# Friday, February 03, 2006

One of the main "deliverables" of a code camp is to attract attendees who don't normally go to conferences, launches, or even user group meetings. Another is to attract first time speakers. I love seeing "that look" on someone's face, when they are fresh off the stage, they gave their talk, the demos worked and they are still alive! Little do they know they're hooked at that point :-).

Here are some blog entries by brand new speakers at the Toronto Code Camp:

  • Paul Scarlett wrote to DotNetRocks about the experience... his link is to Carl reading the letter and then Carl and Richard talking about how terrific we all are :-). If you poke around elsewhere in his blog you will find various other postings describing the speaking experience for Paul.
  • Shaun Hayward blogs about his Code Camp experience... he liked it so much he's the speaker for February's meeting of the East of Toronto .NET User Group. (Register now!)

Congratulations guys, and welcome to the club!


Friday, February 03, 2006 12:58:47 PM (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #    
# Thursday, February 02, 2006

Let's say for the sake of argument that you own a small Canadian business and you are about to employ a child of yours to work in that business. You know that you don't deduct Employment Insurance (EI) premiums from yourself, because you own more than 40% of the company. But what about your child? So you search a little and you find two official government websites (.gc.ca means Government of Canada .ca). Here is what they say:


Family members in the family enterprise

If you are a family member, i.e. spouse or child, paid as an employee by the family enterprise â€”business or farm— you are like any other worker and can be paid EI benefits, as long as you meet the requirements for regular or maternity, parental, sickness and compassionate care benefits.


Employment, benefits and payments not subject to EI premiums

Excluded employment

Even if there is a contract of service, employment is not insurable and is not subject to EI premiums in the following situations:

  • casual employment if it is not for your usual trade or business;
  • employment when you and your employee do not deal with each other at arm's length. There are two main categories of employees who could be affected: related persons and non-related persons.
    • Related persons: These are individuals connected by blood relationship, marriage, common-law relationship, or adoption. In cases where the employer is a corporation, the employee will be related to the corporation when the employee is related to a person who either controls the corporation or is a member of a related group that controls the corporation.

That's right, HRSDC Canada says go ahead and deduct, your kids are just like anyone else and they will be eligible. But CRA-ARC, which is the organization that will punish you if you get this wrong, says don't deduct.

What do you do? You might consider phoning the government. This will be entertaining in a way, what with listening to the hold music, playing voice mail hell, and listening to government employees say "oh gee I didn't know that", but not what you might call educational. But after several such phone calls, you can discover that it is possible to request a written ruling from the tax people. And then you resolve to do whatever the ruling says to do and stop worrying your pretty little head about what makes sense or what is right. And take some satisfaction, if you're that kind of person, in knowing that many of the "I didn't know that" guys have promised to show their boss the contradictory information.


Thursday, February 02, 2006 5:15:52 PM (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #    
# Tuesday, January 24, 2006

The word is starting to spread about the concurrency skills we are all going to need sooner rather than later. And work is underway at dev-tool-makers to offload some of that work to the "system" -- maybe the language, the compiler, a library, the framework, the operating system -- anything other than the programmer because most of us are even worse at threads-and-locks than we were at malloc-and-free or new-and-delete or any other kind of memory management.

If you were wondering about Microsoft's committment to this (and the PDC talks on the topic weren't enough to convince you) then read Kang Su's latest blog entry about the new Bay Area Office they are establishing for this sort of progress... and wait till you see who's going to be working there...


Tuesday, January 24, 2006 12:42:33 PM (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #    
# Monday, January 16, 2006

Code Camp was a blast! Some pictures are starting to show up on the web site. I had a jam-packed room, I think word must have got out there was no C++ in my talk :-). But I had some time at the end so I am going to adapt this talk a bit for DevTeach and put some C++ into it :-)

Chris and Jean-Luc did a fantastic job getting volunteers and running the event - and they both spoke, too! It was also fun to reconnect with Val Matison who first got me up in front of an audience doing a technical presentation... more years ago than I care to figure out right now. I couldn't stay all day but the energy was great, the logistics were working well and I think everyone involved deserves a big round of applause!


Monday, January 16, 2006 9:20:40 AM (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #    
# Friday, January 13, 2006

I'm so looking forward to tomorrow's Code Camp! Bright and early on Saturday morning I'll be down at Yonge and Bloor with hundreds of other geeky people. Many will be attending their first ever technical event, and many of the speakers will be on stage for the first time too. It promises to be a real rush.

Seems like as good a place as any to thank the contributors who are making it possible:


I put links around the logos, so if there's a company there you're not familiar with, get familiar! These are the leading lights of developer community effort in the Toronto area.


Friday, January 13, 2006 12:14:59 PM (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #    
# Sunday, January 08, 2006

The December lull is past, for sure. Here's where I'm headed in the next month or so:

  • January 11th, CNY .NET Users Group, Syracuse NY, Windows Forms: Deploying Applications with ClickOnce: Advanced Topics
  • January 14th, Toronto Code Camp, Yonge and Bloor, The Future is Concurrent
  • January 17th, Regina .NET Users Group, Regina Saskatchewan, Managing the Software Lifecycle with Visual Studio 2005 Team System
  • January 18th, Saskatoon .NET Users Group, Saskatoon Saskatchewan, Managing the Software Lifecycle with Visual Studio 2005 Team System
  • February 7th, SouthColorado .NET, Colorado Springs CO, TBD but probably the ClickOnce talk
  • February 8th, TRINUG, Cary NC, TBD but probably the ClickOnce talk 

That should keep me from being bored, eh?


Sunday, January 08, 2006 11:12:37 AM (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #    
# Wednesday, January 04, 2006

As we flip calendar years I am delighted (even if I'm not really surprised) to learn that I am being renewed as both a Regional Director and an MVP (for C++.) These two programs are both a big part of my professional life. (The RD program is more exclusive, with only 120-140 RDs around the world compared to thousands of MVPs, but the two programs serve different needs, of course.) They each provide me with amazing information and access to the product teams. They open doors for me throughout the Microsoft-oriented world. Most of all, they introduce me to other RDs and MVPs around the world... an amazing team to feel part of. I am also still a user group leader, a member of the INETA North America and MSDN Canada speaker bureaus, and of course I have a business to run with clients throughout North America.

In not-unrelated news, I qualified for Elite on Air Canada and almost halfway to Super Elite. The previous year I just squeaked to Elite... wonder how much flying 2006 holds for me?


C++ | Consulting Life | INETA | MVP | RD | Speaking | Travel
Wednesday, January 04, 2006 4:33:27 PM (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #    
# Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Actually, my fellow RDs make headlines in industry mags often, especially when they write the article. But this was a bit of a surprise to me: http://www.eweek.com/article2/0,1759,1904532,00.asp?kc=EWRSS03119TX1K0000594. Not the announcement (Clemens let some of us know before the papers) but the attention it garnered. Though really, I shouldn't have been surprised. It is an important hire for Microsoft and Clemens, I wish you a happy time "building stuff" at the mother ship.


Wednesday, December 21, 2005 10:57:23 PM (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #