A new focus on mobile development

Since last 5 years of my career, I have been mainly working on web application development in particularly using .NET technology stack and also mainly blogging on ASP.NET, client side libraries, C# and developing a small open source projects on GitHub as well.

I do really enjoy working web because of web working model and it’s fast paced in terms of improvement plus web development tools have improved over the time, one way to realize fast paced web is by considering that Firefox has released more than 15 version in last few years… just joking. So yeah this leads to me categorizing myself as server side programmer.

Source Flickr!

In 2012, I got the opportunity to work on mobile app development on Android and I really like going through app development paradigm along with the challenges associated with it. In fact I so liked it that I switched my employer in another country to work full time in mobile product development team as developer working across major platforms iOS, Windows etc.

So what attracts me to mobile apps development?

First, mobile development is one of the “trending” thing in software industry. It’s booming, evolving and I strongly believe that smartphones in enterprises and in many other areas of life are yet to be leverage to their full potential.

Second, mobile development has got interesting challenges. If you have been working on server-side you take many things for granted so things like computing capacity, memory, batteries/power, network connectivity failures, metered networks are some of things to be taken care of in any good mobile app.

Third, availability of your app on different platform. For example in web, the challenge is to have a cross browser complaint responsive design of your website however on mobile to cover a good market you need to have your presence on more than one platform and they might be totally different technically. So for someone who love learning new technologies, this is promising.

So here I am heads down learning with a new focus on mobile apps development.

Source Flickr

Moving WordPress Blog to Custom VM hosted on Windows Azure

Some months ago I migrated my blog from blogger to self hosted WordPress on Windows Azure. My initial experience was good, having a website hosted on azure standard instance with MySQL database somewhere in cloud. All good, I started doing some WordPress optimization.

One day I got an alert from “ClearDB” that my database storage is about to reach limit and then I realized that MySQL database for my blog was actually hosted by ClearDB which by default gives you only 20 MB free space plus with the option to get 1 GB for $9.99 per month. So they expect me to pay for both website hosted on Azure and then MySQL database as well. Yes as MSDN subscriber I do get $150 credit for Azure but I don’t want to waste them plus pay an additional amount to ClearDB. This does not make sense to me as I can get complete WordPress hosting on $9-$13 per month, why would I pay 9 dollars just for database 😐

I also cleaned up DB to reduce its size by removing revisions, spasms etc. but I kept getting the annoying alerts from ClearDB. Therefore I decided to get rid of this model and create my custom VM to host WordPress website with MySQL database.

I end up creating a Ubuntu virtual machine on Windows Azure (yes we are fortunate to see this day) and thereby creating a complete LAMP environment. I followed an article “How to setup rock solid VM on Windows Azure for your WordPress blog” and it worked smoothly. So I mapped the domain to this new VM and satisfied so far.

Another benefit I see of having custom VM is that you can save the snapshot as backup or later host it somewhere else as well.

How is your experience of hosting blog, dear reader?