Go East Young Man

Things are changing at a rapid pace.

A short time ago I accepted a position in Raleigh, NC with Lexis Nexis as a Senior Software Engineer.

This means, that we will be leaving Salt Lake City, I’ve lived here for almost 10 years, and I can hardly bear to leave it. There is just so much more to do, there are so many friends who truly are my family here. we know it is time to go, and our hearts will always yearn for our time here.

My wife and I are eager to discover what awaits us to the east, we spent this past weekend there and thoroughly enjoyed ourselves.
If you’ve lived in Raleigh or have highlights of things to do in the surrounding area please share in the comments!

Startup Weekend: Ogden

If you’re so inclined to entrepreneurial pursuits and happen to be of the programmer or designer variety, I have to urge you strongly to consider attending Startup Weekend: Ogden the weekend before Thanksgiving. When I attended a few years ago it really kicked me in the chops! Technically speaking that is! It broadened my technical horizons as well as gave me supreme insight into the startup world out there, and if you pay close attention you might pick up a business sense or two on how companies can be run, giving you a leg up on how the company you’re working for (or, now that you now get the chance to avoid) is being thrashed by the marketplace.

If you are so inclined, hit me up, I’ve got discounts available! In general though, if you have any questions, I’d be happy to answer those too!


Android Studio Theme’s!

One of the more important things for me as a developer is good support for changing how the IDE looks. This may seem trivial, but if you’re going to be staring at something for hours upon end (especially if its for fun!), then it better be easy on the eyes. And as I got going with Android Studio, I was really desiring a change, but there wasn’t an easy way to tell what the different theme’s looked like. Hopefully this post will help you!


IDEA (4.5 default)

JGoodies Plastic 3D

JGoodies Plastic Windows L&F

JGoodies Plastic XP


JGoodies Plastic




Windows Classic




Some details for posterity. This is on Android Studio 0.2.13 on Windows 7.
Of note as well, is the size difference, it ranges quite a bit on some aspects.
Happy coding!

Azure & Android: Prelude

I hope that I can keep these posts short and to the point with a dash of humor and intellect. Most importantly, to keep them coming, but as you might expect along with so many others, there is so much going on! With no further adieu, Azure & Android: Prelude

And here you thought that last post was the prelude,  actually, it was just the introduction, so here we begin to go over some of the nitty gritty.

Android SDK & Tools
Android Studio
API Key for GCM (You need to enter the API console, select the cloud messaging platform and retrieve your necessary keys)
Azure setup and configuration

At time of writing one of the major hurdles that I needed to overcome was that the sample application provided from the Azure set up process was built using Eclipse. Due to my desire to use the latest and greatest (as well as to stay up to date / conversant with the latest tools), I embarked on getting the very beta Android Studio up and running with it. Unfortunately, the project provided didn’t just open up in Android studio. I was required to export the project to a .gradle file and from there opened Android Studio and imported it.

One of the additional things that I learned in beginning to code for android was its object oriented approach to layouts. There are many similarities here to XAML here, which I was enthusiastic to see some similarities. The area in which I encountered this the most as in the contextual menu that follows you (at least on most modern apps these days), something affectionately referred to as the “Hamburger”. It has its own XML file in the resources folder. Here’s an example of a menu:

<menu xmlns:android="http://schemas.android.com/apk/res/android">
    <item android:id="@+id/item1"
    <group android:id="@+id/group">
        <item android:id="@+id/group_item1"
              android:icon="@drawable/group_item1_icon" />
        <item android:id="@+id/group_item2"
              android:icon="@drawable/group_item2_icon" />
    <item android:id="@+id/submenu"
          android:showAsAction="ifRoom|withText" >
            <item android:id="@+id/submenu_item1"
                  android:title="@string/submenu_item1" />

Note that in this circumstance, I have only displayed the xml portion, allowing for a MVC approach.

That’s all for today, thanks for stopping by and I hope you return!

Exploration – Android & Azure

One of the things I have had the opportunity to delve into over these past few months has been Android development. At the same time I began to learn about Microsoft’s Azure platform and since I had access I’ve been keeping it in mind for any sort of potential side project. Now, since it is primarily a Microsoft product, I know that there are those who are wondering why is there a Microsoft and a Google / Open Source project in the headline? Well, as it turns out, Microsoft has been doing a fair job at making sure there infrastructure (IaaS) and platform (PaaS) as a service offerings have been available to those in the open source and free software stacks (shout out to both the Azure and Open Technologies teams at Microsoft).

As I began to explore both Android & Azure I found one feature set of Azure that got me pretty excited, The push notifications for Android that was announced in March (along with mobile services as a whole for Android). As I learned more it gave me a couple ideas for mobile applications that could be developed, great, I’ll get started right away!

Except, no. First you should learn how Android is architected, learn the tools, and remember how to program in Java. Right. There is that.
So, that will be the first tutorial series I intend to create, hopefully you’ll learn that much more by me being open and honest about the trials and tribulations associated.

Resuming Blogging

As I sit here, for the first time in many, well, in what would appear to be years since I last blogged, I acknowledge a couple of things.

  1. BCN Travelogues weren’t completed and probably won’t be… at least for now
  2. Life has had many changes for me since my last post, more on that later… or maybe not.
  3. The short-term direction of this site will move into a more technical bent, at least for the time being.

For those that follow me strictly on this blog and nowhere else, no, not even in real life, here are the highlights:

  • I married the love of my life just less than one year ago! And marriage is great! I could go on, and maybe at some point I will.
  • Still living in Utah
  • My career has shifted focus and I am currently seeking new opportunities, feel free to contact me to discuss more

Now, what’s next?

Travelogues Part 1 (BCN Edition)


First I should start off with the fact that this decision to go to Spain was one that was done quite quickly. So after posting onto Twitter that I had some vacation time to burn I received a response from @JoshuaNTaylor that Barcelona should be in my list of choices. And after a little back and forth with him and airfare sites the ticket was purchased.
That leads me to yesterday the 27th of March when I arrived to SLC International to a rather packed gate. Shortly after that, they announced they were looking for volunteers to take another flight due to overcrowding. At which I was hesitant, but after they sweetened the pot I took it (with a first class bump and a voucher). So here I sit, waiting to board the my standing on a couple of firsts. Its my first flight to Paris, and also for the first time boarding as first class.
I have a significant layover in Paris to the tune of 8 hours, intentionally, so that I may wonder around the city of lights for a time. Wish me luck that I make my flight to Barcelona and don’t end up on the wrong Train!