the db keeps giving me the bird. panic started to set in as i realised that there isn't anyone at work who can help me out with this, and i've only got a few hours of the day left to get things working before tomorrow. so, google is your friend right? well not when there are pages and pages of asp and wcf security guidelines/tutorials/blogs/posts to read though, and the clock is ticking.

i ended up hacking it to get it working (by using a local sql logon, shhh, dont tell anyone, it will be gone soon and no one will know i was even there) so at least when tomorrow comes and a rather bright man comes into work i can get him to help me out and teach me a thing or two about iis hosting of wcf services and impersonation.

i actually think that the problem i'm getting will go away as soon as i promote my code to the development servers, as on the win 2003 server as opposed to my xp pro sp2 machine (and dont quote me on this as i'm not a web dude) i can run the virtual directory under an app pool that runs under a user which has the credentials to access the database. it will be interesting to see if this is the case tomorrow.

its times like these that i wished that i had a given a little more time to looking at web development. i'm not interested in developing web sites at all, but i feel that i'm going to need to familiarise myself with iis a little more as i think i'm going to be hosting quite a few wcf services in it in the future.

Tags: , , ,

IIS | WCF | Sql | BizTalk

hello world

by topher 12. October 2008 23:05
hello everyone.

it's been a while since i've blogged, and i've got a few of my own reasons why i haven't, but i'm back now, and with a different approach to it this time.

i've been really getting into my work recently, reading an awful of books, and checking out the developer community on an almost daily basis online reading blogs and numerous articles, and generally getting fired up a fair bit about my work in general, and the work of the others who i follow electronically.

actually i've always been very much into my work, but recently i've met a few people that also feel very passionately about what they do, and this has got me rather excited.

i've been developing for quite a while now, i started back in 1997 whilst i was working for hewlett-packard in germany when i was a still a student at the university of surrey, england, and i've only really worked with one or two people in my field that i have really admired, and that might be stretching it.

it's a shame that i haven't met more people that feel as strongly as i do about their work, maybe that says a lot about the industry i'm in, but that is starting to change now, and the number of other good developers i know is growing, and its really firing me up about software development.

this blog is not going to be about my personal life, things are different these days.

this blog is going to be about development. the development i'm doing, and the development that i want to be doing. its going to be a record of my adventures in development, so that in years to come i can look back and laugh about it.

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About

My name is Chris Browne and I'm currently living it up in London.

I feel very passionatly about software development, I just never seem to get the chance to practice it that much.