The last real application I wrote was called PRISM Benchmark Pro. It measured a wide variety of things related to timing of moving files across targets – it was written to test Wireless LAN way back in the early days of WLAN – but it worked equally well on network shares, etc. By "equally well" I mean just that! But it was very widely used back in the late 90’s thru 2002 or so. Interestingly enough almost every Google Search result now for that application brings up a foreign language site.
But today I had a pretty complex idea I needed to get across to my development team. So I started to mock it up in PowerPoint. I just couldn’t get the flow of the application to represent well in PPT.
So I cranked up Visual Studio .Net. Three hours later I had a pretty cool demo that included using the Google Mapping API, connected to a MS-SQL database, displaying regional data based on if the user selected a continent, country, state, city, etc.
Very cool. Cool that I can still program, and cool that programming is just so much easier now. Online help, context-sensitive help, tons of free tools and examples. Code Completion. Amazing!
But I’ve still got it – I can still write useful code. In this case just useful as a tool for my development team to build from. But useful non-the-less!
Now the next challenge – overlay a heat-map over the current maps. That will be more challenging… there are a lot less examples for this available – and none I can find that use heat maps quite like I want to use them. But I can’t wait to attack the problem. It will force me to learn something new, and I’m always happiest when I am learning something!