# Tuesday, November 24, 2009


Another Firestarter event is coming to the NY/NJ area!  If you’ve been to any of the previous Firestarter events, then you’ll know this one will be sure not to disappoint!  Firestarter’s are a full day event where we focus on a single technology and take attendees from intro to guru in hours.  The goal is for attendees to come away fired up and ready to start using the technologies or methodologies right away.

The Agile Firestarter in NYC that I helped plan and spoke at and back in June 2009 was super popular and a huge success and now it is time to have one in NJ! Are you just starting out with Agile, XP or Scrum and need to get up to speed? Or do you know a thing or two about Agile but want to learn the basics so you can implement it in your organization?  Then this Firestarter is for you!


Registration just opened this morning (Nov 25th).  There are a limited number of seats available for this event, so register quickly if you want in.  Previous Firestarter events have all sold out!  So do it before you head off for a turkey stuffed extended weekend! :)


Saturday, December 12, 2009 from 8:30 AM - 5:00 PM (ET)

Microsoft Office - Iselin, NJ
Microsoft Office - Iselin, NJ


Microsoft Office (Iselin)
194 Wood Avenue South (Prudential Building)
Sixth Floor
Iselin, NJ 08830

The Agenda:

  • Introduction to Agile
    A high-level introduction to Agile concepts and values from the software developer's perspective.
  • SOLID:  OO Principles
    This presentation will examine the five key design principals used on agile project and how to use them to build out an adaptive system over several cycles.
  • Test-Driven Design & Development
    An introduction to Unit Testing and Test-Driven Development, showing how this approach helps keep your code adaptable to change
  • Agile Estimation & SCRUM
    An overview of the concept of agile estimation and the notion of re-estimation
  • Domain Driven Design
    An introduction to the core principles for applying a Domain Driven Design approach and how it fits into the agile development life cycle.
  • Continuous Integration
    This session shows how to centralize your quality assurance efforts and help keep developer productivity high (and defect count low!)

The Presenters:

  • Stephen Bohlen
    Currently a Senior Software Engineer for FirstPaper, LLC, a start-up in the world of digital media, Stephen brings his varied 15-year-plus experience as a former practicing Architect, CAD Manager, IT Technologist, Software Engineer, CTO, and consultant to the design and delivery of Software Engineering Solutions.Stephen is an active contributor to several Open-Source Software projects including NHibernate, NDbUnit, and others as well having developed a number of Visual Studio productivity add-ins. Active in the local NYC software development community, Stephen speaks publicly, blogs regularly, and is the author of several popular screencast series focused on Agile and ALT.NET concepts and technologies including the widely-praised 15-part Summer of NHibernate video series introducing viewers to the popular open-source O/RM tool and the Autumn of Agile series that takes viewers through the design, planning, and construction of an entire .NET project in an Agile context. He is also a contributor of a number of shorter screencasts available on Dimecasts.NET and elsewhere. Stephen is also a founding/organizing member of the NYC ALT.NET user group which meets monthly to discuss Agile-focused techniques and technologies in the world of Microsoft software development and beyond.
  • Jess Chadwick
    Jess is an independent software consultant specializing in web technologies. He has over 9 years of development experience ranging from embedded devices in start-ups to enterprise-scale web farms at Fortune 500s. He is an ASPInsider, Microsoft MVP in ASP.NET, technical editor of the recently-released Silverlight 3 Programmers Reference (WROX) and leader of the NJDOTNET Central New Jersey .NET user group.
  • Sara Chipps
    Sara is a developer specializing in web applications, an irreverent blogger at GirlDeveloper.com, and a writer for Datamation.com. She enjoys participating in and organizing community events such as Code Camps and most recently NJ Tech Drinks and Concept Camp, an opportunity for nerds to go camping together.
  • Peter Laudati
    Peter Laudati, the "JrzyShr Dev Guy," is a Developer Evangelist with Microsoft, based in the New York/New Jersey area. One of his roles is supporting and educating Microsoft customers working with the .NET development platform. Peter supports the community of .NET developers in the NY Metro area by speaking at user group events and Code Camps. Peter is also the co-host of the “Connected Show”, a new podcast covering Microsoft technology with a focus on interoperability.  His blog can be found at http://www.peterlaudati.com.
  • Todd Snyder
    Todd is a MCSD in .Net and a MCTS in SharePoint & Biztalk. He works in the Infragistics Experience Guidance Group (XDG) as the developer team lead. In his role as the XDG developer team lead Todd is responsible for making sure the samples include with Net Advantage showcase the capabilities of the product and help educate developers on how to tap into those capabilities. Prior to joining Infragistics Todd spent several years working as consultant helping customers build enterprise .Net applications.
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posted on Tuesday, November 24, 2009 5:39:35 PM (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Monday, November 23, 2009

