Arana Blog


Thinking About Open Source, Part One

Jeff Strauss

Over the last few years, I have traveled around to many conferences and user groups, speaking on various aspects of open source licensing and consumption. I imagine that I will continue to do so, here and there. I enjoy sharing this knowledge, and am energized by many of the discussions that come out of my sessions. As I start to give other talks, and the recent open source ones become less prevalent, I hope we can keep the conversation going by having a forum for discussion here.

Arana Software Welcomes Jeff Strauss as Co-Owner

Arana Software

BRIGHTON, Michigan—Arana Software is proud to announce and welcome Jeff Strauss as co-owner, software consultant, and newest member of the Arana family. Jeff joins as equal partner to Jay Harris, who founded the company in 2008.

Git and Grunt Deploy to Windows Azure

Jay Harris

Azure Websites are a fantastic method of hosting your own web site. At Arana Software, we use them often, particularly as test environments for our client projects. We can quickly spin up a free site that is constantly up-to-date with the latest code using continuous deployment from the project’s Git repository. Clients are able to see progress on our development efforts without us having to worry about synchronizing codebases or managing infrastructure. Since Windows Azure is a Microsoft offering, it is a natural for handling .NET projects, but JavaScript-based Node.js is also a natural fit and a first-class citizen on the Azure ecosystem.

Find the Passion in Your Craft

Jay Harris

If there is one thing that I have learned throughout my career, it is that I need to do what I do because I love it. I need to do what I do for me. There can be no other reason: not because someone else wants me to do it, nor because of recognition from another person or organization, nor for the money or the stature. Wherever direction I take in my career, it must be because of my passion for the craft and my drive to improve. Awards, money, and fame are all welcome side-effects that let me know that others like what I do and think I do it well—this recognition is still rewarding, and even more so, is an essential component to self-improvement—but that is all for naught if I don’t like what I am doing or I don’t think I am doing it well. Awards, money, and fame should purely serve as feedback, and not as motivation.

Dev Basics: ASP.NET Page Life Cycle, Part 4 [Event Wireup]

Jay Harris

The first three parts of this series discuss the events that make up the ASP.NET Page Life Cycle, the order that these events execute on the page and on the controls, and that necessary evil called Data Binding, through which you add dynamic content to your new ASP.NET page. Raising those events happens automatically, without any developer oversight, but tapping in to those events—making them work for you—requires wiring special methods called Event Handlers to those events. This wiring can happen automatically by the system if you follow a few simple steps, or it can happen manually, with developers connecting each appropriate event to its handler. Both sides have their advantages as well as their drawbacks, but learning the nuances of event wiring can only strengthen your ASP.NET repertoire.

Learn to Code WatiN: Browser Test your Web Site with WatiN

Jay Harris

Aligned with another jam session at Ann Arbor’s Come Jam With Us is another installment of Learn to Code, this time providing an introduction to WatiN, or Web Application Testing in .NET. The jam session was held at the offices of SRT Solutions in Ann Arbor, Michigan, at 5:30p, Tuesday April 6th. Though thunderstorms were in the forecast, the predicted high was 72°F (22°C), so we weren’t bothered by the same 8” of fluffy white snow that caused cancellations and delays during my session on ASP.NET MVC 2. But for those that couldn’t make the WatiN jam session, might I recommend the exercise below.

Dev Basics: ASP.NET Page Life Cycle, Part 3 [Data Binding]

Jay Harris

The previous installments of this series cover the core events of the ASP.NET Page class, of the ASP.NET Controls, and how the page and controls work together to co-exist in the same sandbox. We’ve gotten to the point where we know how these controls will interact with the page so that we can make our page more than just a sea of crazy peach gradient backgrounds, but that still isn’t enough. Static content is so 1999, and that party broke up long ago. The next step in a quality, modern web site is creating dynamic content, and rendering it to the page. To do this, we need Data Binding.