Marking Three Years

§ April 2, 2013 11:19 by beefarino |

Yesterday was a great day – no foolin’. 

First, I have been renewed as a PowerShell MVP for my third year running.  This is a great honor and I hope I live up to it.   

Second, I was reminded that my third anniversary as an independent business owner and software consultant occurred in March.  It feels a lot longer than three years, but I think that speaks to how much I’ve accomplished in that time.  Business is good, communities are growing, my life is my own, and I’m doing what I want to do.  What else could I possibly want?

So what will year four look like?  Here’s what I’d like to accomplish:

  1. More Iron Scripter! competitions.  I have yet to formalize the website that drives these games, I’d like to spend some time doing that so we can start organizing brackets, have coordinated wider competitions, and special events.
  2. More free software.  Code Owls is about ready to push out a beta release of a skunkworks project named “Polaris.”  This is an integration of Windows Explorer and PowerShell that strips down the workflow for extending the windows file explorer to a few lines of script.  It quite literally turns Windows Explorer into a PowerShell-driven dashboard you can use to monitor any data PowerShell can provide.
  3. Licensing Code Owls frameworks.  I’ve dumped a ton of effort into building a base framework for creating PowerShell providers and hosts quickly and without fuss.  While these frameworks are available as open source software, my plan is to fork these projects into commercial libraries that include support and customization services.
  4. Another PowerShell Saturday.  This time I want more help.  Drop me a line if you’re interested.
  5. Maintain speaking engagements.  I still love speaking and want to continue doing so, but this year I’d like to try speaking less about technology and more about career and life management.  We’ll see how that plays out.
  6. Maintain volunteer hours.  I spend a lot of time in the local public schools, helping out with tech issues and lending a hand in the classroom.  I love this time and find it very rewarding, and the staff are immensely appreciative.
  7. Finally, I want to pick up fiction writing again.  I haven’t touched this hobby in a decade or so, but my father was kind enough to enroll me in a 12-month online workshop for hobby writers that should help get the pen moving.  My hope is to participate in the National Novel Writing Month this year.

Yeah, all that.  So this is me, hanging on for the ride….

Day of Warehousing to Benefit the Cloverleaf School

§ February 25, 2013 12:50 by beefarino |

Extremely Serious Database Developers.I think my favorite aspect of the MVP summit is the chance to reconnect with friends from all over the world and hear about the things they’re doing.  The professional stuff is great, but I also love to hear how MVPs are using their skills to improve their communities.

As it turns out, two of my friends from the Atlanta SQL community are putting together an all-day data warehousing training, with all proceeds going to the Cloverleaf School of AtlantaJulie Smith and Audrey Hammonds are generously donating their time and expertise to dispel your data warehousing ignorance on March 14, 2013 in Duluth, GA. 

This is a rare chance to learn from two experts in the area while doing something grand for the community at the same time.  For more information about this event – including the opportunity to donate to the school directly if you cannot attend – check out A Day of Warehousing with the DataChix to Benefit the Cloverleaf School.

StudioShell 1.5 is Available

§ February 6, 2013 14:07 by beefarino |

I’m happy to say that a new release of StudioShell is up, along with a new version of the StudioShell.Beta nuget package!

The big things in this release:

  1. Support for Visual Studio 2012
  2. Support for PowerShell 3.0
  3. Support for use in the ISE

In addition there are tons of itty bitty bug fixes and incremental improvements. 

This release is still classified as a beta.  I want to collect usage information from VS2012 and/or PowerShell 3 users before marking the release as stable, and there are some documentation gaps that need to be filled.  That said, the 1.5 release is still preferred over the existing 1.2 and 1.3.1 packages for stability and features.

Oh, and I went ahead and started pushing the StudioShell.Contrib project.  There isn’t must up there - at the moment it contains a few “helper functions” that I commonly use, and I will shortly push some Psake-related functions along with some contribution guidelines.  My hope is that others will fork the project and contribute their own pieces.


Spam Male

§ February 6, 2013 11:33 by beefarino |

spammaleI was walking my dog this morning, mulling over the kerfuffle on the interwebs lately about the overly sexual behavior of men at tech conferences, and I came to a realization.

These guys are spammers.  They’re Spam Male.

There is no better description – think about it:

  • their goal is singular and self-serving;
  • their lack of creativity and intellect makes it statistically improbable that they will achieve their goal;
  • ergo, they must throw themselves on as many instances as possible in the hopes that someone, some day, will prove the exception and help them achieve their goal.

Spam Male has a lot in common with Spam Mail.  No one really wants it around, it gets marginalized and ignored, and eventually, it’ll get rooted out and sent to a special place where no one will ever pay any attention to it again.  I’m working on that last piece, by the way – and not just for Spam Males, but any community spammer who takes it upon themselves to ruin a good thing for everyone.  A proof of concept is in the works, and with some support I think I’ll have something working in short order.

And truth be told it isn’t just the men – I know women who act completely inappropriate at these things too.  But mostly it’s men.

The Sex Part

All humor aside, let me put something out there that will probably not go over well with my fellow men:

Sex isn’t that important to me.  I have better things to do and better ways to form relationships.  Because I’m a fucking adult.

Sure I love sex – it’s fun and helps me feel close to my spouse and relieves stress, but it’s not something I live for.  I don’t put it on the calendar or keep a tally to make sure I’m getting it.  And it’s certainly not something I’ve ever wanted to do with someone on a whim.

I’m sure part of this is age – I turn the big 4-0 in a month – but to be perfectly honest sex hasn’t been an all-the-time-on-the-brain thing with me. since I was … what … 16?  Guys supposedly think about sex every few seconds; I can’t say that isn’t true, but I can also attest that it doesn’t take much to get past those thoughts and act like a decent human being. 

Yeah, it really isn’t difficult to not act like a booby-coveting 16-year-old mouth-breather around my female peers.  In fact, I’m doing it now.  See?  Easy.

The People Part

As I write this my brain is throwing back memories of my own juvenile behavior – much of it as recent as last summer.  The difference between me and Spam Male?  My behavior is focused squarely at me.  I might make myself look like an ass, but I would be mortified if I made someone else uncomfortable.  In any fashion.

And of course I have done so in the past – more times than I care to admit or remember - and I’ve apologized.

Because I’m a decent person.  And that’s what people do.  They make mistakes and make amends and learn and move on and get forgiven and do the forgiving.

The thing about people – they’re people, first and foremost.