Bringing things up to date …

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Every so often, I remember that I have a blog attached  to the site and I make new promises to myself to keep it up to date but it doesn’t seem to happen that often.

2011 was a busy year for me which was one reason I didn’t update the blog much.  It’s easier to post quick thoughts to Facebook than deal with the expectations of a blog entry.  Those updates tend to get lost in the ether, though, and if I’m going to spend time and effort writing interesting things, I’d rather use them for my own promotion than Facebook’s.

After working independently for an extended period, last year started with a new full-time job that looked like an interesting opportunity.  I did manage to gain some extra experience with ASP.NET while acting as the sole developer on an online solution for the company and consulting on other applications.  The position was not without its drawbacks, however, and at the end of September I had my first experience of anticipating exactly when the axe was going to fall.  When I left for the day one Thursday, I made sure to clean out my desk and sure enough, the layoff came early the next day.

Microsoft Access for BeginnersI hit the ground running, though. By the end of October, in addition to updating my resume and other job search fun, I’d completed the project to turn the Microsoft Access for Beginners series into an eBook. On October 31, it went live on Amazon.com as my first Kindle offering and I’ve started to see some sales. I probably should have added a dedication to Starbucks where I spent so many hours staying caffeinated while editing material and figuring out how to get around formatting issues.

I decided to see how the book plays on Amazon.com before reformatting for other outlets and I was a little sick of looking at the project so I moved on to other things including setting up a Facebook page for Drewslair.com.  After sending out some more resumes, my phone started ringing off the hook and by the beginning of December, I’d landed a new contract as a programmer at a local company.  I actually managed to get two job offers within 24 hours which was a new experience for me.  The other one would have meant moving to Jacksonville and I decided  to stay local.

So, since December, I’ve been gaining a lot more experience developing ASP.NET web applications with Visual Studio 2010 and SQL Server 2008.  Having a regular work schedule again where I could leave the job behind at the end of the day was nice for awhile but I’ve also found it’s inherently limiting. I need to start accomplishing things on my own again so I’m looking at dusting off some of those  projects that I put on hold to accommodate the day job and seeing what I can do with them.

More updates here would probably be a really good start …