Dear lightswitch… The LightBitch, the 8-8-80 challenge,the RAD race, and other tales from my personal life.

Dear LightSwitch…

The very moment I was at a Microsoft Tech event, and saw how Gill Cleeren flipped that combobox in your runtime editor, changing a textbox into a bing map control, I fell in love with you, and my obsession for you grows every day.  Time to take a little moment here, and reflect on how you changed my life ever since…

The past…

The eat, and learn… and crash…

Inspired by that very session, I decided to organize an eat&learn session in an attempt to share my newly found passion.  About 5 minutes after starting the session, excited and with loads of code samples ready, parts of my hard disk started crashing, leaving me no choice but the end the session early, with not even half of my material demoed.  A very bad start of my LightSwitch career, but I did not give up…

The LightBitch

As mentioned in the About Me page, I’m a fairly young guy (26 at the time of writing), with only about three and a half years passed since I assigned my first variable.  Meanwhile, I have the privilege of being the scrum master of an international .NET scrum team.  The team grows in size almost weekly, and training the new developers takes a lot of time.  Also, everyone is now working so hard (I’m at 65+ hours/week) in an attempt to make a major deadline.  It’s such a fun, but busy job, and it’s the only reason I don’t get to spend more time with LightSwitch at this point.  Still, I talk about LightSwitch as much as I can, so much that some of my colleagues nicknamed me “the LightBitch”.  And damn proud of it!

The RAD race

Being so passionate about a technology gets noticed apparently.  All of the sudden, a consultant from another company (in another country, but also in the Centric holding, where I work), sent me a mail stating that “he heard I was a LightSwitch expert” and “what my opinion was on how mature LightSwitch is to use in real LOB applications”.  Taken by surprise to say the least, I replied with the most honest answer I could, and suggested I would send him a little sample project.  Minutes later, we were discussing creating the same application in both LightSwitch and their current RAD framework, so he could compare the results.  Half an hour passed, and he started organizing the first “International Centric contest for Rapid Application Development frameworks”, later named “the RAD race”, with at least 4 teams showing interest, and two jury members volunteering.

I can’t really pinpoint the moment where an email with some well intended advice turned into an international contest, but rest assure, I will defend your honor.

The 8-8-80 challenge

Later that week, I ran into a colleague from my former employer.  We got talking and over a nice fresh beer (yes, a lot of the stereotypes about Belgians are true) he excitedly told me that they almost finished the application that he and his colleague had been working on for 4 years now.  He went on explaining it’s a large 3-tier CRUD application that uses over 1.000 stored procedures to do all database access.  I kindly welcomed him into the 21st century, and made a bet with him.  Using LightSwitch, I’m going to take the next Saturday I possibly can, and create at least 80% of what they did in 8 years (2 people, 4 years), in 8 hours or less…  And yes, I truly believe it won’t even take me 8 hours…

The present.

I’m finishing up this post, then packing for an extended weekend with the lovely wife and our young dog.  I promised them I wouldn’t touch my laptop for five days though… The fact that I mention this should say enough… Hah!  But seriously though, the fresh outside air will do me some good and charge my batteries for the next of the year.

The future…

The blog.

So although this is only post eight, I must admit I like blogging a lot, and will have no problems keeping up the two posts per week rate, if I keep finding blog worthy gems in the LightSwitch framework.  A special thanks to people like surfel17 and Kivito, your kind feedback true keeps me going!

The theme extension.

Meanwhile, I’m trying to make progression on a custom theme extension.  It’s not really going fast because I don’t have a lot of time and I’m a terrible designer, but I promise you I will finish this open source project, and as I tweeted before, it will have a personal twist that will blow your mind!

The functionality extension.

Another project I’m working on, is a functionality extension.  Not a theme, shell, control, screen, entity or data source extension, but a functionality extension… Sound promising? Look out for my part1 post in the next week!

The mashup application.

I’ll respect the bet I made (the 8-8-80 challenge), and at the end, hopefully, publish the application so that people who have never heard of LightSwitch before, can use it to quickly get an idea of the impressive capabilities of LightSwitch.

The multi module project.

And last, but not least, I’ve started doing research for an article I promised to write, that will hopefully be published in dotNetMag, a Dutch .NET magazine.  It’ll be about using LightSwitch in large development teams, by merging different functional modules into one at runtime.

Dear LightSwitch,

people tend to either totally love, or totally hate you.  I can’t hide which category I belong to, and would like to thank you for the positive vibe you have been in my life lately.  There’s just so much to love, so much to discover, so much to do…

As Beth would say: I’ll keep spreading the goodness that is LightSwitch.

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6 thoughts on “Dear lightswitch… The LightBitch, the 8-8-80 challenge,the RAD race, and other tales from my personal life.

  1. Pingback: Centric RAD race: may the better technology win… « Jan Van der Haegen's blog

  2. Pingback: Windows Azure and Cloud Computing Posts for 1/17/2012+ - Windows Azure Blog

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