June 27, 2009

Agile architecture, embrace change by reducing complexity

Software development can sometimes be very counterintuitive. For example, when people started building larger software systems halfway through the last century one of the things they discovered was that changing existing software is often far more difficult and error prone than building new software. Most developers rediscover this somewhere in their first year of being a professional developer. They start out with a new project and as time goes by changes start taking more and more time, this can be very hard to explain to a client and usually we don’t until we get completely stuck and tell the client we need to start from scratch. I think this practice has been responsible for most of the bad reputation software development has.

June 17, 2009

Using a nested Master Page with ASP.Net

The first thing I actually missed from Webforms are nested masterpages. Fortunately they’re not missing at all, they just figured out those MVC guys (and galls) like code so much, they don’t need no stinkin’ templates for something as trivial as this. And of course we don’t. Here’s how to roll your own.

June 15, 2009

ASP.Net MVC … Wow!

I’ve been very happy on the windows programming side. I used to do web-programming but frankly ASP.Net web forms ruined that for me. Agreed… it’s very good for quickly setting up administrative websites that run inside the firewall. It has all the right abstractions allowing you to quickly piece together simple grid-based CRUD webapps without worrying about state, postbacks, javascript or even HTML. But when you want to build fun websites that look good and are designed to run on the big bad web these abstractions start to work against you.

Lately I’ve been getting a bit restless though. I need to learn some new stuff. Frankly my job is boring, right now I’m responsible for maintenance and support for a legacy C++ MFC system *yawn* so time to get back into web programming. Enter MVC!

June 14, 2009

Looking back at Open Space

Last weekend I helped organize the Dutch Open Space Code Day. This wasn’t the first open space event I’ve been to but it was the first one where I was involved in the organization. Kees Dijk and me got the idea from the UK Open Space Code days that are organized by Alan Dean. And with some help from Imtech ICT, who kindly provided space, coffee and lunch, we got going.