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Avanade CTO Blogging

Posted in Avanade at Tuesday, 07 March 2006 10:38 Pacific Standard Time
Yesterday I received an email from Tyson Hartman the CTO of the company I work for (Avanade) and it had a link to his blog. On his blog he is using Technorati tagging to keep a list of all the Avanade bloggers. How cool is that? This company I work for continues to impress me (I'm almost at my one year anniversary).

EntLib 2.0 Instrumentation

Posted in General | Avanade at Wednesday, 16 November 2005 10:33 Pacific Standard Time

GDN is still down, but I was able to get a copy of EntLib 2.0 from my fellow Avanadian Tim Shakirian. I'm using the data access portion and it is working in my application, but I was unable to turn on instrumentation. In the docs it says:

To install the instrumentation schema you can run InstallInstrumentation.bat. This installs or uninstalls the instrumentation schema. When launched with no parameters it installs the instrumentation schema. It accepts one parameter, /u, that indicates that the instrumentation schema should be uninstalled

However, I could not find the InstallInstrumentation.bat file. I didn't see anything about this in the release notes “what's missing” section and since I can't hit GDN there is no way for me to provide feedback on this issue. Anyone know where I can get this file? For now I just turned off instrumentation.

Continuous Napolean

Posted in Avanade | Test-Driven Dev at Monday, 07 November 2005 23:10 Pacific Standard Time

Last night we released the version 1.0 of the software I've been working on for the last six months. Hopefully that means I'll have more time for blogging and more time to explore all the new stuff that has been released recently. One of the things that has been essential to the success of our project has been continuous integration via CruiseControl.Net. We have a couple of build servers running CCNet and the feedback on developer check-ins (through Subversion) has been key.

When a developer breaks the build with a bad check-in, the scary guy comes and hangs out on their monitor until they get it fixed:

We try to have fun. :)

I've also set up CCTray to run on my development box. You can specify sound files to play for the different cruise control events. There are 7 other developers in the room with me (also known as lounge A) so when someone breaks the build they all know (lounge B had their own sounds). Below are the Napolean sound bytes we used which were great fun. I found them all on the movie wavs site.

We still have more work to do, more releases to come, but we managed to hit all our dates thanks in part to test-driven development with freeware tools: nant, ccnet, subversion, and nunit

Use your SmartPhone as a Modem

Posted in General | Avanade | Gadgets | Windows Mobile at Wednesday, 28 September 2005 04:14 Pacific Daylight Time

Today I needed an Internet connection on my laptop to send in my time report, but I couldn't plug it into the network at the client. After some searching I found this article on Smart Phone Thoughts which worked perfectly:

Smartphones, in spite of their small form factor, pack in a lot of power and functionality. And combine that with the unlimited Internet data plans that are now available from most carriers, you get a powerful mobile device that lets you check email and surf the Net. Sometimes you may run into the limitations of the small screen and the lack of keyboard/thumb-board. That's when the Bluetooth functionality and a laptop can come in handy. So the next time you're on vacation or on a business trip and want to reply to your emails, you can connect your laptop to the Internet using your Smartphone as the modem.

This will become even more useful as carriers upgrade their networks to support faster connections, but it worked great as it is for my purposes.

Some PDC Linqs

Posted in Sql and Xml | BizTalk | General | ASP.Net/Web Services | Avanade at Friday, 16 September 2005 03:07 Pacific Daylight Time

I am at the PDC have a great time. I haven't posted anything simply because I've been way too busy and so I'm just soaking everything in. I'm planning on posting my thoughts soon (if you care).

In the meantime here are a few links that point to things I've been checking out:

In addition I've been looking at the BizTalk 2006 talks, some of the WCF and WWF talks, and some of the Team System talks. Hopefully I'll have time to post more on all this later.

Update: A few more linqs:

My PDC 2005 Schedule

Posted in General | Avanade at Monday, 12 September 2005 09:29 Pacific Daylight Time

Here is my current schedule for the PDC. Most of the time slots have two sessions only because I either haven't had time to decide or I want to keep my options open. I'm hoping to take notes and post them here.

Schedule for Bryant Likes

Monday, September 12
7:00 PM - 8:00 PM  Search Free Source SharePoint Tools   501 B    
8:15 PM - 9:15 PM  Search
Using Enterprise Library in the Real World   518    

Tuesday, September 13
11:45 AM - 12:30 PM  Search
COML02 Tips & Tricks: System.NET   403 AB    
1:00 PM - 2:15 PM  Search
COM202 Windows Communications Foundation ("Indigo"): A Lap around the Windows Communications Foundation   Halls C & D (Petree Hall)    
TLN301 VSTS: Behind the Scenes of Visual Studio 2005 Team Foundation Server   502 AB    
2:45 PM - 4:00 PM  Search
DAT303 SQL Server 2005: Building Distributed, Asynchronous Database Applications with the Service Broker   502 AB    
FUN302 Programming with Concurrency (Part 1): Concepts, Patterns, and Best Practices   515 AB    
4:15 PM - 5:30 PM  Search
DAT405 SQL Server 2005: Deep Dive on XML and XQuery   502 AB    
FUN405 Programming with Concurrency (Part 2): Multithreaded Programming with Shared Memory   403 AB    

