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Happy New Year & 2008 in the Rear-view Mirror

A bit late but hopefully still good, a Happy New Year to you all! Resetting the DayOfYear-count always makes for a good time to look at what happened throughout the previous year. Here’s how 2007 went, and here is my 2008 timeline:

January

We encounter our first huge slowdown in the project as one person quits and another is coming aboard. We’re still as a collective fumbling with regards to TDD and unit testing in general, especially when it comes to non-domain code aspects.

I’m getting more involved in company wide issues by the day, and I’m contributing to a couple of offers.

I turn 30 with no real fuzz. Just the way I wanted. I’m getting old, and I can spot a grey hair occasionally!

February

We’ve just ramped up a fourth developer when he slips away for other duties, and another one is coming on board on the project. Good thing we have a zero-friction developer install for our solution. We present the project for the whole division at our yearly kick-off.

We’re moving offices at work, moving across the street. At the same time we’re rearranging how we’re situated, and are now grouped by roles and projects rather than section.

I attend Software 2008, and I think it’s good!

March

The project at work marches on, nothing spectacular happens.

Enjoying a nice week off during Easter.

April

Starting coordination work with another application vendor we’re integrating with our application. Integrations always seems to be a pain point, and it’s good to start early.

I’m summoned as a witness in a trial between an ex-colleague and ex-employer, and I’m clear and concise in my statements on the stand. It was certainly not a nice experience. The ex-colleague wins the case, which later has been anonymously cited nation-wide for it’s precedence in overtime payment.

My oldest son turns 4, how time flies…

May

A really quiet month, I guess I was incredibly productive :-)

Oh, and I start this years outside maintenance and upgrading of the house.

June

The biggest thing this month was definitively Norwegian Developer Conference. Two full days of great content, and it really catapulted me into the .NET community at another level.

July

I’m taking a 4 weeks back-to-back vacation for the first time ever. It was great, and I got to read a lot of great development books on the beach.

August

Getting into the nitty-gritty details on the integration in our project. Reality is messy by nature.

Reflector is now in the hands of Red Gate. I great addition to their already awesome portfolio.

My youngest son celebrates his 2nd birthday.

September

The whole division at work travels to Rome for an extended weekend. I’ve never been there before, so it’s a great experience. Must return some day.

I’m kicking off internal presentations of techniques, practices, technology, and anything really developer related at work. We’ve arranged 7 meetings to date and have touched topics from Silverlight via F# to Design Patterns and Continuous Integration. A definitive success.

I’m attending an MSDN Live event in Oslo with Steve Ballmer.

October

Smidig 2008 is arranged, and I’m there. I sometimes wonder how far fetched my thoughts are about the intersection between the agile and the .NET community being Ø… Come on, it’s enough agile to go around for everyone. Great lightning talks and even better open spaces. I especially enjoyed one on clean code, and another with technical debt. Thanks to the participants!

November

More people are starting to touch our fully integrated test installation of our new product, and we find some strange bugs.

Our team has been using ReSharper a long time, and after a presentation of its capabilities to the division we’re overwhelmed with the interest. The end result is that we invest in another 20 licenses of this great product.

I’m attending a breakfast seminar with Bob Martin on FitNesse. I’m not completely sold on the idea though.

My better half turns 31. She’s still in the lead.

December

I’m attending a CSM course with Jeff Sutherland and become a Certified Scrum Master. It’s supposed to be a Next Step course, but I think there was a flawed filtering process as most did not have any experience doing Scrum. Some value was extracted however, in particular in the Q&A sections.

We have an all around crappy Christmas, being ill most of the time.

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What happened in 2007

Here the main things that happened in 2007 grouped by month.

January

It’s my last month at my former employee Adrega AS. We’re working hard to get as much as possible done on a new module for our product before I leave. I’m sad to leave, but I think I’ve accomplished a lot as developer and development manager the past 3 years there.

I have my birthday the 8th and I’m just a year from my thirtieth.

February

I start up my career at my current employer Norconsult Informasjonssystemer AS. It’s a soft start, but I eventually get everything up and running and start to get productive on an internal project merging two older applications; Visual Project & GProg ProsjektØkonomi -> ISY Prosjekt Økonomi (project economy). I’ve long neglected a lot of hard core technical topics, but now I’m back in and I start reading technical blogs. I find that they’re a great source for what’s hot. Take a look at my blogroll.

March

Still doing work on ISY Prosjekt Økonomi, I’m mostly doing the administration part. I’m finding it somewhat hard to adjust to my new position, being a peripheral employee in contrast to what I was at my previous job.

April

I’m supposed to get technical responsibility for a new application currently developed by a sub-contractor, but it is in no way finished. So I’m still doing work on the ISY PØ application. I’m getting more involved every day, and I’m doing some interesting work in the core of the application. I’ve stated my interest in development methodologies at work and I’m getting involved with an ongoing quality project. I’m also starting a job making an aggregate installation for the Visual Project product line.

My oldest son turns 3 the 10th, and is definitively growing his own mind by the minute :-) .

May

Working with ISY PØ most of the time. I’m also involved with another section at work regarding  a planning module with a third party tool from Ilog called Gantt for .NET. If I tell it to dance, so it does.

I’m buying a few books from Amazon on development; WCF, WPF, Software factories and some more.

Most of May and June I’m home with my youngest son which is about 9 months old, giving our father-son relationship a real boost.

June

I find myself intrigued by the blogosphere, and I order a web hotel to host a blog.

I’m still mostly changing diapers at home though.

July

It’s a month mostly filled with summer vacation at work.

After a lot of waiting (felt like ages!) my web hotel is around and I start blogging. It’s going slow, but at least I got it out there.

I download my first podcast from .NET Rocks, but don’t listen to it right away.

My wife and I celebrate our 5th wedding anniversary.

August

Things are now rolling at work as I embark on a new development project with some initial analysis and estimation. It was the only thing missing, so I am very pleased with situation at the moment. I’m also guide for two new employees at our section, showing them the out and ins of NOIS and the projects they will start on. They are fresh out of school as MScs.

My youngest son is 1 year old on the 27th.

September

We’re awarded the project we just estimated, and starts up the initial exploratory phase. Deliverables from this phase will be a specification document and a working prototype showing a vertical slice of the architecture and testing its feasibility. I’m also pretty involved with our company’s effort to evolve our development methodologies. My first submission is a guide to source control going a bit further than just check-outs and check-ins; going into labels, branching, merging and general best practices.

I get hooked on podcasts, and I download episodes from .NET Rocks and Hanselminutes continually. My commute is 45 minutes twice a day so I got plenty of time to listen to it. Good thing I have a lot of catching up to do.

October

Now working full time on the prototype, trying some technologies and how they can fit into the big picture. We’re steadily heading towards a smart client solution as a rich and responsive user interface will be crucial. We don’t want any stone unturned, so we’re trying AJAX-solutions and different vendors before we’re going down the Windows Forms-road.

November

We’re settling for the smart client solution, and we’re ramping up the environment (continuous integration ++). We also have our first sprint planning sessions, and project kick-off with all participants.

The wife is 30 years old on the 16th, oh my, she’s old :-)

December

Our first sprint started and we’re developing at full throttle now. We’re going TDD and I find it a very good methodology.

I’ve listened to 114 hours, 20 minutes and 52 seconds of quality podcasts from .NET Rocks and Hanselminutes since September.

We’re celebrating Christmas with my mother and I’m amazed at the all the presents for my sons.

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