The life of a contract programmer can be a lonely one. Well I guess it would be if you never spoke to anyone and live on a island all by yourself, but I didn’t mean it quite like that. One of the things about being a “regular” employee of a company is that most places have some kind of professional development programme. Our old team at UniSA was no different, and we were always encouraged to attend conferences and training opportunities that would enhance our skills and benefit both us and the institution.
But now it’s been over 12 months since I left the the safe and familiar confines of the Flexible Learning Centre building at the old Underdale campus. I spent a short time at DECS and the remainder has been at ABB Grain Ltd. A side-effect of that was I wasn’t able to attend Tech-Ed last year, though [not for lack of trying]/2008/08/and-winner-is.html)!
This year I was thinking I’d miss out again, but after mentioning the group discount and free netbook with my wife, she encouraged me not to dismiss going altogether. I ran through the figures including likely travel and accommodation costs, and while it isn’t cheap we can manage it. At least the cost can be claimed on tax which is better than nothing.
So to cut a long story short(er), I’ve now registered and will be heading off to the Gold Coast in about 6 weeks time. I am also very appreciative of my wife, as I’m aware it will be a lot of work managing the kids while I’m away. She did say if I go again next year, she wants to come too (Not to the conference, but just for the holiday!) Sounds good to me :-)
I knew that Microsoft were making it possible to Step Into .NET source code when you are debugging (if you configured Visual Studio to use the correct symbol and source server), but I didn’t know that you can download the entire source by itself as well.
They currently have various bits of .NET 3.5, ASP.NET MVC and WCF. Hopefully more will follow.
Very rarely you see an online ad that is interesting.. Today I noticed one for CrashPlan.
They offer both a free and paid online backup solution. The interesting thing about the free version is that you back up your data on your friends’ or family’s computers (rather than a central remote server). Quite a novel approach. About the only downside is that the free version apparently is ad-supported. Not sure how annoying they would be.
I think all the computers would need to be online at the same time for backups to work properly. Presumably the same would apply if you needed to do a restore too. Something to take into consideration.
There is also a paid offering too (for orphans or people without any friends?)