Welcome to AndrewSiemer.com

My name is Andrew Siemer. I am an ex Army Ranger, father of 6, born in California, but moved to Texas as fast as I could. I make my living as a computer consultant, author, and farmer.

This week was Logan’s 11th birthday.  Some of you may know that he and I are really enjoying competing in three gun together.  But as he is left handed, and still young at a fresh 11, shooting some of my gear is difficult for him either due to being right hand specific or heavy for a little guy.  To alleviate some of those issues I had a custom left handed light weight rifle built for him.  My rifle is 6 pounds and right handed.  His is 4 pounds and left handed. 
A neighbor of ours has sold his house.  He is basically done with the life of having property.  Well, the work of having property.  He decided to leave Texas and head back to Florida for walks on the beach.  As he no longer needed his stuff he decided to have an everything must go sale.  A buddy and I went in on a convertible trailer.  Part flat bed.  Part stock trailer.  Perfect for small time ranchers like us who need a flat bed near daily and a stock trailer now and then.
Everyone at one point or another in their career fantasizes about how cool it would be to work from home.  They always joke about taking meetings in their under wear.  Do a little work with your family in the other room.  Have lunch with the family.  Be as comfy as you want to be.  And be able to pay the bills with that life style.
I am teaching some of my kids how to write html and dabble in css.  This has been quite a bit of fun.  More than I thought it would be actually.  In fact, as soon as I was done giving my older boy his first lesson, one of my girls immediately wanted lessons (they are very competitive).  Now I have two learning how to write html.  I love this.
As a full time web developer that has been paying the bills for a great many years with self taught web skills, I finally decided that my kids were ready for me to pass the baton.  It is my hope that my kids will go to college and learn what ever tickles their fancy.  But no flipping burgers for my monsters.  Instead I fully intend to enter them into the world wide job market that is the inter-webs ASAP.  They can easily afford college with simple programming skills.  How better to start them off than teach them first and foremost how to learn by speaking Google.  This is a very important distinction over actually teaching HTML.  Learning how to look for information, absorb only what is needed for the immediate task at hand, as well as get a cursory understanding of all the peripheral information is how I work every day.  Rather than teach this tag or that tag I gave him a simple understanding of how to feed in the proper english term set to Google to get the results you need.  Lets do this!
As a farmer there are many things you need to do on a regular basis.  Similar to being a software developer, you have to check your email at some interval no matter how much you like it.  Well, as a farmer I have to walk my fence line with some frequency.  And like email, now and then you come across fun surprises with the other lame task.
My dad recently passed away.  This has left me thinking quite a bit about my relationships with all of my kids (I have six if you didn’t know).  And while I didn’t really know all that much about my father, I am keenly aware of the things that we did and didn’t do together.  I think I like most of the things that I remember about my dad and how he raised me and I see that I have replicated much of this in my relationships with my kids.  However, I also see me doing many of the things that I didn’t really enjoy.  I am now actively trying to change those items.
In order to meet some of my goals at work I decided to contribute my thoughts around Html Helpers and AngularJs support.
As you may know I recently started a new job at my old company.  As the new guy I have been sitting in as many meetings as possible trying to learn as much as I can about the underlying system, our methodology, what is important to the business, how we are going to achieve our deadlines, etc.  During these meetings I have heard mention of the “ShortBus” time and time again.  This was odd as we are building a system around NServiceBus…an enterprise level message bus (among other things).  I was really under the impression that there was some great divide between the engineers “THEM” and the architects “ME” (…and my team).  I really thought they were dogging us!  Gonna have to push a boulder up hill in order to move a pebble…here we go again.
Today I started a new gig in my old company Dell.  I am joining the edell transactional team as one of the architects.  I am experiencing some of the slowness that comes with a big company like this.  However I am really enjoying the conversations I have been a part of so far and am really enjoying all the energetic conversations that the engineers around me are having.
I am trying my best to get back into blogging.  After having moved to Texas and starting my own ranch/farm…I have had difficulties staying focused on technology when I am not work.  For that reason I will try to do quick posts while at work…while I am focused on technology.
I am loving the Amazon Web Services platform!  They deliver new features constantly to make the platform that much more adoptable.  We are to a point now where we have all sorts of disconnected systems floating about in the cloud.  All of them have their own scalability story so that they can easily expand horizontally.  This translates to having many stacks all with many running instances.
This is going to be a very busy weekend for me! 
This isn’t overly interesting but I feel the need to toss up a post on my new site.  Today I needed to create a hash and ended up writing the following code.

I write books!
I like most started writing with my first blog. This quickly turned into paid articles. And from there I was invited to write a book about all the stuff I had written about in my blogs and articles. Here are the three books I have written so far:

ASP.NET MVC 2 Cookbook

A month or two after starting my first book this new framework from Microsoft came out - ASP.NET MVC. As I had already started writing my book, contract in hand, I had to complete it using the MVP pattern in ASP.NET. But I loved the concept of simplicity of MVC and followed as closely as I could. When my first book was done I started seeking another book gig and got the opportunity to write a cookbook with Packt Publishing. This book was great fun to write. I think I might do another one of these!


ASP.NET 3.5 Social Networking

My first book was around ASP.NET 3.5 and the notion of social networking. More important these were my thoughts on how to build a social application. A lot has changed since these early days!


ASP.NET 4 Social Networking

This is the rewrite of my first book. I didn't have nearly as much to do with this book as I did my first project. A couple fella's from the book company did the majority of the work and showed me what they did when they were done. Read the comments on this one! :)

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