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Markus on Development and Publishing

This is Markus Egger's professional blog, which covers topics such as development, publishing, and business in general. As the publisher of CoDe and CoDe Focus magazines, and as the President and Chief Software Architect of EPS Software Corp., Markus shares his insights and opinions on this blog.

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Sunday, November 27, 2005
Custom Types in .NET

I just posted a blog entry about the creation of custom types in .NET and SQL Server 2005 on the VFPConversion.com developer blog. This blog is mostly meant for VFP developers who are moving to .NET, and this particular blog-post shows how to solve a specific problem (metric to imperial conversion) using .NET in a way that is not available in VFP (or VB6 for that matter). Even though that post is on the VFPConversion blog, I think it is still pretty interesting for .NET developers in general.

Here is the link: Custom Types in .NET.



Posted @ 6:13 PM by Egger, Markus (markus@code-magazine.com) -
Comments (6)


Monday, November 21, 2005
Las Vegas Conference Review (DevConnections and Academic Days)

 Monday, November 21, 2005A few days ago, I spent some time in Vegas at a few different conferences (as you probably know if you read this blog regularly). Here's a quick recap of what happened and what my impressions were:

DevConnections (VS Connections, ASP Connections, SQL Connections,...)

This was the main reason I went to Vegas. This conference (or series of conferences) was held at the Mandalay Bay, which is a great hotel (with a seriously long walk to the conference facilities, due to the sheer size of the hotel). I always enjoy being at this hotel and this time was no difference (see my travel blog for some other info on that part of the trip). The conference was great! There were some 3000 people, which is the biggest DevConnections conference to date. There was a lot of energy, and a lot of excitement. Of course, this being one of the biggest events around the Visual Studio launch didn't hurt.

I did 4 different sessions at this conference (session notes and samples for some of them have been uploaded here recently). Here's a quick overview:

  1. Object-Oriented Fundamentals (in the fundamentals track)
    This session covers basics of object-oriented development. In this presentation I don't just talk about the basics, but I show how to apply these things to real-life development. I always like presenting this session, because so many people come up to me afterwards and say "I have seen a number of OOP talks in the past, but now it finally makes sense". (Slides and notes and samples can be found here). I had a very full room for this one (standing room only at an 8am session!). I am always amazed how many people the fundamentals track draws at this conference. Probably 400+ people in the room.
     
  2. Introduction to WPF (formerly "Avalon") (in the VS track/conference)
    This was one of the sessions I was personally looking forward to the most, because it had a lot of very cool examples, and also, because this is technology that will impact all of us. The room was pretty full, but not quite as full as I expected (I always expect the "future technology" sessions to be fuller than they are at most conferences). Nevertheless, I had pretty good turnout. There only were a few seats left. Samples for this session can be found here.
     
  3. Applying OOP to Web Development (in the ASP track/conference)
    This session is not entirely unlike the first one, although this is more advanced and expects a fundamental understanding of objects. This session is mostly about how to apply OOP to ASP.NET development. This session was packed (best turnout of them all). There wasn't even any standing room left. People had to sit on the floor. Once again, this is one of those sessions I really enjoy presenting, because people have a similar reaction as to the first one (a lot of them come up to me and say "...now I finally see how this makes sense..." and "...I will never do development without this again...".
     
  4. User Interface Design (in the VS track/conference)
    This session discusses UI design and what works and what doesn't (and why). It is a fun session to present, as there are lots of examples and screen shots. Many not even about computers, since this session (briefly) discusses interfaces in the real world (such as water faucets and car keys). There are also quite a few funny things in this session. This session also was pretty full. Not sit-on-the-floor full, but a very good turnout. 
     
  5. Indigo Panel (in the VS track/conference)
    I also ended up on the Indigo Panel together with Juval Lowy, Brian Noyes, and Dino Esposito. Unfortunately, these panel disussions are never as well attended as I wish they were, but it was still a fun session nevertheless. Plus, I was in very good company.

It really seems like this is rapidly becoming one of the the conferences to be at in the US. Let's face it: There are only a handful of conferences that are of interest for developers: Microsoft's own conferences (PDC and TechEd). PDC is very future oriented. Personally, I like that, but for most developers, it may be looking a bit too far into the future. At this year's PDC for instance, VS 2005 was "old news" and not even discussed. It was all about WinFX. TechEd on the other hand is not truly developer oriented. Then of course, there is VSLive, but lately, that conference just seems to be falling out of favor more and more. DevConnections on the other hand seems to be on the rise. Not too long ago, the show had far less than 1000 people, and now it is 3000+. A pretty interesting trend if you ask me! So keep an eye on this one. The next DevConnection even is in Orlando. Check out their web site at www.DevConnections.com.

