October 12th, 2004:
Work. Code. Racing. Cars.

A handful of people left my workplace in a relatively short time span. Never before have we experienced such a group exodus from our team. (Everyone left on good terms, for their own, personal reasons.) After we dealt with that distraction, we were told that a new business direction, set in motion over a year ago, would be put on hold pending government review. Rather than upset the environment and fill everyone with fear and doubt, this has proven to bring everyone together. Teammates that were working on the “new business direction” are starting to work with other teammates with no ill-will related to 18 months of work being put on hold. I’m enjoying the exposure to a 1/2 dozen different points of view and an impressive collection of expertise and experience.

I code. I’m a fair mix of frontend development and middle-end (php/xslt) skills. I work towards web standards and I try to keep up on the latest news and developments. I’ll be tacking my first “big” object-based project at work. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve developed objects and classes in php before, but I’ve never built a platform that will be built upon over and over. I’m looking forward to the experience.

At the same time, several co-developers in my office have begun to work with .NET. That’s cool and all, but between the IDE licensing, training, books, production hardware, and OS licensing, it’s a relatively large investment. (Although MS does a great job of spreading out the cost over time.) There are some nice bait and switch tricks, as well as “upgrades” requiring new IDEs. I have to give it to MS. They know how to get you hooked. Then you spend a little money. You want the “integration features,” so you spend a little more. It doesn’t quite do what you want, but you’re at the point where you either scrap the MS way (effectively wasting the time, money, and effort invested), or move forward into an “enterprise agreement.” This is where MS makes the money. Support contracts, software packages, “free upgrades” (as long as they don’t change the packages they offer… which they do often). At this point, you have locked yourself into the universe of MS. Going forward it will always seem easier to buy a boxed solution from them. But, each solution is designed to leave you wanting… needing a little more.

In other news, I will be crewing for Glenn (my father-in-law) while he competes at Nelson Ledges this weekend. As I understand, the facilities are quite “rustic”. This should prove to be interesting.

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