Sunday, August 3, 2008

man me

I'm setting this up mainly as a repository for my thoughts and ideas about what I do. If these are helpful to anyone else, that's great. If any feedback is helpful to me at all, even better.

As for what I do, I've been a developer, engineer, architect, and technical lead for the last ten years. I mainly focus on web development, but the past five years or so has seen the web become so ubiquitous that its the back-bone for nearly everything. With the widespread acceptance of SOA the cloud is the delivery mechanism for a huge amount of information sharing, linking intranet to mobile, web app to web app, enterprise to enterprise. My definition of web development encompasses all of these technologies that go over IP and over time I'll be talking about and sharing code snippets for all of them.

For perspective on where I'm coming from and what I've done in the past :

I spent the first five years of my career working for two different advertising and marketing firms in the suburban Philadelphia area. From what I've seen of those types of companies, specifically the design boutiques that have a small development presence for either web apps or interactives, need a certain type of developer. They promote a philosophy of language agnosticism just through the nature of their business. One project could be an interactive for a trade show done in Director (this was ten years ago), another could be a small web site for a new product launch, another could be a banner game done in ActionScript, or even updates or new content for a JSP intranet site. We have a proposal meeting tomorrow to discuss a new project that will be a portal environment to integrate into their install of Lotus Notes - read up enough about it overnight to bullshit your way through the meeting.

That's the positive about those types of environments - you get a huge amount of exposure to a large number of technologies and experience in the full life cycle of a software project. The negative is the breakneck speed that you have to go through projects - since they usually are timelined out working backwards from the client's drop-dead deadline - isn't conducive to good architecture and code-reuse. Not to say that it can't be done, just that the emphasis is on meeting the deadline not on creating interfaces for standardizing interchangeable components.

From there I moved on to a company called Music Choice and moved into my first management role. More to come...

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