Friday, January 28, 2011

Bedroom Closet to Work Office Transformation

As many of you are aware late last year the company I worked for went belly up over some shady business they were doing. My job ended the day the FBI and IRS raided our building.

That was my last day working in an office building for me. Since then, I've joined the fine team at appendTo as a Senior Architect doing Front-end Architecture Reviews, JavaScript and jQuery consulting, writing for Enterprise jQuery, etc... The funny thing about appendTo is that we are all spread across the United States, which means that there is no real office!

The fact that I have 3 kids makes finding a quiet place around the house a tad difficult. I didn't really want to pay for an office space somewhere, so I tried to be creative in where I worked. First I tried family or neighbors close by that worked during the day. Then one day my wife suggested converting half of our Master Bedroom Closet into an office...  and that is where I am right now :)

Thankfully the closet already had an air vent otherwise I'd probably suffocate. I did need electricity and an internet connection so, my Father-in-Law wired the electricity and DSL through the Bedroom wall.

The beginnings of my Closet Office were uncomfortable and cumbersome as you can see in this first photo. The computer I had worked on previously was owned by my work and... well, the FBI confiscated that ;) So, I was left with my netbook until I could order my next computer. I bought a picnic table from Wal-Mart as a stop gap solution, but it proved to be too tall and wasted a lot of precious desk space. Also, the fold up chain didn't cut it. I was drooping in my seat by the end of the day.

My Father-in-Law saw my working conditions and took me to Staples to buy me an appropriate office chair. It is amazing how much a comfortable chain can change your whole day! Ohh and and you can see, my MacBook Pro arrived :)

Next my Father-in-Law said that he could build me a custom desk to fit the small space. He had a bunch of wood left over from a desk he built himself a year or two ago. We took out the bottom clothes rack in half of the closet to install the desk. He used a ledger and a couple of braces to keep it strong without having table legs in the way.

The next step of my Closet Office was to build huge cabinets that stretched to the ceiling with lights underneath. This project took the longest and was a chore to install, but now I have tons of room to store books, pictures, coffee, bills, etc. At this stage of the project we removed the top clothes rack in half the closet.

Note: The MacBook you see below wasn't mine. A client I worked for was really particular about security and I had to use one of their computers and work over VPN. Thankfully the project is over and I'm able to use my MacBook Pro again.

So, there you have it! As you can tell I own a HUGE thanks to my Father-in-Law for all his hard work.

And if you were wondering...
  • My office space takes up 5' 2'' x 4' 5'' of our total 11' 11'' x 4' 5'' closet space. We keep our clothes in the remaining part.
  • I like to call my working space as the "Man Cave" 
  • And yes, I do come out of the closet every day LOL. As you could probably guess, I get that joke a lot :)

Thursday, January 27, 2011

JavaScript DevExpress Webinar on 2-Feb-2011

The fine people at DevExpress are letting me present a Webinar covering the Good C# Habits can Encourage Bad JavaScript Habits series that I wrote on the Enterprise jQuery website.

The Webinar will take place on Wednesday February 2nd, 2011 at 12:00pm CST (other time zones).
This happens to be the same talk that I submitted as a proposed topic to the Mix11 conference. I would appreciate if you could vote for my session to be included in the conference line-up. Thanks!
The session is considered beginning as it covered introduction level JavaScript concepts that may not be known by a typical C# developer. The talk will last about an hour, but it may go a little over with questions and answers.

Register Now

Tech Tweets New Home and New Name

Based on some feedback from my friends and for some personal reasons I have moved Tech Tweets to another blog.

Here are some of the good things about it...
  • I've changed the name of "Tech Tweets" to Web Dev Tweets since the term is more accurate and also fits in the naming convention of this site.
  • The Web Dev Tweets round-up posts no longer drown out my non-round-up posts on this blog

I hope you find these changes helpful & that you find the tweets & roundup posts helpful as well.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

HTML5 Powered Google Chrome Extension

You may or may not have updated your HTML5 website with the official logo, but now there is an HTML5 Powered Google Chrome extension that will show the logo in your navigation bar if the site uses the HTML5 doctype.

The current version (v1.0) only detects the doctype, but I have started a new version that will detect which features of HTML5 are supported and will display those icons when the logo is clicked.

Note: I know there is some heated debate over the new HTML5 logo, but I thought it would be nice to easily identify sites that use HTML5 and with the next release see which of these newer features these sites utilize.

Mix11 Open Call Session Voting

The voting for the Open Call sessions for the Mix11 Conference has begun again this year and I'm honored that my session made the cut this year.

According to their voting page there are 206 sessions that made it to this stage of the selection process.

You can view all of the sessions on Mix's updated Open Call page and you are allowed to vote up to 10 sessions.

The session that I submitted this year is...

Good C# Habits can Encourage Bad JavaScript Habits 

Elijah Manor

It seems that far too many people come to jQuery thinking that their previous C# knowledge will help them be successful at client-side scripting. In many cases, you can be successful with this approach, however, the more JavaScript you write you will inevitably find yourself uncovering strange bugs because you didn't take time to learn JavaScript properly.

This session is targeted for developers that use jQuery, but haven’t invested adequate time to learn some of the foundational JavaScript concepts that differ from C#. If you would like to avoid some of these common mistakes when moving from C#, then please join me as I try to explain some of the differences.

Some of the topics that will be discussed in this session are:
  • Having Variables & Functions in Global Scope
  • Not Declaring Arrays & Objects Correctly
  • Not Understanding False-y Values
  • Not Testing & Setting Default Values Correctly
  • Using the Wrong Comparison Operators
  • Not Using the for…in Statement Correctly
  • Misunderstanding Scope in JavaScript
  • Not Knowing Variable and Function Hoisting
  • Not Using Closures Correctly or at All
Since jQuery is a library that is built with JavaScript and used alongside JavaScript, it is important that you, as a developer, understand what you are doing. jQuery helps alleviate many of the DOM frustrations that you may have, but you should still take time to be proficient as a JavaScript developer. By doing so, it will increase your jQuery code quality, make it more efficient, and easier to maintain.
If you find my session interesting please vote for my session (even if you can't personally made the event... it will be recorded for playback on their website after the conference).