Technology Toolbox

Your technology Sherpa for the Microsoft platform

Jeremy Jameson - Founder and Principal



Blog Sabbatical

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 pattern.

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.



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