Published Saturday, 3. September 2011, 13:44, Danish time.

Ooups, 3 months 8 months 10 months went by! – Without any posts. – Makes me a bit sad. – Not what I had hoped. What happened?

I got a new position at work. I am now Solution Architect, Lead Developer in a new team and supervising architect for two related teams, one of them in India. All while finishing my former project for the first couple of months. And I’m still naïve enough to try to get some coding work done every sprint.

At the time around my last post, back in late 2010, I also had a vague plan to move towards the Silverlight stack, with MVVM, Prism and all sorts of automated testing, but that’s not how it turned out.

I got the offer to work with a small and highly skilled team, working with an interesting stack of new web tools. And the product, we are making is relatively isolated, have a happy business owner and is fairly self contained, so we’re like on a small, tropical island in the big, dark, corporate waters (said with a smile, of course).

I will probably write more about the technology stack, we are using, but here is the quick list. It’s an “HTML5” app, so our tools are of course split mentally in two. On the client side, we use:

  • Lots of jQuery and pure JavaScript, written in functional style and with object oriented constructions. We use a fair amount of libraries, plugins and polyfills.
  • New UI modules are done using KnockoutJS and jQuery Templates.
  • Others are using jqGrid.
  • CSS is “rationalized” using .LESS.
  • CSS and JS is minified and bundled using a homegrown asset manager.
  • The new stuff is done using BDD using Jasmine on the client side Javascript business logic.
  • We are trying to get up and running with Specflow driving Selenium 2 (with WebDriver) for BDD-style integration- and acceptance testing (– to drive development on an overall level).

On the server side, the stack is:

  • ASP.NET MVC3 for producing HTML and as a JSON server (using MVC3’s JSON binding support). We use C#.
  • A new, homegrown shell-with-runtime-loaded-MVC-modules architecture, based on MEF (and a bunch of crazy tricks). We built it ourselves, because we couldn’t find any ASP.NET MVC plugin/shell frameworks out there at the time (December 2010) and we needed to empower our team in India, without ending up in merge hell. We spent a lot of time in Google. Shocking!
  • A mix of new Razor & older ASPX WebForms views (for now).
  • Unity for dependency injection.
  • RhinoMocks for faking stuff.
  • MSTest for unit tests (couldn’t find a proper product description).
  • And again Specflow to drive the integration- and acceptance tests.
  • Database is MS SQL Server with T-SQL stored procedures.

On the tooling side, there is:

A lot of the new Javascript tooling was new to me. Learning about and practicing duck typing, monkey patching, polyfill’ing old browsers and working with a dynamic language have been very exiting and enlightening. And taken a lot of time & effort.

Also, on the softer side, I introduced mind maps on requirements gathering meetings and wireframes built in MS Blend SketchFlow. Introducing these two was really exiting; out went the boring, traditional process of throwing mails with Word documents at each other and going through long, monochrome bullet-lists during even longer meetings. In came lively meetings, engaged business owners and confident decisions. Definitely a change to the better. Highly recommended. Hope to get back to this later.

I must admit, that all this really stole my mental focus and didn’t leave me much energy for writing blog posts. And I miss the clarity, it brings me. So I will try to get back on track.

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