Category Archives: Daily Blog

Generally a bunch of various small items that come up on a given day. Less focused than other topics, a catch-all…

I have accepted a new job…

Well I can breathe again 🙂 I just formally accepted a job offer from Excelitas Technologies as a software manager on the OCT team there.

It has been a long three-ish months since the surprise layoff from Draeger and with lots of ups and downs. I’m happy with the new position and glad to be able to get back to technical challenges instead of job searching.

I’ll start working through my list of recruiters I may have outstanding activity with on Monday morning and will try to tag everyone individually.

Many thanks to everyone who was involved in my job search, I couldn’t have found more than a tiny fraction of the possibilities I did without the help of friends, ex-colleagues and recruiters.

I still expect to keep working with java spring boot, WPF/Maui and python on the home front as I have home projects where they could be very useful. I will likely continue posting as that work goes forward. Hoping to take my proficiency in all of those areas from ‘working knowledge’ to ‘highly proficient’ over the next year or two so I can get to playing with VR, 3D rendering and machine learning using the tools available…

Starting the week of June 5

Last week was a busy one on a number of fronts and I know I kept trying to get through my reply backlog and failing.

Today I’m going to be getting things cleaned up on my desk and my job search records. If things go smoothly I’ll likely get replies out by end of day. More likely they’ll go out tomorrow.

I now have two very exciting possible jobs where I’ve been through the interview process and I’m waiting for responses. Pretty sure the third one is off the table and just failed to tell me 🙁

I expect this week to feed the pipeline some more and cross my fingers that I may get an offer from one or both of the positions I’d like to come through. There have been enough of these in the last few months where things didn’t click at the end that I’m not going to end my search until I have a signed offer in hand. Hopeful but not making assumptions yet…

Week of May 29…Job Search Continues

Back from the weekend. There are a couple of very interesting possibilities in the pipe and one that I’m hoping will generate an offer and end my job search. I will be very happy to get back to solving problems with useful results rather than looking for a place where I can dig into problems.

Going to dig through my backlog this morning and reply to anyone I need to get back to. Hoping for a resolution this week but until I have an offer in hand I need to keep the pipeline going.

I started looking deeper into the current state of WPF and Maui over the long weekend. I’ve built WPF applications using MVC approaches. The current pattern is MVVM which seems not that much different but I’m still building an understanding of where the differences are and why they matter.

Maui is very interesting as a WPF style cross platform tool set. So far what I’ve been seeing suggests that it is a bit immature and will need another iteration or two before it is ready for product but still very interesting. Being able to use the same basic tech to target desktop UI and iOS and Android would be very useful.

I’ve been looking at doing some Android programming for years and never found the time and iOS is so far out that I’d never likely get there without a cross platform solution. Maui seems like a way to get all of these…

This week I’m going to continue down that road and get some sample code together, look a little at the source code from github for some of the tools and see where that takes me.

C++/CLI and Job Search

Looking forward to a relatively quiet day today. I’m still hopeful that I’m nearing the end of my job search and will soon be taking on ‘real’ challenges instead of working to show places what I am capable of and hoping there’s a great match. I recharge from solving problems at work but the interview process leaves me tired and stressed.

I’m going to revisit C++/CLI a bit today. I used that as a C++ -> .NET bridge when it first came out and it seemed to be a very nice way to manage those transitions between C/C++ code needed to support functionality that isn’t by default exposed to .NET and C#.

At some point (VS2012 I think) Microsoft seemed to be pulling support for the language features and I gave up on it and shifter to PInvoke. That function is much less convenient and seems to have performance issues as well but it appeared to be favored by Microsoft and must certainly be less complex to support.

I’ve recently seen some indications that it is being supported better in newer versions of Visual Studio (VS 2022 appears to have full intellisense back and resharper for C++ understands it) so I’m looking at making use of it for projects that need to cross the line between managed and native code again. I still look at is as a connection between the two side not a replacement as native C++ and C# are a bit cleaner and more straightforward in most cases.

Weekend of May 21

Busy week last week. Two on site interviews. Both felt like they went well, a few hiccups after the fact on one but perhaps those can be worked out.

Already have a couple of interviews next week including a third with one from last week where one of the stake-holders couldn’t make my on-site discussion. Hopeful there that we’ve got a match on both sides.

Wrapped up touching base with some of my references as things seem to be moving to a point where I may need them. Synergy is often interesting as one of them had worked at one of the places I interviewed at last week and affirmed that it was a good place to work and he thought I’d be a good fit.

Finally installed the a TPM into my older desktop machine last night. I’ve been adding them into my systems over the last year or so where possible as I’m a bit more aware of their value. This was the last one so one more chore done. This is the machine that, while slower, has much older software installed that I use regularly so it is good to have it updated.

Hoping for good news next week and looking forward to the summer.

