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  • Blog Post: A Writer's Toolkit

    Even in a technical role, communication is paramount. If you don't read widely and communicate well, your progression suffers. And one of the primary modes of communication is writing. I've written several books, articles and blogs (see "Publications" on this page), but it isn't just writing books that...
  • Blog Post: Using Outlook Tasks for a Performance Review

    At Microsoft, we have a performance review twice a year to ensure we're on track towards meeting the goals that we set up at the beginning of the year with our manager. I've been a manager multiple times in my career, so I've been on both sides of the table during this review. The results of a review...
  • Blog Post: Conducting Effective Web Meetings

    There are several forms of corporate communication. From immediate, rich communications like phones and IM messaging to historical transactions like e-mail, there are a lot of ways to get information to one or more people. From time to time, it's even useful to have a meeting. (This is where a witty...
  • Blog Post: Stand-Up Desk 2012 Update

    One of the more popular topics here on my technical blog doesn't have to do with technology, per-se - it's about the choice I made to go to a stand-up desk work environment. If you're interested in the history of those, check here: Stand-Up Desk Part One Stand-Up Desk Part Two I have made some...
  • Blog Post: How I Work: Staying Productive Whilst Traveling

    I travel a lot. Not like some folks that are gone every week, mind you, although in the last month I’ve been to: Cambridge, UK; Anchorage, AK; San Jose, CA; Copenhagen, DK, Boston, MA; and I’m currently en-route to Anaheim, CA. While this many places in a month is a bit unusual for me, I...
  • Blog Post: How I Work: A Cloud Developer's Workstation

    I've written here a little about how I work during the day, including things like using a stand-up desk (still doing that, by the way). Inspired by a Twitter conversation yesterday, I thought I might explain how I set up my computing environment. First, a couple of important points. I work in Cloud...
  • Blog Post: How I Work– Working From Home

    I work from home – and I would find it difficult to work any other way. For decades I’ve worked in traditional offices, cubicle-farms, and open-plan work areas. I find them too bright, too loud, too distracting, and in some cases, too depressing to be effective. Working from home offers me a zero-commute...
  • Blog Post: Windows Azure End to End Examples

    I’m fascinated by the way people learn. I’m told there are several methods people use to understand new information, from reading to watching, from experiencing to exploring. Personally, I use multiple methods of learning when I encounter a new topic, usually starting with reading a bit about the concepts...
  • Blog Post: How I work: Standing Desk Update

    <This is a non-technical post, at least mostly> Back in January I wrote a post on switching to a stand-up desk arrangement . Since then folks have asked me if I stuck with it, how it worked out, and will I go back to sitting down to work. I thought I would post a few thoughts here on what I’ve...
  • Blog Post: Book Review (Book 8) - The Elements of Persuasion

    This is a continuation of the books I challenged myself to read to help my career - one a month, for year. You can read my first book review here . The book I chose for January 2012 was: The Elements of Persuasion by Richard Maxwell and Robert Dickman . Why I chose this Book: As I mentioned in a previous...
  • Blog Post: Team Foundation Server (TFS) in the Cloud - My Experience So Far

    I recently joined a software development project that involves not only myself and other internal Microsoft employees, but a partner and a customer as well. We are building a hybrid solution that uses assets on premises as well as Windows Azure for processing. When we put the team together we picked...
  • Blog Post: Cloud Computing In Action: How I work with Live Mesh, SkyDrive, and Office Live Workspace

    Recently I had an tweetversation with a couple of friends on some confusion around two of our products: SkyDrive and Live Mesh . Like most of our software, there’s no single way to do things. That can be a strength or it can cause that confusion. They asked if I would blog how I work with these two products...
  • Blog Post: Stand-Up Cloud Computing

    When I was very young, I asked my uncle for career advice. He went silent, thinking for a bit, and then said: “People who work sitting down make more than people who work standing up.” I’m not certain how true that really is, but my career as a technology professional has led me to work in a seated position...
  • Blog Post: How I Prepare For Presentations, And My Speaking Schedule For This Quarter

    I do a little speaking here and there and I’ve been asked about the method I use to get ready for a talk. I thought I might share the method I use, although as you read through this remember that not everyone has the same style, processes and procedures they use. As long as you feel prepared when you...
  • Blog Post: Book Review (Book 2) - Rhetoric by Aristotle

    This is a continuation of the books I challenged myself to read to help my career - one a month, for year. You can read my first book review here . The book I chose for July 2011 was Rhetoric, by Aristotle. You can read it here for free: http://ebooks.adelaide.edu.au/a/aristotle/a8rh/ Why I chose this...
  • Blog Post: Head in the Clouds–Eyes on the Books

    I normally post technical topics here on this blog, but I’m extending this post a bit to include a little professional development. Don’t worry; there’s some tech (and Distributed Computing tech, no less) in this post as well. I recently presented a few sessions on a “ SQL...
  • Blog Post: Where is the SQL Azure Development Environment

    Recently I posted an entry explaining that you can develop in Windows Azure without having to connect to the main service on the Internet, using the Software Development Kit (SDK) which installs two emulators - one for compute and the other for storage. That brought up the question of the same kind of...
  • Blog Post: Windows Azure Emulators On Your Desktop

    Many people feel they have to set up a full Azure subscription online to try out and develop on Windows Azure. But you don’t have to do that right away. In fact, you can download the Windows Azure Compute Emulator – a “cloud development environment” – right on your desktop...
  • Blog Post: How I work: Workstations for the Data Professional

    I’ve used a lot of working methods for my desktop environment (not my servers) over the years, but they fall into three “buckets” of systems: 1. Big Workstation, VM Server, all tools, documentation, test environments local 2. Laptop with all tools installed, as well as Microsoft...
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