Entrepreneurial Leadership and Management . . . and Other Stuff

RSS
Sep
15

Consumed Writing Software

For a good part of the last couple of months, most of the time I’ve spent in front a computer has been used to explore the current world of software development.  Developing software is how I started my career, and is something which I always had a total blast doing – in an obsessive-compulsive, off-the-scale intense sorta way.  My wife always used to tease me that I had two personas – the software development one and the normal one.  Not that it was all that great, but she liked the latter one a lot more. 

It’s probably worth mentioning that while I enjoyed it and got to write a lot of code that people bought for real money, I was never an A-class developer.  Eventually, I discovered that managing development teams was more of a natural fit for me and I only looked back longingly once in a while.

Things have changed a lot since I last delved into development.  C, which used to be used for just about everything, has been replaced with newer, updated, object-oriented languages inside rich environments that actual make it easy to incrementally build software projects and target them at multiple operating environments and platforms.  As with most things, though, all of this power has created new levels of complexity.  To successfully build even moderately complex applications seemingly requires at least a passing knowledge of several languages and environments.  Because of this, it’s not the writing of code that takes all the time (including debugging), but it’s the ramping up on all the various pieces required to create the application.

For example, my recent journey included spending time using Ruby, Rails, C#, Visual Studio, PHP, Eclipse, HTML, Visual Basic, SQL, XML, CSS, etc.  Even with all the documentation and help available on the web, the confusing set of technologies each take some time to understand enough to be able to use them.

After investigating the list above and a few others, I decided to start writing a web application using Visual Studio, C# and of course, HTML and CSS.  My goal was to be able to put a home weather station on the Net.  This was a crappy choice for a first project since I also had to debug serial and TCP communication.  No guts no glory.

It was a fun ride.  Eventually, I had only a couple of hundred lines of code that implemented the project, although I probably wrote several thousand trying to figure things out.  Since I couldn’t find anything like it mentioned on the web, I published it here.  If your interested, there is a complete description of the project as well as the code at the link.

Even though it took an unreal amount of time, I had a complete blast.  My wife frequently said things during the project like, “stay away from your father, he’s programming,” worrying for the safety of her children.  Or, “uh, oh, he’s coding again – we’ve lost him.” 

I’m going to try to continue to do development at some level so I don’t have the same steep learning curve to climb again.  But for now, maybe, I can use my computer for some blogging as well.

Can anyone else you know use this information? Please share . . .
Share on Facebook
Facebook
Share on Google+
Google+
Tweet about this on Twitter
Twitter
Share on LinkedIn
Linkedin
Buffer this page
Buffer
Email this to someone
email
 September 15th, 2007  
 Will  
 Software  
   
 10 Comments

10 Responses to Consumed Writing Software

  1. Hum…I’d say you’re ramping up for another start up 🙂
    (trying to read between the code lines).

    “Coding for fun” translates for me into “jabbing your eyes with a salted lemon wedge”.

    Just let me know when I can 1. buy the equipment for the weather station, and 2. make it automatically work with your application via wizards and 3. embed it in a web page by copying and pasting.

    I’m on it then!

  2. Hum…I’d say you’re ramping up for another start up 🙂
    (trying to read between the code lines).

    “Coding for fun” translates for me into “jabbing your eyes with a salted lemon wedge”.

    Just let me know when I can 1. buy the equipment for the weather station, and 2. make it automatically work with your application via wizards and 3. embed it in a web page by copying and pasting.

    I’m on it then!

  3. Don’t be so hard on yourself 😉

    I’ve always found there are two kinds of useful developer: the uber-brainiac that can do amazing things you’ve never seen before, and the get-it-done hacker.

    Type 1 gets all the respect, but in my experience, Type 2 saves the day far more frequently.

    Yay for Type 2 🙂

  4. Don’t be so hard on yourself 😉

    I’ve always found there are two kinds of useful developer: the uber-brainiac that can do amazing things you’ve never seen before, and the get-it-done hacker.

    Type 1 gets all the respect, but in my experience, Type 2 saves the day far more frequently.

    Yay for Type 2 🙂

  5. Doug,

    No. I’m pretty much likin’ life watching others doing the starting up 😉

    As a software guy, no one in their right mind would have ever come to me to consult on ease of use. My solution still takes a bunch of knowledge of hardware and software to implement. And, I’m afraid that’s as easy as it’s gonna get.

    You’re just going to have to wait until version 2.0 ships. Right no I’m on v0.001 and only incrementing by thousandths.

  6. Doug,

    No. I’m pretty much likin’ life watching others doing the starting up 😉

    As a software guy, no one in their right mind would have ever come to me to consult on ease of use. My solution still takes a bunch of knowledge of hardware and software to implement. And, I’m afraid that’s as easy as it’s gonna get.

    You’re just going to have to wait until version 2.0 ships. Right no I’m on v0.001 and only incrementing by thousandths.

  7. Nick,

    Thanks for the support, but I could possibly be a Type-3 – the get it done eventually with loads of support and many errors guy. I always strived to be a Type-2 developer, though 😉

  8. Nick,

    Thanks for the support, but I could possibly be a Type-3 – the get it done eventually with loads of support and many errors guy. I always strived to be a Type-2 developer, though 😉

  9. Nice looking website, could I ask you what template you are running and how much it costs? I’ve been using free ones but can’t locate one that I really like.

  10. Pingback: Vicodin.