Recruiters and Requirements

I love getting emails like this….

“I came across your name searching for the below skill set in our database and wanted to reach out to you to see if you or someone you know might be interested in this QA position”

First off, I’m a Software Engineer, not QA, but let’s not mince roles, after all, I’d hire a QA person to write software….why not?

“Required Software – MS Office (Advanced Excel, Word) and C++ is a must”

Seriously, who the hell ask for MS Office…then, surprise! We need you to know C++….it’s kinda important. Seriously, the C++ would be exactly what we would want. What skill set did you exactly search on with your database, QA, MS Office, C++?

Is recruiting software really this bad, or is this a complete just lack of effort? Let’s even forget that it’s in two different fonts, in two different colors.



Popular Websites

Sitting, waiting for lab work for Jake, and we’re watching Dr. Phil. The man has a Net Worth of $280 Million Dollars and a following of hundreds of thousands of users (if not millions).

And this is his site.


Absolute garbage.

Flint Bill Bullshit

Flint Michigan, we’ve seen the poisonous water that’s there, we’re not even going to talk about that, however, people are “pissed” about getting bills and past due notices because of the quality of water. Water they can’t even drink, unusable water….but.

Here’s the problem, the water isn’t unusable.

People are still bathing in it, people are still brushing their teeth, people are still using the water.

Should the rate be higher? No, Should it be “discounted” *meh*, but if you know it’s poisonous, why would you use it for anything? The thought is, you need to have running water in your home or CPS will take your children…well, just because it runs doesn’t mean you need to use it.

ASP.NET MVC 5 & Entity Framework & MSDN & My Time

This is a story all about how, my life got flipped….OK, I’ll stop there. BUT, when I was younger and first getting into development I started off broke as anything and couldn’t afford Visual Studio…. I always love telling this story. I asked some of my coworkers “What should I learn?” (previously I had developed in BASIC so I wasn’t a 100% n00b).

The answer I got was simple. Learn JavaScript, and HTML (this is back in the 2003-2004 time frame mind you). So I went online and I saw an entire plethora on “DON’T LEARN JAVASCRIPT! IT’S GOING AWAY FOR DHTML and PHP!”, and similar articles that said “forget JavaScript, real developers use Visual Basic (and we’ll be releasing C# later)”. Well, as I stated, that left one thing I should learn…PHP so I did.

PHP has been a fallback if I ever want to do quick and dirty development. Since you can setup a LAMP stack with almost $0 cost anytime I was down on my luck and wanted to work on something I could always depend on it. It’s been pretty same, and besides the switch from mysql to mysqli (which there are multiple equivalents 1:1) PHP has been old trusty. However with my latest positions it’s been C# or and that’s lead to a few ‘hiccups’ per se (I failed an interview because I had an array question that I handled as a list, and when the interviewer wasn’t aware of the new methods with list he thought I was lying).

But Shawn, your title…yeah I know.

So, at work I use Visual Studio 2013, and had it on my laptop when I first started learning MVC with EF, and all was right with the world. Doing Code First Migrations I updated my class, added a Migration, update the database and kept moving. I went to lunch with some friends (Hi Tim and Erik), and bragged about how easy EF was with Code First, and how I was under the impression that MVC was going to rule the world with an iron fist.

Then life happened.

A wedding, a birth, a death, an adoption, a reunion, a Christmas party, my daughter getting into  a competition, birthday trips, and the list goes on. Mind you not everything is applicable to me, however being supportive of others, things happen and that takes you away from things. So, ASP.NET with EF & Code First Migrations was put on the back burner as a side project/learning experience.

Horray!!! Visual Studio 2015 and Windows 10 is released! I promptly download them and putz around with C# in 2015…life starts getting better again.

So, here it is, Jan 2016 and I’m ready to get back into ASP.NET MVC & EF. Let’s fire up a site, but I know I’m going to want to go with EF…I know what I’m doing, so ‘Install-Package EntityFramework’….and I get “EntityFramework is already installed”. Weird, this is a new project, why is EF already part of it? Oh well, maybe I did it out of habit…let’s move on. Modify a class, OK that’s good let’s work with what we know…”Add-Migration <MigrationName>”…Oh dear god above what’s happened? EVERYTHING DIES.

Now when I say everything dies, what I mean is the Package Manager throws a cmdlet error saying that Add-Migration isn’t recognized which I know is bullshit because that’s the routine, Install EF, Add Migration, Update Database, I KNOW WHAT I’M DOING!!! Don’t tell me I’m wrong! But, my project is probably corrupt, so I start a new project make sure that I selected ASP.NET MVC, give my project a name, open Package Manager Console, Install-Package EntityFramework, hit enter, and ‘EntityFramework is already installed’.


It’s happening again….BUT WHY?!

Looking on Stack Overflow, I see where other people are talking about EF throwing errors and how it’s related to needing to run dnx and dnu commands…None of this applies to me, I’m already at some level of corruption from the initial project creation. But what?!

I spend the next few hours looking up changes on what happened between ASP.NET MVC 4 and 5, who cares, the problem isn’t ASP.NET, the problem is EF and what it’s doing to my project right out of the gates. It’s slowly approaching 3am and I need to go to bed to be up for work by 6. Then I find an article on MSDN: Getting Started with Entity Framework 6 Code First using MVC 5. *sigh* this doesn’t apply, I’m using ASP.NET 4.5 and whatever bundled version of EF that comes with…moving on. I find more articles… Entity Framework Code First to a New Database, I’ve done all this, why? Oh why?! What did I do to make Visual Studio upset?! I have Visual Studio, I’ve used MVC (I use it at work), I’ve messed with EntityFramework before successfully, where did I go wrong? In desperation, I download Visual Studio 2013 to attempt to figure out what I’m doing wrong or was all my previous successes all a dream?


Was it all a dream?

Opening up Visual Studio 2013 and trying again, ‘EntityFramework is already installed’. Ha! I’m not crazy, something changed! Someone somewhere is messing with me, BUT I can build the project, so MVC didn’t *change* something with the underlying platform changed. Did EF change?

OK, I’m going back to the begining. Something changed and I don’t know where. I start searching for “What’s new in Visual Studio 2015” Where I find Scott Guthrie’s Blog post:

Released Today: Visual Studio 2015, ASP.NET 4.6, ASP.NET 5 & EF 7 Previews

OK, fair enough, looking through, I find the headlines ASP.NET 5 and Entity Framework 6 along with the RTM release notes. With the following sentence “EF 6.1.3 primarily focuses on bug fixes and community contributions”….yada, yada, yada….”Additionally, the runtime is pre-installed in new ASP.NET projects, depending on the project template you select.”. Reading the release notes, I see…

  • The tooling will be included in future releases of Visual Studio 2015 (currently in preview).

OK, I’m not in Kansas anymore (though, I do miss the rains down in Africa). I apparently AM now a n00b and need to follow up appropriately. Going back to the beginning and Hello World.

I keep reading, going through the tutorial until I see this screen.


I don’t have those ASP.NET 5 Templates though, but I do have Entity Framework 6.1.3. Where it says ASP.NET 5 Templates, I see a “Get ASP.NET 5 RC”, this begins downloading the ASP.NET 5 Framework, which includes the tooling for Entity Framework 6.1.3. That’s right this was all separate. It’s no longer Install-Package EntityFramework, it’s well, you should find out here.

I guess the lesson of the story here is when you make a jump in your tools, in your frameworks, in your technologies, it’s always better to RTFM vs. assuming everything just stayed the same.


Forget France…

Forget France. Yes that’s right, I’m saying it…you know what, while we’re having this conversation, forget the U.S. also. While we’re at it, forget India, Russia, Mexico, Iraq, and Ireland…forget them all.

I know what you’re thinking, “What kind of cold hearted S.O.B. says something like this?!”

The hashtag #PrayForParis is making the rounds after the latest terror attack, and it’s sad that these incidents happen. When 9/11 happened, we (Americans) received lots of support from our allies (and “enemies” alike). So what? What did that mean? What does changing your profile picture to a French flag solve?  What does tweeting #PrayForParis do? How are we resolving issues like racism, terror, poverty with hashtags and profile pictures?

IS (Islamic State), ISIS, ISIL, whatever you want to call them isn’t “ISIS”. They’re a representation of evil, selfishness, and intolerance…but they’re effective because they take a universal approach to their mission, “Do, or do not, there is no try”. This is terrorism, an ideology put into practice, and you know what, it works great. It puts people on edge, moves armies, and removes the freedoms of people. It also has an doesn’t abide by rules, it doesn’t abide by laws, and it doesn’t follow any conventions….and it works.

But we do.

Americans follow the laws of the United States, Canadians with Canadian laws, and the Japanese with the laws of Japan. We’ve try to regulate this with the U.N. and other organizations and have participating countries follow universal “rules”. We forget one simple fact, we’re all humans. There is not one person among us that is “better” than the other. All men truly ARE created equal, we bleed the same, however we try to force them into groups…Caucasian, Chinese, African American, Irish….but who cares? We don’t take care of our own, we take care of our “titled” own. Our American, our Koreans, we don’t take care of our human brothers and sisters. If we want to really, truly, stop terrorism, we need to put aside our differences, we need to remove our borders, we need to put aside giving 1 or 200 men (Presidents/Congresses) power over the millions of others, over the food that we have, over our energies, and our lands.

So yeah, forget France, forget Ireland, forget the U.S. We need to focus on humanity…The only want to resolve this is to take care of each other with an understanding of value in people, not currency. With the understanding that your neighbor needs help, you provide it, not withhold that and only provide it if they repay you. The understanding that you need to respect a person for being an entity on this Earth and not ask that they obey you because you have “more” then they do.

Everyone wants Love, Understanding, and Compassion, but no one wants to focus on those things. As long as well have Americans trying to keep out Mexicans, and Koreans fighting each other, Iraqis fighting each other for possessions, for religion, for “titles” then we’ll continue to have these problems. We need to have the human race represented, and let human rights run their course.

PS: After I wrote this post there’s an excellent opinion piece by an Australian news anchor, I highly suggest you give it a watch.

AirBnCommon Sense

An article recently by Zak Stone has caught interested titled “Living and Dying on Airbnb“. My condolences go out to Zak and his loss….

While I am not in any form or fashion blaming Zak, his father, the Airbnb host, or Airbnb itself for the accident, it’s hard to be supportive of the angle the article takes for one simple matter.

Common Sense.

I’ve stayed in a few Airbnbs. I received some attention due to some opportunities that have presented themselves as part of staying in an Airbnb and I’ve had many joyous moments with family as we met and shared Airbnb accommodations, however they weren’t always “safe”.

My one apartment stay had a missing floorboard in an antique brownstone in NYC…I knew to watch my footing.

A home I rented out, had a older type stove and was beside Lake Erie, I knew to watch my footing around the stove, and to be on guard with my children near the lake.

Another home I rented had spider webs outside the door (it was in the country), I knew not to touch the spiders and advised my children to avoid touching them as well.

It’s sad to read about the loss of a family member, however there are countless videos on YouTube of people falling from tree swings, or branches breaking from trees by people no doubt less aware than Zak’s father. However to attempt to ask Airbnb for standards, regulation, inspection when you are in fact staying in someone else’s home is akin to asking each Ranger, in each Park, in each State to inspect each Tree for signs of decay. And upon finding any trees that shouldn’t be used for outdoor recreation, posting a sign at the entrance of the park that there “is a dead tree present”.

At some point, you have to ask people to use more caution than usual.

Again, I’m sorry for your loss, but at some point, it’s just circumstance….however sad it is.

NOTE: While Zak’s article is filled with images of accidents or negative situations that may (or may not) happen in an Airbnb accommodation, I will not use any images (even positive ones), out of respect for his loss and to purely post my opinion.