Last week at PDC, Telerik launched a new product named JustCode. It was a stunning success since we had a lot of people show up for the launch and we gave away 1,000 free licenses at the event. Back in March at a planning meeting at Telerik HQ, we decided that we would embark on an Apple style “secret” strategy and go for the most buzz at launch.

Back at that meeting in March we decided that secrecy, which goes against a lot of our values at Telerik, would be required for the most buzz at the launch. But keeping a secret is not easy in the world of Twitter, blogs, and Facebook. Back in March only the development team, their closest buddies, and the senior management knew about JustCode. But that had to change soon as we started to dogfood JustCode a month or so later at Telerik. We were certain if we communicated the goal of being secret that there would not be any leaks. At the same time we decided to extend JustCode outside Telerik to a handful of vendors (super thanks to Imaginets for not only building the Work Item Manager and Dashboard, but doing it with clunky pre-alphas of JustCode.) A little later on, we also gave a super early look to the Telerik MVPs and DevReach speakers. Nobody let the news out.

Nobody that is, except me- one of the architects of the “secret” plan.

The fist boo-boo I made was mention it to a fellow Telerik employee back in March just after that meeting. Oops, but no big deal, it was at least in the family.

The next snafu was in Durban, South Africa, back in August. I was speaking at TechEd South Africa and I used my non-presenter VPC to do one of my demos since that had the particular Silverlight 3.0 bits on it and my presentation VPC had only Silverlight 2.0 (long story but a different demo needed SL 2.0 at the time. Remember SL 3.0 only shipped the week before..) My non demo VPC of course had JustCode early alpha on it since we were dogfooding it at Telerik. Most of you know me and know that I love to write a lot of code in my sessions. Well I had to do some refactoring in one of my talks and boom, without thinking, used JustCode on stage. Big oops! Luckily the handful of folks who came up to me after to ask “do you have a super fast beta of Resharper on your machine?” were sworn to secrecy and kept their word of the secrecy of JustCode. (The free license I promised them also didn’t hurt.)

Next came the awesome video product teaser that generated a lot of buzz. If you didn’t see it, watch it here.

Next came Basta in Germany in September. Our marketing team printed up flyers with all of our products on it. Somehow JustCode made it to the flyer! After a few frantic calls back and forth, the team at Basta decided that we would test the waters and give the flyers out. The first person who noticed it asked if we support F#. Everyone who came to the booth was sworn to secrecy.  After Basta the flyers were destroyed. (Look for a few of them on eBay, they are now a collector’s item.)

Lastly was the day of the launch. I was wearing a JustCode tee shirt well before the launch. I was filming an MSDN video and also speaking at my BOF talk, so Stefan decided to put tape over the “Code” on my tee shirt to generate some buzz. It worked but I took the tape off and put it back on about an hour before the launch to reposition the tape for the unveiling, and the C and E were now showing, so people were able to guess.

Despite my attempts to sabotage our well laid plans, the launch went great. Note to Telerik: next time don’t tell me the secret product launch!

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posted on Monday, November 23, 2009 3:22:34 AM (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Friday, November 20, 2009

As I sit in my hotel room recovering from my PDC Hangover and reflecting on the past week, the Day 2 keynote by Steven Sinofsky was the highlight for me.

You may be thinking, yea yea, lucky bastard, you got a free laptop. Sure that was awesome, but that is not what stuck out most in my head. The most important thing that Sinofsky did was to be brutally honest with the audience. This represents a new attitude from Microsoft.

Sinofsky admitted Vista’s flaws. To prove that he got it, he even showed some of the annoying dialogs and videos of customers doing useability testing with those annoying dialogs. (He did follow up with some of the changes Windows 7 made and some of customer useability tests.)

Then he moved to IE 9 development. I remember the Microsoft of the browser wars era. The one where Bill Gates would get on stage in front of 20,000 people at COMDEX and never say the words “Netscape” but rather “down level browser.” At the PDC keynote, Sinofsky  said the words “Firefox” and “Google Chrome”. Not only did he say those words, he showed charts at how slow IE 8 is compared to Chrome, Safari, and Firefox. Of course he was also showing how IE9 will be just as fast, but he is openly admitting in front of 5,000 people and live on streaming video that IE 8 sucks.


He also talked about how IE 8 fails the ACID 3 Standards Test. I ran it here and IE 8 gets a pathetic 20 out of 100:


Then Sinofsky talked about IE9 and the Acid 3 test. IE 9 gets a pretty sad 32, but he showed it anyway and promised to get better.


I also like Sinofsky because he is accessible. When Win7 went RTM to MSDN last summer, I sent a message complaining about what I thought was a bug to an internal Microsoft email alias. Sinofsky replied to me personally with a solution (on a weekend), and it was soon clear to me that the problem was caused by something that I did, not Win 7. I followed up with some thanks for the solution and told him that the real problem was somewhere “between the chair and the keyboard.” He even replied back again saying no problem and we had a few more mails in the thread and a good laugh. This is a very busy VP in charge of one of the most widely used products in the world taking time out to talk and troubleshoot with a customer.

You may be thinking, sure Steve but you are an MVP and RD. Well at the PDC in the afternoon after they gave us the laptops, Sinofsky spend about an hour or two walking around looking for people in the cafe playing with their new laptops. He stopped and chatted with each person asking how they liked it, did the touch live up to their expectations, etc. Then he went to the expo hall and did a book signing (with free copies of his book) and even posed for photos with anyone who wanted as he signed the book.

This level of accessible and honesty is simply amazing. Keep it up Microsoft.

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posted on Friday, November 20, 2009 4:31:29 PM (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Thursday, November 19, 2009

Today at the PDC, Microsoft announced a new SQL Azure developer tool that is still pre-alpha: Code Name Houston.  Houston is a web based developer tool for SQL Azure databases. Built in Silverlight and hooked into the SQL Azure developer portal, Houston allows you to rapidly create tables, views, procedures, add data, delete data, etc. It kinda reminds me of Microsoft Access, but in a good way. This tool is not for admin stuff like adding users, just rapid database development in the cloud.

Houston is not available yet, but was demoed at PDC. Building a table was done very fast. It was not demoed, but I did see a button for import and export of data. When asked about general availability, no dates were given but calendar 2010 was indicated as the target. Can’t wait…

posted on Thursday, November 19, 2009 6:24:28 PM (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Wednesday, November 18, 2009

PDC is well underway and of course Telerik launched JustCode last night. It was fun walking around with the JustCode tee shirt on all day and duck tape over the CODE part.

If you are at the PDC swing by the Microsoft SQL Server booth and take a look at two of our exciting new projects. Microsoft is highlighting both our OpenAccess Data Services Wizard and our LINQ to M implementation.

See you at the Telerik booth, my sessions, or a party. :)


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posted on Wednesday, November 18, 2009 9:38:03 AM (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Thursday, November 19, 2009
Parallel Programming and Patterns using Microsoft .NET 4.0 ( Task , PLINQ , Data)

You must register at https://www.clicktoattend.com/invitation.aspx?code=141114 in order to be admitted to the building and attend.
The manycore shift presents an unprecedented business opportunity for developers to design new software experiences that take advantage of the performance power of manycore architectures. At the same time, parallel programming is complex, difficult and labor-intensive, for even the most skilled developers.
This session will cover some basic concepts of Parallel Programming , related patterns , demos and .NET 4.0 support for parallel programming.

Navneet Srivastava, Emerging Health Information Technology

Navneet is lead architect and manager of engineers in the Product Development division of Emerging Health Information Technology, a subsidiary of Montefiore Medical Center in the Bronx. He oversees design and development of the breakthrough clinical intelligence application, Clinical Looking Glass, employing cutting edge Microsoft technologies and a host of best practices. In past positions, Navneet has developed other healthcare applications with national distribution.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Reception 6:00 PM , Program 6:15 PM

Apress , 233 Spring Street (between 6th Avenue and Varick Street) New York, NY 10013 , 6th Floor

C or E trains to Spring Street or #1 train to Houston Street

posted on Tuesday, November 17, 2009 10:04:52 AM (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Monday, November 16, 2009

Joel and I are doing a BOF session on Tuesday about Agile tools and Teams. (I am not listed on the PDC web site for some reason, but I will be there alongside Joel.)

We will most definitely show the Telerik Dashboard and Work Item Manager as well as chat about tons of other great tools. Most importantly, we want to hear from you at this session. We did it that way at TechEd in LA earlier this year (the #1 ranked interactive session at TechEd 2009) and it worked well. Hope to see you there and have a great discussion.

Tooling on Agile Teams

Joel Semeniuk in 309 on Tuesday at 3:00 PM

Agile practices focus on customer value and team interactions. There is significantly growing and important set of tools that work to help Agile teams be more “agile”. In this session, we would like to hear what you have to say about tools for Agile teams? What tools work? What tools don’t work? What tools are missing in the industry? What tools can you not live without? Come join the discussion or simply listen to what your peers have to say.

See you there!


posted on Monday, November 16, 2009 1:54:14 AM (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Sunday, November 15, 2009

Following the lead of the Department of Justice (DOJ) in Washington, DC, the Attorney General of the State of New York, Andrew Cuomo, has brought a lawsuit against Intel, calling them a monopolist. While Intel has recently settled legal claims with rival AMD (mostly due to patent disputes as well as some anti-competition charges), Cuomo is suing Intel on the grounds that they are a monopoly and have stifled competition.

While Intel’s market share is huge, over 80% of chips sold are “Intel Inside”, the free market has regulated the industry very nicely and lead to innovation. Intel and its cheap and low powered Atom processor started the netbook revolution (I now see as many netbooks as Macs in Starbucks). Look at the progress with multi-core and x64 architecture. (Actually three years ago I thought AMD’s x64 chips were better since their high end chips had more cores at the time. I remember buying an AMD based 2xquad core x64 SQL Server machine in that time frame and was impressed that AMD’s multicore server chips were so much better.)

Over ten years ago, I lobbied the US Congress against the DOJ’s case against Microsoft on similar grounds. At the time did Microsoft do some bad “evil empire” things that they were able to do since they were so big? Yes. Enough to warrant an anti-trust legal battle? No. The free market was able to sort it out on its own, far better than the legal remedies brought by the DOJ. When Microsoft got all big and lazy with dominate Internet Explorer market share, boom, Firefox came out of nowhere and handed Microsoft its lunch. Now Microsoft is starting to invest and innovate in the browser space, but now has to deal with not only Firefox, but Chrome and Safari. The free market did loads more to spur innovation and regulate Microsoft than the anti-trust trial even dreamed of doing! Same with Intel, allow the free market to decide, not lawyers.

Fellow New Yorker and good friend Andrew Bust wrote an opinion here. Andrew is a registered Democrat and I am a registered Republican. We both agree on this issue. The last time we agreed on a political issue was when DOS was the primary operating system used.

Let the free market regulate the industry and don’t let the government stifle innovation. Sign a petition here.

posted on Sunday, November 15, 2009 4:38:07 AM (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Saturday, November 14, 2009

I appear again on .NET Rocks this week, this time talking with Richard and Carl about life in the 21st century. I talk about marketing in the digital age, geek stuff, and also argue with Carl about Amazon’s decision to remove the book 1984 from the Kindle.

You can listen here. Enjoy.

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posted on Saturday, November 14, 2009 9:08:59 PM (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback