Thursday, December 20, 2007

Dude, where's my job?


I found out recently that I will be available for exciting, new job opportunities at the start of next month. It's not my fault, honestly. These things happen. In this case, things happen to me and 22 of my co-workers.

Company President and CEO Brian Jones said Wednesday that the layoffs would be necessary if the Defense Information Systems Agency follows through with a plan to reduce the amount of a software development contract with the Oak Ridge National Laboratory.


ORNL spokesman Billy Stair said the contract's annual appropriation has varied. The agency is considering reducing the amount from about $12 million to about $7 million, he said.

There you have it kids.  That's seven meeellion dollars that used to pay my bills, and it's going bye bye.  Such is life.

I've had a good run with DPRA.  If you recall, I was very happy to come on board, and I have no regrets. I am, however, ready to start my next geeky adventure.

If you, or someone you know, is looking for a first class geek for hire, I may be your man.  Have a look at my resume. Download copies and share them with friends. :-)



 Monday, December 10, 2007

Bringing Cheer to West Nokomis Circle


I stood on a ladder and cursed for a couple of hours yesterday.   Oh, and some lights got hung somewhere between the expletives. :-)

Feliz Navidad,


 Thursday, December 06, 2007

Getting Started With TDD in Visual Studio


I've given talks on doing test-driven development (TDD), and I've had lots of conversations with other developers interested in giving it a try.  What I've found is that the simple setup and configuration hurdle is intimidating to most people at the start.  In this entry, I intend to remove that initial hurdle (and excuse).

The professional version of Visual Studio 2008 now includes MSTest unit testing framework.  I've been working with MSTest since the release of Visual Studio 2005 Team Developer Edition.  If you want to get started doing TDD in Visual Studio, I recommend you get the Professional version of VS2008 and learn MSTest.  I'm not recommending MSTest over any other unit testing framework.  I am asserting that the easiest way to get started is to use an integrated tool.

Unfortunately, purchasing the latest and greatest from Microsoft is too large a commitment for many people coming to TDD or Visual Studio for the first time.  I believe that TDD is essential, and I want to remove as many barriers as I can for people interested in implementing TDD in their development practice.  To that end, I have created project and item templates which enable a simple TDD workflow using the FREE NUnit testing framework and the FREE Visual Studio 2008 Express editions.

It should be noted at the start that I could use some VSX-fu to enable even more automation in the standard edition of VS2008, but the license expressly forbids the use of VSX APIs in the express editions of Visual Studio.  If you already have the standard edition of VS2008, or the standard or professional editions of VS2005, check out for seamless integration of NUnit, and several other unit testing frameworks, with Visual Studio.  For this discussion, however, we will stick with templates to avoid angering the "powers that be" in Redmond.  That being said, the templates and instructions for their use should work as advertised in any version of Visual Studio 2005 or 2008.

You will need to download and install the express edition of Visual C# (or Visual Basic) from here.  Next download this version of the NUnit framework and install it into the default location.  The references and paths in the pr