# Thursday, 11 February 2010

Fifteen years ago I was a programmer on Wall Street. Times were good, it was the boom economy and Fidelity Investments where I worked was flush with cash as the Dow just hit 4,000 for the first time. (Yes you read that right.) I had a great office in the (now gone), World Trade Center looking at the river and I coded client server applications all day. We were waiting for the conversion from 16 bit to 32 bit with the arrival of Windows 95. Except for arguing with my annoying co-worker Ronald who wanted to write his own grid (I wanted to buy a grid, so it is funny that 15 years later I work at a component company), life was good. I was a good programmer and I use to dream of being CTO of Fidelity Investments one day.

Then one day one of my buddies and I went to an event for IT professionals hosted by Netscape. It was about the Internet, the browser, and this new Java thing. At the session, they threw my entire 3-tier, client-server world upside down. “Dude they are talking about going back to the days of Rumba dumb terminal” my friend said to me. The speaker kept saying that the browser is going to be ubiquitous. (I had to look up ubiquitous when I got home.) A very tall guy from Sun said that “The Network is the Computer.”

I went home that night and canceled my AOL account and joined pipeline.net, an ISP that allowed you to surf the “real” web with Netscape Navigator 1.0 via dialup. Over the next few weeks I took a class on Java and taught myself HTML and put up a web page. (Full disclosure, I abused the <Blink> tag. Sorry, I know some of you now think lesser of me.)  Later that year when Fidelity did not embrace the Internet fast enough for me, I quit and stared my own business to focus on “the internet and databases.”

Somewhere around 1998, the guy from Netscape was right, the browser was ubiquitous. Every Super Bowl ad had a “www'” at the bottom as did every magazine ad. HTML ruled the world. It continues to rule the world to this day. It is hard to believe that HTML is only on version 4.

Then came the iPhone. Web pages on the small screen just don’t work well. Enter the world of applications or apps. So today, instead of web pages, we interact with the sites we like with Apps. Use Facebook on the web? Download the App. Need a currency converter, weather notification, even news and sports scores, there is an app for those as well. No longer do you need to go to a web page, you are using a native application on the device you are using. This will only proliferate with the iPad and rumored Google gPad.

I have never been a believer of 100% “The Network is the Computer” or “back to dumb terminal” browser only computing. Hardware is too fast and too cheap to not take advantage of local graphics APIs, local memory, and even local storage for caching and backup. Why code to the least common dominator? Why should you have “Google docs” just in a browser when you can take advantage of the local device for spell check, rendering, and cache? A hybrid approach is the best bet, with the ultimate storage in the cloud, but the application will store a cached version locally and also have a local App that takes advantage of the local API and rendering engine. This is what all my apps on my Android phone do now, from TripIt to Facebook to a simple currency converter (which I can use offline).

HTML and the web page dominance is now over. A whole generation of users are growing up using devices and interacting with the internet only via Apps. Apps are our future; we are now living in the App Economy, as Business Week puts it.

Apps are the new HTML.

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posted on Thursday, 11 February 2010 04:01:40 (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #    Comments [1] Trackback
# Wednesday, 10 February 2010


Registration for NYC .NET Code Camp v4 is officially open! Camp is on Saturday March 6th and we will have many tracks and scores of talks for you to choose from as well as food, prizes, and time to socialize and meet with the speakers.

Attendance is free but we have a limited number of seats available on a first-come, first-serve basis.  This event is expected to sell-out quickly so if you'd like to attend please complete your registration now at  http://codecampnyc.eventbrite.com

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posted on Wednesday, 10 February 2010 01:39:00 (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Tuesday, 09 February 2010

.NET Ninja in training, Peter Bahaa, shows us how to build an AtomPub Endpoint using Telerik OpenAccess entities and the Data Services Wizard beta 1.

Telerik Data Services Wizard Beta1-ATOMPub from Stephen Forte on Vimeo.

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posted on Tuesday, 09 February 2010 04:11:38 (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Monday, 08 February 2010

On January 22nd 1984, during the 3rd quarter of the Super Bowl, Apple unveiled the Macintosh personal computer for the first time with a masterful TV commercial directed by Ridley Scott. I was only 12 years old at the time and I still remember it, it was that good. Almost 25 years later I studied it in business school, that is how important to Apple this ad was. The ad was a take on the George Orwell classic novel 1984 and is considered Apple’s defining moment. The ad said that Apple arrived and is now part of the game in a big way.

