Technology is a means, not an end.

Favorites Dumps 2

Time once again to clear out the Favorites section on twitter and inscribe some of their wisdom permanently upon my blog for all to see.

Software Announcements

Commentary on Life

Links to Save

Improving Is Looking to Pay You to Learn

My epic employer, Improving Enterprises, has a equally epic new program that we’re looking to hire some new people for. We’re looking to take people with minimal to entry level development skills, not anyone who is building large enterprise applications today, and to hire these people and then pay them to go through a Boot Camp led by our best and brightest, and then at the end, provide some criteria are met, hire them as either Associate Consultants or Consultants within our organization.

Frankly this program is a huge opportunity and one I’ve been wanting us to have for some time now. You’re likely a candidate for this program if you meet these meager requirements:

  • Some programming experience is necessary.
    • Web experience is not necessary, though it is helpful.
    • Lack the experience or expertise to be an Improver
  • Exhibit excellent potential, aptitude, and attitude
  • Are willing to work long and hard over the next few months to become an Improver.

If you meet these requirements, then you can contact me at Tim@TimRayburn.net and we’ll get you submitted for consideration to the program. Initially we’re looking for 6 people.

If you submit yourself and are accepted should expect:

  • The program is 9-6 plus homework assignments including user group attendance and supplemental online courses.
  • It is intended to be an intensive, ‚Äúdrink from the firehose” experience.
  • You will be paid a nominal salary.
  • The salary will increase once you pass the board exam and become billable.
  • There is an interview process.

If this excites you, then reach out to me at Tim@TimRayburn.net or on Twitter/GitHub @TRayburn and we’ll get you started in the process.

Favorites Dumps 1

I have a bad habit of collecting links and awesome tweets in the Twitter favorites and never recording them elsewhere. This post, and others to follow in the series, are just a dump out of my favorites so they are permanently recorded somewhere.

Must-Save Links

Great Quotes

Password must contain a capital letter, a number, a plot, a protagonist with some character development, and a surprise ending.

from @JohnDashGreen

Pro Tip: The message, “Password contains invalid characters” means your security team, architects and IT people need to be fired.

from @NSelby

Visual Studio 2013 and MSBuild

I am an incredible believer in the need for build automation on projects. I believe that every developer should be commonly issueing a command, be that via PSake or rake or something else, which builds and tests the project outside the confines of Visual Studio. As such, MSBuild.exe is incredibly important, as it is how you compile your SLN files.

MSBuild.exe has moved…

In Visual Studio 2013, there is an amazingly important change that you must be aware of, or you will go insane trying to figure out what is going to. Microsoft has moved MSBuild to another directory! Now the reasons they’ve done this are all good, MSBuild.exe and the various compilers now are the responsibility of Visual Studio, not of the Framework itself. As such, instead of being located in C:\Windows\Microsoft.NET\Framework\v4.0.30319\MSBuild.exe as you might normally expect on a 64-bit machine, it is instead located in C:\Program Files (x86)\MSBuild\12.0\bin\amd64\msbuild.exe.

But it has also NOT moved…

Unfortunately, because of dependencies from Visual Studio 2012, the path C:\Windows\Microsoft.NET\Framework\v4.0.30319\MSBuild.exe also still has the executable. And if you run VS2013 projects through that version of MSBuild.exe then you will get errors, usually about unable to find some kind of MSBuild .targets file.

Please be careful, and adjust your builds accordingly.

Highway.Data v4.0.5.2

I’m thrilled to announce that Devlin Liles and I have recently released an update to Highway.Data that is only a minor increment, but has a major new feature. It now contains a totaling In Memory version of our DataContext. This allows for much more interesting and easy unit testing, without the need to mock so many things.

Now, this is an introductory feature, and I’m sure there will be edge cases it won’t cover correctly. We welcome bug reports on GitHub, as well as pull requests.

Signup for July #FFFGN

I’m pleased to report that our first Fourth Friday Family Game Night (#FFFGN) was an incredible success. We had over 30 players, playing an assortment of games from Phase 10 to Dominion to Ticket to Ride Europe, and more.

We’ve opened sign ups for our next event, which will be July 26th, starting at 6pm until we get tired and go home. You can signup at:


We look forward to seeing even more of you at the July gathering. Again, in case you’re not familiar with the event, you can find the details here, but it is open to ANYONE. This last month we had someone show up who had just met an attendee in their apartment parking lot when they saw them carrying out a copy of Dominion. ANYONE is invited.

What is FFFGN?

Fourth Friday Family Game Night

You are officially invited to join the consultants of Improving Enterprises for board games, fun and frivolity. Every 4th Friday of the month we will gather for a family friendly night of games. We’ll have drinks of all sorts available, and a large selection of games.

Who is invited?

Everyone, regardless of age or skill. Bring yourself, your kids, we’ve got games for all ages. We ask that you sign up, if possible, in advance just to give us an idea of how many people are coming. Our registration site is located at this link.

When is it?

The Fourth Friday of every month, hence the name. We’ll officially start at 6:00pm, and run until … well we’ll play alot of games. Leave when you’d like.

Where is it?

We’re hosted at Improving Enterprises, a fantastic company in the North Dallas area. Their offices are at:

16633 Dallas Parkway Suite 100 Addison, TX 75001

What games will you be playing?

Pretty much everything. If you’re idea of a board game is the traditional American board games of Monopoly or Risk, then we’ve got you covered.

On the other hand, if you’re a fan of Euro-style board games, then we’ve got people who would love to play a game of Dominion, Settlers of Catan, Small World, Agricola, or anything else you’d like to bring.

Are you an huge name on Board Game Geek? Bring your favorite game and teach us how to play!

I don’t know any of those games!

Great! We love to teach people how to play.

I’ve got questions still…

Contact one of our official Hosts, they’ll be more than happy to field any questions you might have:

Tim Rayburn can be reached at tim@timrayburn.net or 817-760-0002

Ty Crockett can be reached at ty.crockett@improvingenterprises.com


This event is graciously hosted by the incredible folks at Improving Enterprises. They open their offices, soda fridge, and other facilities to us on a monthly basis and we’re thrilled to have their support. If you’re an IT professional, please chat with on of their employees who attend to learn more about this great company.

Improving Enterprises Logo

Slides and Code From Dallas XAML GIT Workshop

For those who attended my GIT Workship last night at Dallas XAML, you can find the code and slides here: https://github.com/trayburn/Presentation-GitWorkshop

I’ve fixed the problems with my demo scripts that create repositories, so you can clone that repository locally and execute :


For a basic repository example which you can use to practice roll-backs, etc.


This will create three branches from master, which you can practice merging, and rebase’ing with.

Thanks to those that attended, I hope you got something useful out of it.