I believe this is version 4 anyway, I don't really remember.  My old company has turned off its servers and things are now co-located at a real hosting facility.  Additionally, I've been cutting my workload back some at BIG, and getting caught up on some blog reading.  I've been inspired again to blog myself, especially after noticing it had been over a year since my last post.

I've experienced some exciting things in the past year.  I architected another large project (about 5 man-years' work), and we successfully delivered it to the client on schedule and on budget.  The project offered me several firsts:

  1. WinForms
  2. .NET 2.0
  3. C#
  4. MVP/MVC -- I'll talk about this more later
  5. LLBLGen
  6. .NET Remoting

I learned a lot on that project, including how painful WinForms can be; I'm just glad I didn't have to do much screen development--I was focusing on the back-end processes after architecting the MVP pattern that we used.  The funniest part of the project was the one time that I did actually do screen development.  I had estimated a particular wizard to take 8 hours, but it actually took 8 weeks!  Oops.  Oh well, we still hit the final dates and budgets as I said above, so it all worked out.

Another amazing development for me was that BIG was awarded the development contract for the DASL project.  DASL stands for "Data Analysis for Student Learning."  This software is presently running over 450 of the school districts across the state of Ohio, with over 650,000 students' data being managed.  DASL includes over 1 million lines of code, over 600 ASPX files (most of which have 2-3 different screen impressions), and it is responsible for managing student data and reporting it to the state of Ohio.  I don't mean to be smug, but it's a big, important app.  If you have kids that go to public school in Ohio, chances are, their teachers put your kids' marks and attendance into DASL, and DASL is generating the report cards that your kids (are supposed to) bring home.

Other than my 1-year hiatus for the WinForms project, I've been working on DASL since September 2003.  BIG was previously subcontracted to work on DASL, but as of July 2007, the development contract is directly with BIG.  In order to facilitate this, I came back onto the project, we expanded our office space (thank goodness the neighbors had recently vacated), and we hired a QA group (including my boss from a decade ago at SDRC), along with several other developers. Along the way, we had to do several other things, like getting a new phone system to support all of the necessary extensions, ordering an entire skid of servers from Dell, buying some new software, etc.  It's been great being back on DASL.

There have been some other fun things along the way, but those are the biggies.  I do want to get back into blogging because there are tons of new toys coming out for us to play with as developers.  I have a lot of thoughts related to this stuff and hope that others will find my thoughts insightful.