It may be time for a rewrite

Now that coding opportunities are lower at work, I should rewrite my blog to use AngularJS & RavenDb as the backend.

It’s a thought.

posted by Robb Allen @ 2/17/2015 1:31:16 PM | Feedback (2)
The next phase of my career has started

I used to be a prolific blogger. I’d put up 2 or 3 things a day and I enjoyed it immensely. However, after my last job change, I found myself having less & less time to be able to thoroughly read up on what I was talking about. Ill-informed posts bother me to no end.

I’ve been doing development for 20 years now. I’ve been in almost every aspect  - web, front ends, back end, long running server processes, portals, packaged software, client-server, thick client, thin client, remote only (back when Citrix was in its diapers). I did server management, network management, and many things that used to be the realm of the Webmaster that are no longer even considered a developer’s job anymore.

Today, that’s changed. I’m now a Development Lead which ironically requires very, very little development. I’m running my team now, keeping people on task, assisting the junior developers with learning the systems, evangelizing technologies, interfacing with upper management on statuses, etc. I will be doing Architect work as well to ensure I stay up to date on my coding skills and I’m ok with grabbing low hanging fruit for tasks, but most of my interaction with code will be doing code reviews & design / architecture of solutions. It’s very odd to come up with an idea and then know you’ll be handing it off to someone else to implement.

I don’t think my blogging time will change, mostly because it’s been so sparse as to be non-existent. I’ve seriously considered calling it quits and saving myself a boatload of money each month on my internet costs (the ads do not bring in enough money to cover the costs and that’s because I don’t blog enough to bring in the traffic), but at this point I’m not giving up yet.

Thanks for hanging in there with me. I do this for my own amusement, but I like it when it amuses others too.

posted by Robb Allen @ 2/17/2015 11:11:30 AM | Feedback (8)
When the bad becomes the better

One thing that Virgil has commented on to me is that sometimes it is frustrating that people only see pictures online that freeze hours & hours of effort into 1/30th of a second. You see a blank piece of wood, then some shell, then pieces, then the inlay put together and finally inlaid as a final product. What isn't shown are the intense amounts of work to get all that to work and even the problems that happen from time to time that require considerable effort to correct.

This is one of those stories.

For the cartridges & empty casings on my fretboard, I wanted brass. Because ammo cases are (generally) brass, I thought it'd look awesome to have them in the same material as they are in real life. I also didn't want ebony or Indian rosewood for the fretboard because I wanted a bit more texture which is why I went with the bocote wood. Both of these choices lead to headaches for Virgil.

To start with, the bocote was oily compared to other fretboard woods he has worked with. This made adhering the board down problematic. Then, the large pieces of brass didn't like the sanding. Even with scoring the brass on the backside & the wood, the brass kept coming loose. Eventually, Virgil didn't trust the brass to stay put and requested that we swap out materials & use bronze mother-of-pearl instead.


And I'm thrilled with the results! The original brass looked flat (because it was). The bronze MOP has a ‘shape’ to it and fits better with the overall look of the fretboard.

This was a "problem" that Virgil was able to turn into something even MORE amazing.

posted by Robb Allen @ 2/10/2015 6:17:08 PM | Feedback (0)
Not sure I could get my guitar through the TSA checkpoint

Managed to get away for lunch yesterday to drop by Virgil’s to look at the progress on my fretboard and daaaaaaamn



Pictures don’t do it justice as the materials change color & sheen based on your head’s position. The cylinder is black mother-of-pearl but often looks silver. The bocote wood is so amazing in its grain pattern even though it’s been somewhat of a headache for Virgil to work with. I’m glad he’s stuck through though.

Also, my neck came in. 5 piece, flamed maple like my top with rosewood stripes


The more I look at the fretboard though, the less I’m thinking about sticking with my original color choice for the body. Things to think about (and I have plenty of time to wait).

posted by Robb Allen @ 2/6/2015 8:24:00 AM | Feedback (0)