# Monday, 07 June 2010

Yesterday Joel and I did the day long Agile precon at TechEd in New Orleans, LA. We had a great crowd and were able to keep them engaged for 8 hours. You can download the materials here.

We used an “Agile presenting” technique where we put the agenda in an “Agenda Backlog” and we reprioritized after every sprint (agenda item) and let the audience decide what we would talk about next. To our surprise the audience voted against two planned sections and we did two new sections on the fly. We talked about:

  • Agile theory and agile methodologies (XP, Scrum, FDD, DSDM, *DD, Kanban, etc)
  • Intro to Scrum
  • Agile Estimation
  • Challenges to Implementing Agile in General
  • Challenges to Implementing Agile: In the Enterprise
  • Challenges to Implementing Agile: Remote Teams
  • Tools
  • QA and Documentation

We got into a discussion on what happens when the team finishes early, do you stop the sprint, or give them more work to do. (Joel and I both go against the agile literature and give the team more work!)

We also took a few micro-breaks to rest our brain to talk about the iPhone v Android, how I buy Joel clothes, and movie quotes from the Matrix (I know Kung Fu) and What about Bob (Baby Steps).

We also recommended a book, one of my favorite management books of all time: Peopleware. For those of you non-techies reading this blog (I don’t know why!) if you manage teams, this book is also for you.

Hope to do this seminar again soon!

posted on Monday, 07 June 2010 12:04:51 (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #    Comments [1] Trackback
# Friday, 04 June 2010

While connecting flights in Japan today en route to TechEd, the security wanted to re-run my bag. They kinda freaked out as to what was in it. They took everything out that was electronic and ran it again. The electronics took three bins, here is what it was:

  • Dell laptop
  • Laptop plug
  • Adapter (my plug uses Hong Kong prongs)
  • Cat5 wire
  • USB external hard drive
  • Wireless mouse
  • Kindle
  • Kindle wire
  • Bose noise cancellation headphones
  • Zune
  • Zune wire
  • Canon G10 Camera
  • Camera battery charger
  • Camera wire
  • Android Nexus One Phone
  • Charger

By now the only thing left in the bag was my notebook, business cards, a pen, and my passport. I would have taken a photo but they had my camera!

posted on Friday, 04 June 2010 06:31:17 (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #    Comments [1] Trackback
# Thursday, 03 June 2010

Last week Telerik released a service pack for OpenAccess Q1. The service pack fixes a few issues with Telerik’s new LINQ implementation working under Visual Studio 2010. In addition, the service pack shipped the Data Services Wizard; the Data Service Wizard is no longer a separate install. You can use the Data Service Wizard with traditional OpenAccess classes or the new LINQ implementation. Today I will show show you a new feature of the wizard: automatically creating a styled Silverlight application from your domain model. Future blog posts will show how to use RIA Services as well as SQL Azure.

To get started open up Visual Studio 2010 and create a new ASP.net application. Create a new domain model by right clicking on the project and say Add|New Item and choose Telerik OpenAccess Domain Model from the dialog.

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This will bring up the OpenAccess ORM Data Wizard to create your domain model by mapping tables to entities. Let’s use Northwind and map all tables and use the default model name: NorthwindEntityDiagrams. While there are other advanced features of the wizard, like T4 templates to override the default codegen, let’s just accept the defaults and finish.

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Once you click Finish the wizard will add a new domain model to your project.

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Now that we have our domain model, it is time to run the Data Services Wizard to automatically create the a RESTful service using WCF Data Services. (The data service wizard also gives us the ability to create a WCF endpoint as well.) This can be done from the Telerik|Data Services Wizard menu option from the Visual Studio main menu (or right clicking on the EntityDiagrams1.rlinq file.) The first page of the wizard asks you where the domain model lives and what project to place the new service in. We’ll do it all in the same project.

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The next page of the wizard asks you what entities you want to expose in your service as well as if you want to generate a Silverlight Application. If you check this you are given the option to use the standard Microsoft Silverlight controls or the Telerik controls (if you have them installed.) If you choose the Telerik controls, you will also be able to choose a theme for your Silverlight application. The drop down will show you a list of all of the installed themes. I’ll go ahead and choose the Windows7 theme.

