I’m going to GOTO Aarhus once again

Skærmbillede 2014-06-30 kl. 22.54.08Once again – this time for the 8th year in a row – I will attend Trifork‘s excellent GOTO conference in Aarhus.

Back in 2007 when I was employed by Trifork (or “Eastfork Object Space” as they were called back then), I attended my first conference which happened to be the company’s own “JAOO” conference (which used to be GOTO’s name, even though it had not been a pure Java conference for years).

As a light green software rookie I cannot exaggerate how uplifting it was for me to start working with EOS/Trifork, and it was a profoundly inspiring experience to go to JAOO where they weren’t only talking about .NET from a Microsoft point of view – no, they would have speakers talking about open source hippie technology that weren’t even backed by any of the sponsors!

At the time Ruby was all the rage, and I distinctly remember attending Chad Fowler’s talk on Rails’ ActiveRecord which I would contrast with Hamilton Verissimo’s talk on Castle ActiveRecord, and – even though I’ve written something like 20 lines of Ruby code in my life – I’m pretty sure that I’ve come to know most of the Ruby syntax, and I’m also pretty sure that the Ruby way of doing stuff has been influencing my coding style ever since, just because I’ve been regularly and repeatedly exposed to these Ruby things.

See, this is what’s cool about going to conferences: You go to talks about wrestling DBs with Ruby, representing state with Clojure, or on how to visualize the internals of programs by doing “beautiful debugging”, and it ends up making you better at C#. You enter talks that show off visionary technologies or visionaries themselves, and then it widens your horizon. I believe the more ideas and technologies you’re exposed to, the less bound you will be to any technology in particular, which is always a good thing to strive after as a software developer.

Once again, I’m looking forward to having an injection of insight and motivation, even if it is only for two days this year instead of the usual three (I wonder what that is about?)

See you there? 🙂

I’ll be attending GOTO Aarhus 2012

Once again, for the 5th year in a row, I’ll be attending the excellent GOTO conference in Aarhus – this time as a blogger, invited by my kind ex-colleagues at Trifork.

It’s truly awesome that I’ll be going again, partly since this year’s program sports huge .NET capacities like Anders Hejlsberg and Scott Hanselman, but also because it’s three days of hanging out in a severely inspirational environment with some of the smartest people in software development.

This year, I hope to gain some more knowledge about Riak, the Dynamo-inspired database that Trifork are pushing hard these days. The program reveals two sessions about Riak alone, so that should be feasible.

I’m also looking forward to “The Aarhus 6”: A session laid out like a trial court where the different tradeoffs of six popular NoSQL databases are exposed. I’m expecting MongoDB’s pants to be pulled down on the global lock, fsync + memory-mapped files, and advanced durability story 🙂 and then I’m really curious to hear about any downsides & shortcomings of the other databases accused: Riak, VoltDB, Cassandra, and Couchbase (+ one TBD).

Last thing I’m hoping for, is to drop by some random sessions about stuff that I know absolutely nothing about… this is a tombola, I know, but sometimes it’s a win, and one gets to discover someone or something that adds a completely new dimension to one’s world view.

2011 retrospective and 2012 resolutions

In the same vein as last year, I’ll spend a post summing up on what happened this year, and then try to come up with some goals for the next year.

2011 retrospective

What did I do in 2011? Well, I

  • Wrote 27 blog posts (+ this one = 28).
  • Gave my “Frictionless Persistence in .NET with MongoDB” talk at Goto Copenhagen. Great experience, and Microsoft even recorded it.
  • Gave the talk again as a free geek night.
  • Hosted an Aarhus .NET User Group code camp on MongoDB.
  • Gave the Frictionless talk again, this time at an Odense .NET User Group meeting.
  • Made tiny contributions to Castle Windsor and MassTransit.
  • Started building an NServiceBus-like service bus: Rebus. It already has pub-sub messaging and sagas 🙂
  • Attended Udi Dahan’s “Advanced Distributed Systems Design With SOA” course. Udi was no stranger to me as I have been following his work, but the course presented some extremely interesting ideas on how to build a service-oriented architecture.
  • Spent most of my time monkeying around with code and architecture on the PowerHub project, which is getting more and more serious. Oh, did I mention that the system’s regulation parts have zero downtime? With a nifty master-slave setup with automatic failover, PowerHub can continue to optimize and control local units, even in the face of system and platform upgrades… 🙂
  • Got a new job!!! Yes, that’s right: The 30th of December 2011 will be my last day as a Trifork Software Pilot! On January the 2nd in the new year, I’ll join d60 as a consultant. This fact deserved a dedicated blog post. 🙂
  • Had my photo of a hard-wired hairdryer included in Mark Seemann’s book about DI in .NET (see page 8 in chapter 1). Needless to say, this photo went right into my slidedeck 🙂

If I compare that to my 2011 resolutions, I think I’m only missing a “real” pet project. The closest thing is PriorityQ, which I made as an example app for my MongoDB presentations – it’s a “question collector” that can be used during presentations.

2012 resolutions

This is what I’d like to do in 2012:

  • Gain a footing in my new position, and help out with some of the company’s challenges.
  • Attend a couple of conferences – in passive as well as in active mode.
  • Contribute some more to some of the OSS projects I like – including my own.
  • Put Rebus to (some serious ab)use.

and, most importantly – just like my 2011 resolutions – I’d like to continue to be inspired by communicating with smart people.

