Shawn

Shawn Wildermuth

The Blog

My Rants and Raves about technology, programming, everything else...


Can't We Just Get Along: The Spurious NoSQL Battle

Database_designThe first blog post I ever wrote was a short one on databases. In fact for those of you who haven’t been following me for more than ten years, my old domain was “ADOGuy.com”. I wrote about ADO and ADO.NET pretty exclusively for years.

These days I’m more known for web and XAML than data but it’s something that touches most developers so I continue to watch the trends. Of course the NoSQL v. Relational Database  is the current fight in that space (taking over from the decade long ORM or no ORM skirmish). These fights seem awfully silly in the big picture because the answer is usually “it depends” or even “it’s both…” Let me see if I can convince you that the argument in itself is wrong.

Let’s start by explaining what I mean by NoSQL and Relational, just to be clear. Relational databases (e.g. SQL Server, Oracle, DB2, and MySQL) store their data as two-dimensional arrays (e.g. Tables). Each of these tables support a way to relate to other tables. NoSQL databases (e.g. MongoDB, CouchDB, RavenDB, etc.) are really document stores. They tend to store their data as hierarchies. It is important to note that not all NoSQL data stores are document databases or use hierarchies, but most of them seem to. Why does this storage method matter?

Read...


Next Stop: Nottingham England for Node.js

The last stop of the week was in Nottingham. I had a chat with the Sheriff about some stolen hoodies. At least that’s what I thought he said – his accent was quite thick ; )

The team at dotNetNotts was great. We had a packed house of over sixty attendees. I am sure the pizza and beer helped, but some even stood for the talk. Resilient group!

We talked about “Node.js for .NET Developers” this time. I tried to stay away from the NoSQL v. Relational database story, but hopefully I was able to explain what Node.js is and how you could apply the lessons there to ASP.NET MVC/Web API. Lively group and some really tough questions. As usual for this great country, we ended the night in a lovely little pub that was likely older than my country.

Read...


My visit to Gloucester UK

My next stop this week was in the town of Gloucester in England. The group that ran this meetup was great and had everything setup to make this an easy talk to give. I especially want to thank Franck Terray and Sophie Lipowska for running the meetup.

For this stop, we talked about both ASP.NET Web API 2 as well as Azure Websites. I merged the two into a built API then deployed into Microsoft’s cloud. Lots of great questions later we stopped by the pub for a nice talk with the hard-core members. Great time was had by me.

Here are the promised resources from the talk:

Read...


Hereford Node.js Talk

I stopped by the small town of Hereford to talk to them about Node.js on Monday. The small, but very enthusiastic group was great! If you get a chance stop by and visit this adorable small town.

I have a talk on Node.js for .NET Developers and while I doubt I convinced everyone to try it out, I am hoping I got the ASP.NET guys to think about async in their controllers.

Here are the promised resources from the talk:

Read...


My Talks in Bristol England

As my first talk in the UK, I was tasked with doing two talks in one day.  The group was a lot of fun and asked some key questions.

I got a chance to show two contrasting technologies in showing ASP.NET Web API 2 as well as Node.js for .NET Dev’s. With only fifty minutes for each talk, I had to try and cover them briefly.

Unfortunately, we had an issue with the Internet connection so there were some demo’s I couldn’t do. But I’ve added the additional pieces of the demos for the downloads. If you were at the event, grab the examples to see the database tied in and CORS actually working.

Read...


England Swing of the WilderWorldTour

Next week I start a short swing around southern and south-midlands England. I had hoped to do more events in England, but this short swing of four user groups is all I’m doing in England (though I’ll be in close-by Scotland in early August and Ireland in September).

These events will cover a variety of topics including Node.js, ASP.NET Web API v2 and AngularJS.

These are the events starting next Thursday.

Read...


Meet Up With Me in London This Thursday

Quick reminder that I’m going to be holding a quick, informal Nerd Dinner in London, UK this Thursday (July 17th, 2014) at 6:30pm (or 18:30 if you prefer) local time!

If you’re a geek of any type, a viewer of my Pluralsight courses or even just a fan of my books, this is a great opportunity to share a pint and conversation.

The nerd dinner will be held at:

Read...


The Other Half of Your Job

listening_wideI do enjoy building things with code. When I started 28 years ago, that’s what I thought was the essence of what a “computer person’s” (e.g. software developer) job was to sit dark in a room and grind out computer code. Of course we know that it just isn’t true.

For me technical acumen is a decent mark of a good developer. But if you can marry technical ability with communication skills, you’re a huge asset to any company.

No matter what kind of development you do, you have to interact with what I’ll call stakeholders. Stakeholders can be direct users, managers, companies or anyone who will benefit from your software. This interaction is where the magic happens in software projects. If you can’t communicate with the stakeholders, the project is doomed to failure.

Read...


It Is Time to Learn JavaScript

javascriptJavaScript is having a great year. With the continuation of web development, Node.js, and even Apple adding JavaScript as a replacement for their AppleScript.

You may be waiting until you have to learn JavaScript, but maybe you should learn JavaScript to make you a better developer. Let me pitch it to you:

I started with database ‘languages’ twenty-eight years ago. My experience in those days was that when you got a new package or solution, you were going to learn a new language. A language was part of the experience, not a separate piece of the puzzle. If you look back at how Paradox, dBase and others worked. The language was simply ‘in the box’.

Read...


Learning How to Balance Work and Life

WP_20140610_16_31_44_ev2_Pro__highresI love what I do. The consulting, the software development, the courses…I really love it all. It keeps me in a constant state of learning and I am overjoyed and extremely lucky for this to be my life’s passion.

This year a lot has changed in my life and I am finally married for the first time. I met the amazing woman 2 1/2 years ago and I am lucky she agreed to be my life. Sappy…I know, but the experience has been transformative.

In mid-May with my wedding fast approaching I started to pull away from work to focus on the incredibly difficult (and a tad stupid) task of planning a wedding, eliminating everything we owned (with small exceptions) and leaving the country for a year. All these three things happened in the span of five days. We left our apartment on a Friday, got married on Saturday, and on Tuesday we were on a plane to Paris to start our adventure.

Read...