Trying to find a good developer(s) in Coral Springs, FL

I’ve bitched and moaned enough to my boss about trying to find good developers.  Well, now the new company that I’m working for is looking for at least one, possibly two top notch developers. 

I know that Monster has gobs of developers available.  The recruiters seem to have scores of people.  Guess what… So far, very few have measured up.  That’s why I’m trying here.  I know a couple of devs who read my blog, if any one of you is interested, send me your resume in an email.  I can’t promise anything, but I’ll certainly forward it to my boss.  We do move quickly

As an aside, did Monster.com just get much harder to search?  I used to be able to pick multiple areas to search, but now all one can do is put in one city.  Bummer, because South Florida has 3 cities all together.  That makes it harder for people to find my company.

More boring house photos

Wow, this house is RUSHING to completion!  One week ago, the cabinets arrived.  Last Sunday, the cabinets were being put in place.  So, my expectation was that the cabinets would be hung, and *maybe* the tile would be placed out on the floor.  What DID happen this week?  Well, yes, the cabinets were hung.  But, a little bit more was done…  ALL of the downstairs tile was done and groutted.  The upstairs bathrooms were tiled.  The downstairs was tiled.  The show pans are in!  Most importantly, the door has a handle and a lock!  Now, to look around, I have to sneak a key out. 
 
Not much longer to go!

One very overlooked good Vista feature that may also bring some headaches

As I mentioned in my previous blog entry, my computer’s motherboard decided to die on Monday.  So, today consisted of trying to find a replacement motherboard, but I had no luck.  Fortunately for me, I have an old motherboard and video card that I removed before upgrading to the latest and greatest.  I popped the old board back in, and at least the computer fired up!  Ok!  So, hook up all the cables and stuff, and set Vista to boot.  Why did I do that?  I had read on a blog that a clean install of Vista installs *all* the drivers from the DVD, and that it can do a pretty good job of figuring out what it’s running on when starting up.

So, I crossed my fingers and said, "Here goes nothing…"

Fortunately, they were RIGHT!

Vista started up, did a big auto-detect, and ran fine.  I had to reload one (1!) driver, which doesn’t even come close to supporting Vista anyway.  Everything else just reinitialized fine.

Holy downgrade, Batman!

Finally, Windows can be machine agnostic (or at least learn to believe what box it is on when it starts).  This is probably one of the greatest features that Microsoft could bestow upon us.  How many times has a tech done an upgrade, and then had to reinstall Windows because it BSOD’ed when starting up?  Those days are *GONE*.  (Well, at least until some standard changes the machine boot information or sequence.  I give it 1 to 2 years before it goes back to the old way smile_wink)

Unfortunately, there IS a dark underbelly to this happy story.  Almost immediately, I got asked to reactivate my copy of Windows, as the hardware had changed rather radically.  I’m lucky in that I have multiple activations (MSDN!  Yeah!), but this is going to cause problems.  What happens when I revert to the fixed hardware??? I’ll probably lose another activation.  This is a real Pain In The A**.  I realize that Microsoft wants to protect their software.  But being punished for hardware failure is certainly NOT COOL.  I hope the guys on the phones doing activations are halfway nice about this stuff, or it will be real easy to render a copy of Vista dead.

Step number 0 for starting working with a new project

I recently started a new job, and immediately forgot the first step in starting with a new company who is starting on a new project.

What’s Step 0, you ask?

Why, create build scripts for the project!

So, why are build scripts the first thing that a developer should do?  Because it allows you to not have to explain or remember what you did to set your environment up.  The script will explain it.  If you set out to write you scripts that will start with a clean slate, download all the required projects, then build the projects and put the output in the right places, you have a great script to do the daily builds.  Plus, you can just tell someone else to run the script to get the correct development environment.

Believe me, scripts would have made my day a whole lot better.

Arrrghh!!!! As Garfield would say, ‘I *hate* Mondays’

What a freakin’ terrible 36 hours… Almost NOTHING I’ve touched has gone right. It started yesterday with Towel shopping. Trish was helping me picking out towels for the new house, she bought a rug for her place, and we somehow left it at the store. We discover this when we are back at the apartment. So, I decide I want to at least see how Sunday’s race is going. The cable’s out. Ack! Ok, so run back to the store to pick up the rug. Very fortunately, it was still there. At least I couldn’t miss any of the race. I tried to get the cable company to just have someone take a quick look at the damage that they caused, no dice.

