Migrating Back To Software

by Jon Davis 20. April 2008 13:19

If anyone is reading this, you can feel free to skip this post as it's just a boring "outburst" of the refactoring of my intentions here. 

For the last few months I've been taking a vacation from software and focusing on the distraction of Javascript. That was fun, but I'm feeling a bit burned out, particularly since there is little "return" (not counting the surprising popularity of my jqalert and using.js, the first of which I seriously need to revise, refactor, and reskin). I've been approaching these Javascript mini-projects for mostly "edutainment" reasons, although a lot of it has found its way into how I'm devising solutions on the web at the office.

But I want to work my way back to my first love, which is software development. Javascript only barely meets the description. Javascript is fast becoming what makes the world [wide web] turn, but below that, you have apache, IIS, and web browsers. I want to keep tinkering with those--learn how to create apache modules, learn how to write IIS 7 modules on each part of the IIS 7 pipeline--as well as what's below that: the OS. Today I downloaded the source code for SharpOS and ran it .. wow, now I'm getting excited!

I also need to continue to master data services (besides continued growth in MS SQL Server, LINQ, *yawn* ADO.NET, mySQL, and continued understanding of the science of distributed data services, I also want to get familiar with Vista DB and possibly participate in SharpSQL development).

I need to continue to grow my understanding and practical implementations of TDD and agile development, and I'd like to start cracking open my software project management books as I seriously want to lead software teams in a few years. (I've had dreams of trying, for a second time, to start a software company, but with capital for a change.)

And I work a day job not just to pay the bills but to keep learning, through the successes and failures of my employers, how to run a business.

I want to continue to be proficient in many things, expert in some (rather than a jack of all trades, master of none -- and in software technology it is not even as ideal to be good at only one or two things unless you're really, really good, which I suppose I will never be). The reasons are three: 1) the full spectrum of web and software technologis is exciting, fun, and fulfilling to delve into at every level, 2) having a strong understanding of the bigger picture makes me much more valuable and productive as a software and web engineer (ultimately I dream of being one of the best software consultants in the world .. you know what happens when you aim for the moon .. you reach the sky!), and 3) leading software and web teams, and being dang good at it, is my long-term goal, even if that's still a decade out.

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About the author

Jon Davis (aka "stimpy77") has been a programmer, developer, and consultant for web and Windows software solutions professionally since 1997, with experience ranging from OS and hardware support to DHTML programming to IIS/ASP web apps to Java network programming to Visual Basic applications to C# desktop apps.
Software in all forms is also his sole hobby, whether playing PC games or tinkering with programming them. "I was playing Defender on the Commodore 64," he reminisces, "when I decided at the age of 12 or so that I want to be a computer programmer when I grow up."

Jon was previously employed as a senior .NET developer at a very well-known Internet services company whom you're more likely than not to have directly done business with. However, this blog and all of jondavis.net have no affiliation with, and are not representative of, his former employer in any way.

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