I can't believe it's been almost 7 years since I last posted something here! Wow, time flies. Here's what happened.
My long absence is caused for a very large part by the job I took on as CTO at Dynamicweb North America. It all started in May 2011. I had just left my previous employer and had started my own consultancy business. Then I was approached by Alex, the founder of Dynamicweb North America, who was looking for someone to help him enter the US market with Dynamicweb, the Danish CMS, Ecommerce, PIM and Integration platform. Having co-founded and run the Dutch distributor of Dynamicweb for a couple of years, I knew the product and market well so I was quite interested. At the same time, working for a company in a time-zone 9 hours earlier than mine also scared me a little bit. But I took on the challenge and joined Alex in his adventure. Initially most of the work I did was remote consultancy only: lots of phone calls and video conferences in the evening. But as the company grew and attracted more customers and employees, I got more and more involved in its day-to-day operations. During the 8.5 years that I worked there, I took on a wide variety of roles including project manager, lead developer, solution architect, CTO, team manager, Chief Alcohol, integration specialist and more. This deeper involvement also meant flying out to the US on a regular basis. But most of all it meant I had less and less time to do other work, like writing for this blog.
Besides my job as a CTO for Dynamicweb, I also had (and still have) a range of other customer projects that I worked on: helping a customer build a custom CRM / ERP system with deep integrations with other systems such as on-site WIFI, access control systems, financial packages and a lot more, fully hosted on a rich and extensive Azure environment, helping others with building a custom resource matching system, and helping yet others develop their developers using onsite and online training and consultancy.
It was all good stuff, but it was just too much. I simply didn't have the time to write about anything, although I missed it very much.
In September 2019 I came to the conclusion it was time to leave my position as CTO for Dynamicweb North America. I didn't always agree with the company's direction and how it was led. But more importantly, I felt my work there was done. When I started back in 2011, there were just the two of us; no customers, no experience, and hardly any brand recognition. When I left there were 40+ employees, a strong brand and lots of very happy customers who love the company, and more importantly, the team of people doing the implementations of Dynamicweb.
That change helped me get back my work-life balance. I am now enjoying work-weeks again that look like normal work-weeks; not like crazy work-weeks ;-) I really loved the time that I worked for that company though. Because of it, I have been to many place across the globe (the US, Australia, Canada, Denmark, Portugal, Switzerland and then some more) that I would otherwise never have visited. I met tons of nice people, did cool stuff during conferences and team-building events and learned an enormous amount about things like running a business, managing teams, Ecommerce, software development at large and a lot more. It's been a wonderful experience and I wouldn't have want to miss it.
With that change, I also found time to write again about things that interest me. Back when I wrote my books about (mostly) ASP.NET, I would work with ASP.NET in my job during the day, and write about it in the evening. That way, what I needed during work would drive what I wrote about, and writing about it (and the research that was needed) would then drive how I did my work during the day. In the past few years, with the big shift to ASP.NET Core, I did a ton of .NET development (Core and Framework) but didn't have enough time to write about it and share my experience. Hopefully, that will now change again.
In fact, I just completed a couple of articles that I'll be posting on my new web site (hope you like the new design better than the old, and dated previous one) in the coming weeks. These articles deal with topics such as health checks in ASP.NET Framework and Core applications, and improving sending (high volume) e-mail from your sites using modern patterns and external cloud-based applications. I have a bunch of other topics lined up to write about, and if you have any requests, please let me know.
It feels good to be back. My pen / keyboard feels a little rusty still but hopefully that will go away soon! ;-)
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