Then, this morning, because of the time change, and me being the fool I am, I tried to get up at 5 o’clock (Saturday, this would have been 4 a.m.) Ha ha ha ha ha! I *did* wake up, but couldn’t move for two hours. I *finally* get moving at 7 a.m., and make it into work near 9 a.m. Not too bad.

Work didn’t go as well as it has been. For some reason, I was in a weird mood, and so was my boss. Not a great combination. I was able to make *some* progress on organizing the projects, but not much. Other things that I had done seemed to crop up and bite me. Grrrr.

Finally, leave work at 6:45 p.m., and drive over to one of my clients to install her DSL. No problem, right? Except for the fact that the freakin’ modem won’t sync to the phone line! So, spend an hour on the phone with AT&T (Bellsouth (Fastaccess)) with no joy.

To top it all off, when I got home and turned my home computer on, I got nothing. No fan, no lights, no power, zip, zilch, nada. Great. Looks like the apartment lost power for a bit and popped the computer and power supply. At least I had a spare power supply. Turns out, it’s not the power supply. I don’t know what’s wrong with it, and will have to try tomorrow to fix it. I do *not* have money to repair my computer right now. Just trying to figure out the bad part(s) will cost a couple hundred dollars. Sigh.

Oh, and one last thing… Spaces is showing the pre DST time.  Is nothing gonna go right?

Comcast’s support sucks

Ok, usually I try to refrain from bitching about companies and their support (hey, I’m a support person too!), but this one floors me.  My next door neighbor is moving out, so he probably had his cable turned off.  Well, when they came out to ‘fix’ his cable, the turned MINE off!  Now, I’ve never missed a bill, no issues with cable for well the time I’ve had it.  So, I call the cable company. 

Comcast:  ‘Yes, we understand you have a problem.  We’ll send someone out to fix it on Tuesday.’

Me:  ‘Ummm, it’s Sunday.  Your person inadvertantly undid MY cable.  Please expedite to today’

Comcast:  ‘Sorry, our techs work by appointment only, and the appointment is set for Tuesday.’

Me:  ‘I’m sorry, but I’m not HOME on a Tuesday.  I have to work to pay for my cable bill.’

Comcast:  ‘We can reschedule on any other week day.’

At this point, I gave up.  It didn’t take them having an appointment to ‘break’ my cable, why should they need one to actually ‘fix’ it?

So, I missed the race today.

What kills me is that the cable companies have a monopoly on providing cable.  Even Bellsouth (AT&T) has to play nice and let seperate companies sell their services.  And, usually Bellsouth will send trucks out pretty quickly, especially if it’s their fault.  I’ve never had a real problem with Bellsouth, other than one time when our entire building’s phone went south.

And, to end my rant, if I had a customer who’s problem was something that *I* caused, they’d be the #1 priority on my list.  I’ve had to do that with MY tech support business a time or two.  Being responsible for one’s work is probably the single biggest thing that helps me in my line of work.  Something to think about, Comcast.  ‘Cause I’ll probably switch to Dish at my new house, unless I see some decent treatment.

Braved the elements to get more house photos!

 
Ok, after yesterday’s trip to the house, I fully expected to go back today, and see everything the same way.  Boy, was I wrong!  The cabinets were no longer in boxes, they were out and pretty much near where they were supposed to go.  The ones in my house are awesome!  I was worried that they were going to be lighter than what they turned out to be.  When I was there, they guys were putting the cabinents in, so I had to be a little bit careful.  Yes, they were working on a Sunday.  Not that I wish that on anyone, but how cool is that?  Work on all the houses seems to be going on 7 days a week.  Hopefully, that means that I be moved in by the end of May.  And, that’s my friend Trish in the photos (I’m sure that ‘Enquiring Minds Want To Know’)

I have a driveway! (and a banister!)

I’m going to have to describe today’s visit, ’cause I didn’t take my camera with me.smile_sad  If I get a chance tomorrow, I’ll take the camera and get pictures…

All I can say is, ‘wow’…  My townhouse is really starting to come together.  The walls have been painted their first coat of paint.  All the molding in the pictures that was wood is now white (as are the walls).  The garage door is up.  THE DRIVEWAY IS IN PLACE!  I can now walk from the road to the front door on the bricks!  The cabinets and tile are sitting in the living room, waiting to be unboxed.  The banister is up on the stairway.  Almost all of the doors are up.

