CodeStore Is Ten Years Old Today!

image Today is codestore.net's tenth birthday. The domain itself was first registered in February 2000 and it existed on an intranet for a few years before that, but, for reasons I forget, I've always taken 9/9/2000 as the actual birth date. Something I used to celebrate in the past.

Ten years! Did I ever think I'd say that? Nope!! That said, ten years is a long time and I can't even remember what on earth I was thinking back then. It was a different me who started this, that's how long it's been going!

The Past

Running this site has been truly amazing and it's something I've come to be very proud of and will never regret. It's an integral part of my life that I can't imagine life without it.

So long have I been doing this that I've since bought and renovated a house, setup my own business, got married and had three kids - happily blogging along through all of it.

Highlights of the last ten years that spring to mind include: Blogathon winner, Best Lotus Blogger award, trips to LotusSphere, Bermuda & Paris.

In terms of regrets my only one is in not being confident enough a public speaker to have got about some more and done more of the conference/networking circuit. Perhaps I could have capitalized on the site's success a little more.

Although I shouldn't knock what I have achieved off the back of this site. I wouldn't be where I am now if it weren't for it. I've got a nice house that I've been able to spend enough money on to make it in to a comfortable place to raise my growing family. There's a brand new car on the drive. All this off the back of this site, which allows me to run my own business and provides a steady stream of interesting work. Without codestore I wouldn't have any of the customers I do.

You can see the various incarnations of this site in the archive. Anybody remember the first? How it looks now is probably how it will always look. I like it and it works well. Tried and tested.

One of the things that has always amazed me over the years is how generous you have been with my Wishlist. The surprises have slowed somewhat of late, but there was a delivery earlier this week, which was nice. I have a folder somewhere with all the packing slips of everything I've received over the years. There must be 100 or more of them. Thank you all!

I should also thank Prominic.NET for continually hosting this site for free. Ten years of undisturbed and faultless service. All that in return for a measly link at the bottom of each page. Thanks guys!

The Future

I have to admit I'd thought for some time about making this post's title "I quit". Quit while you're ahead and all that. I can't though. This site and you, my readers, are too close to my heart. While it sometimes feels like I'm flogging a dead horse I do still enjoy it, so why stop.

The thought of giving up on codestore makes me quite emotional. As does thinking about how the site is no longer what it once was. What upsets is when I think of the steady loss of long-term readers and those acquaintances built that have long gone. Perhaps I'm too sentimental, but I just don't like to see good things come to an end.

There was once a time when I'd get dozens of emails each week to simply say "love the site" or ask about Domino-related stuff. Now I get none. Well, maybe one a fortnight. This is probably a good thing though, as my family life doesn't leave the time I once had for that sort of stuff. It's still upsetting though, nonetheless.

To a degree the fall in popularity must be because the site is no longer as Domino-focused as it once was. Probably because I've failed on the up-take of XPages. What I do do with Domino is no longer cutting edge nor worth writing home about.

It just so happens that the 10th birthday is happening at a bad time for me and my company. I'm desperately trying to keep afloat in a world where the Domino work on which I once relied just isn't there any more (or at least it's not coming my way). It's a difficult time. Not just for me, but for the family of 6 mouths I need to feed, let alone keep a roof over.

Whereas once I'd do small websites for friends as "pocket money" jobs at night I've recently found myself doing them as "proper" jobs during the day. After all this time as a Domino developer I'm back to creating brochure sites to scrape a living between "real" jobs I manage to get!

Having put all my eggs in one basket I now find myself struggling to transition in a world where being a Domino-only developer doesn't have the job-getting abilities it once did.

The site will continue to live on indefinitely though. I just don't know what I'll be talking about on it. Domino? Possibly, but, to be honest, unlikely. Unless of course I get some wonderful projects coming my way to design some fancy system in Domino and on XPages. I can't see that happening at this rate though. Domino has left me. I didn't leave Domino. Not knowingly, anyway.

I don't know who I am any more. I'm feeling just a little bit lost, scared and lonely. My hope is that I can continue to keep afloat as an independent developer and continue to report back here on the interesting things this has me doing. My fear is having to try and find a proper 9-to-5, which would almost definitely mean working away from home and probably an end to this site.

Hopefully this post is as positive as it's negative. Had I written this a year ago the negative slant might not have been there. What matters, I guess, is that the site is still here and that in the time it's had it has done some good and helped people out. After all, that's what it's here for. I just hope it can continue to help in the future. Whether that's helping with Domino or not remains to be seen.


  1. In some small way, I may be one of those 'drifters', but it is suffice in this site's early days you really helped while I was making tentative steps into the web element of Lotus Domino - hell, my own site, full of less 'worthy' stuff than Codestore, was original a Domino site (and even got some spurious badge from some Domino something or other).

    So, thanks a lot.