Lastly, I will express my feelings in the form of an animated GIF that reeks of 1996: Animated GIF fireworks Now, let’s see what 2012 brings…

New job!!

As I’m writing this, I have spent 4 years and 9 months working at Trifork. That means a majority of my professional experience comes from working there, and I must say that it has been a fantastic time!

Throughout the years, I have been allowed to work on interesting projects, attend conferences, speak, teach, and play, and thus continually be challenged – and almost be forced to grow.

When I read Chad Fowler’s “My Job Went To India” (which later became “The Passionate Programmer”), the “Be The Worst” chapter immediately made sense to me, because I think that pretty much describes me when I started working with Trifork. If you haven’t read it, please do yourself a favor and do it – it’s available online.

As Chad puts it: “The people around you affect your own performance. Choose your crowd wisely”.

So, if you’re looking for an inspiring environment and some extremely talented colleagues, Trifork is definitely a great place to be. Especially as a .NET developer, I think Trifork can offer a healthy exposure to Java, ObjectiveC, Riak, Erlang, Ruby, and more non-.NETty things, which I think has helped me become more wholistic in my views on technology.

d60 logoAfter almost 5 years however, I feel it is time to seek new challenges.

So, on Januar 2nd 2012 I’ll join d60, which is a fast-growing Microsoft-based consultancy agency on the outskirts of central Aarhus. d60 is just about equally split between systems development and business intelligence, so hopefully I’ll gain some insight in BI, which I think will help me build better systems. At d60 I’ll continue working as a software development consulatant, and hopefully I’ll continue to communicate with smart people about software development and help building cool solutions to real world problems.

Free geek night about MongoDB

Goto ConferenceAt Goto Copenhagen this May, I gave a talk about MongoDB, which is a nifty document-oriented database that I find pretty interesting.

So, because I like to talk about MongoDB so much, I’ll give my talk again as a free Trifork geek night on Tuesday the 21th of June at the Trifork HQ in Aarhus (this time in Danish though).

If you’re a .NET person, possibly developing big enterprisey stuff and/or you’re interested in MongoDB or NoSQL in general, you should come to this one.

Trifork Geek Night moved

Just want to say that the planned Trifork Geek Night on “Advanced Windsor-tricks” I mentioned earlier on the 23rd of November is moved to the 13th of December.

Somehow someone double-booked our presentation facilities in Taastrup – sorry, if it has caused inconvenience for you.

To sum it up: Trifork Geek Night on “Advanced Windsor-tricks” on the 13th of December at the Trifork office in Copenhagen.

Trifork Geek Nights

Just wanted to say that I will be speaking at a couple of Trifork Geek Nights in November and December, about Castle Windsor and NServiceBus respectively.


Advanced Windsor-Tricks

A quick introduction followed by some of the more advanced features of my favorite IoC container. If you’re new to IoC, or you are wondering what the fuzz is about, or you are interested in letting your container do some more work for you, you should come to this one 🙂

Will be held on

from 4:30 pm to 6:30 pm.

And then,

Distributed systems in .NET with NServiceBus

Introduction to messaging in .NET with NServiceBus. Will give an introduction to some fundamental messaging patterns and go on to show how these can be put to use with NServiceBus.

If you’re new to IoC, you can probably benefit from showing up at the “Advanced Windsor-Tricks” geek night before going to this one, because NServiceBus is relying heavily on having a container.

Will be held on

from 4:30 pm to 6:30 pm as well.

Hope to see some enthusiastic coders there.

PS: The Geek Nights will be held in Danish 🙂

I will be speaking about NoSQL and MongoDB

as seen from the eyes of a .NET developer at two events in June (in Danish).

The first event is a JAOO Geek Night at Dong Energy in Skærbæk on Tuesday June 29th at 4:30 pm. You can read more about the free JAOO Geek Nights here.

The other event is a meeting in Århus .NET User Group, which is the day after, on Wednesday June 30th at 6 pm – you can sign up via Facebook here.

I’m really looking forward to it, because I think we will have some interesting discussions. And perhaps we can widen a few people’s horizons 🙂

Hope to see a lot of engaged people at both events.


tomatoday logoAs mentioned in my previous post, my colleague Troels Richter is working on a Pomodoro application. What I did not say was that it is actually already available for people to try out – it’s called Tomatoday, it’s based on Silverlight 3 (SL4 version on the way), and it can be found at www.tomatoday.dk.

It consists of an online activity inventory and a simple timer application that is pretty nifty when run out-of-browser. It will of course be even niftier when it gets fully ported to Silverlight 4 when the timer gets to run in chrome-less out-of-browser mode.

If you try out the application, and you have suggestions or ideas, we will be very grateful if you submit them to Tomatoday’s forum at Uservoice.

Soon, it’s JAOO time…

…and it’s going to be great!

I am looking forward to too many presentations to mention! My only limitation is that I am confined to the “Programming languages” track on Monday afternoon, because I am supposed to function as a track manager there, so unfortunately I will miss the CouchDB from 3333 km presentation.

The rest of the time, however, I will check out all kinds of great presentations. But what I like the most, is that I am always filled with inspiration and creative drive after attending JAOO.

See you there!