It’s finally becoming real.  I have to put my 60 day notice in to my apartment complex, as I think the house will be done by the end of May (probably *well* before then!)  Talk about a surreal feeling…

I may just sneak back over there tomorrow with the camera…

Off to a good start…

Ok, it’s time for me to get back on the blog wagon.  I have been *very* quiet lately (actually for the last 8 months).  And, there are many reasons for that.  The biggest ones were that my job and life had become pretty miserable. 

To recap, 2007 brought a LOT of changes to my life.  The year started out fairly well, I was doing well with my job, things were starting to go up on the salary, and life was generally good.  Then, the president of my company resigned.  This event triggered a MASSIVE change in the company I worked for.  Almost everyone I knew was gone, the people who stayed were going to have to move, and my role and responsibilities completely changed.  In fact, I went as far as accepting another job, before the ‘golden handcuffs’ were put around my wrists to stay with my current company.  I had made the mistake of staying.  smile_sad

On an aside, I had a goal in mind.  I wanted to buy a house.  The market here in South Florida has cooled, but not in ways that you would expect.  A good house is going to cost a certain amount, no matter what is going on in the world.  Deposits and fees are hard to save up for (especially with my spending habits!), and the offer to stay included a way for me to get the house.  Once I had signed on the dotted line for the house, my time was going to be limited with that company, no matter what.  I just didn’t realize how quickly I would change to a new job!

Back to the story.  Eight months passed, and few things had changed.  I had not done any code, except for a tiny application that managed to save my sanity.  Everything else was meetings, data digging, and goofing off.  I’m not very proud of that fact.  I feel like the guy from ‘Office Space’, who put in a 60 hour week and only did 15 minutes of work during that time.  I was completely miserable, and I was making the people around me miserable.  Something had to give.  And finally, something did give…

Thank goodness that I took the new job!  It has been like night and day in my attitude.  This first week has been a blur, most of it good.  I discovered that I *like* to work again.  I don’t mind 10 and 11 hour days, because programming is a challenge that I love.  Heck, I’m even programming at home again!  That’s certainly a good sign.

More to come! 

Blast from the Past!

Wow, this blog has been pretty useful lately!  Yesterday, I was checking up on here, when I noticed a comment (hey, I get few enough comments that I read them all).  It turned out to be from my best friend in high school, college, etc…!!!!  I haven’t heard from Kev(in) in quite a while, he’d lost my contact info, and I, shamefully, haven’t called lately either.  He was telling me about a trip that he and some friends are planning, which will put them down here in my neck of the woods.  Well, I called as soon as I read the email!  It took me a couple of tries, but I finally got ahold of him.  It was incredibly AWESOME to hear from him.  I think we ended up talking for over an hour, just trying to catch up even a little bit.  He ended up sending me this photo from last night.  What’s amazing is that he looks just like he did in college (damn, I *hate* that!    Lucky dog!)  How do I know it was from yesterday, and not high school?  I don’t think Avenged Sevenfold was a band at that point in time.

Hopefully, I’ll have more stories to post.  Some (most) are not exactly tellable in mixed company.  Also, I hope to have new stories soon!

Officially unemployed for the weekend

Wow, oh wow…  As anyone reading my blog recently might have noticed, Friday was my last day at work for the homebuilder.  How many people’s last day is 11 hours long!?!  Dedication?  Insanity?  Probably a little bit of both.smile_regular

So, until Monday morning @ 8:30 am, I am officially unemployed! 

What a weird feeling.  It’s been almost 3 years since I last had this feeling.  The LAST time I was unemployed, it felt *really* good.  This time, there is a small measure of regret mixed with a large dose of expectations.  Last time, I just wanted a new job that didn’t involve spending 3 hours a day in car just to get to and from an 11 hour a day job.  This time, it’s more about what I want to do.  I did really well at with the homebuilder.  I was able to double my salary in the span of three years.  Yes, you read that right.  It was a good run.smile_regular  But, ultimately, money doesn’t buy happiness.  Fortunately, though, money can come from happiness.  Finding a job you like will allow one to do a great job and get rewarded for it.

Ok, enough rambling… back to work for me!

More house photos!

I know, I know, more boring house photos…  Well, to me, these aren’t boring, they represent the next major set in my life.  It’s amazing how the house is starting to come together.  The molding is up, the doors are mostly up, the walls have the texture on them.  Wow.  Less than 12 (less than 8, really) weeks to go!