# Thursday, 31 March 2011
You go to Tech Ed to learn about technology - developer tools, sysadmin tools, platforms like SharePoint or Windows Phone. But there's more to your work than the nuts and bolts of how to solve a technical problem. Do you use social media effectively? What would an effective use of Twitter or Facebook look like, anyway? Are jobs shifting because of technology? How important is cross-platform development? How important are new platforms? How do you react to big changes in your technical world and direct your own career?

Well, there's a Tech Ed precon Sunday evening that covers that exact topic. And look who's involved: Stephen Rose (Windows Community Manager), Zeus Kerravala (Distinguished Research Fellow and Senior VP, Yankee Group), Richard Campbell (Co-founder of Strangeloop Networks, co-host of .NET Rocks!, host of RunAsRadio, Microsoft MVP, Microsoft Regional Director), Michael Otey (Senior Technical Director for Penton Media’s IT & developer publications, author of SQL Server Developer’s Guide series from Osborne-McGraw-Hill), Tim Huckaby (Microsoft Regional Director, Founder of InterKnowlogy), Michele Leroux Bustamante (Chief Architect with iDesign, Microsoft Regional Director, Microsoft MVP, author of Learning WCF (O’Reilly)), Jennifer Marsman (Principal Developer Evangelist for Microsoft, Central Region), Tara Walker (Microsoft Academic Developer Evangelist), Sean Deuby (Technical Director, Penton Media’s Windows IT Pro Magazine, Microsoft MVP), Paul Thurrott (Senior Industry Analyst, Penton Media’s Windows IT Pro and Supersite for Windows; author of Windows Phone Secrets), John Willis (VP of Training & Services, Opscode), Laura Hunter (Principal Technology Architect for Microsoft IT’s Identity & Access Management team), Yung Chou (Microsoft Senior IT Pro Evangelist, East Region) and Barbara Yamauchi (Microsoft IT program manager for developer tools and IT lifecycle management). Wow! And this is an interactive panel discussion, so you can help to shape the conversation.

There is a small fee ($99) and you have to arrive Sunday afternoon so you'll be able to attend. But it looks like a heck of an evening! Glad to see so many RDs and MVPs on that list.


Thursday, 31 March 2011 07:50:40 (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #    Comments [0]
# Tuesday, 29 March 2011
The fourth of my Windows 7 development screencasts - Trigger Started Services - has been published. It uses the recipe (also recently published on Code Gallery) to simplify writing a service in managed code that starts only when it is notified by the operating system of a particular trigger. In my screencast I use the example of a USB device being plugged in. There are plenty of other triggers you could use. Adopting a trigger-started approach makes your service:
  • easier to write and install. No sleeping, looping, having a config file to say how long to sleep for, etc.
  • use less CPU when there's nothing to do
  • respond more quickly when there's something to do. It's not in the middle of sleeping for 10 minutes or 2 hours -- it is started the moment the trigger happens.
It's a win all around and if you have a service you should take a look at the available triggers and see if you can convert yours.


Tuesday, 29 March 2011 07:31:10 (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #    Comments [1]
# Sunday, 27 March 2011
The screencasts for restart and recovery in native and managed code went live before the associated recipe was published. Now the recipe is on Code Gallery ready for you to use. As it says there:

This recipe provides guidance and an easy way to start using these great features in your application, removing any complication of how and where to store your application data.

What’s in the box?

This Restart and Recovery recipe includes:

  • Complete source code of the recipe and its samples
  • Managed .NET assembly
  • C++ header and class files to be included in your C++ application.
  • C#, and C++ test applications
  • Documentation
Give it a try, please!


Sunday, 27 March 2011 07:21:53 (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #    Comments [0]
# Friday, 25 March 2011
Charles was busy during MVP summit! In addition to interviewing me, he sat a number of MVPs down to talk about C++, being an MVP, and the like. They're from all over the world and they have widely different jobs, but you can see how much they love this stuff. And please notice -- they span a wide age range, too. The stereotype of C++ as the language for the grey haired developers is just a myth. If you wonder why anyone still uses C++, and why it's going to be very good for this industry that there are still C++ experts around, watching these videos will be an eyeopener.

By the way, Alon is also an RD.


Friday, 25 March 2011 07:15:03 (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #    Comments [0]
# Wednesday, 23 March 2011
As you may have noticed the C++ team is really stepping up the communication lately. There have been hours of Channel 9 videos (I pointed you to some good ones) and Diego has been blogging a lot. Recently he did a long post (with references!) on Intellisense in C++/CLI - why it wasn't in Visual Studio 2010, why it didn't sneak in with SP1, and so on. Here's a level of transparency you just don't see these days:

...we simply underestimated the amount of work it would take to implement C++/CLI in this codebase, and we couldn’t change our plans by the time we realized it. ... In the end it was one of those hard cuts you have to make when dealing with the real world resource and schedule constraints. It turned out that the work was also too much work to fit into SP1. As soon as we wrapped up VS 2010, we started work on C++/CLI IntelliSense, but it wasn’t ready in time for SP1. We realize this wasn’t what you wanted to happen and an explanation doesn’t help you get your work done if you are affected by this, but we want you to know the truth.

Wow. Makes perfect sense and is actually a nicer reason than "we think you don't matter". Yet so few teams will hold their hands up and say this. It happens. It happens to every one of us pretty darn regularly. Kudos to the C++ team for not pretending it was all part of a plan from the beginning to leave it out. And do read the blog to understand just how much they were taking on.


Wednesday, 23 March 2011 07:04:54 (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #    Comments [0]
# Monday, 21 March 2011
If you listen to .NET-related podcasts, you've probably come across the Pluralcast before. David Starr talks to a wide variety of people and the passion shows, along with the skills. Last year I appeared on the 'cast myself, talking about Visual Studio extensions. Now I'll be doing a small appearance regularly - still talking about Visual Studio and some helpful extensions or whatever else I want to share. There have been three of these so far:

  • #36 - main guest is Scott Allen
  • #37 - main guest is Craig Shoemaker
  • #38 - main guest is Liam McLennan
I hope you enjoy the whole episodes, and learn a little something from them.


Monday, 21 March 2011 15:31:08 (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #    Comments [0]
# Saturday, 19 March 2011
I'm on Channel 9 a lot right now - partly because some things are getting published that were done a long time ago, and partly because being on campus for the MVP Summit makes it convenient to be interviewed. I love talking to Charles because he really cares about the answers to the questions he asks. So we talked for half an hour about what it means to be an MVP, what C++ is useful for, what I like about C++0x, and that sort of thing. Since Charles started things off by mentioning previous conversations, let me toss in some links to those too - here's the Barcelona conversation (backstory here)and on the couch with the C++ guys (shorter backstory.) You can watch my hair change colour if you watch those oldest-to-newest. Diego was also nice enough to blog about this interview, too, as was John Bristowe of Microsoft Canada.

Thanks for the chat, Charles!


Saturday, 19 March 2011 19:51:23 (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #    Comments [0]
# Thursday, 17 March 2011

Here's another pair of screencasts to simplify your Windows 7 development. Both cover Restart and Recovery - one is for native developers and the other for managed. As the screencast intros say:

Application Recovery and Restart (ARR) technologies enable developers to customize an application's behavior when Windows Error Reporting(WER) terminates the application due to an unrecoverable error. For example, it enables an application to perform data recovery and cleanup operations such as capturing application state and releasing resources before termination. It also allows developers to specify that WER should automatically restart an application that it has terminated.

I hope they help you do the right thing when your application blows up or the machine reboots.


Thursday, 17 March 2011 19:38:55 (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #    Comments [0]