Sunday, 11 March 2007
Ali Parker writes about the Women in Technology event that will be held once again at Tech Ed in Orlando this year. Let her know your thoughts on what the event should be, and on how to reach out to young girls and inspire them to consider changing the world through technology. I know I'll be attending no matter how they structure the event or when it's held. It's fun to be in the majority once in a while. BTW, men are always welcome ... you don't need to pass some screener with some talk of having a daughter or the like, just come on in and join us.
Saturday, 10 March 2007
At the risk of turning this into a jobs blog, I just have to point you to another opening. How would you like to apprentice to Eric Sink at Source Gear? He's looking for a developer to do marketing. He would rather you didn't have a lot of marketing background, and he'll pay you as he would pay a senior developer. You have to move to Illinois, and be willing to travel every month or so, and I bet you'll have a terrific time. Application instructions are in the blog posting.
Friday, 09 March 2007
One of the things that's fairly hard to do with Team Systems out of the box is to search work items. You know there was something about the Pending flag in some work item or another, but now you just can't seem to find it. You could create a query but that seems like overkill, right? Well, Noah Code has a little addin for you that makes searching work items a lot more convenient. It adds a toolbar with a search box, and you're all set. If you want, you can tweak what fields it searches.
Thursday, 08 March 2007
Microsoft wants to hire a Program Manager for COM+, DCOM, RPC, the WCF/COM Integration, System.EnterpriseServices, and whole lot more. It's true. If you love COM and think you can do this job, start at this blog entry from Clemens but don't follow his link over to the jobs page -- it seems to be broken. This link worked better for me.
Wednesday, 07 March 2007
I know I mentioned earlier about Code Camp (March 31st, downtown Toronto). The sessions are now set and there will be five tracks with five talks each. Topics range widely - SharePoint development, fundamentals of generics, game programming with XNA, workflow, even a robotics / mobility mashup! Plenty of veteran and new speakers; it promises to be a great day. My talk is scheduled early so I can relax and watch everyone else after I'm done. In keeping with my Code Camp tradition this will not be a C++ talk - I'll be covering Vista programming for non C++ people.
Tuesday, 06 March 2007
Hey, this is great, my Tech Ed talk was accepted this year. This is the earliest I've known I'll be speaking at Tech Ed USA. (I know, I already knew I was headed there for the pre-con, but now I have a breakout.)
C++/CLI and Vista: a natural fit
Vista brings a host of new features that developers can use to create beautiful, powerful, and intuitive applications. Some of these features are easy to access from managed code while others are more of a challenge. These features are generally easy to access from native code. By using C++/CLI, a developer can call either native or managed APIs with maximum ease. This session will demonstrate a variety of different Vista features to illustrate the strengths of C++/CLI.
This should be a level 300 talk and I'm really looking forward to it!
Monday, 05 March 2007
A lot of the Vista PR focuses on what it's like to use Vista. Let's say you're deciding whether to make your application run well on Vista. What's in it for you? Is it just about "10% of my customers are on Vista already, so I'd better support them" or is there more? Vista actually offers you goodies as a developer, above and beyond the .NET Framework 3.0. In this latest Channel 9 video, Michael Wallent talks about shiny new WPF applications, but also about reliability, restart and recovery, why your application will perform better on Vista, and much more. I love watching people care about their work, especially when there's so obviously a huge pool of technical knowledge behind what they're saying. This is a great video. and not just because of the turn the conversation takes at about 18 minutes.
Sunday, 04 March 2007
Darren Strange tells a delightfully honest story about a presentation gone horribly wrong, and getting back on the horse again. It illustrates something most veteran presenters can tell you: it takes more than one huge mistake to completely wreck a presentation. But the trick is that each mistake you make increases the chances of making more, because you get tense and worried and panicked as things go wrong. The comments to Darren's post are very helpful, pointing out that the failed demo was in some ways a smaller problem than the tone setting at the very start of the presentation. Something for all of us to learn from this one.
Saturday, 03 March 2007
Recently I was driving to a demo at a client site when I remembered that one particular test of my app had not been run. This is a web app with a smart client providing a secondary interface for intense users, and is therefore designed for a connected situation. But I was about to demo on a standalone laptop -- web server, SQL server, browser client and smart client all happily together on a single box. What's more, the laptop doesn't quite have everything -- I don't run an SMTP server on there, and some parts of the app send email as workflow progresses. Sure enough, when I got to their parking lot I tested and the email-sending code throws an exception if it can't find the mail server. This calls for a quick edit - throw in a try-catch-swallow along with a TODO comment saying that we should be gracious if the mail server is unreachable.
OK, fine. I open the project and attempt to change the code. The checkout, of course, fails, because I'm offline. And I'm not able to edit the file. Throwing caution to the winds, I browse with Windows Explorer to the file, take away the read only attribute, and carry on. The demo works beautifully and life goes on.
If only I had already found the patterns and practices guidance for VSTS over on CodePlex! It includes answers to questions like "how do I work offline?" (answer: do what I did, and use the Power Tools to sync up when you get back to the office) and much much more. Worth some time reading and internalizing.
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