Showing posts with label Microsoft. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Microsoft. Show all posts

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Starting the journey?

A few months ago I was part of a Twitter debate over certifications (ie: Microsoft Certified Technology Specialist (MCTS), Microsoft Certified IT Professional MCITP), or Microsoft Office Specialist (MOS)) I argued that these Certifications were extremely valuable to an individual starting out or right out of college, but someone with 10 plus years should not have to get the cert. I am not going to retracted that statement, but I am going to start studying for my Certification. I broke down and purchased the MCTS Self-Paced Training Kit (Exam 70-536): Microsoft® .NET Framework Application Development Foundation, Second edition. Many of the items are refreshers and they should be. By the end of this year I’ll have purchased the second book and hopefully have past my first test – I don’t do well on tests, never have.
So why the change in heart. As I stated earlier, I don’t believe that you need that certification if you have 10 plus years in development – when it come to the work environment. Now; I also believe that it adds some creditability to you as a presenter. I am wanting to to get out into the community more and speak about the more advanced aspects of the tool/s I use. If I am going to a new User Group, they have no idea who I am and these certificates may give they a better feeling that I might know a little something.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Save the Web Form and still separate concern

This afternoon I was listening to one of my “Geek Idols” Scott Hanselman (twitter @shanselman) who hosts a weekly talk show about technology at This weeks topic was “A different way to do ASP.NET WebForms with WebFormsMVP” and I got to thinking, this is not new – I have been doing this kind of development for the past three years, I use a presentation layer in my projects and implement an interface in the code-behind so the view only renders the output, but I listened anyway and even though the concept was not new their approach was. It seems that some very smart people down in Australia came up with a way of making this even easier. So I am going to download these DLL’s and play with them. I might have to come up with a presentation that I can do at an upcoming Code Camp or CodeStock(next year)…I’ll call it “WebForm’s – Let them live with MVP” what do you think?

Monday, February 22, 2010

Continue to learn

Have you ever felt like Forrest Gump at a Mensa conversion? I know I have, many times, mostly when I attend these day long training sessions known as “Code Camp”. I remember attending my first code camp in Richmond, VA – I want to say it was the Spring of 2004. When I was done with that day my head was spinning, I realized that there was so much that I did not know about the technology that I was working in I was almost afraid to go back to work because of how little I knew.

Since my first “Code Camp” I have attended 2 more in Richmond, 1 in Reston, and another in Central Maryland – two of them even made the mistake of letting me speak, yep Forrest was up there talking and people were listening. I had submitted my application to speak at this springs Richmond Code Camp, but I had to pull out because I have a DJ gig that day.

The point I am trying to make is a simple one; The only time you’ll know nothing is when you stop learning.When you learn something let others know what you have learned. Pick up a book and read it, read a blog, write a blog, attend user groups or even the “Code Camps”.

So why am I writing this; good question and the truth is I have been posting blogs lately about the Microsoft E-Learning course I have been taking. In general I have been reviewing them with my opinion. I also blog about the upcoming GiveCamp that I am trying to put together. Once these events and trainings are complete I am going to start blogging more about the work that I do. I understand that most of what I am going to write about has already been written, and to be honest that is why I have been hesitant about writing a blog anyway. But I now believe that I am not going to get better at what I do until I share what I have done. By sharing this I can receive input from others who are better then I am. They can, if the choose, guide me to a better solution and if I am lucky I might help someone else, someone who might feel like Forrest Gump.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Microsoft E Learning IV

So today I have chosen Course 6672: Working with Data Binding in Microsoft ASP.NET 3.5 Applications. This course was “OK” at best. For some reason the training sessions still want everyone to place the datasourceobject directly on the markup page itself. Maybe it’s just me but I can’t grasp the reasoning why we, as developers, would want to put the much with the UI. I enjoyed the LINQ session and how we general bind the data to grids, list control, drop downs. I also enjoyed them speaking of a feature that not many people speak about and that is the “Repeater” feature.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Tasking Client/Server to .NET

On August 10th, 1998, I was hired as a Senior Developer for CDSI. My tasking was to build and maintain a GOT’s program that would help the Comptrollers Office spread their budget down to a very specific level. To do this we had a team of three and I was the newest member on the team, so when I got their the development tools was already selected, requirements completed and the project was already started.
The tool of their choose was PowerBuilder Version 4.x – shortly after I got there we upgraded to PB 5 – and we are using an Oracle backend to hold our data. When I inquired about their reasoning behind using PowerBuilder they informed me that they choose this because it was a “true” OOP (object oriented programming) language. We were also permitted to embedded the SQL right into the code, that was one of the “benefits”. Another feature, and probable Sybase’s best feature, is the Data Window. Data Windows are a very nice formatting tool, very similar to Crystal Reports – only better.
The problem comes into play today and we are trying to convert this into a web based application. Data-Windows has a feature that these products can be incorporated into .net but trying to put that data-window into an AJAX tab-control and I get an error stating that “False” can not be sent on the property “RightToLeft” So I can use the functionality but not the way I want to..I am not happy. Do I change the UI so I can take advantage of the functionality that I have or do I change the way the application was written and write it correctly.
I guess the best thing to do is to take advantage to the functionality that I have and change the UI. I would like to write about how to convert embedded SQL into something that is designed more like how we would do it now.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Microsoft E Learning Part III

Ok, so today’s lesson is “Implementing Personalization, Common Layout, and Themes in ASP.NET 3.5”. I know, I know – this technology has been around for some time, why is it now that I am just getting around to learning this? Good question and one that I hope can be answered quickly, I work in a government building and the development that we do can have zero flare, it must have standard colors and standard fonts. For this reason, going out on the own and learning this seemed like a waste of time and effort. That being said, I still work for them but I know that I need to expand my knowledge base, so here I go.

I did like this course, and what I like was that they were not trying to show me how to create skins or themes, or even the Master Pages. What they did show was something that we has developers do, we implement them, we use them and it showed us how to use them properly. This course was nicely set up with good information. The videos that they did show were informative and engaging. I enjoyed the lab at the end, but anytime you let a developer play with code, we are going to be generally happy.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Microsoft E Learning Part II

This time I am taking Course 6676: Creating Controls for Web Applications in Microsoft Visual Studio 2008. This course is also suppose to take 2 hours and prepare you for exam 70-562 TS.They have a prerequisites of three years of Visual Studio developing, monitoring, and debugging Web applications. I think this is a little high. An individual should be able to grasp these concepts with 6 months to a year of experience. I am not saying that these people are going to be going in on Monday and start writing user controls without issues, I know plenty of “Senior” developers that still have some difficulty writing User Control, even I still have to use a reference guide on something, but I still believe that this course not so difficult that you need three years.

There are a few times, at least once, I noticed that the information being displayed was incorrect. It’s a very minor thing, but I know that in the C# world we don’t use or have the “me.” notation, we use the “this.”

I really enjoyed the part on Mobile development and how we can develop to mobile devices. I am never have the need to create mobile applications, at least with the job I currently have, but I might one day want to venture out and start creating one.

The lab in this course was a lot better then in the last course I took, mainly because I was writing code, adding files, deleting files and editing the code.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Microsoft E Learning

Alright, I just found out this week that part of my MSDN subscription volume licensing allows me to take E-Learning course from Microsoft. I selected the Course Collection that I wanted to take and after a few phone calls, found out that the collection I selected was not one of the available “Free” collections. I did find that in the “My Subscription” there are 10 course that I could take for free. Free learning, I am going to take advantage of this, so I scrolled down and selected my first course “Course 6679: Implementing Separation of Concern Using Model-View-Controller in Microsoft ASP.NET 3.5 Applications” MVC, a new way for developing web applications – can’t be a web site – must be an application. The directions say it should take about 2 hours – which it did - and there are some videos and labs – both VB and C# – and at the end they had a little scenario that you interact with. I did enjoy the course but I have a small problem with it. The course was designed using the MVC framework 1.0 Beta. If a person goes into this course having the non-beta version or never having seen the Beta version, they are going to be confused. There is no code-behind for the “Views”, some of the really nice features are not highlighted with the Beta release. The instructor in the videos did say that there is on code in the code-behind, but he also said that there was information that needed to be there. I did get something out of the course but I had to remind myself that I was watching a video and reading text based on the Beta version not the Released version.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Central Maryland Code Camp

The 2009 Central Maryland Code Camp is going to be held on November 7th, 2009 at the Loyola University. If you have never been to a code camp, I would recommend going. Most of the speakers are excellent, and sometimes they make a mistake and let me talk. But to be honest; that is what code camp is all about. It's an opportunity to network with other developers and see different styles. What I enjoy is the different levels that are offered - I don't feel like Forrest Gump at a Mensa convention.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Richmond Code Camp

The week of August 16, 2009 I found out that I was selected to speak at the Richmond code camp on October 3, 2009. I am going to be speaking on "Getting away from the drop & drag data controls". My goal is to teach people how to modularize their code.