Archive for the ‘.NET’ Category

Joining the ComponentOne Speaker Bureau

April 21, 2011 Comments off

I am pleased to announce that I have joined the ComponentOne Speaker Bureau.  The other current members of the bureau include Dane Morgridge, John Baird, and Michael Eaton.

The bureau is one way that ComponentOne gives back to the community by helping to sponsor a few speakers in our community efforts.  This makes it possible for us to travel a bit more and reach more people.

My thanks to ComponentOne for supporting the community and for putting their faith in me personally.  When you see them out and about, be sure to thank them yourself!

Categories: .NET

Philly Code Camp 2011.1

April 11, 2011 Comments off

As I come to work this morning I recognize all the signs that Spring is officially upon us: I did not wear a jacket to work this morning, The Masters is over, and this weekend was the first installment of Philly Code Camp 2011.  While I sacrificed being able to watch The Masters live to attend Code Camp this weekend, I was able to see it all thanks to the magic of DVR.

As always, Philly Code Camp was fantastic: the Philly team is constantly setting the bar higher and higher and this time was no exception.  I can only imagine the logistical nightmare of organizing and executing a code camp with almost 600 attendees, but these guys pull it off with flying colors!

Have you never been to a code camp? Are you wondering what all the fuss is about?  Check out this video posted on YouTube asking folks why they attend.  Then, get off your duff and find one close to you and sign up!

Practical MVVM

I had a full house for my session “Practical MVVM” and I truly appreciate the attendees: thanks for the nice notes and comments, if it helped you then it was all worthwhile.  If you saw it, please post a review at SpeakerWiki.  And remember you can download the Artifacts at

Categories: .NET

Chapter 4: Container Driven Design – understanding layout

April 8, 2011 Comments off

The MEAP for Expression Blend in Action was updated yesterday to include Chapter 4, “Container Driven Design – understanding layout”.  In the chapter I explain the methods I use to layout applications.  There is a deep discussion on mastering the Grid container and heavy focus on making child elements greedy.

If you haven’t purchased the book yet, you can use discount code exblend40 to get 40% off, but don’t tell anyone! 🙂

For those of you who have written a book before I’m sure you understand the dearth of articles on the blog of late.  It’s hard to imagine just how much work goes into a book length work.  And no matter how many people tell you that ahead of time, you still aren’t prepared for it!  The good news is that we are really in the thick of it now and things are going very well.  My sincerest thanks to all the friends and supporters of the book, please enjoy the newest chapter with my compliments!

Categories: .NET

Expression Blend in Action MEAP begun

March 11, 2011 1 comment

Hi folks!  Last week while I was attending the MVP Summit, the MEAP for my upcoming Manning Publication title “Expression Blend in Action” was launched.  If you aren’t familiar with MEAP, it is a great program that Manning does where you can purchase the book and receive the chapters as they are written.  You can then provide feedback and participate in the book forum: YOU can influence the content and quality of the book!  Plus you don’t have to wait for the whole thing to be printed – it’s a win win all around.

As a special offer, between now and April 1st, you can get 50% OFF by using the following discount code: exblend50.  Feel free to spread this around, but remember it’s only good in March, so don’t miss it!

I’m obviously doing a lot of writing for the book, so my blog is suffering, but I will keep you posted here regarding updates.  If you’ve already bought it I sincerely thank you for all your support!  If you haven’t picked it up yet, what are you waiting for? 🙂

Categories: .NET

Vote for my presentations at MIX!

January 25, 2011 3 comments

Hi friends!

Two of my sessions made the Open Call to present at MIX in April.  MIX presenters are primarily Microsofties but they include 10 presentations from community folks like me.  These are selected by public vote: the top 10 vote getters will have the chance to present at MIX.  This is my dream event so I’m hoping I can get enough votes to go, and that’s where you come in!

Would you please consider voting for my presentations?  It only takes a moment and I would really appreciate it.  Voting pages for the two sessions are here: – Expression Blend and the Visual State Manager: A Deep Dive – Container Driven Design with Blend

Thank you so much for your help and I hope to see you at MIX!

Categories: .NET

Announcing BlendSIG

December 10, 2010 Comments off

About BlendSIG

I am happy today to officially announce and launch BlendSIG,  a Virtual Blend Special Interest Group.  Inspired by LiDNUG (the LinkedIn .NET User Group) BlendSIG meetings are held online during working hours using LiveMeeting.  We hope that this will allow people from all over the world to join in and learn more about Blend. 

We will host monthly meetings on the 2nd Wednesday of each month at 2pm EST.  These meetings will be LiveMeeting screen casts.  Guests and presenters will be Blend professionals, such as members of the Microsoft Blend team, Blend MVPs, authors, and other knowledgeable parties.

Join the BlendSIG Group at Members of this group will receive notifications of events and interact with each other through the mailing list.  We also would like to encourage members to suggest topics and speakers.  Please join today!

You can also follow BlendSIG on Twitter: @blendsig.

The Inaugural Meeting

Our first meeting will be January 12, 2011, and I am happy to announce that Dante Gagne, Blend PM, will be our inaugural speaker.  Dante will be presenting on Behaviors and I’m really looking forward to it!

Registration for the January meeting is now live and available at

Please share this information with your user groups, companies, and interested parties.  I think together we could make this a rousing success!

Categories: .NET

SQL Saturday 61 Coming to DC

November 23, 2010 1 comment

If you are a regular reader then you know I spent some time this year learning SQL Server Integration Services (SSIS).  I’ve used it in several projects and have been very happy with the results, even if I have made a few mistakes along the way.  In fact, I was so enamored of what I was able to do in such a short time that I submitted to present not one, but two sessions at the upcoming SQL Saturday DC (#61), and to my surprise they were both selected!

Below is some information about the sessions, I hope to see you there!

SSIS for real: a walk through a real world project

Abstract: In this presentation I will walk though a complete real-world SSIS project that pulls data from an AS/400 and converts it to a SQL Server destination. In addition to specific AS/400 conversion issues I will also cover topics like dynamic OLEDB connections, and creating an effective work flow. Along the way we’ll take a look at how I use Derived Columns, Conditional Split, Lookup, and Script components to solve every day conversion issues.

The specific problem domain that SSIS solved for me was converting data from the EBCDIC world of the AS/400 (iSeries, System i, name-du-jour) to SQL Server.  Previously this had all been done with straight ADO.NET applications and performance was horrendous, to put it nicely.  Now with SSIS we have a solution that implements the Incremental Load pattern that is extremely performant. I’ll be discussing this project from start to finish.

Intro to C# for the SSIS Script Component

Abstract: The Script Component is an extremely powerful element in SSIS because it brings in the full capability of the .NET Framework. With first-class development tools and languages like C# you can solve problems that previously required very complex SQL or Expressions. If you’d like to learn enough C# to more effectively use the Script Component for Transformations, then this session is for you.

As a C# developer I was very happy to learn about the Script Component in SSIS 2008.  When I had to port my Package back to 2005 I discovered that it only supported Visual Basic.  I was able to make do, but it led me to the conclusion that there are probably plenty of SSIS folks who would like to know more about C#.  The session will include some C# basics and focus on things that you would find useful for data transformation, like string manipulation, data conversion, Regular expression matching, and more.

Categories: .NET