Yesterday morning, I finally finished
the blog post I started over a year ago. Obviously I wasn't working on that
post all that time (although I think I spent more time on that post than perhaps
any other -- with the possible exception of my series of posts on "Dumping
MOSS 2007 Variations").
This morning I was pleasantly surprised to see there are still some 89 people
subscribed to my blog (according to FeedBurner). Yeah, I know, 89 is a pretty
pathetic number -- but, hey, I suppose I should be happy to still have that
many after "going dark" for over a year.
Note that I didn't "check out" from a technology perspective during that
time. Quite the contrary actually. On March 1, 2012 I began what started out
as a 3-month project at The Dow Chemical Company
(which some of you may have already gathered from
my LinkedIn connections).
Fast forward 13 months later and I'm still working for Dow -- albeit, now
on a part-time basis (my full-time gig ended March 29th). The people at Dow
have been phenomenal -- especially John Bishop, who kept finding cool stuff
for me to work on.
Over the past year, I've worked mostly in the SharePoint space. My first
project was developing a "home grown" Electronic Lab Notebook (ELN) solution
based on SharePoint Server 2010. That led to working on a "Research Portal"
(i.e. an intranet portal for the Dow R&D division).
After the Research Portal, I switched gears to developing a synchronization
solution for one of their internal databases (a very cool application called
"FORCE" which is used to track formulations of various chemicals and materials).
The synchronization piece that I developed was built on the Microsoft Sync Framework
and had exactly zero lines of code running in SharePoint. In other
words, the "Sync Console" is a WPF application built on the Model-View-ViewModel
To be honest, it was really refreshing to take a break from SharePoint for
a while and instead do some straight .NET development. I seized the opportunity
to develop a solution from the ground up using Dependency Injection and lots
of Test Driven Development. While completing some "knowledge transfer" to the
Dow folks, John mentioned that it would make a great series of blog posts --
and I couldn't agree more! Be on the lookout for this in the very near future.
After the FORCE Synchronization project, I switched over to working
on their FAST Search project. While I learned a little about FAST Search back
when I worked for Microsoft, there's no substitute for actual hands-on experience.
Let me just put it this way, if you ever need to develop on the SharePoint Server
Search Connector Framework (for example, to index data in a Laboratory Information
Management System, a.k.a. "LIMS") then you're in for a real treat.
So, what's the point of all this, you ask? It's rather simple actually...
I've finally cleaned the cobwebs off the ol' "Random Musings of Jeremy Jameson"
blog, and my head is swimming with topics for future posts. With that, I'll
move one to writing a post that may actually help you in your day-to-day work.