Hopefully you will recognise something from your working day…
Hopefully you will recognise something from your working day…
I consider myself to be a bit of a one of these. I am more interested in getting something live than making something beautiful. The article gave me some reassurance after a crap interview I had recently.
Hands up, it was my fault, I did interview spectacularly badly (well in one part anyway). But as well as my own pish poor performance I also think I touched a few comedy raw nerves.
It was a technical C# interview, I had already totally cocked up the on-line C# test because I am not anal or obsessed with language history (and I am a bit rusty on C#, having been back on pure Excel/VBA/Oracle for a while). And bear in mind this was a multiskill role (with heavy energy trading business focus as well as technical), not some pure C# nerdathon.
Anyway the interviewer asked me if I had used linq, yes, I said but I thought it was a bit pointless. His eyes went wide in shock, he was dumbfounded. So much so that I had to check we were talking about the same linq (language integrated query). we were. As far as I am aware many devs would consider the database a better place to do the queries. Yes, if you have created a textbook multilevel mulit inheritance, multi interface, hierarchical nightmare you might be too far gone to do it in the DB. I am totally sure there are plenty of scenarios where it is useful, and equally plenty of times other techniques are at least as good. I’ve only dabbled with it so I could be wrong.
Then he asked me about design patterns, so I answered (honestly) that I tend to write fairly simple code, try to avoid inheritance and complex class hierarchies. More shock.
He asked me some other stuff I can’t remember but I am fairly sure I got that 100% wrong by his criteria, and 100% right by the duct tape programmer description.
It only just dawned on me that C# was his life, I am sure he has managed to squeeze every single C#/.net feature into one of his projects somehow. And is proud of that. Definitely in the 34% sparklier gang. Me, I’ll churn out the same old pap that I know works time and time again, unless I am sure there is time and justification for blue sky thinking.
No wonder he was traumatised when I suggested something he loved was ‘a bit pointless’. At least he didn’t ask me about silverlight or he would have got both barrels.
This interview made me realise I don’t want to be a ‘pure’ C# developer, in that rarefied atmosphere where technology is more important than solving business problems.
I want to use the cool tools IT departments get like VS, SQL Server, Toad etc, but I want to be with the business fixing the pain points (with the techs they rely on (Excel/Access/VBA/.net etc)).
which are you sparklier or dact tape?
This is not suitable for people of a polite disposition who are easily offended,or who work somewhere anally retentive, but…
I found this website (thanks /.) which has a magnificent table mapping various programming/project management buzzwords to their real world meaning. Its here.
I will ask santa for a tee shirt for xmas I think – I’ll let him choose which version.
I totally applaud any effort to highlight the fact that (good) programming is not simple. High quality development is tough, whatever technology and process you are using. Some are tougher than others though.
If you were at the Excel dev conf in Jan you will know my views on project management. They haven’t changed.
The Express editions of VS11 will only be able to create Metro apps. This is about as opposite as you can get from what most of us were hoping : that Express 11 would include VSTO. Rather than beef up the features of the free IDE they have kneecapped it in a rather desperate looking attempt to get devs to target Metro. Express 2010 will still be available for a while so its not the end of the world, but it doesnt look great for VSTO etc.
In fact Office dev is barely mentioned in all the bumf.
On a separate note I actually spoke to a pimp (agent) about a VSTO role this very week. I never heard back after I told him my rate! He did say most of the other applicants had only dabbled with it and there weren’t many of us with real world commercial experience. I guess the client went with one of those cheaper neewbs. I hope the deployment goes well for them ;-).
I have long since doubted Microsofts commitment to Office development (from around the time they disbanded the Office Developer Advisory Council ;-)). But everything I read seems to confirm that I made the right choice to de-emphasise it. Indeed I haven’t seen anything for a long time that would give me any doubts about my decision to de-emphasise Microsoft altogether.
You might have noticed I havent been blogging much recently. Sorry about that.
I am currently busy reskilling in new areas.
Hence a bit of Amazon shopping for relevant reading material. I put a few relevant books in my basket a week or two ago, or maybe less. Imagine my surprise when I came to it today to buy and saw all the prices had shot up.
I don’t know if its just a money grab from Wiley or Amazon ‘incentivising’ Kindle purchasing but the price rises are eye watering, Perhaps they are anticipating a new 30% book vat rate in the budget.
Looks like I will have to rely on other info sources. Or hope for a price pull back…
did they not hear about the recession?
did paper just triple in price?
Anyone else seen this? Anyone seen other publishers or topic areas (this is finance/trading)? or got an explanation?
I finally found a few quiet minutes to upload the speaker presentations from the recent xl dev conf.
Full details are here
Many thanks to the speakers for their hard work.
Thanks too to conference sponsors F1F9, if ever you need additional financial modelling fire power or many other related activities, give them a shout.
And a big thank you to all the attendees, I was delighted by both the number of people and the willingness to question and discuss.
In order to improve future events I would like to ask to feedback, both from attendees and non attendees, so here are a few questions, please copy and paste them into an email and fill in your answers and send to me.
If you didn’t attend I would be interested to know why. If you are going to suggest location as a reason for not attending please say how near to your house the event would need to be for you to attend, or what the agenda would need to include for you to be prepared to travel. And also if you would be willing to join in if it had been live on-line instead.
I am now in the process of organising an event in Manchester in July, along similar lines but perhaps targeted at intermediate to advanced users rather than developers. more on that later.
Thanks to everyone who came to the event last week.
And thanks to everyone that helped out, and a special big thanks to our magnificent presenters.
I hope everyone enjoyed themselves and found something useful.
The on the ball presenters have already sent me links to their stuff, the rest of us aren’t there yet. I will give it a few days and try and publish them altogether, this week at some point.
Bad news for those of you hoping for video – it was the one thing that got dropped due to too much other stuff going on. I think our excellent sponsors F1F9 may share some of their stuff but that’s more interviews and atmosphere stuff.
I’ll try harder next time I promise. Sorry.
And next time may well be in Manchester in July, unless the pub talk of a US event actually comes off. If you would have seen us carrying all our presenter kit and conference goodies for everyone on the way to the event, you would understand.
Anyway never mind all the grovelling apologies, we have the next event to look forward to. I am thinking we should do something Eusprig week (July) in Manchester. Partly to give potential delegates more justification to attend one or both events, and partly to encourage the two crowds to connect more.
We will have a tug of war to decide once and for all if spreadsheet errors are important, or usually resolved by other parts of the info system. If the tug of war is inconclusive we can have tag team wrestling about whether lots of names is a good thing or a bad thing. I’ll definitely video this as underpants over trousers is a classic comedy hit.
I am really looking forward to this session as the Excel BI story is getting better and better. Eventually people will actually start using the stuff and stop some of the current poor working approaches. Bob has been doing this stuff for a living for years so I am keen to hear how it actually works, rather than the Microsoft/Contoso fantasy stuff.
Conference bookings have been better than expected, but there are still a few spaces left. Booking will be open for another week or so if you don’t want to miss this excellent event.
The Early bird discount for the 2012 Excel Developer conference expires tonight at midnight (ish). (European time, CET not GMT) (11pm for the Brits).
After tonight, the price goes up to 250 GBP, still a staggering bargain actually.
Hope to see you there,
There is still a couple of days before the generous 50 GBP early bird discount expires (on Friday 6th Jan). But even if you miss that, its still only 250 GBP to meet some of the top names in the Excel world, and learn what your fellow Excellers are working on. A snip.