It's clearly been a while since I put up a post. This has been due as much to the holidays as much as it has been caused by distractions, lack of laziness and procrastination.
I've was busy with a production deployment in early December and have been on vacation enjoying the holidays with family and friends after that. Today is my first day back at the office in a couple of weeks and while it's good to be back, I'm still sorta glad it's a short week. It was hard getting up this morning and making the ride in with the temp at 37 degrees and my wife still warm in bed.
It was nice to see a couple of good clean blog entries by Uncle Bob giving a great introduction into Functional Programming and why it's supposed to be, "The Next Big Thing". I personally thing it's past that point already, it's just that the majority of people don't necessarily realize it is or why everyone is saying that. The relevant posts are FP Basics E1 and FP Basics E2.
Also on my radar this month will be another Coursera class. It doesn't look like it will be particularly challenging but it's an introduction to a range of different programming languages functional as well as OO, most of which I have spent little, if any, time doing anything more significant than the old standby, "Hello World!" I look forward to learning how to make a program say that in a few more languages and with a little luck and some work, I can get a solid handle on some new tools that I will be able to use effectively and appropriately.
I've also picked up RC helicopter flying. As in most things I do, I kind of jumped in over my head and while I didn't spend a ton of money, what I did do is overestimate my skills (again) and get a heli that is, in all honesty, not something I should be trying to learn on as a beginner. I cheer myself up with the knowledge that if I can conquer this bird, I will have made a significant achievement (well, to me anyway) and that I actually love just practicing ground exercises, much less the low hover stuff that I occasionally use to remind myself why I don't get the bird in the air until I've mastered other skills first.
I also have at least a couple of interesting tasks at the office to work on in addition to the dreary crap that normally makes up a work day. Neither are really sophisticated but one of them will afford me the opportunity to learn and explore some new tools and frameworks. For a guy who has been a die hard OSS and the POSIX-style OS, this is extremely important now that I have gone to the Dark Side and work as a perm at a Windows based company.
As an aside, I have been very impressed over the last few years with how Microsoft has started opening up their software but also started to adopt and promote things that I have considered industry standard since the early 2000's but MS refused to acknowledge.
I will try to organize my thoughts and present some cogent observations on my introduction into the universe of C# web application frameworks and, if I'm lucky, maybe a little bit about how F# plays within them.