Ayende @ Rahien

Oren Eini aka Ayende Rahien CEO of Hibernating Rhinos LTD, which develops RavenDB, a NoSQL Open Source Document Database.

You can reach me by:

oren@ravendb.net

+972 52-548-6969

, @ Q j

Posts: 6,878 | Comments: 49,254

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time to read 1 min | 73 words

When: Monday 13th October 2008, doors open 6:00pm, meeting starts 6:30pm

Where: UWE (University of the West of England), Frenchay, Bristol (see FAQ for directions and a map) - Room 2q50 (in Q block)

What: "Producing Production Quality Software" and "Interaction based testing with Rhino Mocks"

How do I sign up for this meeting: Send an email to meetings at dotnetdevnet.com and quote your user name and the October Extra meeting.

time to read 2 min | 339 words

D'Arcy has a post about teachers vs. speakers, which is a topic that came up a few times during DevTeach. My thoughts about this are fairly complex, but let me see if I can express them in a coherent fashion.

There is a definite difference between teaching and speaking. I like to think about speaking as a show that is targeted at increasing the knowledge of the audience on the subject at hand. Teaching is imparting that knowledge in an actionable form.

To take a concrete example, after my MonoRail talk, I don't expect anyone to be able to build a site using MonoRail. Certainly not with additional resources to go through. After my MonoRail course, however, I would consider this a personal failure if any of the participants wasn't able to build a site using MonoRail.

A success criteria for the MonoRail talk is that the audience groks the gestalt of MonoRail. They understand the tradeoffs in choosing it, what it would bring them and the overall model that is used.

Frankly, in the space of 60 to 75 minutes, I do not believe that you could do more.

Given those constraints, I do not think that you could do more than introduce a subject and open the mind of the people in the audience to why they should learn more about it.

Imparting knowledge takes time, far lower level of granularity when talking about how to do things, and a more gradual build up of the subject material. It takes much longer, since it is also requires a channel with much higher bandwidth for communication.

Unless the topic that I am talking about can be covered in a short span of time, when faced with the timing constraints of a typical speaking engagement, there is no other option than reverting to a lower-bandwidth, hit-the-high-notes, give-an-impression-not-complete-picture approach.

I like teaching, and I enjoy speaking, and I don't think that there should be a value judgement between them.

time to read 1 min | 128 words

Leon is talking about the way Microsoft Regional Events are handled, interesting reading. We don't have those in Israel, and in the last Microsoft conference ( I took part in it ), we built our own talks, from our own experiences.

When you are thinking about investing the time in coming to an event, there is nothing quite as annoying by being shown something from marketing. That is a waste of time for most people.

The Israeli mind-set is such that 2,000 people can just leave the TechEd keynote talk if they feel that it is wasting their time. Marketing is a waste of time and it shows that your product is (a) lacking in concrete exciting features (b) you are not respecting the intelligence of the audience.

time to read 3 min | 546 words

About 6 years ago, I was a very yound soldier, serving as a warden at Prison 6, Company C. For those of you who aren't familiar with the inner details of Israel's prisons, Prison 6 is a military prison for IDF soldiers. Reasons for getting to prison range from showing up with unshined boots to drug use to selling arms. Company C was where the more dangerous inmates where held. I didn't get the people who forgot to shine their shoes, I got the drug dealers and stollen arms sellers.

Anyway, back to the story, I was (and am) a geek, probably a nice person, being thrown into that situation was very low on my "Things To Do" list. Nevertheless, the IDF, in his great wisdom, has decided to put me there, so I had to go. (Later, I was in a position when I had to make the same decision, that wisdom turned out to be purely arbitrary).

About three weeks after I arrived at the prison, I was at my Sergeant's office, and he was busy flirting with the nurse that came to check on the inmates. It was about noon, which meant that it was time for the noon Count. Life in prison mostly revolve around those Counts, and they are held as sacred. I already had most of the inmates lined up outside the office, just waiting for the Sergeant to come out and count them.

As I said, he was busy flirting, and didn't feel like doing it right then. So he told me to go out and keep them busy for a while. Keep in mind what the population was, and that I was just finished the introduction part, I had no idea what to do, and I told him so.

"Oren, my boy," he told me, "you are going to go out there, stand in front of the company, and talk for the next fifteen minutes. They are going to listen to you, and in 12:17, I am going to count them, am I clear?" I protested that I had no idea what to talk about, and couldn't do it anyway.

"Oren," he said in a much milder voice, "perhaps I wasn't clear, you are going to go out there, and you are going to talk to them, talk to them about socks, if you like. If you don't like it, be kind and take your place at cell 6".

I went out there, and talked for fifteen minutes, and to this day I have no idea about what, although I suspect that socks has been the topic under discussion at least part of the time. I never had any problem with speaking in public since and I admire this Sergeant to this day, very much so, and not only because of that.

DevTeach is in a few days, and I find myself missing my Sergeant again. I know the material, and I am not so much afraid about giving a talk in English, it is the ability to make it interesting that worries me. *Sigh*, I will go practice it some more now...

time to read 9 min | 1757 words

Wow, that was an awesome response. Since I don't want to lose my replies in the comments, I would post them here.

Note: I still don't know if this is going to be a free/cost or paid course.

@Omer,
As a matter of fact, I am a professional instructor :-) I am even cerified one. I got the same problem here as I have with the other certifications, I don't agree with the official curriculum.

There seems to be a lot of people from all over the world who would like to have a webcast, which mean that I will try to make one. I do not know anything about setting one up, so it would be interesting... :-) There is probably someone in my company that do know how to do this (there generally is, but that is generally me :-D ), so I need to see if / how this is possible.

I would also like to thank anyone who commented on the previous post, and ask an additional question, assuming that you would participate in such a course (or web cast), would you do it alone, or would you drag other developers to it as well?

For general interest, here are the list of people who expressed interest, grouped by country...

Israel 4
Australia 3
USA 2
Peru 1
Paris 1
Poland 1
Sweden 1
Italy 1
Ukraine 1
Spain 1
Belgium 1
Denmark 1
Canada 1
Total 19

And here is the google anaylstics geo map for total visitors for the blog:

(Image from clipboard).png

time to read 3 min | 465 words

Advance warning: I have not run this by anyone, and I have no idea if this is even possible.

I mentioned that I am going to do an advanced NHibernate course in a couple of weeks. That is probably going to be a private one, for a client of us (well, a client of We! :-) ).

Among my favoraite passtimes there is talking, and talking to a crowd is something that I had to deal with* and learned to enjoy. Seeing the response for my Active Record talk and the NHibernate's course that I am doing, I wondered if there will be any interest in an NHibernate course. Something that can take a developer from "I heard about NHibernate, it is this new hibernation feature in Vista" to leveraging NHibernate in real world application. Including all the pitfalls, best practices, etc that I have run into. I believe that I have both the professional knowledge to do so, as well as the ability to teach developers the right & easy way to work with NHibernate.

I have done such a course before (private one), and you can see some of the presentations here. The company where I run this course is now using NHibernate as the primary - and nearly exclusive - data access framework for a very big project (with very big stategic implications).

Like I said, this is currently wishful thinking, since I thought about the idea of doing this roughly an hour ago. What I would like to find out now is if there are developers out there who think that they could benefit from this. So, if you are interested, I would appriciate it if you could leave me a comment (or contact me directly, by email or phone) tell me so, and how many people you think would be interested in this.

What happens if you are from outside of Israel? That does complicate matters, but I can see two options. Doing it over the web, or going wherever to do it. Again, drop me a line if you want this.

Like I said, this is currently just something that I think would be really nice and fun to do. I would like to make this happen, but I need some head count to show that this is a feasible idea. Feel free to tell me if this is going in completely the wrong direction.

* Interesting story there, I can't recall if I already posted about it. And there is too much stuff here to find out.

time to read 2 min | 271 words

So I gave the lecture to some guys at work (reminder, I am giving an Active Record lecture on monday at the Tapuz User Group meeting in Microsoft), and it went very well.

I found some interesting holes (NHQG doesn't work on exe because of an annoying (and soon to be fixed) bug), and some stuff that I wasn't sure about with regard to some of the more recent things in Active Record.

I set the database dialect to SQL 2005 by mistake and was facinated by the way NHibernate did paginated queries. I forgot how hard it is to do this in SQL Server.

For some reason, my laptop refused to replicate the display to the second LCD, but will happily work with it in a dual monitor setup, so I had to code with my head to the wall just to see what was going on. My laptop is a Thinkpad R50e, and I usually use it with a dual monitor setup, so it may be related to that.

It also run about 15 minutes over the planned time (and I can certainly see it taking 3 hours easily), but I think that I can safely cut some of the more advance stuff to deal with it.

The guys that I lectured for weren't mainly programmers, so they actually didn't get too much of the pain that just went away, but I still got a Wow from them when I showed them how they can use strongly typed queries.

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