9 Years Ago Today

9 years ago today, I got married.

What led up to that, I was working at a job, putting in a tremendous effort, day after day, month after month.  My salary was okay, not great.  I hadn't taken vacation in forever.  Wasn't learning any new skills.  Just putting out fires and running the month end.  I got burned out.

But I had started playing tennis again.  And soon the competitive nature took over and I was involved in many leagues and tournaments and was one of the better players in Tampa Bay at the time.

I quit my job.  Rented a villa.  And taught tennis.  I taught clinics to kids, housewives, private lessons.  It was great.  And did some websites on the side to keep busy.

And every day, I'd sit outside my villa and smoke cigars.  And my neighbor would walk over, with her dog, Maddie.  Maddie would pull directly over to my chair.  And I'd pet her and she was a happy golden retriever.  The lady would see me sitting outside every day and I told her I was on vacation.

I'd travel to Orlando for tennis tournaments and asked her to watch my cat.  When I was heading out, I found a card on the windshield wishing me luck.  It was from the lady next door.

Our community was having a concert down by the marina and two of the neighbor ladies and I went together.  While we were walking towards the pier, there was a double rainbow in the sky and we all stopped to look.  At the concert, one of the neighbors hooked up with some people and it was just me and my neighbor.  I bought her a hot dog and soda and we listened to the music.  Then we walked home and I was a chatter box talking about all sorts of stuff.

When we got home, we each went into our villas.  I scanned the movies section, then knocked on my neighbors door, and asked if she wanted to go see a movie.  She went inside.  Then back in a few minutes.  I guess that was a yes.

So we went to see a movie and then returned back home.

My neighbor must have thought I was unemployed and broke.  As she said if I ever need a place to stay, she had an extra room.  I was thinking to myself, I have enough cash to buy her villa.  But thanked her anyway.

In the back of the villa, our properties were divided by a fence.  I removed a few of the wood pieces to create a space for Maddie to run back and forth between the two houses.  She loved it, so excited.

We went on a date to Outback and then continued to date.  And then I moved in to her villa.  And then asked her to marry me.  And then we were married.  9 years ago today.

And then I realized I'd have to get a real job.  I found a contract doing Crystal Reports.  And accepted it.  The following day I got a job offer to teach full time for a tennis and golf club, which I had to decline.  And my tennis tapered off over time.

Now, we have a nice home in Safety Harbor, should be paid off in a couple of years, we have 3 terrific dogs and things are going pretty good.  I do believe these have been the best 9 years of my life.

And so it goes~!


Visual Studio Ultimate Modeling Project Diagrams for Architects

Modeling a system to document the architecture is a required skill set for an Architect.  Microsoft offers a solution for creating Projects in Visual Studio Ultimate.

The language used to describe the architecture is called Unified Modeling Language or UML.  It's basically a blueprint of a system.  Here's a link to UML 2.2.

Microsoft Visual Studio Ultimate offers a way to document visually, under the Architecture menu item shown below:

Here you see the project type in Visual Studio Ultimate to create a new Project:

There's a Model Explorer:

Architect Explorer:

Here's a link on creating UML Projects and Diagrams: https://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/dd409445.aspx?f=255&MSPPError=-2147217396

Modeling the Architecture of a Software System: https://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/dd490886.aspx

Generating and Configuring Your Application from Models: https://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/ff472563.aspx

You can generate code based on your UML Visual Studio Project: https://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/ff657795.aspx

In Visual Studio Ultimate, you can use a layer diagram to visualize the high-level, logical architecture of your system: https://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/dd409462.aspx  You can use common Architectural patters such as Presentation Layer, Business Layer, Data Layer and Common Layer.

Developing Models for Software Design: https://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/dd409436.aspx

Here's a link to Microsoft Visual Studio Architecture, Design and Model: https://www.visualstudio.com/en-us/features/architecture-and-modeling-vs.aspx

Structuring Modeling Solutions: https://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/ff817716.aspx

Here's a good blog post on creating Classes from UML in Visual Studio: Creating Classes From UML Diagrams in Visual Studio 2012

You can create a Work Item and connect it to Team Foundation Server TFS in Visual Studio.

This blog does a good job of defining the object types within a UML project "Code Generation from UML Class Diagram in Visual Studio 2012 Ultimate": http://www.dotnetcurry.com/showarticle.aspx?ID=831

And another good article here: The Simplest Thing Possible: Architectural Tools in VS and part 2.

Lastly, here's a forum for Visual Studio Modeling: https://social.msdn.microsoft.com/Forums/vstudio/en-US/home?forum=vsarch

Notes From Dev to Architect from Pluralsight Video

I'm watching the Developer to Architect course from authored by

Taking notes:

Keeping up with latest technology is significant aspect of Architect role.
The "Soft Skills" are tough to learn but important.
Technical Depth diminishes and a wider view is gained.
Non Technical and Technical skills required.
Not as much programming, but need to continue education.
Tactical / Strategic problems (Solution) & Operational solutions (Applications).
Process, People & Projects
Facilitate collaboration.
Break project into sub projects.
Empower team.
Clearly defined and repeatable processes.
Provide insight on how technology can solve business problems.
Teach and Mentor.
Make recommendations.
Design solution.
Document solution.
Architects not needed on all projects.
Projects fail due to not meeting business goals, cost & time overruns.
Present architecture back to business.
Work on multiple sub projects simultaneously and concurrently.
Set realistic expectations on estimates.
Listen, Identify needs.
More resources does not equate to faster deliverable.
Projects vary in size: small; medium; large.
Project Initiation.
Find resources.
Define Functional Requirements.
What problem trying to solve.
Insulate technical team.
Communicate decisions.
Reevaluate design.
Identify tools, technology and standards.
Open Code reviews.
Testing Quality Assurance and Performance.
Collaborate with infrastructure & change management team.
Automate build process.
Provide structured blueprint.
Decompose the whole.
Dev team contributes to design.
Design is iterative process.
Create high level architecture.
Detailed architecture based off high level.
Detailed design is collaborative.
Top Down / Bottom Up Design.
TD (traditional approach - iterative - clear specifications - easier to estimate time) High level then downward into details.
BU (assembling Lego's - Agile - start coding early - faster results) Focus on components integrate into whole.
Advantages and Disadvantageous to both.
* Hybrid - create high level design for structure, dive in, sprints.

I still need to watch a few more of the video's ran out of time this am.

Some good content on the skills required to become Architect.

Pluralsight has a tremendous offering of tutorials on a variety of topics.  Well worth the subscription.

Getting Started with Visual Studio Code Cross Platform IDE

 Why Visual Studio Code? https://code.visualstudio.com/Docs

Write cross platform code in OSX, Linux and Windows.

Download here: https://code.visualstudio.com/

I prefer the lighter background...here' the settings page...

Building ASP.NET 5 Applications with Visual Studio Code

Integration with Git:

The Basics of Visual Studio Code: https://code.visualstudio.com/docs/codebasics

You can now develop c# apps on multiple platforms.

The product is well documented, have a look online to get familiar.

Looks like a great product from Microsoft for developing cross platform in a familiar tool.