Tech Predictions, 2011 Edition

Long-time readers of this blog know what’s coming next: it’s time for Ted to prognosticate on what the coming year of tech will bring us. But I believe strongly in accountability, even in my offered-up-for-free predictions, so one of the traditions of this space is to go back and revisit my predictions from this time last year. So, without further ado, let’s look back at Ted’s 2010 predictions, and see how things played out; 2010 predictions are prefixed with “THEN”, and my thoughts on my predictions are prefixed with “NOW”: For 2010, I predicted....

Thoughts on my first Startup Weekend

Startup Weekend came to Redmond this weekend, and as I write this it is all of three hours over. In the spirit of capturing post-mortem thoughts as quickly as possible, I thought I’d blog my reactions and thoughts from it, both as a reference for myself for the next one, and as a guide/warning/data point for others considering doing it. A few weeks ago, emails started crossing the Seattle Tech Startup mailing list about this thing called “Startup Weekend”.

Windows Service in F#

Recently I received an email forwarded to me from a fan of the F# language, asking about the steps required to build a Windows service (the Windows equivalent to a background daemon from Unix) in F#. It’s not hard, but getting the F# bits in the right place can be tricky—the key being, the Installer (that will be invoked when installutil.exe is asked to install your service) has to have the right custom attribute in place, and the service has to have all the bits lined up perfectly.

Thoughts on an Apple/Java divorce

A small degree of panic set in amongst the Java development community over the weekend, as Apple announced that they were “de-emphasizing” Java on the Mac OS. Being the Big Java Geek that I am, I thought I’d weigh in on this. Let the pundits speak But first, let’s see what the actual news reports said: As of the release of Java for Mac OS X 10.6 Update 3, the Java runtime ported by Apple and that ships with Mac OS X is deprecated.

Doing it Twice… On Different Platforms

Short version: Matthew Baxter-Reynolds has written an intriguing book, Multimobile Development, about writing the same application over and over again on different mobile platforms. On the one hand, I applaud the effort, and think this is a great resource for developers who want to get started on mobile development, particularly since this book means you won’t have to choose a platform first. On the other hand, there’s a few things about the book I didn’t like, such as the fact that it misses the third platform in the room (Windows Phone 7) and that it could go out of date fairly quickly.

New to ASP.NET MVC? Test-Drive Your Way

Short version: Jonathan McCracken has produced a great guided tour of ASP.NET MVC 2, meaning if you’re trying to figure out what everybody’s getting so amped up about (as opposed to traditional page-oriented ASP.NET), then Test-Drive ASP.NET MVC is a great way to understand the excitement. Long version: I first met Jon when I was out in Bangalore, India, doing some consulting work for ThoughtWorks (my employer at the time). Jon was out in Bangalore working as an instructor for ThoughtWorks University, and we got to talking about the .NET community and specifically, how he could grow as a recognizable speaker and pontificator within that community.

Integration testing and unit testing

Also known as, “An exercise in Twitter opinionating”: Sitting in a meeting, I heard one of the other meeting participants say, “You should do your integration testing before your unit testing in your code.” Now, I wasn’t (and I’m still not) sure I agree with this or not, and when in doubt, I like to get data points. Twitter to the rescue! The responses that came back were fascinating, and all over the map: MarkFreedman Why?

Wanted: Blog jobs widget

It appears that the jobs widget that I’ve been using is basically kaput. So I’m putting out the call—anybody have a good nomination for a jobs widget to replace it? I’m not interested in making a dime, I just want to help people who want to find work. Suggestions?

VMWare help

Hey, anybody who’s got significant VMWare mojo, help out a bro? I’ve got a Win7 VM (one of many) that appears to be exhibiting weird disk behavior—the vmdk, a growable single-file VMDK, is almost precisely twice the used space. It’s a 120GB growable disk, and the Win7 guest reports about 35GB used, but the VMDK takes about 70GB on host disk. CHKDSK inside Windows says everything’s good, and the VMWare “Disk Cleanup” doesn’t change anything, either.

“Inspirational” messages

My father likes to send me these little inspirational emails. This one sorta caught my eye as particularly…. uh…. well, you decide: "Every morning in Africa a gazelle wakes up. It knows it must run faster than the fastest lion or it will be killed. Every morning a lion wakes up. It knows it must outrun the slowest gazelle or it will starve to death. It doesn’t matter whether you are a lion or a gazelle - when the sun comes up, you’d better be running.