Monday, December 29, 2008

The end of another year

.. and time to look back

With 2008 drawing to close I sit here behind my laptop doing some fixes on code broken by others who celebrate the year's end somewhere else with probably much better coffee. Time to blame myself for not doing so, I guess.

It's difficult to completely devote myself to this so I let my mind go wandering, where it will go. Fixing a hole where the rain gets in, keeps my mind from wandering, where it will go.

I am not fixing my roof, but writing a blog post. Works equally good.

Indiana Population Density MapImage via Wikipedia
What happened in 2008?

A lot of stuff happened in 2008. I started the year with my brother and sister in law over in Bloomington, Indiana. An interesting three weeks in a completely different country. The ebst way to know more about your own country and your own habits. About the things you take for granted.

Map of France highlighting the Region of BrittanyImage via Wikipedia

This summer we spent our holiday in France. We visited Bretagne and stayed near the beach on a nice camp site. It was good. Weather was reasonable. Had a good time.

Work related stuff in 2008

I continu to work as a consultant and have done three jobs with totally different outcome. The first, a three month contract that never really got started since the project I was hired to participate in, only had a shifting start and a fixed end date. Then the contract was not extended. Don't know what happened to the project.

Then I got parachuted into a project that was originally taken on by someone from another office for just a couple of days. I proofed to be a disaster area. It was immediately clear that was already there was not state of the art, nor was it doen according to the book. Any book. There was no plan, no design, no clear goal even. No planning. No coordination. I praise myself lucky to have stated so on the very first day. Told them that if there was enough time then we should start from scratch.

Looking back at that project I know that in the end we (I brought in a colleague on the prject) could and should have started from scratch. It would have delivered more and a better product. The only thing I hold against myself is that I did not insist hard enough on a design. There was NO DESIGN. Completely and utterly absolutely nothing. I still do not understand how we worked for all those weeks and why we worked as hard as we did.

But I am happy we just quit the project in time.

Then I got into my present project. A huge project. We are working to build a new system for the Taxes. Several teams are working hard to create the various parts of the system. Interesting and sometimes amusing to see that small projects can have small problems and that big projects have their challenges as well.

And there is more

Apart from this projects that I did (and am doing) on site at the customer. There is also a big ongoing internal project that is slowly getting ready to go really live. An full blown online version of Microsoft Team Foundation Server: Online TFS. Still, only in alpha testing, but oh so close to the beta phase. I can hardly wait for that.

Also I am currently working on my first Silverlight application. It will hopefully be of help with my other time consuming hobby.

Going for a promotion

In my spare time I am the proud trainer and coach of the MHC Steenwijk Ladies team. We are on a steam roller currently have beaten ALL OF THE OTHER TEAMS in the field hockey compettion. 30 points out of a possible 30 points: a totally 100% score! Now in the winter break we are preparing for the second part of the season with still 8 games to go. With 7 wins we secure the title. Maybe less if some of the teams lose points along the way.

My Silverlight application should help me document my training excercises. I plan on releasing it some time in 2009 and then I will make it available to just about everyone. I will keep you posted.


My oldest daughter has moved to a new school this year. My old school. Weird feeling. It seems like only yesterday when I was attending that school. Well, at lot has changed.

My other daughter was champion with her football team ('soccer' for the suckers). My son has probaly beaten you at Mario Kart.

Finally, my wife is going strong and moved to another job and she is hopefully heading the right direction in 2009.

What about 2009?

In the past I have not been very good at predictions. Still, I have some hopes for next year.

My high hopes and wishes for next year:

  • to bring Online TFS out of aplha into beta and into full swing production
  • to start another exciting internal prject
  • to make it to promotion with the Ladies
  • to be champion with the Ladies
  • for my wife, to find joy and satisfaction in her enw job
  • for my kids, to be succesful and happy at school and at sports
  • for my parents, to have a less eventfull year
  • to finish my Silverlight application
  • to have differenet hopes and wishes for 2010

I wish YOU all the best in 2009!

Image representing Microsoft Silverlight as de...Image via CrunchBase
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