Wednesday, September 14
11:00 AM - 12:15 PM  Search
DAT200 Future Directions for Data-Driven Applications: Storage, Applications, API’s   150/151 (Hall E)    
OFF405 Windows SharePoint Services: Using ASP.NET 2.0 Technology to Extend Pages, Sites, and Server Farms   409 AB    
12:30 PM - 1:15 PM  Search
PRSL02 Case Study: How Hotmail Used Atlas and ASP.NET to Build a Great User Experience   152/153 (Hall F)    
1:45 PM - 3:00 PM  Search
COM210 Introduction to Workflow in Windows Applications   150/151 (Hall E)    
COM303 IIS 7: Building More Powerful ASP.NET Applications with IIS 7   152/153 (Hall F)    
3:15 PM - 4:30 PM  Search
DAT310 "WinFS" Future Directions: Building Data Centric Applications Using Windows Presentation Foundation ("Avalon") and Windows Forms   408 AB    
DAT411 Advanced ETL: Embedding Integration Services   411    
5:00 PM - 6:15 PM  Search
DAT314 BizTalk Server 2006: Development and Adapters   403 AB    
PRS312 ASP.NET: Future Directions for Developing Rich Web Applications with Atlas (Part 1)   Halls C & D (Petree Hall)    

Thursday, September 15
10:00 AM - 11:15 AM  Search
DAT408 ADO.NET 2.0: Advanced Data Access Patterns   152/153 (Hall F)    
TLN311 Visual Studio 2005 Team Edition for Software Architects and Future Directions in Modeling Tools   Halls C & D (Petree Hall)    
11:30 AM - 12:45 PM  Search
PRS420 ASP.NET: Future Directions for Developing Rich Web Applications with Atlas (Part 2)   Halls C & D (Petree Hall)    
TLN312 VSTS: Building More Reliable and Better Performing Web Applications with Visual Studio 2005 Team System   403 AB    
1:00 PM - 1:45 PM  Search
PRSL04 MSN: Extending Start.com Using Startlets   408 AB    
2:15 PM - 3:30 PM  Search
DAT319 Future Directions: Beyond BizTalk Server 2006   502 AB    
DAT323 Using the .NET Language Integrated Query Framework with Relational Data   152/153 (Hall F)    
3:45 PM - 5:00 PM  Search
COM325 Workflow + Messaging + Services: Developing Distributed Applications with Workflows   150/151 (Hall E)    
DAT321 XML Tools: Future Directions for Leveraging Advanced XML Tools and Building Custom XML Solutions   409 AB    
5:15 PM - 6:30 PM  Search
COM326 Windows Communications Foundation ("Indigo"): Web Services for XML Programmers   150/151 (Hall E)    
ILL04 Write Once, Display Anywhere: UI for Windows Mobile Devices   Labs (Big Room)    

Friday, September 16
8:30 AM - 9:45 AM  Search
COM432 Developing Web Services Using ASP.NET and WSE That Interoperate with the Windows Communications Foundation ("Indigo")   150/151 (Hall E)    
DAT323 Using the .NET Language Integrated Query Framework with Relational Data   408 AB    
10:30 AM - 11:45 AM  Search
DAT324 Using the .NET Language Integrated Query Framework with XML Data   408 AB    
DAT408 ADO.NET 2.0: Advanced Data Access Patterns   518    
12:00 PM - 12:45 PM  Search
DATL07 Tips & Tricks: 10 Tips for Extending Your System to Windows Mobile Devices   402 AB    
1:00 PM - 2:15 PM  Search
COM413 IIS and Windows Communications Foundation ("Indigo"): Hosting Services   408 AB    
FUN421 CLR: Garbage Collection Inside Out   150/151 (Hall E)    

Master of Some

Posted in Sql and Xml | Reporting Services | SharePoint | BizTalk | General | Avanade | Test-Driven Dev at Thursday, 01 September 2005 04:05 Pacific Daylight Time

From Clemmens talking about technology overload:

Enter VS2005 and the summary of trying to achieve the same knowledge density is: “Frustrating”.

I feel his frustration. I remember going to PDC 2003 and realizing that it was getting very hard to keep up on all the new stuff coming out of Microsoft. Clemmens continues...

For “generalists” like me, these are hard and frustrating times if they’re trying to stay generalists. Deep and consequent specialization is a great opportunity for everyone and the gamble is of course to pick the right technology to dig into and become “the expert” in. If that technology or problem space becomes the hottest thing everyone must have – you win your bet. Otherwise you might be in trouble.

This statement not only applies to technology in general, but also to specific technologies: think SQL Server 2005. As Kimberly Tripp says, you must become a “Jack of all trades, master of some”. The hard part, as Clemmens mentions, is chosing the some.

