• 24 Mar 2014

    Surprise! JavaScript Guard Clauses

    I spent more time then I had planned this weekend debugging an issue in some code I wrote, and at the end of it all, discovered a JavaScript language feature that I had read about a while ago but never used (intentionally, that is). To explain, consider the following predicate function definition (and yes, I know that Underscore has this function - my specific case would have brought in some additional concepts, so I’m simplfying here).

  • 03 Feb 2014

    Open Office Layouts, De-personalization, and Mobility

    Today opens a new chapter in my experience at Microsoft - my team (and larger group) has made the move from the Microsoft-traditional individual offices to the open office layout (team rooms, more specifically). Now, before I come off as negative, I’ll enumerate some of the things that I really like about the new layout.

  • 30 Jan 2014

    My Next Pluralsight Course (plus, I need your help)

    I couple of years ago, I created the course REST Fundamentals for Pluralsight. The course seems to have resonated well with folks and as such, Pluralsight has given me the opportunity to produce a follow up course, which I’m titling ‘Building RESTful Cloud-Scale Services.’ The big idea for the course is this: while cool architecturally, REST isn’t an end unto itself, but a means to achieving a certain set of system characteristics. Prior to the rise of cloud computing, the value behind some of these characteristics seemed questionable because of the economics of computing. Put another way, in the world where applications ran on owned hardware, it didn’t really matter whether or not an application was wasteful with CPU resources, because it was highly unlikely that it would exceed the CPU’s capacity and (more importantly) the hardware had already been paid for (via capital expenditure) and there was therefore no tangible cost associated with the waste.

  • 19 Jan 2014

    On Juggling

    I realize that there are entire shelves worth of books on this subject, but enough people have asked me about my approach to juggling all of the email, meetings, and various deliverables at Microsoft that I figured I would add my 2 cents to the corpus in hopes that maybe it might provide one extra nugget to someone. As surprising as it may seem (it does to me much of the time), I also have a life outside of Microsoft that is pretty hectic in its own right, including training content authoring, independent consulting, church commitments, and most importantly, my wife and 3 daughters. With all of those metaphorical balls constantly in motion, I’ve had to develop some skills over the last few years in order to get things accomplished and simultaneously maintain sanity.