Wednesday, May 9, 2007

Starting From Scratch

Spent a few interesting hours today working with Dave Mateer and Michael Smithson on a new web application for Treasure Hunts in Christchurch.

The idea behind this project of Dave's is to explore topics like scrum, architecture, enterprise library, drag-and-drop controls by developing an actual web application - far more likely to learn useful stuff when the target is an actual live application than just by "playing" with the technologies.

We made a good start this morning, discussing stories for the application and spiking a tiered architectured. Found the hosting at to be very usable. Slotted the Enterprise Library v3 into the solution to gain easy DAL access to the database (and to get re-acquainted with it's strengths).

We cut the initial code using pair programming - I've never tried this technique properly before, and found that once over the initial discomfort of having my poor typing skills scrutinised (you know the feeling? Spelling and keyboard skills disappear as soon as someone is watching over your shoulder!), it was good to have improvements pointed out as the lines of code grew. Maybe one day AI will reach the stage that our PCs can make verbal suggestions as they "watch" what we type - though then again that's a worrying thought.

Dave, Michael and others are to continue working on the application until Sunday afternoon. Good luck, guys! I reckon it will be a useful little application when finished - I certainly plan to do one of the treasure hunts with my family.

Dave is blogging about the experience at

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