Since then the Super Bowl has been used to create brand awareness and many other companies have tried to put themselves on the map the way Apple did that January in 1984. A few even succeeded, Monster.com is one that comes to mind. Another, pets.com, created such brand awareness for its corporate mascot, that the mascot lived on, even though pets.com went out of business 9 months after its Super Bowl ad.

Google has never spent any money on traditional advertising. Not a single Google ad has ever appeared on TV and to my knowledge, in print media either. They grew to be a multi-billion dollar company by word of mouth. That is why this morning while watching the Super Bowl (it is morning in China) I almost fell out of my chair when the Google ad played.

The ad was perfect.  It was simple and kept your attention by telling a love story. It focused on the core business of Google: search.

While not a masterpiece like 1984, the ad did the job in a very Google way. Since Google is already “on the map” this ad was a signal to Apple (iPhone) and Microsoft (Bing): Watch out, we’re coming! The ad is a signal of the arrival of Google 2.0. The company that grew up on search that is now making phones, browsers, operating systems, and much more.

Well played Google.


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posted on Monday, 08 February 2010 04:27:49 (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #    Comments [1] Trackback
# Saturday, 06 February 2010

Check out my pre-con at TechEd North America, Joel and I will be speaking on Agile. Register here. :)

PRC07 The Agile Methodology Demystified: Implementing Agile in Your Organization

Track: Development Practices

Speaker(s): Joel Semeniuk, Stephen Forte

Agile project management and development methods are being adopted at many development shops. After an introduction to the basics of Agile and Scrum, including: project planning and estimation, the Scrum Master, team, product owner and burn down, and of course the daily Scrum, certified scrum masters Stephen and Joel show many real-world applications of the methodology drawn from their own experience. Negotiating with the business, estimation, and team dynamics are all discussed as well as how to use Scrum in small organizations, large enterprise environments, and consulting environments. Next we discuss using Scrum with virtual teams and an off-shoring environment. We then take a look at some of the planning tools we will use for Agile Estimation, including planning poker, Microsoft Visual Studio Team Foundation Server 2010, and much more. We dive into some agile developer techniques such as TDD, Continuous Integration, and Dependency Injection, and round out the pre-con with a discussion on Agile developer tools and how they can help (and sometimes hinder) the development process. The speakers have a very interactive style so participation is encouraged and there will be plenty of time for Q&A. This seminar is a jump start for preparing for a scrum master certification.


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posted on Saturday, 06 February 2010 03:56:32 (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Friday, 05 February 2010

.NET Ninja in training, Peter Bahaa, shows us how to build a WCF Endpoint using Telerik OpenAccess entities and the Data Services Wizard beta 1.

Telerik Data Services Wizard Beta1-REST Collection from Stephen Forte on Vimeo.

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posted on Friday, 05 February 2010 07:12:26 (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Thursday, 04 February 2010

 SQL Server Modeling (formerly "Oslo") is a new model driven development paradigm. Developers can model their applications using the new M language. M allows you to define a structure for your data as well as represent it in graph based values. Representing values in the M language is very similar to JSON, which will allow you to represent your data in name/value pairs. Here is an example of M values in action:

     { Id=>1, Name=>"Steve", Age=>36},
     { Id=>2, Name=>"Mike", Age=>29}

Last summer, Telerik created the industry’s only LINQ to M (Values) implementation. The Telerik LINQ to M implementation allows the developer to use pure LINQ statements with blocks of M values, pure text or the results of a transformed DSL. With the new SQL Server Modeling November CTP there are some changes to the M specification, so we have updated our core DLLs to accommodate this. Download it for free here. Shoot me any feedback you have.



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posted on Thursday, 04 February 2010 02:50:39 (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Wednesday, 03 February 2010

.NET Ninja in training, Peter Bahaa, shows us how to build a WCF Endpoint using Telerik OpenAccess entities and the Data Services Wizard beta 1.

Telerik Data Services Wizard Beta1-WCF from Stephen Forte on Vimeo.

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posted on Wednesday, 03 February 2010 01:55:44 (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback