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Jay's Technical blog

How long should it take you to get a new job at your current level?

30 April 2008
Jay Kimble

[WARNING! This is an archived post and as such there may be things broken/missing here.. you have been warned.]

For me the answer to that question is about 1 month. If I get a contract position maybe less time, but in the last several tries it has been at least a month to find a good company/position.

Last week I wrote about my personal struggles with the job situation. Some bad things happened to my business that put me a month behind in looking for a position (new business came last month that ended up going sour). I had enough money in the bank to cover my personal expenses for exactly 1 month which meant that if my margin for error was really low (and it didn’t take into account the length of time before I received my first check.

Well, fast forward a week. I have been on 2 interviews. The first was followed by a second interview at the same company less than 24 hours later. I always go armed (at least mentally) with a number of Eric’s Questions (I don’t like all his questions, but a number of them I think help you go a long way... and I have had interviewers get upset about a few of them which tells me quickly what kind of place I’m interviewing at). In this case I asked one of the questions, and let him know about all of them... but I didn’t have to ask, he had already answered all of them before I even got to the point in the interview where I got to ask questions. Needless to say, it’s a good place. It also fits me perfectly... so a week after I starting looking for a job, I got an offer at a good company for a good position.

Anyway, I’m going to be starting shortly at the new place (and am shutting down IntraDynamics, LLC for everything except part-time side work). Never fear, I’ll still be blogging here, and am planning on continuing (now that things have settled again I can devote more time to some of my personal pursuits.


DLRScript update

24 April 2008
Jay Kimble

[WARNING! This is an archived post and as such there may be things broken/missing here.. you have been warned.]

I have begun working on DLRJScript-JavaScript compatibility. I was actually successful running my first externally created JavaScript -- EcmaUnit 0.4 (which is a small JS testing framework). I did have to make a couple modifications.

I’m becoming aware of the size of this job though. I’m currently porting a Mozilla-compatible XmlHttpRequest object which I think will work with all the major Ajax frameworks. I’m not sure which Ajax Framework I’ll actually target as the first on to run. I could stick with the man and make it work with the MS Ajax client library, I could go with Prototype that so many people swear by or I could use something else (JQuery is looking rather interesting to me in this regard). The biggest thing I require though is either an extensive sample project or a test suite itself. This makes it easier to see if my JavaScript replacement is working OK or not. Once I have a reasonable compatibility (one or more frameworks working fairly good with minimal issues) then I’ll move over to making the various languages capable of communicating with one another (so I can loadup JQuery and then use it, clientside, from Iron Ruby).

In case you forget why you might want to do this, it’s simple really; DLRJscript is faster (because it’s compiled) then traditional JavaScript (which is interpreted).


Personal: Trying Not to Despair

21 April 2008
Jay Kimble

[WARNING! This is an archived post and as such there may be things broken/missing here.. you have been warned.]

[This is a personal post that you may want to skip (or may not... there won’t be much technical stuff here, but I need to get this out]

So my business (the one I started last January) is in bad shape. The reality is that if my business is hurting financially (which it is), then I’m hurting financially (which I am). I’m about to quit working for myself and go find a contract and get out of my home office for the first time in 2.5 years. That really hurts, but it is where things are.

So what happened? Well, I have made a couple mistakes that have hurt. Last year I had 2 really good clients at the end of the year that kept me working. One of the 2 was definitely stronger than the other. The problem was that the stronger one had to make some cuts and I was one of them (it’s a longer story than that, but this is good enough), so now I have 1 client. I hadn’t been trying to develop and get new clients in all that time, so when work dried up it was empty.

I did find some work last month that would have greatly helped, except the second bad decisions hit me. I agreed to do work that was brought to me by someone I had a relationship with (and I trusted them), but I knew nothing about the client (no prior experience with them). I am now unable to collect from this client (and am not sure I will be able to). (this means contracts are a good thing... use them otherwise you end up with nothing you can collect on legally)

So I’m looking for work. I’ll continue doing what I’m doing now or I’ll bite the bullet and go work on site somewhere (which means either taking a contract or taking a position). I’ve already been talking to a recruiter friend of mine (and have applied for a couple positions).

Needless to say, it’s time for a change.


DLRScript 0.5 Notes...

14 April 2008
Jay Kimble

[WARNING! This is an archived post and as such there may be things broken/missing here.. you have been warned.]

As you may or may not have seen, over the weekend I released a new version of my DLRScript project.  It’s coming along. It adds 3 things: File loading via the src attribute, better exception reporting for DLRJScript(it shows you what line of script code failed), and improved DLRJScript performance.

File Loading
I could probably write a bunch on this (and probably should in another article). Basically I am dynamically loading content (script files) from the server. I also extended HTML a bit in that you can now use the same script tag to load a script from the server and to write additional code that will load after the script has loaded. It looks like this:

  1:<scripttype="DLRJScript"src="/somefile-on-the-server.js">
  1: 

											
  2:function doSomething()

											
  3:     {

											
  4:// Code found here

											
  5:     }
</script>


JS Performance
Because of the new way I am creating the JScript engine, I get JScript code to compile, so the code that executes is faster than standard interpreted Client-Side JavaScript. I did a simple test which is within my project over on CodePlex. The test simply adds 15 <hr /> elements to a hidden div. It records the time before and after the routine. First run in the DLRJScript results in about the same speed as standard client=side JavaScript. The second run results takes about 1/2 the time and the third trip is even faster (the 4th-6th attempt takes about the same amount of time as the 3rd run, so I figure that’s as fast as it gets). I’m not sure if this implies that the DLR optimizes code even more after subsequent runs of code or not (I know the .NET spec supposedly will optimize code after it has been run a few times).

Anyway, my test is not scientific in case you are wonder. There could be additional processes on my box that may make the results vary. Everything is a very crude approximation. I did run the client-side version several times to see as well with about the same results.

The Future
Ok, my plan is to get my DLRJScript to be more compatible with standard client-side JavaScript using DOM2. Right now I know I’m not even at DOM1 spec. I will be testing various libraries to see if I can get them to run with my implementation. It may result in a faster way to run JavaScript in the browser. Also, since the code is really running within the SilverLight plugin, the script code should be standardized and run the same in every browser (well, at least in theory).


Welcome to the new TRT

11 April 2008
Jay Kimble

[WARNING! This is an archived post and as such there may be things broken/missing here.. you have been warned.]

Ok, so you probably are reading this via RSS (most people do), so instead of forcing everyone to come to the site to see it; here’s a screen shot (IE7 although all other major browser see it just the same)

image

Anyway, we are now using SubText (the blog software I originally wanted to use). There’s a gory story for why we are here now which I’ll save for a rant later.

The only real thing you need to be aware of is that if you want your picture to appear in comments register your email address with Email2face.com.

An interesting side note is that I’m currently putting this on my dev site, so it will be available after we switchover later today.  I’m pretty scared about this as I know I have at least one more thing to fix (Images -- which is the real reason why I have an image on this post).  Hang in there it may be a bit of a bumpy ride.