For me it all comes down to what I'm working with. For instance, I just found out today that I will not be getting renewed as a Microsoft MVP for SQL Server. I expected this because I haven't had the time to contribute much to the SQL Server community lately. I tend to contribute based on what I'm currently working on. I haven't been a project that used SQL Server 2005 yet, so I haven't had time to really dig into it. If you read this blog you can probably figure out what kind of projects I have been on recently: a SharePoint (and RS) project last year and mostly BizTalk projects this year. I learn based on need.

I'm sure at some point in the near future (at least I keep telling myself this) I'll have time to dig into the new SQL Server 2005 and Visual Studio 2005 stuff (team system and all), but for now I'm pretty much focused on BizTalk 2004, test-driven development,  continuous integration, etc., since that is where I'm at.

I'll miss hanging out with the other SQL Server MVPs who are a great bunch of guys, but it has been fun being an MVP for the last five years.

SQL 2005 Forums

Posted in Sql and Xml | General | Avanade at Wednesday, 18 May 2005 01:40 Pacific Daylight Time

Euan posts about the new SQL Server 2005 forums:

http://forums.microsoft.com/msdn/default.aspx?ForumGroupID=19

Along with Visual Studio we are adding the option of support of the CTP program via Web Based forums in addition to the traditional newsgroups, we’d love to hear any feedback on the system.

And Niels responds over at Managed Data:

Euan posted the above about new forums for SQL Server 2005 stuff. I am subscribed, but I rather have newsgroups only. Anyway, I'm probably just old-fashioned. What are your thoughts regarding spreading the community between web-forums, newsgroups etc???

I used to take the newsgroup-only position. However, since my previous employer blocked all newsgroup access and since at my current job most of the clients block newsgroup access, I haven't visited a newsgroup for quite some time. I probably should spend more time in the newsgroups (especially if I want to keep my MVP status (which I do)), but it just isn't as practical for me as it used to be.

On the other hand, I really don't like web based forums. They are too slow and feel clunky. Newsgroups and newsreaders seem much easier to use and I spend less time waiting on the software. So I'm still waiting on a good solution that combines the ease and speed of newsgroups with the accessibility of the web. Just my $.02...

Career Opportunity

Posted in Sql and Xml | Reporting Services | SharePoint | BizTalk | General | ASP.Net/Web Services | Avanade at Thursday, 05 May 2005 07:44 Pacific Daylight Time

I've been working for Avanade for about two months now, and I really like it. I've gotten a few emails from people who are interviewing with the company and want to know what it is like. It is a great company to work for, especially if you like working with Microsoft technology. In fact, Gartner just released a publication that listed Avanade as one of the “cool” vendors (along with three other companies). The big issue with working for Avanade is that you will travel. How much depends on what region you work for. The region that I work for, the west region, has a lot of work in each area so the traveling I do is all close by (at least so far).

The west region is also looking to hire developers (especially in SoCal). So if you live in the Western US, like to work with MS technologies, and don't mind some travel, this is a great opportunity. The company is mainly looking for .NET developers with skills in other MS products like SQL Server, BizTalk, SharePoint, Reporting Services, etc.

If you're interested, send your resume to me and I'll pass it along to the right person.

Some of the benefits of working for Avanade include things like $1000 every six months to spend on gadgets and a trip to one major conference per year. They want all developers to get MCSD certified and will pay for your training materials and exams (pass or fail). You are also allocated three weeks per year for training and this is allocated in the same way that vacations are allocated. Plus you get to work with a bunch of great people and have a lot of fun.

Here is a basic job description:


Short Description : Join Avanade and you will be part of a premier consulting organization focused on the Microsoft
enterprise suite. You will help build reliable, scalable solutions.

Description : Avanade is the only global technology integrator dedicated to the Microsoft enterprise platform. Avanade helps customers use Microsoft technology to cut costs and improve business results through standardization, consolidation, and integration of IT infrastructure and applications.

As a Developer, your focus will be developing and testing mission critical enterprise solutions. You will build management, technical and planning skills by participating in internal development projects. You will improve your abilities to think creatively and design solutions.

Responsibilities:

  • Participate in business requirements gathering and rules definition.
  • Participate in design of desktop and web-based application architecture.
  • Develop components/modules/scripts implementing business process rules.
  • Perform code walk-through of software components.
  • Document software components sufficient for on-going support and enhancement.
  • Effectively communicate status of tasks and projects

Minimum Requirements:

You will be degree qualified with excellent communication skills and will have hands-on experience working on component based applications in a distributed environment. Qualified candidates should possess:

  • 1+ year technology consulting
  • 2 to 4+ years as a programmer
  • 1+ years experience with C#
  • Deep MS platform Skills
  • .NET Framework
  • Full lifecycle experience developing large scale, scaleable applications
  • Willing to travel

Preferred Requirements:

  • MCSD Certification

 

Going to TechEd

Posted in General | Avanade at Thursday, 31 March 2005 06:01 Pacific Standard Time

My request to attend TechEd just got approved!

Mmmmm... Kool Aid! :)

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