My Resume

  • My Resume (MS Word) My Resume (PDF)


  • Microsoft Most Valuable Professional
  • INETA Community Champion
  • Leader, NJDOTNET: Central New Jersey .NET User Group

Saturday, July 25, 2009

On to the Next Set of Challenges!

You won’t see many of my blog entries get too personal, largely due to the fact that I am a relatively private person to start with, but also because this is supposed to be a technical blog.  That said, I wanted to break stride for one post and speak to the fact that I am leaving Infragistics and have now moved on to new challenges by deciding to start consulting.

It has been a great 3.5 years at Infragistics for me and I can not speak highly enough of my time there.  Never before have I worked in an environment so rich with knowledge, intensity, and passion.  It is an environment of productivity; it’s where teams of great minds and talented professionals join forces to produce amazing results, wasting no time in shipping amazing stuff.  It’s also fast-paced: a few of us had at one point discussed the concept of “Infragistics Time” joking that one or two days at IG would be the equivalent of up to a week anywhere else… and I’m not just talking deliverables.  To put it another way, I joined Infragistics as a Senior Web Developer, but after only one year in, I’d learned more and gained more experience than the entire rest of my career combined.

I didn’t do all this learning in a silo.  Reporting to the guy I would end up calling my mentor - Ambrose Little - was a crucial aspect of my development.  Until you’ve actually met him (and if you haven’t had the pleasure, the least you can do is follow him on Twitter!), it’s hard to describe just how awesome this guy is.  Crazy smart, level-headed, patient, and open-minded are just a few words that come to mind.  He guided both me and our group to continuously increasing levels of success… and he was really only doing it “part-time”, having another whole set of responsibilities above and beyond managing me and the website(s)!  It was also through this team that Ambrose led that I was able to foster deep personal and professional relationships with Todd Snyder and Ed Blankenship – two guys that I guarantee will continue to be two of my most valuable friends and colleagues for the rest of my professional (and personal!) life.

As an active supporter of the .NET community, Infragistics also introduced me to the amazing rewards of community involvement.  In a matter of months I had gone from never having attended a local user group meeting to becoming a presenter and eventually assuming leadership of or local group, NJDOTNET and later earning Microsoft’s MVP award!  This was all great fun, but I only recently realized just how deeply this involvement had affected me when my recent job search had me writing out my professional priorities and “community involvement” emerged as #1!  And, I owe all of this to Infragistics’ support, as well as trying to follow in the footsteps of both Ambrose and Jason Beres… which is not an easy thing to do!

I didn’t mean for this post to be a biography of my tenure at Infragistics, and as such I am focusing on those with whom I worked the longest and who had the deepest impact on my life. Unfortunately, that means leaving out the myriad other great folks that I was lucky enough to meet and work with.  So, I’m sorry that I am leaving so many of you out, but you know who you are and – even if I wasn’t able to mention you specifically – thank you for making my time at Infragistics a great one!  Farewell everyone – I’m sure I’ll see you all again sooner or later!

Shameless Plug:

So…  as you may have noticed, I opened up this post by mentioning that I decided to start consulting.  That means that if you’re looking for some help to knock out that next awesome project of yours, please feel free to contact me! 

If you’re interested, here’s a link to my resume in Word 2007 format.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Book Review: NHibernate in Action

Over a year ago I wrote about my NHibernate Lazy Loading Snafu and in that blog post it was pretty clear I was mostly clueless when it came to NHibernate.  Unfortunately, that hasn’t changed much in the past year, so I was incredibly eager to get my hands on the new Manning book, NHibernate in Action.  Believe me, it did not disappoint.

I’d argue that this book may be more appropriately naming something along the lines of “ORM in Action (with a focus on NHibernate)” because it is not only a bible for understanding and using NHibernate, but for ORM concepts in general!  The authors skillfully intertwine detailed and insightful discussion of general database, ORM, and enterprise development concepts with the nitty-gritty implementation details of NHibernate, all in an easy-to-read manner.  Beginning with a tour of many of the various ORM (and ORM-ish) solutions available to .NET developers and ending with a few chapters dedicated to discussing best practices of enterprise application development, this is a very well-rounded book that is easily digested by developers of pretty much any skill level.  I knew only high-level details about NHibernate and had a few mis-guided attempts at implementing it by myself prior to reading this book, but now I feel incredibly confident that I will be able to create plenty of NHibernate-driven applications with ease.  Another great benefit is the comfort I get from knowing that when I hit any more snafus in the future, it is obviously that this book will be there as a solid reference to help get me through.

The cons?  It'd be nice if the book discussed NHibernate 2 & .NET 3.x functionality (like LINQ-to-NHibernate), but I think those expectations are somewhat unrealistic. Because of its open source nature, NHibernate is a living organism with stark contrast to a published book. Due to this contrast, I am more interested in a text that can explain the fundamental concepts than an incredibly in-depth (and quickly obsolete!) explanation of the technical implementation of those concepts.

When it comes down to it, this is a great book that delivers on its promises and provides a comprehensive look at NHibernate in Action and how you can get it working for you.  I’m just gonna come right out and say it – this is the NHibernate Bible.