The future is on the web...except when it's not.


Who is Jake?

Jake is a professional web and Windows developer working primarily within Microsoft's .net framework. His day job is solving interesting problems at Medidata Solutions Worldwide, a software-as-a-service provider that helps firms in the life sciences industry run clinical trials around the world. When coding for his own amusement, he focused on tools useful in the domains of poker, fantasy sports, and content management.

A software developer for almost 20 years, Jake has also been a professional poker player, participating in the 2007 World Series of Poker, a newspaper editor, a professional translator, a substitute teacher, and worked in a Brazilian slaughterhouse. All of these experiences helped him survive the majority part of his career that involved writing software for Wall Street.

If he had any concept of work-life balance, Jake would like to focus some of his energy on cooking and photography. As soon as he reads the 300+ books on his Safari Books Online bookshelf, he'll get to those next. His best estimate is that, at a rate of two books a month, he could be done by July of 2021...provided nothing else catches his interest. When he retires, he would like to move to Nevada and breed Russian Blues.


Even after years of working on the web, Jake has never been a designer. The design for this site is based on the BinaryNews Template, designed by David Herreman at free-css-templates.com.

Welcome to my lab. Things are a bit messy.

This site is an experiment in ASP.net MVC and a lab for my development experiments in general. Feel free to look around. We apologize for the exposed wiring and the broken test tubes you may find lying around.

11-December-2011: ASP.net MVC and the Asp.net SQL Membership Provider, Part 1

A lot of my self-teaching time this last month has been going into integrating a membership provider into this site. Because I started with an empty asp.net MVC 3 project and not the defaults, I don't have the nice, pre-built AccountController or the pre-built config files for integrating the AspNetSqlMembershipProvider that come with that project. In that situation, configuring your site to use the SQL provider for handling membership and roles becomes a bit of a challenge. Hopefully, I can save someone a few of the headaches I went through.

19-November-2011: Getting up to speed at work...

Since joining Medidata on Halloween (and earlier,) I've been focusing on getting up to speed on the technologies I'm going to be using and surrounded by. Besides a ton of domain and product knowledge, that means learning Git and Ruby and boning up on ASP.net MVC, jQuery, and LINQ. It means re-immersing myself in SQL Server after seven years of barely touching a database in any professional capacity. In my discretionary time, I'm reading up on WF and Workflow Services under WCF because I think they may be a good architecture for the next project.

20-October-2011: Making IronPython & IronRuby play nice

I can't speak for anyone but myself, but I suspect most developers have a machine somewhere that's just completely loaded down with libraries, IDEs, SDKs, and other programming tools that they've experimented with or plan to RSN (real soon now.) Mine is full of crufty bits that may or may not work together. Today, I ran into one of those incompatabilities. Fortunately, it wasn't too brutal this time.

14-October-2011: Data Structures in C#

With the job search in full swing, it's time to dust off my mental copy of "Data Structures & Algorithms." for the inevitable string of computer science questions masquerading as brain teasers. Today's interview question (which I still don't have an answer to) seems to require building an expression tree.

12-October-2011: Site notes

I started building this site in order to learn more ASP.net MVC. I explain a few of the concepts I used to build it here.

11-October-2011: 11-October-2011: Baseball season is over.

Baseball's regular season is over and that means the fantasy drafts for 2012 are a scant six months away. As a perennial tradition, I celebrated the end of the season by dusting off my project, Draft Day.

2-October-2011: Reflections on CodeCamp NYC, Fall 2011

Code Camp NYC Fall 2011 was held yesterday on the campus of Pace University. I was lucky enough to attend. Here are a few thoughts on the event.

What's the site for?

I started building this site because I was excited about ASP.net MVC. I learned about MVC at a SIG meeting, read about it on Phil Haack's awesome blog, watched videos about it on Channel 9, ASP.net, and a code camp site, followed examples on MSDN, asked questions on Stack Overflow, and finally got around to reading a book on Safari. Except for the last step, which cost some small fraction of a subscription cost, every step was free, sometimes provided by Microsoft, often by other developers whose only renumeration was a "thank you" and maybe a few points of online reputation.

This site started as an attempt to learn and morphed into a platform to show off. As I add to it, I hope it will be genuinely helpful to other developers. We are a community that thrives on give and take.