Technology is a means, not an end.

Time to Update My Bio…

So I’m thrilled to announce that after having joined the amazing team at Improving Enterprises just about 5 and a half years ago, today the leadership team has promoted me to Vice President of Consulting in our Dallas office. So what does that mean?

  • I report directly to David O’Hara, President of the Dallas enterprise.
  • I’ll be charged with being a mentor and advisor to about 1/4 of the consultants in the Dallas office, eventually.
  • I’ll be expected to continue to just do more of the awesomely fun things which got me recognized to begin with.

What will this not mean?

  • It does not mean I’m done coding, VP’s are still billable resources and I will be continuing at my current client and project.
  • It does not mean I’m done presenting about technical topics or coming to user groups. I’ve always done that because I love it, and that hasn’t changed just because my title has.
  • It does not mean I’ll be giving up my Microsof MVP status. I’m determined to hold onto that as long as Microsoft thinks I’m worthy of it.

This is just one great step forward for me, and I owe much thanks to my friends and mentors who have helped me get here. Obviously David O’Hara and Curtis Hite, but also Devlin Liles, Cori Drew, Barry Forrest, Michael Dudley, Jeff Sharp, Jef Newsom, and many more. Each has taught me countless things, listened to my suggestions, and helped me refine and grow every day I work for this amazing company. I hope to live up to their expectations and friendship as I start down this new road.

As always, if you’d like to join our amazing team at Improving Enterprises you need only drop me an email at tim@timrayburn.net or call me at 817-760-0002 and start that conversation.

Dallas TechFest 2014

I’m thrilled to announce that Dallas TechFest 2014 is a go, and boy is it a huge event!

  • We’ve got 5 tracks of amazing content.
  • We’ve got UX, Mobile, JavaScript, and .NET content
  • Lunch? yep we’ve got it.
  • WiFi? yep that too!
  • Great venue? Absolutely, we’re headed to the amazing Gilley’s Dallas and taking their entire venue.

This event is awesome, and you can learn all about it at the Dallas TechFest website.

Huge props to Brandon Ward and Michael Dudley for the amazing website this year, you guys rock.

Another Improving Bootcamp

6 months ago I wrote on this blog that my company, Improving Enterprises, was looking to hire people and train them how to be developers. We did that, successfully, and we have 6 new consultants working at various clients now. I’m making a note here, HUGE SUCCESS!

Today I’m pleased to announce that we’re doing it again. We’re looking for another crop of people to jump into the fray, who want to aggressively learn for the next 3 months. Here are the details, repeated from the last time.

What we expect from you

  • 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.

What you can expect from the program

  • You will be paid a nominal salary.
  • The salary will increase once you pass the board exam and become billable.
  • 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.
  • There is an interview process.
  • The program will last 12 weeks, and moving into a full time consultant role with Improving is not guaranteed, it will be dependent on your performance.
  • The program will start last week of September or first week of October.

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.

ASP.NET MVC Reserved Words

A project I’m on recently encountered a little known bug that I had to share, mostly so I can google my own brain later on this. MVC has a set of reserved words that cannot appear in your URLs. This includes CON, COM1-COM9, LPT1-LPT9, AUX, PRT, NUL, etc.

So how do I disable this lovely feature?

    <httpRuntime relaxedUrlToFileSystemMapping="true"/>

More details can be found at Phil Haack’s post about this same topic.

World Cup Tie Breakers

Alright, so Portugal pushed the United States into a tie in our match at the World Cup. I’ve seen some horrible reporting on what this means this morning, where clearly the journalists could not be bothered to read the regulations of the World Cup, specifically pages 25 & 26 where the tie breaking rules are explained.

In the league format, the ranking in each group is determined as follows:

a) greatest number of points obtained in all group matches;

b) goal difference in all group matches;

c) greatest number of goals scored in all group matches.

If two or more teams are equal on the basis of the above three criteria, their rankings shall be determined as follows:

d) greatest number of points obtained in the group matches between the teams concerned;

e) goal difference resulting from the group matches between the teams concerned;

f) greater number of goals scored in all group matches between the teams concerned;

g) the goals scored away from home count double between the teams concerned (if the tie is only between two teams).

I’m specifically looking at you NBC sports who indicated that we could be forced to draw lots in certain scenarios. Every time their article says that, please note that it would be a g) scenario, which is not great for us, because we were the Home team against Portugal, as such their 2 points would suddenly count for 4 points against us.

Please, read the rules people. Fortunately, for us, all of that only matters is the United States loses their match. A Win or a Tie ensures our advancement.

If you’re a Portugal or Ghana fan, then a United States v. Germany tie is your worst case scenario. Any other result leaves some hope alive, though you strongly prefer a United States loss because of Germany’s huge goal differential lead. Either that, or you want the United States to win by 4 or more goals against Germany.

Thursday is going to be awesome. #IBelieveThatWeWillWin

Start a Process as Another User in PowerShell

Got asked an interesting question today, and the answer is worth sharing with everyone. If you have the username and password of another user, and want to run a command using their account, how would you do that? Like so:

# Test Data
# ---------
$userName = "FooBar"
$password = "FooBar"

# Helper Functions
# ----------------
function New-Credential($u,$p) {
    $secpasswd = ConvertTo-SecureString $p -AsPlainText -Force
    return New-Object System.Management.Automation.PSCredential ($u, $secpasswd)

# Do The Work
# -----------
$cred = New-Credential $userName $password
Start-Process cmd.exe -arg "/k whoami.exe" -Credential $cred