    As for the negativity, well, I think all of us have it at the moment, though some more than others (if you're 'job secure' currently you are doing well - due to the recession 'busing' measures). I face similar choices, been batting under my weight for a bit and now I face the choices of moving, working more from home, etc.

    Like most, I sense a quality of life hit on a dimension or two.

    • avatar
    • Colin Williams
    • Thu 9 Sep 2010 02:13 AM

    Happy birthday Codestore! Still reading and finding inspiration and enjoyment Jake so hang in there. On my way to work this morning I was thinking about the blog-a-thon you did a few years ago..2002/3? I stayed up all night anxiously watching the blog design transform. Good times! :D

    PS, my wife and I still have the lovely flower you printed for us on Canvas. "Jakes flower" hangs proudly in our home and is often admired.

    Best from NZ.

      • avatar
      • Jake Howlett
      • Thu 9 Sep 2010 02:51 AM

      Thanks Colin. Actually you're one of the long-term readers I assumed lost, to which I alluded above. Nice to see you're still reading.

      I'd forgotten you had my flower on a canvas. That's a very select print. One of only about 6 in the world! You should be honoured ;o)

  2. Hi,

    congratulations and all the best for the future. Thank you for your eager and talented blogging. I participated a lot - since 2000 ;-).

    Greetings from Stuttgart, Germany

  3. I hope you don't mind if I break the silence just this once to post on your site. Firstly, congratulations on this milestone: ten years is an extraordinary achievement (especially when you convert it into digital years!)

    Secondly: don't lose heart. You are exceptional at what you do, and developers with the outlook and communication skills that you possess will *always* have work. I know what you mean about poor old Domino, but there's a whole world of exciting technology out there which would benefit from your approach (and vice versa).


      • avatar
      • Jake Howlett
      • Thu 9 Sep 2010 03:04 AM

      Of course I don't mind Ben. I can't even remember why I requested silence in the first place. I do remember that Mike Golding (who I sat next to at work at the time) egged me on to do it. Like two kids in a playground he convinced me it would be a good idea. Honest. Water under the bridge as far as I'm concerned. As you say, onwards.

      Show the rest of this thread

  4. 10 years Jake! Christ almighty. In the online world that is an amazing achievement and you should be proud.

    This site, like your career, will evolve and change. eMail questions may decrease but the knowledge and content is on this site (and in google) for people to find.

    Well done.

    • avatar
    • Glen Holmes
    • Thu 9 Sep 2010 03:01 AM

    Hey Jake,

    If it makes you feel any better your constant drive to learn everything you can about Domino and your eagerness to share this knowledge for no personal economic gain is a credit to you.

    You say that Codestore has provided you with a house, car, nice place to raise your family etc. Well I can tell you that Codestore has provided me with the same. Without your contribution I never would have gotten the opportunities I did. Heck I remember the days when I wouldn't tell anyone about Codestore. I wanted to show-off all of new tricks and treats first!!

    It sounds like you've come to a bit of a difficult place career wise. It happened me when I finally left the Domino world. But someone with your talent and relentless pursuit of excellence has nothing to worry about.

    Whatever you choose to do will be a success and I for one would like to thank you for Codestore.

    • avatar
    • Richard Shergold
    • Thu 9 Sep 2010 03:08 AM

    Happy Birthday Jake (or Codestore),

    Have been with you since the start!

    Keep it going...

  5. Jake I think you hit it on the head

    "Probably because I've failed on the up-take of XPages. What I do do with Domino is no longer cutting edge nor worth writing home about."

    Jake, I love your site, your talent, and even your scepticism but do you not think that you are a bit like the farmer that wouldn't accept a tractor and stuck with horses ?

    Xpages may be quirky, is probably not cutting edge in an IT sense but in terms of delivering business applications I am finding it a sweet spot.

    12 months ago I only dreamed of doing something like this running on a virtual appliance at a non domino site. I personally don't think it could be done on another platform at the price it needs to be ( but I am biased !)


    * I didn't do all of it, need to thank my colleague Andrew Champion too

    ** This is pre-production so YMMV.

    I feel like I've crossed some threshold of English Politeness or had too much cool aid so I am going to shut up now.

      • avatar
      • Jake Howlett
      • Thu 9 Sep 2010 03:42 AM

      Don't worry Sean, I'm open to the idea I'm going about it all wrong.

      What you've done looks good. But I can't see anything I can't do without XPages. Am I missing something? Or is it just that you can do it quicker than with old Domino?

      It's a tricky catch 22 situation I'm in. I can't really afford to invest time in learning XPages unless I have a need to (a paid job requires it). That job is yet to come my way. Perhaps the job isn't coming my way because people know I don't know XPages well enough. It's like the old need a house to get a job - need a job to get a house thing.

      Are you suggesting that if I knew XPages and talked about it more I'd be inundated with work?

      Show the rest of this thread

  6. Happy Birthday and Alles Gute, Codestore :-)

    Jake, I am also following your site since 2000, that is really a long time in IT.

    While you are still doing Domino I was drifting away from it many years ago. At first I was doing some Visual Basic development, mostly with MS Access, then SQL , Java and many other things followed. Always trying to stay in the job and getting enough work load (although I was always an employee).

    Maybe you remember that I even asked you to help us getting rid of our hundreds of Domino apps in order to bring them on the intranet.

    Not long after that I left the company (where I worked for 10 years) and changed to SAP development. Now there is work enough to do and no end in sight.

    I think you also have to change your focus and do something new (maybe even Sharepoint ;-) .

    And having many readers today who are not doing Domino development any more I am pretty sure that many readers will follow you or you will get new readers if you have enough cool projects on the run. I still think you would fit very much into the CouchDB direction. You could even jump on the 'migrate away from Domino' bandwagon using CouchDB as a replacement.

    Or you also move over to the SAP world. There are many new markets evolving in the field of web portals and mobile devices.

    What makes me really wondering is that there are so many cool Domino products available today like Quickr, Lotus Live, MashUps etc but everybody is leaving Domino behind...

    I wish you good luck for Codestore and RockAll. I bet there are brighter times to come for you...


  7. Jake,

    Your effort during all these years for providing us with such great contens has been superb. I think a lot of Domino developers around the world owe you something, including me.

    Any direction you take, be sure you'll be able to manage to find a good way for providing solutions for your customers, old and new ones.

    XPages is a superior technology, but has not exploded yet. You can develop solutions with it, but it is not a skill looked for in the job markets. Let's see when it happens. :-)

    Thanks for what you've written so far and for what you'll write, that I'm sure will be interesting and worth reading.

    • avatar
    • Mike
    • Thu 9 Sep 2010 04:55 AM

    Happy Birthday Codestore!

    As invaluable today as you were when I first discovered you all those years ago

    I shall raise a plate of cake to you this lunchtime!

  8. 10 years, well done a great achievement.

    Like other readers who have commented, this site has been a help to me the in early 'web enabling' days of Notes & Domino - for that I am grateful.

    Ben is right, If you also take into account your soft skills and business skill you have developed over the last 10, a person such as yourself could bring a lot to the table - don't sell yourself short.

    It might mean a subtle change to the lifestyle, but you might enjoy the change.


    • avatar
    • Nikky Gibson
    • Thu 9 Sep 2010 06:28 AM

    Hi Jake

    Happy Birthday codestore! I am still reading your site after many years and would like to say thanks for helping me in my own Domino development efforts for many years.

    However, the world marches on and while I still have a Domino server for a few sites I am hosting, I do not have any paid work from it. After a great few years being self-employed, I have returned to a 9-5 job - 4 days a week because I can't completely surrender my independence! - to learn new skills. You are right, it is hard to justify the expense involved in re-skilling, so I have approached the problem laterally. I probably would not have paid to learn Sharepoint myself, so am now in a job where I am working with it every day and what better way to learn. Hopefully, at some point, the market will improve and the 9-5 will no longer be necessary, but for now it serves a purpose. My own fear was returning to the rat race and giving up my treasured working-from-home lifestyle, but sometimes facing the fear head on is what is required. I have gained great colleagues and have been enjoying the social aspect of work life which I never knew I was missing. It's a whole new world!

    Whatever happens, I will continue to read your blog because your words are part of my daily routine and I am genuinely interested to see where you go from here. Hang in there!

    Best wishes

    • avatar
    • Erik
    • Thu 9 Sep 2010 06:47 AM

    Happy birthday Codestore!

    Beeing a long time reader(lurker) I thought I would finally chime in and congratulate you with your achievement.

    The level of your knowledge and your communication skills has always made your blog an interesting read, Notes related or not.

    Thanks for the inspiration you have sparked, and I hope your workload will increase.

  9. "...

    No regrets / they don't work

    No regrets / they only hurt

    Write (#fileNum%,) me a love song

    Drop me a line (of code)

    Suppose it's just a Point of View

    But they tell me I'm doing fine ..."

    R. Will i am sssssss...

    It was good and you love your job

    You know Lotus, Flash & you know JavaScript

    You do the Java & more

    So "What's going on" will be the better ...

    NB: Do you know that Capello means Cap goodbye !!!

  10. Happy birthday Codestore and a Congratulations Jake. Following Codestore is a plus !

  11. Of course congratulation for 10 years codestore. This has always been a comfortable place for me.

    Now you say you can't really afford to invest time in learning XPages. That is fine but contracts where you are payed to learn something new are rare although someone with your proven track record might get them easier. Now you started some .Net, you diged a bit into Sharepoint and are quite comfortable with Flex still you seem to be quite comfortable with the old Domino development model.

