• Rationalising my SQL Server installs with Docker

    Like most .NET developers computers, mine has picked up a number of SQL Server installations over the years, even since I last paved and reinstalled everything.

    I had installations for 2008 R2, 2012, 2014, 2019 and (the reason I noticed the others) the latest version, 2022. I also had three versions of SQL Server Management Studio installed - all chewing up hard drive space.

    Now, it’s not like I’m a digital hoarder - these installations were required to work on client projects during my, soon to be rekindled, contracting years. While everyone wants to run the latest and greatest technologies, sometimes that isn’t possible so I needed to be sure that I was configured to run their code without compatibility issues.

    But surely there is a better way than cluttering up my hard drive …. and that’s where Docker comes in.

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  • A New Year and a New Start

    Prior to the Covid pandemic and the lockdowns that followed I had been contracting for around 9 years, securing 22 contracts across numerous sectors - some lasting a couple of months and a few lasting around a year.

    When the UK went into lockdown I was engaged with a startup company but with all the uncertainty at the time they decided to pull the pull on the project, leaving me looking for another contract just as the contracting market all but dried up.

    I wasn’t that worried at the time, thinking I could use the time sharpening my skills and work on some pet projects. However as the months rolled on and with changes to the tax regulations for contractors looking to make it much less viable a decision had to be made.

    When I reached out on LinkedIn saying that I was considering permanent roles I was flattered when a previous client contacted me and offered me a position working on the same project with the same team.

    A little over a year later I was asked to take on the Technical Team Lead role, managing the developers, looking after their training requirements and progression within the company.

    It’s now a little over a year since I took on that role and I’ve decided it’s time to move on and while I’m primarily considering a return to contracting I’m not ruling out another permanent role.

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  • The future of my Development Setup

    In a previous post I presented a rather rambling review of my plans to keep my skills up to date as I look forward to major project updates at work and within my own pet/portfolio projects.

    In this post I’m going to need to take a look at my existing, somewhat aging hardware with a view to not only making sure that I can run all the required tooling but also take into account that I’m in the process of moving house, downsizing now that the kids have all left, and will have a much smaller office so won’t have enough space for all my current equipment - which also needs to be downsized.

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  • Twitter - another one bites the dust?

    Back in 2019 I left Facebook and frankly haven’t missed it - even through the pandemic and repeated lockdowns here in the UK. I did however retain a presence on Twitter, two in fact - although I deleted the lesser used one earlier this year.

    For me, Twitter was a place I consumed information from prominent names in software development rather than risking the wrath of some nobody because they claimed to be offended by something I’d posted (I really don’t have time for that crap, maybe it’s my age).

    Well, with Twitter now apparently in freefall I started to wonder what I would do if (when??) it hits the ground.

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  • The future of MY dotnet development

    It’s been a few months since my last post, mainly due to the tedious process of moving house in the UK, but also due to work committments etc.

    That doesn’t mean that I’ve lost touch though - I’m keeping up to date with the development of MAUI (and whether it is actually ready for production use) and the constant evolution of dotnet (or is it .NET? - who knows these days).

    During the previous decade I’ve been working as a contractor and an employee, in numerous sectors on a wide variety of projects built using various incarnations of the .NET Framework.

    As the end of 2022 approaches I’m now looking forward, maybe not a full decade ahead but change is coming and I need to be ready for it.

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