Ambrose Little, Software Guy

I’ve been making software professionally since the late nineties, in companies ranging from tiny shops to large enterprises, making both internal corporate and commercial software.

I’m currently a senior software engineer at CentralReach, which provides practice and learning management software to folks in healthcare who focus on helping kids with autism. I love working for a place that helps those folks better serve those kids, and of course the technical challenges and good people to work with are what make the day-to-day enjoyable.

My current tech focus is strongly on the front end with React, MobX, and of course the usuals of HTML5+, CSS3+, JavaScript, jQuery, etc. I also work on the full stack building REST/Web API services with .NET/C#, SQL Server, and ServiceStack.

Recently, I was the (first) director of engineering at a great little company called TelTech. They hack the mobile phone experience with apps that give people more control of what happens with their phone calls. I led a small but dedicated team of great engineers responsible for the whole kit and caboodle. And for almost a decade before that, I worked at Infragistics, a commercial software vendor with a long history in UI and UX tools for software developers and designers, where I served in many roles over the years, ending up as the director of product development for over 90 software developers in their developer tools division.

In my time I’ve held many roles spanning most disciplines in software development: developer, architect, product manager, interaction designer, and more. (See LinkedIn below for the whole history.) I’ve worked in and led software efforts in many contexts and many stacks, and I always love tackling new challenges.

In my free time, I like growing my beard, spending time with my wife and kids, smoking meats, brewing beers, and just generally chillin out.

People Say That I’m…

  • A thoughtful, fun-loving but immensely driven guy who really cares about the people who work with and for him as well as making awesome things with them.
  • Something of a perfectionist, but reasonably so.
  • A great writer. (No really. I have actually heard this many times. They also joke about my verbosity. It’s a Known Issue.)
  • Devout/religious, but not obnoxiously so.
  • A peacemaker — tries to listen to all sides and to be fair and help others to see each other’s perspectives.

When I Grow Up…

I want to either make some software or write a book (or both) that has a lasting impact and contribution to humanity.

Other Writings

Selected Writings by Ambrose Little

Books

  • Professional ADO.NET 2: Programming with SQL Server 2005, Oracle, and MySQL — Wrote a few chapters for it, the most interesting being the custom ADO.NET Data Provider, which was an ADO.NET to LDAP/Active Directory mapping layer that allowed for SQL- like queries to be issued rather than the obtuse LDAP syntax.
  • ASP.NET 2.0 MVP Hacks and Tips — Part of a horde of ASP.NET MVPs contributing. I authored the Cache Hacks chapter that showed how to create an object- oriented cache for ASP.NET as well as a cache viewer (similar to ELMAH).
  • Silverlight 1.0 — I was involved from very early with Silverlight, and wrote this together with my co-workers at Infragistics. I wrote the chapter on coding with JavaScript and XAML as well as using Silverlight with ASP.NET.
  • Silverlight 3 Programmer’s Reference — This started as a Silverlight 2 book, but they outpaced us shipping, so it became 3. I wrote the chapters on Silverlight architectural tour, styling and dealing with resources, using services (including HTTP-based and sockets), cross-cutting concerns, and “making the app come alive” — about events, responding to user input, personalization, and internationalization.

Articles

I’ve written so many articles and blog posts that I lost track long ago, but here is a sample.

  • Articles on ASPAlliance.com — All developer articles from earlier in my career.
  • Sorting Custom Collections — print mag CoDe Magazine article on the custom sortable collections mentioned above.
  • Usability in Practice Series on MSDN — co-wrote with Charles Kreitzberg, PhD, a long-time usability expert. We collaborated on choosing topics of meaning to devs to help them come to terms with UX. He would author the theory side, and I would author a dev-centric/practical side (sometimes with code).
  • Storyboarding in the UX Process –for UXMag on the value of storyboarding for UX design.
  • UX Manifesto: 7 Principles for Better Software — this is an attempt to distill UX guidance for devs down to 7 practical principles.
  • Best Practices for Interface Design with Windows 8 Development — an overview/intro to designing for Windows 8 for developers.

Blogs

This blog is my most recent professional blog. You may also find my blogging at:

Awards/Achievements

Microsoft MVP

I was awarded Microsoft MVP for eight consecutive years, 2003–2010. The first few awards were in ASP/ASP.NET, then Software Architect, then Client App Dev, and finally ending with a few years of Silverlight.

ASPInsider

I have been an ASPInsiders member since 2003. Originally it was a peer-based excellence recognition program partnered with the Microsoft Web platforms team.

INETA Speaker

Inducted into the INETA International Speakers Bureau (now defunct) in 2006. This was a select group of recognized speakers on Microsoft .NET technologies.

Patents

Certifications

Let’s Connect!

I’m always happy to meet new folks.