May 2009 Blog Posts
Pens vs. RedWings – The Rematch

I guess there was a precedent with Larry Robinson being hired as coach in mid-season and leading the Devils to the Cup, but when the Pens whacked their coach in mid-season, I was skeptical.  I remember thinking to myself “Right, the Pens are out of the playoffs right now.  Whacking the coach is really going to fix their horrible power play, their inability to out-shoot an opponent, and they are going to win the next 80% of their games, storm through the playoffs, and make it back to the Finals.  Right.”


Usually, when a fan tries to predict series’ outcomes involving their teams, they tend to color their predictions in a rosy light.  As a cynical bastard, I tend to do the opposite.  Last year, I was convinced that the Pens would get swept, and after losing the first two games on the road without scoring a goal, I felt a cynical vindication.  That they finally lost in six was a surprise.

This year is different from last year.  Last year, the Pens weren’t really challenged until the Finals, and never recovered from their first two losses.  This year, up until the conference finals, the Pens got punched in the mouth a couple of times, and bounced back.  Watching them sweep the Canes was unexpected.

So what about these finals?

  • It was never made clear if Malkin was injured or not, but he disappeared in the Finals last year.  This year, he started off the playoffs slow, and then, after Game 2 against the Caps, seemed to realize he needed to kick ass, and promptly did.  Repeatedly.  Teams took runs at him and he kept bouncing back.
  • Crosby has raised his game to a whole new level.  He scored a hat trick in one game against the Caps in a losing effort, and just has kept on coming.
  • Neither Fluery nor Osgood are regarded as the best goaltenders around, but they keep coming.  Fluery gave up more soft goals against Varmalov (until the meltdown in Game 7) and Ward, but came up with great stops when needed. 
  • Detroit has a lot of injuries coming into the finals. 


How does it shape up?

  • As Eddie O has said, Detroit has 7 top 3 forwards in their lineup.  They can roll all four lines and contribute.
  • Gonchar getting injured had the unexpected side-effect of forcing the Pens to play 7 defenseman, which allows Crosby and Malkin to double-shift every game.  It would be insane to do this in the regular season, and probably not that smart to do in the playoffs on a regular basis, but they are both so young that they can take the extra time.
  • I think the series’ outcome comes down to Jordan Staal and Chris Kunitz.  Commentators keep talking about how great Staal plays, but the fact is that he can’t score for the life of him.  He always ‘just misses.’  Kunitz may be close as well.  He comes close to scoring but usually doesn’t.

The series looks to go six or seven.  If Staal and Kunitz outplay Cleary and Helm, I think they win.  If they don’t, they won’t.

posted @ Thursday, May 28, 2009 7:28 PM | Feedback (0)
Continuing Slide toward the Dark Side

I just created a new Visual Studio solution and created within an empty class project called “Domain.”

I then created a new test class project and called it “DomainSpecs” instead of the previously expected “DomainTests.”

Oh, how I hate underscores.

I will *not*, however, embed As a/I want/So that or Given/When/Then syntax into code.  I have my standards.

posted @ Wednesday, May 27, 2009 7:10 PM | Feedback (11)
Modern Software Development in a Corporate Environment

Inspired by a recent conversation:

  • Time it takes to code a bug fix: 10 minutes
  • Time it takes to deliver the code through arcane processes: 6 hours
  • Time it takes to document the code in the required formats: 4 days
  • Time it takes to deploy the code to production: 3 months
  • Time it takes to point the finger if something goes wrong: 2.2 seconds
posted @ Wednesday, May 27, 2009 6:41 PM | Feedback (1)
Chicago Code Camp, May 30th, 2009

Both the Chicago and Lake County Alt.Net groups are sponsoring a Code Camp, details of which can be found here.

You can find a list of the sessions here.  It’s a good mix of content.

posted @ Monday, May 18, 2009 7:55 PM | Feedback (0)
Self-Promotion Weasels

Channeling my inner Bellware on this one.

Blog posts can be set up to be kicked or dugged when readers of those posts think they are worthy of it.  Within the .NET world, there are sites like DotNetKicks and DotNetShoutout that exist for similar purposes.  The general idea is that you can use these sites to find posts that are deemed to be especially important by the community at large.  A nice enough idea, I guess, won’t really argue against it now.

But the idea is subverted by people who decide to abuse the system.  This can be done in various ways:

  • Promoting your own posts.  While I’m sure you think that your blog post is great, and that every blog post you’ve written is great, it really isn’t part of the general idea for you to decide that, that should be decided by someone other than you.  It matters not if you do it under your own name, or if you create a ‘fake’ account to do it.
  • Having your friends deliberately promote your posts, regardless of content.  It isn’t cool.  Now, one’s friends are probably more likely than not to read one’s blog, and if they actually think the latest post is worth promoting, that’s okay.  But just blanket promotion by agreement is lame.
  • Having an automated bot do it for you.  This certainly makes it easier, I grant that.  But this is extra lame.

When someone wants to increase their visibility in some circle or another, there are various ways to do it.  Hard work and achievement are the main honest ways to do it, but sometimes tooting one’s own horn is hard to avoid, especially when one doesn’t have the best resume or the greatest experience.  We don’t live in a perfect world.  And sometimes you write a post that you think is just the bee’s knees and want to get the word out.  A single self-promotion vote isn’t going to skew things too much (though, technically, it really is doing that).

But when people set up systematic ways of self-promotion through these sites, it makes the sites lose value.  And it really says something about the people doing it.

‘Just say no’ is an often ridiculed saying, but in some cases, it really does make sense.  This is one of them.  If you are self-promoting your posts, knock it off.  Show some professionalism.  If your post is really that great, let the community vote it as such, the way the system is intended to work.  Otherwise, you suck.

posted @ Wednesday, May 06, 2009 7:27 PM | Feedback (3)
Developing a Real World Application

I kept forgetting to post something about this.

In the April 2009 issue of MSDN Magazine, Udi Dahan wrote a fascinating and informative article entitled "Optimizing A Large Scale Software + Services Application" that describes the difficulties he and his team faced in building a sophisticated smart client trading application.

Sometimes when I read posts/articles/etc. about development practices, it seems as if the writer has never implemented an application of any significant size or complexity.  All one needs to do is TDD themselves to a happy place, and then everything else is just an implementation detail that will fall into place.

Of course, it almost never like that.  You often times *have* to change code because of implementation details, and you can't abstract away from them entirely (thus, people who have never been in a situation where stored procedures were *required* due to implementation issues like to make pronouncements about their usage).

Anyway, it's a great read.

posted @ Monday, May 04, 2009 12:37 PM | Feedback (0)