Updates for my time at Draeger

Working on adding a ‘draeger’ section to my ‘places I’ve worked’ (https://ninecrows.com/career/sample-page/places-ive-worked/) tab on my site to provide some extended detail on my time building cross platform, cryptographic support for the Infinity Network products and deploying that code and the key management piece into the six distinct products running on four different operating systems and two CPU architectures there.

Still a work in progress as I’m trying to include as much information about my work as possible without crossing the line and revealing any proprietary information. Most of the high level details involve off the shelf protocols and algorithms so I’m confident I can put together an interesting page without disclosing any proprietary information. Stay tuned 🙂

I also did a bit of structural clean-up on the existing sections. Hoping to have the Draeger section up by the end of the weekend and next week add in a page describing my thoughts on a multicast encryption design that would be appropriate for more modern hardware and software that is capable of using public key algorithms instead of being restricted the use of pre-shared keys and older algorithms.

Site back online and github setup

The site here is back on line. GoDaddy had no real explanation about what happened to the sites that were affected but I’m happy to have things up again.

Today was spent on some final bits of cleanup around the .htaccess file to make sure the main URL gets referred to the landing page for the site.

I found that my main dev machine here was also not properly set up to push to my GitHub repos. Since I’m putting together some experimental code that I want up there that needed to be addressed. I ended up installing NASM to support building OpenSSL 3.0 and then pulled the code and built it. Got that done, generated ec25519 keys and pushed them to github. Seems like everything is now working.

I will have to make sure my more powerful gaming machine is also set up for GitHub and builds in the morning but that shouldn’t be a big deal.

I’ve got a lot of pdf based documentation around these days and in many cases the file names are inscrutable ($5.00 ebooks from packt at the end of each year make this worse 🙂 ). I want to see if I can launch acrobat reader under control of a WPF program and then use windows messages to position and size the window for viewing and then take information about that file into the UI side. That should let me index these things far better and be an interesting exercise as well.

More on this front tomorrow…

Backgrounder and May, 9…

Another morning and another interview with a very interesting potential place to work. Glad to see things continue entering the pipeline.

Thought I’d write a somewhat broader based post than my recent items this morning. I’ve been spending time looking into the current state of cloud computing and broadening my knowledge of spring. That has been my focus because I only have a few years of experience working in those areas. Much broader experience feeds into those areas but details matter and I’m very interested in being capable of doing good work in the cloud.

My broader background covers the range from service loop embedded systems coded in assembler language and commutating stepper by driving the windings to running a multi-arm robotic analysis system using C# and ethernet connected motor controllers.

I’ve found many different types of engineering development to be both challenging and interesting. I always try to keep my pool of knowledge broad in general and deep in areas of particular interest or relevance.

I ramp very fast (I think partly because I usually start with a good amount of basic knowledge when the specific need arises) and can step into situations where there’s a need and I have enough of the basics covered to get started smoothly (see my cryptography work at Draeger).

I’m currently looking for interesting challenges to tackle and whether my next role involves coding for embedded controllers, windows machines running robotics or cloud microservices, I’m happy to dig in and make my team as effective as possible and deliver the best solutions we can on schedule or make it clear to stake holders why we can’t and what we need…

…and end of day May 8…

Not a bad day. Reading the Azure books that arrived yesterday. I’m still feeling better about Java and AWS for cloud work. Spring and many of the supporting libraries makes the difference even though the JVM and Java itself have some warts.

Pulled my AVR docs out of the basement as I’ve talked to a place where that stuff would be somewhat relevant. Also dug out some bluetooth docs at the same time. Not sure how deep I’m going to dig there but worth having on hand.

Tomorrow I have a very interesting interview but I’ll also probably keep digging on the spring side of things. Getting some spring code running with a MongoDB or MySQL (mariadb) back end and RESTful front end may meet some needs I’ve had for some time. Not sure I want to pay for and AWS compute node to support this but only time will tell.

Ideally I’d like to layer a react or angular UI on top of this and experiment with three.js a bit…but that is too far in the future for the moment…

May 8, 2023 Getting Started…

New week, still looking. Three things in the pipeline.

I’m planning to spend a bit of time writing up a couple of ideas I’ve been playing with and then put them on the shelf.

The idea of a modern secure multicast design has come together a bit but right now I have other things to spend coding time on so a short white paper describing where I’m at seems appropriate.

I’ve thought about the possibilities of using sound for detecting faults. Some recent conversations brought those ideas to mind and I’m going to write up a white-paper laying out those ideas. Again probably no coding as I have other priorities but getting them written up will make it easier to keep them on the table for later.

At the moment I’m going to focus on some work that wraps around some areas I’m interested in and some digging on the Azure side of things. I’ve got significant experience in AWS and want to see how the Azure side lives. I’m also probably going to continue with some spring coding and perhaps some parallel ASP.NET core coding. Should be an interesting week…

I also want to take another run at writing up my ‘Draeger’ section for the ‘places I’ve worked’ tab on this site. I’m struggling a bit to get the level of detail right so that I’m not going too deep while still covering the areas that are of interest. I’ll get there, just may have to rework the unpublished draft a few times…