May 082011

If I told you I was going to send you on a trip that would involve spending a week in New York City followed by a week in Las Vegas you’d probably think that was going to be pretty cool. I sure did. For a while there it was. I can honestly say, though, that after two weeks I’m ready to go home.

I’ve been taking part in some pretty intensive training to help me get up to speed on some of the technologies that we’re adapting at work. I spent five days in New York learning about C# and 7 days in Vegas learning about accessing data and building web applications in Visual Studio 2010 with .NET. The New York leg of the journey was pretty awesome, both from a learning and playing perspective. Vegas, however, has completely kicked my ass. 10 hour days on stuff that’s either really difficult to wrap your head around or mind-numbingly easy mixed with the insanity that is the Las Vegas strip. The resort we are staying at is right behind the Hooters hotel on the South end of the main strip, and the whole environment outside of our little resort is just nuts. Hell, it’s a little crazy here. I’m sitting right next to a window that is looking out over the pool in the resort, and as the week went on the parties our there got progressively louder and more raucous (I note with no small amount of amusement, however, that so far it’s pretty dead out there on this lovely Sunday morning…I guess everyone is still recovering from the parties of the previous evening).

My only other experience with Vegas was when I came here for MySQL training back in 2004. On that trip I was staying at the Golden Nugget in the “old” part of Vegas. Having experienced both first hand I can honestly say they are two different worlds. Old Vegas is kinda cheap and cheesy in an awesome way. New Vegas is shiny and insanely expensive. I think the cheapest dinner we’ve had out on this trip was about $30 per person.

I’ve learned a lot in the last two weeks. Part of me is overwhelmed by all the new information I’ve taken in, and part of me is frustrated that I haven’t learned more. The course in New York was absolutely amazing. The teacher was engaging, interesting, and brilliant. The teacher here in Vegas is clearly brilliant. The other two, however? Not so much. He’s pretty  much been teaching directly from the book and summarizing all the content in it. We got very behind schedule so he’s been rushing the last few days, and amusingly enough that’s been easier to deal with because he’s stopping to focus on the important stuff and glazing over things that are less critical.  I was going to try and take the two certification tests that I’ve earned vouchers for by taking this boot camp right away, but after a few days I realized there was no way I was taking enough from the courses to do so and I canceled my appointments.

One of the things that has happened over the course of the last few weeks is that I’ve gotten the urge to write an Open Source Auction solution in ColdFusion. I’ve carried around a bit of guilt over the years because the company that I started with pretty much ripped off hundreds of people for millions of dollars. The software that we sold was expensive and it frankly did not work. I hated that – To the point where I was near tears on my way to work every day by the end of it.

I kind of want to clear my karma over that.

That, and it would be good for me to have a full fledged project out there that I could point to and say “this is my work and this is why I’m awesome.”

So, yeah…In my spare time….


Break is over, so I’m cutting this here. Meeting up with former Tampa resident and Jobsite ensemble member Leah Loschaivo for drinks tonight, and it’s home tomorrow. Than

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  6 Responses to “Leaving Las Vegas”

  1. Glad youihave had 2 productive weeks and know you are more than ready to return home. I only have 2 more days and I will be heading there myself. See you soon and love you lots, Mom

  2. Spare time? Where the heck can I download that from? 😛

    Sorry that the second instructor was so meh, comparatively. Never fun to pay to take a course and realize that the person instructing it is pretty much just reading the book verbatim. Feels like such an enormous waste of time because they’re always inevitably so… much… slower… than you’d be if you were simply left to cover the material on your own during the same period of time.

  3. I’m sorry to hear that things have been a little stressful at work. It’s never fun to have to scramble to pick up a new language.

    Let me know if I can help you out at all. While I wouldn’t consider myself an expert or a guru, I have been programming in C#/ASP.Net since 2004. I’m almost always on GTalk while at work throughout the day.

    Oh, and welcome to the dark side! (Or is this the light side? I can never tell anymore.)

    • I’m going to be studying pretty hard over the next few weeks to pass the two tests I’m getting vouchers for from this class. I’m not really worried so much about the Building Web Applications one (need to study a bit more about JQuery first), but the Accessing Data Objects one is going to be a bitch. That’s where I really felt like we didn’t learn a lot. So I might have some questions for you there.

      • JQuery is extremely easy to pick up. The barrier to entry is low and the syntax makes sense. CSS3 selectors are your friend.

        I’m not sure if I’ll be able to help you much with the ADO portion of the show, but I’ll give it a shot. Let me know.

  4. Yeah… work on that open source auction thing cuz you gots LOTS of free time for it.

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