Microsoft Academic Days

This conference was held at the Aladdin hotel just a few blocks down The Strip from the Mandalay Bay. This was a small, 2-day conference that Microsoft put on for teachers and other academics. I presented my "Applying OOP to Web Development" session. It was fun. The session was recorded, and they wired me up like it was a TV show or something (I did recorded sessions and web casts before, but it wasn't quite like this...). I only had 60 minutes to present a session that normally takes 75 (and even then I have more to say than I have time for), so it was a bit rushed (but not too bad). It was an interesting session to present, because the audience was a bit unusual compared to my normal audience. Mainly because most schools teach Java over C#, and partially also because questions were a bit more theoretic rather than the usual "I have this particular problem... will this solve it?" I normally get.

Personally, I really appreciate that Microsoft is now pushing into academic circles (and with the new and completely free Visual Studio Express 2005, I think there is a good way for students to get into Visual Studio development). The way things stand currently, most computer science graduates are just about useless for companies that work on the Microsoft platform, and as we all know, a very large percentage of software shops run on that platform (do I dare say "the vast majority"?).

Overall, the trip to Vegas was very worthwhile.



Posted @ 5:13 AM by Egger, Markus (markus@code-magazine.com) -
Comments (4)


Saturday, November 19, 2005
Maurice proves his loyalty to CoDe Magazine...

Maurice de Beijer proves his loyalty to CoDe Magazine in a very impressive way at PDC 2005:

This is from: http://www.microsoft.com/japan/msdn/pdc/report/20050915.aspx (scroll to the bottom).



Posted @ 7:52 AM by Egger, Markus (markus@code-magazine.com) -
Comments (7)


Wednesday, November 16, 2005
OOP Samples, Slides, and Papers from Las Vegas Shows

I presented a number of sessions on object-oriented programming (OOP) at the recent DevConnections (VS Connections and ASP Connections) and Microsoft Academic Days conferences in Las Vegas. In particular, there is one session on the fundamentals of object-oriented development, and another one on applying those techniques to web development. The examples, slides, and papers can now be downloaded online.

Here are the different things available for download:
  1. Basic OOP Examples
  2. Web OOP Examples
  3. Slides for both sessions
  4. Papers for both sessions

Enjoy!

BTW: One of the papers is an excerpt of the Tablet PC and Mobile PC CoDe Focus Magazine which we are about to come out with. If you haven't done so yet, then go ahead and sign up for this special issue. This printed issue of the magazine will be delivered to your doorstep completely free of charge. Click here if you want to get it.



Posted @ 8:47 PM by Egger, Markus (markus@code-magazine.com) -
Comments (11)


Tuesday, November 15, 2005
EPS Is Hiring...

EPS is hiring! For various positions, actually, but the most pressing opening we are trying to fill is the one described here:

Description:

The EPS Custom Software Group provides leading edge software solutions and services for Enterprise clients worldwide. We employ world-class talent who continuously research, evaluate and use best of breed methodologies, tools and techniques. Our guiding principle is obsessive dedication to flawlessly accomplishing assignments, working at the highest level while keeping them on time and on budget. The EPS Custom Software Group strives to provide its clients with custom solutions that precisely fit their current needs while retaining the flexibility to grow as business needs change.

EPS Software Corp (www.eps-software.com) is currently accepting resumes for a senior level Requirements Analyst. The position is located in Northwest Houston (Spring), Texas. In this position, you will work directly with clients to determine business logic and produce application requirements. You will also create application design and work closely with the development team defining and monitoring work priorities and scheduling throughout the project lifecycle.

Experience:
  • Experience working directly with clients to produce high level Requirements Documents
  • Experience explaining to clients the project technical issues in language that the client understands
  • Experience interacting directly with Software Developer teams to produce low level, detailed Use Cases and System Functional Requirements, including UI designs, UML diagrams and data models
  • Technical and programming background with Microsoft technologies that include C#, VB .NET, ASP.NET and SQL Server including a strong understanding of object oriented, n-tier systems architecture relating to Windows, Web and database applications
  • Experience in the software development lifecycle using RUP as well as Agile application development methodologies
  • Experience using software tools (e.g. Excel, Word, Project and Visio) to develop project and system documentation

Qualifications:

  • Five or more years of experience in business process analysis and software development
  • Broad knowledge of business practices and operations
  • A four-year college degree in Computer Science, Management Information Systems or a related field
  • Expert written and verbal communication and documentation skills.
  • Highly organized and able to effectively communicate ideas through conversation and documentation
  • Strong interpersonal skills and the ability to lead and motivate project teams and to grow relationships with customers
  • Ability to assimilate information from a variety of sources into a form that is targeted to the client/customer as well as to the software development team
  • Ability and experience working on multiple tasks and projects simultaneously and demonstrate abilities to establish work priorities and schedules
  • Possesses meeting facilitation skills
  • Emotional maturity to deal with stressful situations
  • Any equivalent combination of education, experience and training that provides the required knowledge, skills, and abilities

If you are interested, contact us at jobs@eps-software.com.