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After you click through the finish page of the wizard, the next step is to hit F5 and run your application. A basic, but styled, Silverlight application is created for you, getting you started with all of the CRUD methods. The Telerik version has all of the features your would expect, built in sorting and filtering, grouping, etc. I know that you will want to change the baseline application, but this is a great start, eliminating all of the asynchronous CRUD code that you have to write. Not bad for about 30 seconds of work!

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Enjoy!

posted on Thursday, 03 June 2010 03:41:03 (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Wednesday, 02 June 2010

I found this over on Jeff Atwood's blog today. Jeff was explaining issues around the Stack Exchange on Stack Overflow and spoke about what motivates employees. What is interesting is that money was not the top item on the list. Jeff was influenced by Dan Pink of the RSA org’s TED talk and other works. 

The notion that money motivates employees comes from classical economics study of the Industrial Revolution. Back then people did tasks and built widgets, the more tasks they did, the more widgets they built, the more profit the company made. Today most people work in a knowledge economy. Dan Pink makes the argument that once someone have to use their brain at work, money is less and less of a motivator. I am republishing Dan’s video from YouTube about the “Surprising truth about what motivates us.” Worth watching.

 

posted on Wednesday, 02 June 2010 04:29:37 (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Tuesday, 01 June 2010

I’ll be speaking at TechEd North America in New Orleans next week and hope to have a front row seat to some Microsoft announcements. Microsoft practices CDD or “Conference Driven Development” where major announcements have been made only at large trade shows like PDC, MIX, and TechEd. Since there is no PDC this year, TechEd is an opportunity for Microsoft to make some BI, developer or IT pro announcements. There are two keynotes by “Microsoft executives” and I’ll be looking (hoping) for Microsoft to make the following announcements, in order of probability:

iPhone Development Kit

This one has been rumored for a while. While I am sure we may see some kind of minor Windows Phone 7 announcement at Teched, is there going to be an iPhone SDK for Silverlight and Visual Studio 2010?

Azure Pricing Changes

Windows Azure seems to have been accepted by the Tech community as something that is well architected and very stable, but the general consensus is that it is a tough sell to customers privacy/cloud wise and cost wise. While I don’t have a major problem with Azure pricing, it could have more competitive pricing plans in place in order to do a land grab on adoption.

Silverlight 5.0 Roadmap

It is too early for a beta, but it would be great to have some info on Silverlight 5.0, what it will support, what it will look like, etc. Microsoft has been so quick to ship new iterations of Silverlight that people expect the same out of Silverlight 5.0. For example, Silverlight 2.0 shipped in October 2008 and Silverlight 3.0 beta appeared in March 2009, only 5 months later. Silverlight 3.0 shipped in July 2009 and Silverlight 4.0 beta 1 shipped in November 2009, only 4 months later. Silverlight 4.0 shipped in April 2010, so June 2010 is a reasonable timeframe for Microsoft to talk about Silverlight 5.0 features and design goals, if not a beta timetable.

Windows 8 Sneak Peek

OK I admit it, I love Win7 and have zero complaints or don’t even have a wish list for Win8. But it is the geek inside of me that wants a sneak peek of Win8. I am pretty sure that this will not happen, but Vista shipped in January 2007 and we had an alpha in October 2008, so not unheard of. I don’t need an alpha, just a sneak peek.

SQL Server 2012 Info

Ok, if it too soon to talk about Silverlight and Windows, then why not SQL Server 2012? TechEd is more of an IT Pro conference and it is co-located with the BI Conference, so maybe, just maybe we will get some info on SQL.next.

Steve Ballmer’s Retirement

Don’t laugh. At TechEd in Boston in 2006 it was announced that Bill Gates was retiring. Steve has been in charge a long time, while I don’t expect a leadership transition at this point in time, you never know.

