Wednesday, May 28, 2008

New Contract

Just a quick note to say I have secured a new contract. A bit down on rate, but the market is pretty slow at the moment. Still doing .NET - I had hoped in a dream world to be doing all freelance at this stage, but a couple of projects fell through last week so that wasn't to be.

Still have a few things in the air, and things looking brighter on that front.

Contract market in the UK is pretty slow at the moment, so if any SANZA's thinking of coming over, might pay to leave it a month or two and see how the market shakes up after the new financial years budgets have shaken out.

BTW still looking for freelance work - no job to big or small - particularly in Rails or Cocoa as trying to get a commercial portfolio together. Something around $30/hr would be fine.

My .NET rates would be a higher due to what I bring to the table, but still look at anything.

james (at) softwarex (dot) co (dot) nz is first port of call.

Friday, May 23, 2008

Registered iPhone Development Company

My Company is now registered for development with the iPhone. It's pretty exciting times in my opinion, almost like the start of the computer age.

I have a few ideas for apps, but most of my time is currently taken doing work for other companies.

If you want any iPhone apps developed then give me a shout at james at softwarex dot co dot nz. Happy to discuss any kind of terms including profit share etc.

Friday, May 09, 2008

Shameless self promotion

As part of my push to become a telecommuting freelancer, I have to become a shameless self promoter and networker. Anyone who knows me will probably say that won't be much of a stretch.

Anyway, with that in mind...

I am finishing up my current gig soon (9/5) and am looking for more work. Preferably telecommutable, but can be on site in the UK.

I can/will do any of the following:


  • C# - ASP.NET/WinForms/WPF

  • anything database related

  • C/C++

  • Cocoa/Cocoa Touch iPhone

  • Ruby on Rails (just beginning that so rate will be lower!)

  • Delphi

  • Cobol



I have also have been using .NET 3.5 for about 6 months since Beta 2 I think it was, and am becoming a big fan of the ASP.NET MVC framework.

I can be contacted at james (at) softwarex (dot) co (dot) nz in the first instance.

Thanks. Normal programming will resume.

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Friday, May 02, 2008

Best programming quote ever!

..."just not an actual problem, it's a fun programming exercise that you're doing because it's just hard enough to be interesting but not so hard that you can't figure it out"

Comes from Joel talking about Mesh

It's funny cos it's true...

Over complicating things

A few years ago when I wore a younger man clothes, I worked along side some COBOL programmers. They had been in the industry for ever and had seen it, tried it and done it. But still they used COBOL.

At the time Delphi was the best tool for the job, so I spent a lot of my time trying to convince them of this. "That's alright son. We'll stick with COBOL. We know it inside out, and anyway what will we do when the next trick language comes along?"

I would scoff at this, shake my head and go back to my programming.

A couple of years later C# was the best tool for the job, so I spent a lot of my time trying to convince them of this. "That's alright son. We'll stick to COBOL. We know it inside out, it does Windows now, and what will we do when the next trick language comes along?"

I would scoff at this, shake my head and go back to programming.

Now I am learning Ruby/Rails and Objective-C and they are still using COBOL. I no longer work with them, so don't have the opportunity to tell them how great Rails is, but I know their answer already.

What is the point of all this?

Well, over the years the only true constant I have witnessed in the IT industry is a tendancy to over complicate and over engineer projects.

Here is a real life example: A project I worked on once was a ASP.NET intranet Portal application. Different parts of the portal talked to different systems, coming from different places. All of these other systems either published web services, or were developed in house connecting to an in house SQL Server database.
A Biztalk middle layer was introduced to "expose a common middle tier" to the front end.

The real reason was because the Lead Architect of the system was a Biztalk guru. The only thing the Biztalk layer added to the system was an extra layer and slowed it down.

This sort of things happens a lot. Ok, sometimes it's great to build redundancy into the system, but most of the time we over engineer because we want to add another buzzword to our C.V., or find a reason to try out some flash new tech.

These days of agile and iterative processes, surely isn't it better to release for the now, get it out the door and add to it if the business needs change? Builders don't build a mansion when the clients ask for a 2 room apartment, just in case they have kids one day. Why do we?

And anyway, like my COBOL mates would say, no point building a mansion. Something new and whizzy will come along making the mansion look old and tired so it will be bull dozed and started again. Hmmm, maybe they did know what they were talking about after all.

Thursday, May 01, 2008

The twitter effect

I track certain keywords in Twitter. One of them is Rails. Not long ago this article was released. I know it was not long ago because twitter has just gone crazy with the story.

It's amazing to see the word spread. Just shows some of the power of the social network.