First Year on the Job.

November 17th, 2008 § 0 comments § permalink

First Week on the Job | First Month on the Job
(If this ever gets to “First Decade on the Job”, then WLOWL.)

Anyway, it’s been about a year now and things are awesome. I’ve completely changed both as a developer and an employee since I’ve started. I’m hoping for another great year with way more on plate. Consider this an “end of the year review” for myself.

Accomplishments both development (yay) and non-development related (sigh)

Things I Have Learned

  • System Center Operations Manager: what it is and how it is used
  • Subversion: administration rather than just the TortoiseSVN part, still way more to learn on this
  • Creating test users under the domain and using “runas” helps with testing
  • 32-bit Vista will only recognize 3GB of RAM
  • Windows Server 2008 Hyper-V is awesome!
  • Having a laptop dock saves seconds of your life a day
  • I don’t like Silverlight/WPF because of XAML. It’s ugly!
  • NAnt is nice, but MSIs are what the customers want/need
  • A downed Subversion Server on weekends makes for a really painful commit on Monday
  • Outlook does not manage emails well nor make support migrating to new machine fun
  • Sometimes working from home is way more productive
  • Web and Win development has its own gotchas and fails
  • Employers who trust trustworthy employees reap ginormous benefits (I think I’m pretty trustworthy)
  • The grass is ALWAYS greener on the other side of the fence, but you might end up having to landscape it, weed it, edge it. In the end it will become what you make of it.

Things I Would Like (to Learn)

  • Common Design Patterns
  • Enterprise Architecture and Design
  • One experienced C# developer (who enjoys the initiative) to brain storm and do code reviews.
  • Someone creates MSI Installers for us (I hate them)
  • Daily stand-up meetings with myself (yeah, I’m a lone developer)
  • Subversion Administration (helpful hooks, scripts, and processes)
  • Broadband wifi card (so I can work on the bus or just anywhere)
  • I need formal, hands on agile training from JP, not just reading blogs
  • Remove dependence on a cup of coffee a day

Areas of Improvement end of year reviews always come with this part

  • Provide training for others on Subversion, Mantis, and knowledge sharing
  • Ask for more feedback and detailed requirements
  • Improve on product roadmap knowledge
  • Understand more about customers’ needs and use of products
  • Attend more User Group meetings to learn from others

Something I need to improve on is quality of life. This startup has a lot potential and a lot of things to do, but I need to find something to do outside of this. I have a huge passion for development, but I need to find something to do off the computer. I mean, even my side projects are web-related and I just recently got the Android SDK so I can start making stuff for my brother’s new G1. I’ll need to start jogging again to build up some stamina in preparation for our snowboarding trip in December. I CAN’T WAIT!!!

I Casted My Ballot.

November 4th, 2008 § 0 comments § permalink

I wanted to go early, so I left around 6:45 AM to get to the polls. I arrived and the line was crazy long! I figured these were probably the other early birds who wanted to vote before work. I ended up grabbing some coffee and heading back home to get some work done.

So after watching MSNBC’s coverage I was expecting a complete madhouse at my polling location all day long. I drove over there after a quick lunch and pulled into the parking lot. HMPH…lots of signs with names and positions everywhere. There was no line and finding a parking spot was so simple, YAY!

I found a table with a sign: “L-R” (L-M-N, hey that’s me!). I gave them my driver’s license the hunt for the correct NGUYEN begins. The lady almost marked me off for my dad’s name just because we had the same address, ARGH! Oh well, I helped turn five pages to get to the right name and signed my name. I got a card with my precinct number on it (518) and I walked over to the next table. I got another little ticket with my access code and the gentleman directed me over to booth #3.



I finally casted my ballot and I got the biggest chills I’ve ever had in a long time. I felt great!

Precinct 518.

David showed me this…I got the chills again! Call me a sucker, but I VOTED!

Tom, Motorpool: "Thanks, I had Fun!"

November 3rd, 2008 § 0 comments § permalink

Two weeks ago, Kevin (coworker) let us know that he needed two people to help out at the Wings Over Houston Airshow on Sunday. A couple days later he came back with hats, tickets, and a parking pass. Next thing I know, I’m waking up at 4 AM on Sunday to get ready and head way down to Ellington Field after picking up Cory (another coworker).

I had no idea what to expect, but it was a ton of fun. We got radios! The only thing I’ve played with are the pair of radios we bought back in the day with maximum range of one end of the house to the other, lol.

Anyway, we got the opportunity to move people from the the parking lots to their tents. These weren’t ordinary people, they were the in the Heroes and Legends booth. I even took a Congressman there who went to make an appearance there.

TORA! TORA! TORA! MMM....Apaches. TORA! TORA! TORA! B-24. B-17.
C-17. ummm....a single prop. Thunderbirds. Thunderbirds - NSEW. Thunderbirds - NSEW+Corkscrew.
Thunderbirds - Damn Close Formation. Thunderbirds - Flying LOW.

(Sorry for the crappy pictures. I just snapped them from my phone. Next year, I’ll take out my RebelXT.)

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