    It is not coming back. If you continue to wait codestore is going to become a very sad place to go. The model you develop applications in is not allowed to move forward and IBM will not change this.

    Now if IBM would be smart they would hire you and codestore for let's say 2 years to show people how to develop good software on this platform.

    That would probably bring more success to this platform than any airport ad that Lotus knows something (and at least half of the NiftyFifty at the end of that period). Although I am not sure you would like it. XPages can be very enterprisey.

    I wish you all the best and hope that you will write something positive soon. And by the way I really miss Mike Golding. Notestips.com was a great site too.

    1. I agree that IBM should help Jake make a considered comparison, they extend the have extended similar courtesies to other prominent bloggers

      Show the rest of this thread

    • avatar
    • Xander
    • Thu 9 Sep 2010 07:40 AM


    I was in domino web development for 8 years before I finally made the switch to Java web development around 6 years ago. Even back then I could feel the reaper looming for Domino. Best move I made switching to Java it has opened so many doors, from Java/Flex enterprise web apps to PHP, Flex & Wordpress developments and site redesigns.

    Thankfully these days I've left the development world behind for design/architecture roles, which there seems to be a demand for at the moment. No longer do I need to keep up with the latest tech to keep myself relevant, especially as I get older my willingness to invest time learning the new technologies gets less and less.

    If you are going to stay in development perhaps you need to accept that to improve work offers you will need to take the hit in your family time up-front and learn new in demand technologies.

    Whatever you do I will still be reading. I wish you all the best Jake, this site has truly been inspirational and long may it continue.

  12. My career in Lotus Notes development started on the Summer of 1997, and as soon as I found out about this site, I became a loyal "client" and haven't stopped reading it regularly since. :-)

    So, congratulations on this amazing achievement, thanks soooooo much for all the help you've given me (and still do, sometimes I search around in the articles for "that" piece of code), and best of luck for your future!

    • avatar
    • Dragon Cotterill
    • Thu 9 Sep 2010 08:20 AM

    10 years is a long time in the Domino world. I also had major issues in trying to keep a job with Domino. Contracting dried up. Permanent positions dropped Domino as a Development/Production platform and it was the developers who paid the price first. In the end I had to shift sideways. Still working with Domino in all it configurations, but now in conjunction with a whole load of other goodness.

    I've been reading Codestore right from the beginning. Following along with you and Mike in the early years. I even got my very first Mac off you when you decided to get rid of your mini. (It still works as my media box at home). Many is the time when I have "stolen" code and ideas from here to use in my own projects. Always an entertaining read, and the first site I have on my NetVibes page of Domino feeds.

    Here's to the next 10 years. :)

  13. Hi Jake

    I am a regular reader, if not poster. I have not been using Domino for the last 4 years (used it for 9.5 yrs before though) but still check out the site weekly. It has always been a personal favorite. Keep it up.

    The 9th of September is special to me also as it was 42 years ago I started work.



    • avatar
    • Dan Soares
    • Thu 9 Sep 2010 08:30 AM

    Congratulations Jake on 10 years blogging via Codestore. It's been a tremendous resource to me over the years as you pioneered the way for us fledgling Domino developers.

    My encouragement to you is to hang in there and press forward. If this is a a slow time for you I encourage you to master XPages. If your past contributions are anything to go by, I am positive that within 6 months, you will be right alongside the Xpages luminaries in our community.

    Once again, thank you for all the knowledge you have so freely shared with us over the years.

    I hope there will be 10 more years of Codestore (at least).

    • avatar
    • David Wall
    • Thu 9 Sep 2010 08:33 AM

    Jake congratulations on the 10th birthday of the site.

    Having found you while trying to do Domino stuff I havent touched Domino for 6 years, sites that use the Notes\domino platform are becoming very rare nowadays.

    But I still come to see what you have to say.

    Good luck for the next ten years with Codestore and Rockall.

  14. Hey!

    Just wanted to let you know that I'm still reading.

    Also, I think it's really worth it for you to spend a few minutes really looking at XPages. It's kind of like what you did when you poked around with LAMP. It's surprisingly powerful, and we should all be replacing the "old" way of doing Domino Web applications with it.

    There's a jump from "the basics" to advanced stuff (mainly by way of server-side JS), but you don't need to get there to see how powerful it is.

    Seriously, see about recreating the front page of CodeStore using XPages, but don't spend more than a half hour on it. In that half hour, you might not totally finish, but you'll be able to see what it can do. Then, for *any* web project in Domino, you can apply it instead.

    Good luck!

    • avatar
    • Philip King
    • Thu 9 Sep 2010 09:01 AM

    Happy birthday Codestore! I'm pretty sure I have an early 0.x release on a zip disk somewhere.