Free Windows 7 Phone

Hey, Google gave out new Android phones at I/O twice. Microsoft gave us all a tablet at the PDC. Why not a phone?

posted on Tuesday, 01 June 2010 22:52:51 (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Monday, 31 May 2010

Looking forward to heading to New Orleans this weekend and doing an all day Agile pre-con on Sunday with Joel Semeniuk. There is still space to sign up, here is the info to look for:

PRC07 | The Agile Methodology Demystified: Implementing Agile in Your Organization

Track: Development Practices

Wednesday afternoon I will also be presenting a breakout session on OData:. Below is the official write-up, however, I will be showing first how to build an OData service (first via Astoria or *.Data Services, and then with other methods such as SQL Azure, etc) and then how to consume the service via several different technologies including ASP.NET, Silverlight, PowerPivot, and more. I’ll show some non-Microsoft technology along the way. I’m thinking no slides, just code for this talk.

DEV303 | Building RESTful Applications with the Open Data Protocol

Track: Developer Tools, Languages & Frameworks

Level: 300 - Advanced

Applications today are expected to expose their data and consume data-centric services via REST. In this session we discuss what REST is and have an overview of Windows Communication Foundation (WCF) Data Services and see how we can REST enable your data using the Open Data Protocol (OData). Then we cover how to leverage existing skills related to Microsoft Visual Studio, LINQ and data access to customize the behavior, control-flow, security model and experience of your data service. We then see how to enable data-binding to traditional ASP.NET controls as well as Microsoft Silverlight and Microsoft PowerPivot for Microsoft Excel 2010. We then turn to consuming SharePoint and other OData-based applications in Microsoft .NET as well as from a non-Microsoft client. This is a very demo intensive session.

 

I have some other MVP booth duties and some ask the experts hours, but when I am free, I will be at the Telerik booth. We’ll have a large staff at TechEd this year!

 

See you there.

posted on Monday, 31 May 2010 04:04:24 (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Friday, 28 May 2010

Telerik has released Service Pack 1 of OpenAccess ORM, available now for download. There are a lot of new features (and of course bug fixes) but the three most important are:

  • The new LINQ implementation works fully with Visual Studio 2010
  • The Data Services Wizard is now fully integrated with the product, no separate install
  • A beta of RIA Services support

I will be doing a blog post on each of these in the coming weeks (expect some delays with TechEd US in the way.) One more thing to mention is that the Data Services Wizard now generates a Silverlight client and will give you the ability to automatically style the application, a feature I previewed last week at the Sydney User Group.

Enjoy!

posted on Friday, 28 May 2010 03:02:32 (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Thursday, 27 May 2010

On Wednesday I presented an hour long talk on an introduction to Scrum, titled “To Scrum or not to Scrum” at the PMI’s Project Management Day in Bucharest, Romania.  It was a great event and I presented Scrum from a project manager’s point of view. About 15% of the audience is not from the IT field and I also tried to present Scrum in a way that is more generic. (You can download the seminar slides here, they are the same slides I have used all year.)

I asked the audience to turn off their cell phones, but asked them to stand up and take my photo while they did it, so I took their photo at the same time. This is about half the room, sorry to the other half. :)

IMG_20100526_102552

After the event I hung out with some of the PMI guys and walked down to a local restaurant/beer hall Caru Cu Bere in the historic old town (there was even a statue of Dracula there!) On the walk down I saw a Romania Arc de Triumph.

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Looking forward to my next visit!

posted on Thursday, 27 May 2010 02:49:05 (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Tuesday, 25 May 2010

Let’s face it, going to a technical conference is good for your career but it’s not a whole lot of fun. You need an outlet. You need to have fun.

Cheap beer and lousy pizza (with a New Orleans twist)

We are bringing back GeekFest! Join us at Pat O’Brien’s for a night of gumbo, beer and hurricanes. There are limited invitations available, so what are you waiting for? If you are attending the TechEd 2010 conference and you are a developer, you are invited. To register pick up your "duck" ticket (and wristband) in the TechEd Technical Learning Center (TLC) at the Developer Tools & Languages (DEV) information desk.

You must have wristband to get in.

Tuesday, June 8th from 8pm – 11pm
Pat O’Brien’s New Orleans
624 Bourbon Street New Orleans, LA 70130

posted on Tuesday, 25 May 2010 13:47:13 (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback