Holy crap this is cool:
Tonight at the IT Pro Toronto we did a pre-launch
of the Infrastructure 2010 project.
Have you ever been in a position where you just don’t have a clear grasp of a concept
or design? It’s not fun. As a result, CIPS
Toronto, IT Pro Toronto, and TorontoSQL banded
together to create a massive event to help make things a little more clear.
To give you a clearer understanding of how corporate networks work. Perhaps
to explain why some decisions are made, and why in retrospect, some are bad decisions.
Infrastructure 2010 is about teaching you everything there is to know about a state-of-the-art,
best practices compliant, corporate intranet. We will build, from the ground
up, an entire infrastructure. We will teach you how to build, from the ground
up, an entire infrastructure.
Sessions are minimum 300 level, and content-rich. Therefore:
Well, maybe. (P.S. if you work for Microsoft, pretend you didn’t see that picture)
In the previous post Make it Right I
asked the question
Why aren’t more people making it right?
I was curious why people don’t take the time to write software properly. There
are lots of jokes about bad software development:
If houses were built the same way programmers build programs, we’d all be living on
Unfortunately it’s a fair statement. Most programs out there suck*. I
used to come back with the argument that people have been building houses for thousands
of years, but software for only a few decades. There are bound to be issues.
But then it occurred to me.
Mike Holmes is all about making it right, as I said in the previous post. His
TV show was about fixing the problems that professionals made. Professionals
who have been building the same thing people have built for thousands of years.
Wait a minute. I just flawed my own argument.
Houses are built the same way programmers build programs.
I see three very apparent reasons.
Cheapness – People want software built quickly, as cheap as possible.
Laziness – Why strain your mental processing or follow best practices when you can
just do whatever first comes to mind?
Uneducated – Sometimes (a lot of times) the person doing the building/development
just doesn’t know what they are doing.
There are numerous other reasons why, but these three are by far the biggest across
all aspects of building stuff. I think they answer the basic question asked
earlier, but now I have another question.
Why do we let people who are lazy or uneducated build applications for us, just so
we can save a few bucks? We will end up paying loads more in support after the
*I said programs, not programmers.
I hated school. Technically, I’m still enrolled in college. Bachelors
of Business Management. Blech. I figured at least with business, I would
learn something useful later in life. I chose against Comp. Sci. for a few reasons.
One being that I know a couple PhD’s that know nothing about building applications
in the real world.
In Comp. Sci., you learn how to build data structures, and how to make Mandelbrot
Set’s process faster. In business, you learn why people buy stuff.
Or more appropriately, you learn how to get people to buy your stuff.
Seeing as I learned (taught myself?) about things like linked-lists and pointers while
in grade 10-ish, and wrote/re-wrote/re-re-wrote Mandelbrot Set builders as a final
project in grade 11, I think I can safely say I would be bored as all hell in University.
Not to mention all the theory. Comp. Sci. is all about theory. Maybe 10%
is actually coding. F-that.
Business is inherently hands-on.
I like hands-on. It’s tangible.
The only problem I had was finding resources. My programming teachers were pretty
cool, and were always willing to help me on algorithms that confused me, as well as
extra-curricular programs when something just wasn’t jiving. But I had cool
teachers. Not everyone is as lucky as I was. And with the teachers, they
weren’t thinking in C# or ASP.NET everyday like I tended to do. Trying to ask
them why something trivial like
didn’t compile was kinda painful. I usually got a response along the lines of
“what’s the colon for?”. I always felt funny trying to explain the quasi-xml
structure of ASP.NET to teachers. This left me in a lame position of needing
to find help. Forums are great, but separating the wheat from the chaff is a
waste of time. Enter stackoverflow.com (4
years late, mind you) and you get answers quickly. I like it. I use it
all the time. I’d like to think that those who are willing to look for resources
will find the site fairly easily. However, there is another site out there that
not too many people know about. It’s the Microsoft
Student Experience site. Yeah yeah, brain wash them early. I drank
the kool-aid early.
Part of the website is dedicated to the DreamSpark program.
Free, fully-licensed Microsoft products. Nuff said.
The other half of the site is dedicated to students. Good thing, given the name.
Not just students studying software development either. All students.
It provides tangible resources for students. Stories, tutorials, and templates
look to be the main content. It’s all surprisingly good stuff too. It
ranges from school studies to general life, to post-school life.
These resources may help those students who are struggling with school – at any level.
There are students out there with lots of potential. Let’s not see it go to
When I saw this comic a couple weeks ago, it hit a chord just right with me.
Except of course it was PHP, and grade 9. The funny thing was, I started writing
programs way back when I was in grade 5. I tried to start learning development
when I was in grade 3. Let me tell you, there are certain subtleties to programming
that don’t quite become apparent to a 9 year old.
10 PRINT “Steve is Awesome!”
20 GOTO 10
While QBasic was fun to play with, I gave up on that when I found a book on Visual
Basic in Grade 5. I vaguely remember it being Visual Basic 5 too. I could
be wrong. It was a little more than 10 years ago – you do the math. The
problem I found with VB was that it didn’t feel all that intuitive from a language
perspective to me. I could never find it to flow properly. But at the
time, that’s all I had to go on. So I gave up on development for a while and
tried my hand at HTML. Once again, certain things just aren’t apparent at certain
ages. When I first tried HTML, I started in notepad. Shortly thereafter
I ended in notepad. Maybe sports would be more fun? Nah… Enter FrontPage
a few months later.
After finally getting the hang of FrontPage, I built some amazing (read: ugly) sites.
All-in-all they weren’t bad for an 11 year old.
Once middle school rolled around, I tried my hand at the other sciences and found
out I really enjoyed biology. Being the semi-OCD-like person I am, I put all
my attention into biology and medicine, with a curiosity for chemistry. I knew way too
much for my own good.
Now I have to mention that all of this is taking place in beautiful Southern California.
I was born and raised there for 14 years. At the end of Grade 8, my parents
decided to move to Canada. Don’t ask - long story. And at that time, I
was still into the life sciences. In my next
post, I’ll continue on with my story.