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thatlinuxbox upgraded to Geeklog 1.7

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  • Monday, October 04 2010 @ 08:01 AM EDT
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Finally got around to upgrading the site to the latest version of Geeklog.

What I learned at the Agile2010 Conference

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  • Monday, August 16 2010 @ 11:50 PM EDT
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Fun Stuff @ Work

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I attended a conference, yeah!

The Agile 2010 Software Development Conference was held in Orlando, Florida from August 9-13.

The last technical conference I attended was OSCON (Open Source Convention) 2006 in Portland, Oregon. Agile 2010 was a really great opportunity for me to jump-start my transition from system administrator to software developer.

I am part of a small, dispersed team. We currently have multiple active projects with each developer assigned to a project. We are already following practices such as Test Driven Development (TDD), but we have some challenges ahead if we wish to apply additional Agile practices throughout the team.

Before the conference, I scanned our office bookshelf and wrote down the author names from our most respected volumes. It was great to go to a conference and hear the authors speak on these topics and in many cases have a chance to talk with them. I learned something in every session.

Today was my first day back in the office and I immediately got to work trying to implement ideas from the conference. The first artifact of this effort is a shiny new story board that more accurately reflects project scope:



A few concepts presented by Scott Ambler (and others) particularly hit home with my project:

1. Yes, with Agile you still need to do Initial Requirements Envisioning and Initial Architecture Envisioning.
2. Identify major components / subsystems / services first.
3. Flesh out interfaces first... sometimes this is known as "API First".
4. Prove the architecture with working code.


Here are some interesting statistics shared by various speakers at the conference:

My Minimalist Running Shoe Comparison

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  • Wednesday, August 04 2010 @ 06:59 PM EDT
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Running and Fitness

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Below is a list of my running footwear, how many miles I have put on them, and some opinion about each.

I also thought it would also be amusing to include my wife's initial reaction upon first seeing each type of shoe.

Sorted by mileage:

Nike Free Run Plus

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  • Sunday, August 01 2010 @ 07:56 PM EDT
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Running and Fitness

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My Nike Free Run+ shoes have become my primary running shoe. They do well on roads and sidewalks and are very forgiving if my legs are tired. Minimalist shoes like the Vibram FiveFingers are not forgiving at all.

The Nike Free Run+ do a good job on trails, too.

Here they are after 8.6 miles that included lots of sandy trail:



I normally wear them without socks and have not had a problem with blisters. On the 8.6 mile trail run (my longest run this year), the shoes got wet (due to damp grass first thing in the morning) and I got a huge blister on the inside of my arch. Besides the dampness, I think part of the issue was that I did not have them tied tightly enough.

I have since taken out the shoe insole and started running with socks, at least until the blister heals. So far, so good.

almost three months of running

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  • Sunday, August 01 2010 @ 06:50 PM EDT
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I have had a few foot injuries and setbacks, but overall I am pleased with my training progress. I'm now capable of doing around 20 miles per week. I'm actually amazed at how quickly I've been able to increase my mileage. I think that switching from a heel-strike to a fore- or mid-foot strike has made a big difference. I've had no shin splints, no knee pain, and no hamstring issues.

My longest run so far (this decade?) was today where I ran 8.6 miles on the trails of San Felasco Hammock Preserve State Park.

Here is a pretty graph of my training, courtesy of dailymile:

New job - Shimberg Center for Housing Studies

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  • Wednesday, July 28 2010 @ 10:00 PM EDT
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Fun Stuff @ Work

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I'm really excited about my new position as a Database Analyst / Programmer with the Shimberg Center for Housing Studies . This was a lateral move within the University of Florida.

I have been wanting to shift into a web and database development role for a while now. I was lucky to find an organization that supports this kind of career transition (my previous positions included system administration and help desk components).

My first big project is to build a Data Warehouse, so I'm reading books and learning all kinds of new terminology. My mentor at the Shimberg Center is a believer in Agile programming and test-driven development, so I'm getting some superb on-the-job training.

Our web stack is FreeBSD, Apache, Perl, and PostgreSQL (FAPP anyone?). I will definitely have new challenges in this position.

Here is a picture of my new office, my new work computer (a Dell Optiplex 780 running Ubuntu Linux), and my nice windows that are pleasant even on a rainy day:

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thatlinuxbox.com is the home of Dan Stoner's Personal Blog, Photos, and More (opinions, rants, techno-babble, and possibly a few useful tidbits of knowledge).

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