Fairly Symmetrical

March 2004 Archives

07:50 PM by Eric: One down, more to go Work

I took the first of several tests for my Microsoft Certified Solution Developer certification today... 70-306: Developing Windows Forms Applications With Visual Basic .Net. I am pleased to report that I passed with flying colors. :)

Work is actually characterized by this annoying schism right now. Parts of work (perhaps not coincidentally, those parts characterized by heavy usage of .Net and new development) are going swimmingly well and are lots of fun. Other parts (notably the "simple" upgrade of a previous project which has since turned into a 3-week marathon of hellishly bad VB6 code, shockingly wrong documentation, &c) are not so much fun. But hey, I only worked 47 hours last week! (On the other other hand, I've worked 18.5 already this week... and am going to Phoenix all day Thursday.)

C'est la vie, though, I suppose.

10:56 AM by Eric: Stuff and nonsense Personal

Since it's been about 2 weeks since my last update, I guess I'm due again. :) I keep thinking I should just force myself to post something on a daily or semi-daily basis. I dunno.

Anyway, last week was pretty horrendous at work. I worked something like 50 hours, despite taking Friday off, and spent Tuesday and Wednesday in Phoenix. Just a tip to anyone thinking of doing so, but do anything it takes to avoid flying into Austin during SXSW. Every single flight into Austin the whole week was oversold, which meant that if you didn't make your flight--and early enough that you actually got a seat--there was no way you were going to get a seat on any other flights. One of my coworkers unexpectedly spent three extra days in California because he got bumped from his original flight. And even if you made your flight, it was guaranteed to be 100% full--largely by people who don't travel much or well (envision rows full of kids who entertain themselves by banging on the seats in front of them). It was not a fun trip.

This week was better; only 47 hours of work, and I even (finally!) got to spend some more time on the next version of our major software. I'm really starting to get a handle on VB.Net and the framework in general, and doing some very cool things with Remoting and Reflection. Getting a handle on VB.Net is a very good thing, considering I'm planning on taking the first of my 5 tests for my MCSD next Tuesday. :) The practice tests are pretty easy, so hopefully it goes well. Also, we have a new employee starting Monday, who knows Java but not VB, so I'm going to be spending some time teaching him VB.

Let's see, what else... I'm kind of on a design kick lately... been reading The Design of Everyday Things and The Evolution of Useful Things. They're really interesting books, and anyone who designs anything should probably read them. I also want to read Peopleware and The Mythical Man-Month. It's funny... as much as I don't want to be a manager, I'm finding all of these books and topics very interesting. Of course, it makes sense to read them as a non-manager too, since the information can be useful from both sides. I've been mostly lucky thus far in having the luxury of choosing good bosses, but that might not always be the case, and managing your boss is a great skill to have. :)

Other things that really interest me lately: Network theory. I want to read Six Degrees. RSS is proving interesting; I started subscribing to feeds a few weeks ago, and there are some really interesting ones out there. I'm particularly enjoying the ones from Microsofties. Having direct conversations with the people who actually write the tools I use on a daily basis is just fantastic--I still haven't found any feeds by OS developers, but pretty much all of the major .Net Fx developers seem to have good feeds/blogs.

04:50 PM by Eric: Guest Bedroom Personal

We finished the guest bedroom today. Two shots below, for the viewing pleasure of those of you who might be visiting us:

Yes, the room is a little bit dominated by the bed... but then, we thought our visitors would prefer a Queen size. ;)

04:15 PM by Eric: Woohoo! Work

I got my business cards today (first time I've ever had official business cards, if I'm not mistaken). Right below my name it says "Software Architect". As Glen Quagmire would say, Aaaaalllllll Right!. :)

Also, the week is over, I am starting to feel much better, and the weather sucks. Well, two out of three ain't bad.

04:28 PM by Eric: DevDays 2004 - Austin Tech | Work

So I'm here at DevDays 2004 in Austin. I probably would be enjoying myself more if I weren't sick, but oh well.

The rest of this post is in the Extended portion, so those of you who don't care can skip it. :)

10:47 AM by Eric: Remodeling or, where the heck did all our money go? Personal

Another expensive weekend: we bookended it by purchasing a new bed (Friday night) and new garage doors (Sunday night), and somewhere in between we put up the moulding in the guest room (which was at least cheap; 43¢ per linear foot). The new garage doors in particular will give the front of the house a much-needed facelift (as well as alleviating our fears that at some point the garage door will just collapse onto the car as we pull in or out). I'm sure all of you planning on visiting us will be glad to know that you can now select from a queen size bed, a futon, or the couch for your sleeping accommodations. :)

Unfortunately, I developed a low to mid-grade case of whatever Jen's had, which is moderately annoying. I'm home sick this afternoon so I don't infect my coworkers. Will probably sleep a lot. :-P

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