Assimilated by ALT.NET

It feels good to be revitalized again!

A couple months back I was very unhappy. I was at a job I didn’t particularly like. The team I worked with was very rigid and used waterfall practices (even though it was a small 5 man team), and they were very resistant to change (I struggled to move them off SourceSafe, and failed). It was time to job ship and try something else, but then the market crash hit and suddenly having money to put food on the table became a priority.

Life got boring and dull. I was writing C++ code (which didn’t even use boost because it wasn’t allowed), and .NET 2 code when 3.5 was out for 3 years already.

I lost all drive to learn and grow, and after 8 hours of work I really didn’t want to have anything to do with coding when I was home.

Then my life changed…

I found a new job, got hired, and it has been a HUGE turnaround. I haven’t been there long (almost done my 3 month probation), but I’m finding myself working at home simply because I love what I’m doing.

The difference? My new team actually wants to learn new things and continually improve.

It is just under 3 months, and I have already helped my team implement branching conventions (rather than 2 week code freezes), unit testing conventions (rather than no conventions), and maintaining a CruiseControl.NET build server (rather than no build server). It sure makes a HUGE difference when what you’re doing is valued by your coworkers.

In my 2nd month I was sent to my first conference, DevTeach in Vancouver, and I’d probably consider this the biggest trigger of change in my way of thinking. I was only away from the .NET community for about a year, but sitting in on the sessions with a panel of experts really drove home exactly how obsolete I already was.

I’ve heard of Test Driven Development. But what’s this Behavior Driven Development all about? What’s Domain Driven Development? What is Inversion of Control and why should I care?

And then I came across ALT.NET. I first heard about it in James Kovacs’ Vancouver DevTeach session on IoC containers, who was telling everyone about a ALT.NET conference that weekend after the DevTeach conference. I had next to no knowledge about what ALT.NET was, so I skipped out on the conference because I had other obligations that weekend. I wish I knew more about ALT.NET earlier, because I would have rescheduled my obligation so I could attend the conference!!

It didn’t take long for me to be fully immersed in everything the ALT.NET community has to offer, and I was reading up on anything and everything I could. I practically had years of catchup to do.

And then I was given my big break. A completely new project with absolutely no dependencies on anything else was assigned to me. It was going to be a massive n-tier project with web clients, windows clients, business logic, database, and anything else you could think of. I got the chance to design something big from scratch.

So now I’m reading everything I can about domain driven development and making sure I don’t do the classic Gang of Four mistake of overdesigning after reading ;)