    Whatever happened to your tuck shop site?

      • avatar
      • Jake Howlett
      • Thu 9 Sep 2010 09:20 AM

      Thanks Phil. Hey, you can lay claim to being with me in the same room at the moment it all began. See version 1 in the archive. Started in that little room we shared with Steve and Kamal way back in 1998(?) in Lovers Lane.

      Tuck shop is here:


    • avatar
    • Arnold
    • Thu 9 Sep 2010 09:28 AM

    Hi Jake,

    my google query always looks something like this:

    "-- query about Lotusscipt / domino --" & "codestore"

    Keep up the good work !

    • avatar
    • Edward Lee
    • Thu 9 Sep 2010 09:57 AM

    Happy Birthday Codestore :-)

    • avatar
    • David Bailey
    • Thu 9 Sep 2010 10:26 AM

    Love the site. I've been a quiet reader for at least nine of those ten years. Happy Birthday, CodeStore!

    And, here's wishing you a bright future as an innovative developer in whatever platform you choose.

  15. Reading your blog has helped me solve many problems over the past 10 years. I appreciate all your effort. Thank you sir!

    • avatar
    • Keith
    • Thu 9 Sep 2010 10:44 AM

    Jake, I'd like to chime in on both the good wishes and the encouragement. You're brilliant at what you do. Your site is one of the very few that I am sure to check manually every week.

    As for feeling like quitting, I think everyone in the Domino dev community (except those with regular jobs) feels that way some time. times are tough. The economy is slow and the Domino development market is still transitioning from traditional to xPages. This means that some shops are holding off on dev projects as they evaluate the new technology or a new version of Domino. Eventually the work will come back, but more and more of it will be xPages work.

    It's good that you are branching out to other dev technologies, but I also think you should ramp up on xPages. If I was still a full-time Domino dev I would have invested in one of the training classes by now.

    Anyhow, good luck and thanks for the decade of excellent work!

    • avatar
    • Lance Jurgensen
    • Thu 9 Sep 2010 10:48 AM

    Maybe you were thinking ahead when you named the site "codestore" and not "lotusstore" or some other domino related name. Your gift is writing about relevant technology as you use it.

    We have begun our own move away from Domino here at my company, but Codestore is still a place I come for information, tips and honestly; a look into how a fellow developer works and lives on the other side of the big pond.

    Congrats on 10 years and keep at it !

    • avatar
    • Jorge
    • Thu 9 Sep 2010 11:08 AM

    Happy Birthday codestore!, Jake goes ahead; for over 10 years I am also a consultant and trainer for Domino, I always found Codestore as a shelter and a source of ideas, each of the work I've done is nurtured by your contributions and therefore I feel a debt of gratitude to you. As a trainer I always make reference to your site.

    I think you should continue in what you do best and turn things around as you wish.

    Once a friend said, referring to the work of great men "We are on the shoulders of great people."

    Thank you very much, keep going


    from Peru

  16. I can't really add anything to the sentiments above but to repeat them. Jake, you and your love for learning has been a real encouragement to me to follow suit, even going along for the blogging ride for a good while. You've stayed ahead of the curve out of natural curiosity and your generous tendency to share what you learn has been a real blessing to so many of us.

    So, after 10 years you feel you don't know who you are? I know Jake Howlett is a generous, resourceful, tenacious developer who isn't a half bad teacher to those smart enough to pay attention. He's a loving father and husband determined to be the best he can be in anything he tries, but not too serious about himself such that falling short of perfection bruises his ego all that much. I think a lot of what is said above reflects more and similar sentiments. That's who we know you to be and I know we don't yet know you fully as you and your family would. I mean to say - if you're having your mid-life crisis - look around. Jake Howlett ain't half bad and is often twice as good as that.

    Blog or don't blog. We'll continue to read and learn if you do, and miss it if you don't but we are a far less important consideration. I gave it up to allow me more time with family and other demands on my time that are more dear and I don't miss it. While it probably has helped me land a job or two, I don't need to add to the volume that's there to further convince potential clients of my road-worthiness. You might try taking a month off and see what becomes of your extra time along with the knowledge that you don't "have" to post.

    Anyway - congratulations indeed - 10 years at anything is a good start. :o)

    • avatar
    • Mark Vincenzes
    • Thu 9 Sep 2010 12:47 PM

    Happy Birthday CodeStore, and congratulations on ten years Jake.

    In September of 2000 I was near completing my second year at Iris and first year working on the Web Server. (Where has all the time gone?)

    I'm not sure when I started reading this blog -- maybe 2006?

    Sometimes I go to a blog for some specific technical reason, then stay not just for that specific technical content but for the other interesting things that the author writes about. (And the comments that the readers of that blog bring too.) That is definitely the case here.

    best regards,


  17. Jake,

    First congratulations on 10 years. I constantly come back to your site as a source of information. Some of best tricks we have learn from reading your articles and blogs. We have looked into XPages as a tool for some of our clients, but we decided to put our efforts into both Flex and Dojo. Instead, Domino becomes a great and unique web server for applications we develop for our clients. Yes, we can create it in XPages if the customer so desires, but by developing the Flex and Dojo skills we can apply these skills to other non-Domino projects. By building those skills you are more marketable. I definitely hope things work out for you. Your blog is one that I look forward in reading all the time. In our area there is great demand for Flex developers. If you haven't already you should look into participating in the local Flex User Group.

  18. Dude....CONGRATULATIONS!!!

    I've started writing this all day but didn't know what to say or how to say it.

    Not to copy what many others have said, but we follow Jake Howlett not Domino, primarily because IBM stopped following us some time back. I check Codestore every chance I get just to see if there is a new article and to read the feedback from very experienced professionals like Dragon and Jerry and a countless amount of others. I've read every word that you've posted for the last five or six years. Even the stuff that I don't have a clue about or real interest in like Sharepoint, I still find myself intrigued and wanting to read more.

    Even though it isn't any of my business I still want to toss in my two cents.

    As a pretty young guy, you've had major changes take place in a short period of time. Work, marriage, kids, no-work (poor attempt at humour); that's a lot to take in and deal with in just a few years. No matter what decision you make it will in the end be the best one especially if you put 100% in it.

    My thought is forget about Xpages, advance your level with other technologies like Flex, .Net, Sharepoint or whatever and advertise the heck out of all the stuff you bring to the table. If you don't see a significant increase after a reasonable amount of time maybe look at alternative 8 to 5's for a little while.

    No matter what I wish you all the best and I hope you keep blogging!

      • avatar
      • Jake Howlett
      • Fri 10 Sep 2010 04:22 AM

      I might be pretty Aaron, but I'm not so young now ;-)

      Thanks for your kind words. As one of my regulars, it's always appreciated.

  19. Lovers Lane - ahh yes!

    Congrats Jake - remember Eastern? Quite a sophisticated app for its time.

    I will repeat the advice I gave you recently in private correspondence - let's see what your other readers think.

    I have just landed an assignment well outside my Whitehall comfort zone, back in financial services. It took a month of Jobserve and other channels, 187 CVs sent. All I see now is investment banking, java, agile development, messaging, weblogic, oracle, IBM messaging, soa, blah blah.

    You need to be in that space. As far as codestore is concerned, how about blogging your transition to the new world? Many others will be taking the same journey and could probably do with a guiding hand. Maybe some migration techniques?

    Above all, don't lose heart - its a journey. Keep in touch

      • avatar
      • Jake Howlett
      • Fri 10 Sep 2010 03:31 AM

      Yeah, I remember Eastern. Who could forget their first ever job. InfoCentre? I think I have a copy of it somewhere. Yeah, it was quite good for 1998.

      Glad to hear you're back in work!

      I'm not sure what I'll transition to yet (hence the "feeling lost" bit above) but whatever it is I'll definitely be blogging about it along the way.

      So far I'm letting market forces (i.e. what people ask me to do) dictate what I learn. Really though I should give myself more direction and pick a skill to learn and stuck with it...

      For anybody reading this Chris was the project manager at my first ever job back when I was a young 22 year old fresh out of uni. He was a bit of a business father figure to me. I'll always remember Chris' advice on quoting for work - "Think of a number. Then treble it!". I still use it to this day :-)

      Show the rest of this thread

  20. Congrats Jake on ten years and 1 day :)

    If you invested some time in XPages I'm sure it will pay you dividends. I truly believe in it and whilst it will not get you 'amazingly' pretty UI like Flex with a few clicks, theres no reason why it can't come close with some work but at the same time offer a hugely powerful app dev platform building on exisiting nsf principles.

      • avatar
      • Jake Howlett
      • Fri 10 Sep 2010 04:48 AM

      Funnily enough, by coincidence I got an email about a Domino website redesign job yesterday (in no way prompted by this blog - they don't read it) and they asked if I'd use XPages. Will be blogging more on that next week.

      Might see you on Sunday. Going to Wollaton Park to *watch* the 1/2 marathon go through. Will give you a shout if I see you pass by.

      Your times look like you could beet my 1:34 PB. That's your target! ;-)

      Show the rest of this thread

  21. Mnay many happy returns of the day to CODESTORE. Thanx for supporting with tips and other helps for all these years. Good wishs and Good Luck for future.


  22. Happy 10th birthday Jake.

    Cheers to a true beacon of light in the Domino/Other platforms world.



  23. I hate sending "too late" birthday cards, but I'd happily make an exception: Congratulations ! CodeStore has really helped me a lot getting the knowledge I now have.

    Regarding XPages: in of your replies above you say "But I can't see anything I can't do without XPages". You're definitely right at that but that has probably more to do with the fact that you were always using Domino in a non-traditional way, trying to do cutting-edge browser-based stuff. I have been building "web2.0" components with Domino long before XPages were introduced, but that always felt like having to constantly abuse the tools that were available. By doing web development with XPages that changes: they definitely allow you to getting things done in an easier and more intuitive way. You get the feeling like being back in control again.

    With my knowledge of Domino and everything that comes with doing web development (like html, css, javascript frameworks) Xpages aren't difficult to learn: I am sure that you will too be up to speed in a couple of days. You'll only have to learn where to click in Designer 8.5 :-)

    I am also sure that if you're diving more into XPages you can count on a lot of your old-time readers, trying to return knowledge for everything that you've shared in the last decade!


  24. Congrats on 10 years of Codestore Jake! Please dive into xpages so I can continue doing with Codestore what I have for past 10 years - use it as a resource to cut through bs and find usable and practical advice/code that helps me service my clients. So selfish I know!

  25. Jake,

    Congrats on ten great years!

    I'm not a frequent poster here, but I read your posts regularly, and they've been a great help over the years.

    I can really feel your pain. I have been doing strictly Notes/Domino development as independent for 17 years, and I'm just finishing up what will be my very last Notes project. Egad!!

    I've decided to become a CouchDb developer, now. It kind of feels like the essence of what I always loved about Notes/Domino, without the bloat, bugs, feature creep and abysmal performance.

    Jake, please keep blogging about your travails, no matter what technologies you land on, your insights are invaluable.

    Thanks again!


    1. Tim,

      I will be interested to hear what you thoughts are about CouchDB. We are starting to look into it.

    • avatar
    • axel
    • Fri 10 Sep 2010 09:31 AM

    I guess you had a great work life balance over the last 10 years.

    This year I am kind of the other extreme, which isn't healthy: I sleep nearly all the weeks in hotels and the person that really means something to me is 11.000 km away south-south-west, but thats really offtopic here.

    Again this extreme isn't healthy, but if you give up a wee bit your "my home is my castle" mentality and spend the weekdays of some month in sort of a team for a project... I don't like hotel rooms neither ... but the people I worked with this year has been astoundingly ok. And I learnt a lot from them. I need this on site contact in project to learn from others. This year in my case its exagerated (and not normal compared to other years), but in your case maybe a bit more pack a suitcase and be into a project for 4 days a week. In a way I learn easier from co-workers than 10 years ago. Back then I was a bit timid that other people thought I were stupid. Now I don't care no more.

    Else I enjoyed not little of the stuff you've written over the last 10 years.

    very best luck for you and your family.

      • avatar
      • Jake Howlett
      • Fri 10 Sep 2010 09:50 AM

      Having worked at home for the last 7 years the idea of working away from home is starting to appeal a little bit more.

      Not just the idea of learning from others but more the idea of interacting with other people. It gets lonely working on my own ;-(

      Show the rest of this thread

  26. Congratulations on 10 excellent years! It's been a great source of inspiration to me over the years and I've enjoyed watching the Domino community come together to solve problems and build extremely useful applications.

    As for the future of the site, especially in regards to information about XPages, what about having a few regular contributors to CodeStore? This would take some of the pressure off of you to provide continuous content and allow other professionals to share their experiences with us.

    What ever you choose in the future, we wish you all the best!

  27. Jake,

    I feel like all the others who have commented. When I was working for the Navy doing Domino Development I loved being a developer! After they decided to go the Sharepoint M$ route, I realized I'd have to move to something else. I'm now doing ColdFusion web development and often miss the good old days of Domino. I still read your blog and feel like I can relate to most of what you are going through. I let my own blog go as I now have six children and don't have time for it any more. For selfish reasons, I'd miss not being able to read about your trials and tribulations with whatever it is you are currently attempting to learn/do. Please keep the blog posts coming our way!

    • avatar
    • Dave
    • Fri 10 Sep 2010 03:00 PM

    Happy Birthday Codestore!!!! I still find inspiration in your

    cutting edge approach!!!!

  28. Happy birthday Codestore and a Congratulations Jake! Can't believe it's been 10 years. It has been a great ride. Thanks!

  29. Hi Jake,

    I'm on my first full-time domino contract in years away from home working.

    1/ It ain't so bad going into work and sharing ideas with other notes people.

    2/ I have been reminded what a staggeringly brilliant thing Notes is. The apps I am working on are complex, excellently implemented and the users couldn't do what they do without it.

    Give it a go, and let's have another 10 years of Codestore.

  30. Happy ten years. Codestore is on of the few sites in my feed reader. Right now I'm on temporary disability (shoulder and hand injury) but I did find the following twitter that lists the ever decreasing lists of Domino work. Heck, some may even be in your area of the world.


    I really believe mobile web is the next big area of development. Of course I've been saying that since 1999.

    I've had the pleasure of your easy to understand style of writing for programming and personal life. Keep up the good work and I look forward to your future posts.

    • avatar
    • Ben Hughes
    • Sun 12 Sep 2010 11:02 PM

    Congratulations, Jake!

    For years, Codestore has been (and will continue to be) a useful resource and source of much interest.

    I have to admit I'm one of the many silent lurkers these days. Back around 1999 -when I first started getting into Domino Development - Codestore was my IE homepage. Back then I'd email you every now and then and I always got a helpful and cheerful response.

    These days I visit your site at least once per week, and I can't tell you why exactly, being that I'm no longer doing development work, but there must be something about the way you write and engage your audience.

    Keep it going - we're all still here!

    • avatar
    • Alastair Grant
    • Mon 13 Sep 2010 01:41 PM

    Hi Jake, 10 Years!, Congratulations, a big milestone well done. You should award yourself a gold watch from your company ... it's officially tax deductable! Well maybe a small gift is :-)

    Your blog is always an interesting read and thumbs up for wider technology approach to your posts. I work with Domino in my spare time these days, but have a few tasks that need fixing [Metaweblog API / domino, comments to a blog] if you are a gun for hire and looking at the moment let me know. Regards, Alastair.

    • avatar
    • Rishi
    • Mon 13 Sep 2010 09:49 PM

    Happy 10th B'day to CodeStore!

    Thanks Jake for this wonderful site and wish you very best in Domino and any new technology you touch .. Keep us posted .

    • avatar
    • Emilio
    • Tue 14 Sep 2010 09:47 PM

    Happy Birthday Codestore.net !!

    Ten years is a long life for an independent site.

    Jake, about your job situation:

    I work with Notes since ┬┤94 with Release 3.1.

    Im owner of a small company with 7 notes developers.

    I live in Argentina (yes, I know... where the new stuff is coming after UK !)

    But we have work, we can eat every day, pay the salaries and taxes, not a rich guy !

    I have a partner.

    I think that you work alone, with no employees, and no business partner.

    My humble advice, FIND A PARTNER !

    You know a lot about "line of business" solutions, you know about how to manage projects, advanced programming, etc.

    Find a partner, someone like you, join forces, you want to move to Sharepoint ?, I will do it, may be the next year migrating some Domino-app as a good example for "knocking prospects┬┤s doors". Whatever.

    I think that two is better than one.

    I have one colleague, he develops with Domino too, but works alone, and he does not have the same amount of projects like my company.

    And I heard him several times about the poor quantity work that he has.

    Rowing a boat alone to reach the coast, is more hard that rowing by two.

    Think about it,

    Regards from Buenos Aires !

    • avatar
    • Gerolf
    • Thu 16 Sep 2010 03:13 AM

    I missed the exact day - but anyway, congratulations on ten productive years! I still keep returning to read, even though our Domino-installation is about to be retired anyday soon.

    While there can be no doubt that Sharepoint has the bigger market I second the guys who humbly whish that you can save a day a week for other stuff. Sharepoint pays the rent, which is good but keeping a strong profile in such a huge community is probably harder. I think Caesar said that he prefered to be first in the province, rather then second in Rome.

    Cheers from Sweden!

    • avatar
    • Ferdy
    • Fri 24 Sep 2010 09:55 AM

    Was on a holiday so sorry for the late comment...

    Just wanted to say that you worry more than you should. You're a developer with all the right qualities: willingness to get things done efficiently, always sharing your knowledge, always able to quickly pick up various technologies, and a great track record to prove it.

    My advise, for what it's worth, is to open up more technically. You already seem to know a good bit of LAMP, Flex, you're starting with .NET, Sharepoint, and you have a general solid skillset for front-ends. That's a fantastic belt of skills you have there. If that does not bring job opportunities, what will? You may also want to be on the lookout for high margin niche skills, such as iPad development.

    You have all the right characteristics to earn a good living. The question is whether you can exploit the opportunities in a working-from-home model. It may require more networking than you currently do.

    As for getting less complimental emails, don't worry either. Times have changed. 10 years ago you were one of the few blogs, now there are millions. The topic you blog about has changes, people use email less, many people just read and don't respond. Combine all of this to realize that the appreciation of your site has not decreased that much, it is just consumed differently and the world is a different, busier and faster place.

    Anyways, congrats on 10 years of goodness. I'll keep reading for sure.

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CodeStore is all about web development. Concentrating on Lotus Domino, ASP.NET, Flex, SharePoint and all things internet.

Your host is Jake Howlett who runs his own web development company called Rockall Design and is always on the lookout for new and interesting work to do.

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