Posted @ 5:03 PM by Egger, Markus (markus@code-magazine.com) -
Comments (5)


Tuesday, November 15, 2005
DevTeach 2006 - Call For Speakers! (Details)

Well folks, here is your formal invitation to submit session abstracts for the 2006 DevTeach (www.devteach.com) on May 8-12, 2006 at the Montreal Centre Sheraton. This is the fourth DevTeach conference and we want to make this one the best ever!

The deadline for session abstracts is December 31, and since it’s already November, it’s fast approaching. We need speakers to present an average of three sessions. Here are a few guidelines:

  1. We HIGHLY recommend you submit several (five or more) session abstracts. This will definitely increase your chances of speaking.
  2. Be specific and professional. A few sentences of generalization and buzz words isn’t going to make an impression. The work you put into your submissions says a lot about the work you will put into your sessions
  3. Submit sessions on technologies you actually have experience with. This provides the kind of in-depth coverage we’re looking for. Warmed-over repeats of high-level sessions that can be seen free on the Microsoft web site won’t be well received
  4. Select you session’s category from one of these topics:
    • Web
    • Smart client (includes TabletPC, Mobile)
    • Architecture (includes Patterns and Practices)
    • Future Directions (includes Windows Communication Server, Windows Presentation Foundation, Vista, LINQ)
  5. PLEASE specify your session’s “Level of Expertise” (100, 200, 300, 400). From the comments gathered from last year, many attendees would like to see more level 400 sessions.

Click here to download an Excel spread sheet for session submissions. PLEASE use this template when submitting sessions! Please send your bio as plain text in the e-mail you send to submit your session abstracts.

Again, based on the caliber of speakers in our invitation list, it will be difficult to choose sessions since we only have 64 .NET session slots in the conference. Please submit your sessions toKevin (kevinm@oakleafsd.com) and myself (megger@eps-software.com).



Posted @ 2:32 PM by Egger, Markus (markus@code-magazine.com) -
Comments (7)


Friday, November 11, 2005
My Avalon (WPF) Examples from DevConnections

The Fall DevConnections 2005 has drawn to a close. This was a great conference. I presented 4 different sessions there, one of which was on Avalon (or "Windows Presentation Foundation", I should say...). Since WPF is still a changing technology that's only available as a CTP, many of my examples I did at conferences and user groups earlier this year did not work anymore. Plus, new features are now available, and I of course tried to work many of them into my presentation.

Click here to download the latest version of my examples.

Here are some of the new things in these examples (there is tons of other stuff too):

1) This is a new basic animation example, showing various controls rotating as the mouse moves over them. This example now works completely without code. Everything is done declaratively in XAML. Also, I added a textbox for added effect. Not that it works any different than other controls, but it is kinda cool to start the control rotating by moving the mouse over, and then start typing in a rotating textbox. Not particularly useful, but cool in a geeky way:

2) This example shows the combination of 2D and 3D in a single window. It has a label with a rotating animation behind a textbox. These controls exist in 2D space. Overlapping these controls is a 3D object (the infamous DirectX teapot) which is rotating in 3D space. The teapot is semi-transparent. I like this demo, because it shows that there really isn't much of a difference between 2D and 3D in WPF. Both technologies work very well together. Here's the screen shot:

3) This example shows an area that happens to have a textbox and a button (but you could replace it with anything, really). This "area" exists in 2D space. Below it is a 3D viewport that uses a rectangle (which is positioned in 3D space) to show a real-time reflection of the "area" in 2D viewspace. The reflection is done using a visual brush that is mapped onto the rectangle as a texture. The reflection also uses a gradient opacity mask to create the fading transparency effect:

4) The final example simulates a single item that is for sale in a XAML eCommerce app (ok, that might be a bit of an exaggeration). The main point of this example is that the "item for sale" exists in 3D space and can be rotated to see if from all sides. (Note the nifty real-time reflection below the teapot...) Also, animation is used to show a text panel with more information about the item:

As mentioned above, these are the new things I added. There are quite a number of examples altogether.



Posted @ 8:39 PM by Egger, Markus (markus@code-magazine.com) -
Comments (41)


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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