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Martijn Boland Blog

ASP.NET development is like my pedalboard

/ 3 min read

Warning: this post doesn’t only contain the usual software dev stuff, but also some serious guitar-geekiness.

This morning, I was shocked when I found out how much the development of my pedalboard went through exactly the same stages as the way I’m building ASP.NET web applications. First let’s see where I’m coming from:


In the picture above you can see a large yellow device. This is the Line 6 Distortion Modeler. It claims that it can produce all the classic distorted guitar tones that you’ll ever want and to a certain extend this is true. The sound is alright and the possibilities are huge. But also: the output (sound wise) that this device produces is always less than the original pedals that it’s trying to emulate. Also, the switches are a little bit unreliable and cause a little gap when changing sounds. I tried to fix this, but the device is very inaccessible and doesn’t lend itself very well for modifications or extensions.

Less is better

These days I’m back to where I came from: two simple pedals that don’t have a gazillion options but just do their work and are very efficient:


On the left we have the Proco RAT and on the right it’s the Digitech Bad Monkey (‘told you we’d have some guitar-geek talk in this post, remember?). These guys are simple, reliable and their output is just the way I want my distortion to sound without losing dynamics and tone. Full control!

So, what does this have to do with ASP.NET web development?

Nothing of course :) It just struck me that at about the same time I switched from ASP.NET Webforms to MVC, I also changed my pedalboard to accomplish the same result: making the end result better with a more simplistic approach. The yellow monster in the first picture is like Webforms with ASP.NET AJAX where I have a love-hate relationship with. The two pedals in de second picture feel like the MVC and jQuery combination (loosely coupled, only connected with a little patch cable), that brought a lot of fun lately and work very well for me.

Yeah, great analogy, NOT! I didn’t subscribe to read this blah about some guitar thingy.

Well it just something that went through my mind this morning and writing about it also gives me a chance to post some crappy gear pictures, like it or not. Here’s another one for free:



P.S. the empty spot above the pedals is normally reserved for my Electro Harmonix Memory Man Deluxe but this drama queen is broken at the moment and deserves a single post of its own.