January 25, 2006
I am leading a pilot currently of the new development platform, Team System,
at work. We are currently only running the pilot with a single small team.
It's too early to tell yet how succesul this pilot will be or what the overall
challenges we'll encounter, however, so far I think the biggest item that
seems to be a struggle is education.
January 25, 2006
Today I was considering writing my own editor for the Process Guidance files
that are used to load up Team Foundation Server with custom process guidance
templates (Work Item Types, Sharepoint documents and templates, Reports, Work
Item Queries, Classifications, Groups and Permissions, and Version Control
settings). It's basically a bunch of Xml configuration files along with some
queries and Reporting Services reports, but mostly Xml configuration.
January 23, 2006
I read an article
the other day that talked about the concept of "Personal Knowledge
Management". I had been a casual OneNote user in the past as I like the idea
of having all of my thoughts from meetings, brainstorming, etc. full-text
searchable. This article inspired me to take a much more dynamic and rigorous
approach in "managing my knowledge".
January 23, 2006
There are many challenges to getting an Enterprise Architecture group off the
ground at an organization, especially one that is trying to mature after
running in "startup" mode for so long. Also, since the idea of architecture
in technology is a relatively new discipline many managers and stakeholders
just don't understand what architecture means, what the role of the architect
is, and most importantly what the benefits are of having a solid architecture
group or team.
What is Enterprise Architecture?
Enterprise Architecture is a discipline that relies heavily on mid to long
term strategic vision that is driven by the goal of aligning IT with business.
It value to the company cannot be realized on a quarter by quarter basis but
rather on a year to year basis. A lot of times this value realization is not
directly apparent. However, the value is usually significant impact on an
organization beyond what any single or group of traditional projects could
accomplish. For example, items like developer morale and productivity,
harmonization of IT and business, business leaders able to make better
strategic decisions, a solid platform enabliing better performance, more
reliable security, and forward proofed designs, etc., are things we all agree
are wonderful making IT more cost effective and better able to provide
services to the business but are rather hard to measure and attribute 100% to
the architecture group or team. However, it is a rare case indeed to find
these things without people dedicated to focusing on architecture for the
What is the role of an architect?
Many times the great architect was also a great technologist or developer,
however, the great technologist or developer do not necessarily make a great
architect. This is because the skillsets needed to be that great developer
are only a small fraction of what the architect needs to call upon in the
course of their duties. A large portion of the architect's trade must rely on
good organizational politics, meaning that he has got to be able to sell his
or her ideas to both the deeply technical as well as executive management. He
has to play a leadership role without any organizational authority so it is
required of the architect that he is well respected and can motivate the
necessary people to follow, and to do so with enthusiasm. In addition, he or
she must be able to be adept at thinking strategically and critically about
long range technical direction.
January 22, 2006
Recently, I jumped back into developing some plugins for
Brian's Cropper screenshot
tool. For a while I
was using the built in capture tool that comes with
I am a heavy OneNote user, however, since I upgraded to dual monitors, it's
fairly sluggish. It works fine, just a little sluggish for when I want to
take quick shots and am not interested in journaling about them in OneNote (it
automatically creates a Side Note entry with the capture).
January 22, 2006
I decided to take the plunge and to upgrade my CS 1.1 site to the 2.0 Beta 2
release. Looks pretty solid for a Beta release, however, I am having trouble
with my "articles" showing up even though I can get to them in the admin
January 22, 2006
I have recently become a fan of the social
Delicious. I started thinking of all the ways it could
be useful to be able to capture links or query the Delicious database for
links from within other apps and plugins. I noticed that Delicious exposes a
web based API via query string parameters.
However, I could find no .NET library out there that wrapped the the web
request calls up for me in a nice neat little class library so this weekend I
wrote my own. This is a rough and dirty 1.0 version so please let me know if
you find any bugs. One bug I found with the Delicious API/site is how it
stores URLs. If you store a URL that is just the domain name, with no query
strings or files (e.g. default.aspx), it will always store it with a trailing
"/" no matter if you stored it with a slash or not. If you go to query the
Delicious API without a trailing slash, it will not return any results. This
could easily be fixed in my API by just doing some analysis of the URL string
before sending it along in the query to Delicious, however, it has not been
implemented as of yet.
January 5, 2006
I ran across a poem in a John Maxwell book that I am reading
entitled The 360-Degree Leader, that Maxwell attributes to Walt
Whitman. Further research seems to indicate that the poem was actually
written by Walt Mason. Either way, I absolutely love the statement that is
made through the well written verses.
November 30, 2005
I can't remember how I stumbled upon this interesting podcast called The
Cubicle Escape Pod, but I am glad that I did.
More good brain food and motivation for the commute. It's a show, typically
lasting between 10 and 20 minutes in length, that discusses the ins and outs
of starting a business. If you have ever desired or dreamed of launching a
startup, then I think you will love listening to this show for ideas, advice,
and just plain motivation because these guys are excited about what they are
doing and it's infectious.
November 29, 2005
I have just migrated all my RSS syndication over to
FeedBurner. If I did this correctly, you should not
have to change anything in your RSS feed readers. However, please let me know
if anything breaks for you.