J.D. Meier's Blog

Software Engineering, Project Management, and Effectiveness

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  • Blog Post: Dive Right In: The Art of Menu Design in Action

    I’ve updated my menu at Sources of Insight to make it easy to dive into hot topics including Innovation , Leadership , Personal Development , Productivity and more. (here is the full Topics pages.) I made them front and center on the top menu bar: I’ll be testing the effectiveness of this new menu for...
  • Blog Post: 10 Ways to Use Evernote More Effectively

    This post will give you some Evernote tips and tricks for how to use Evernote as a Personal Information Manager or as a personal knowledge base. I think of Evernote as an "Agile Knowledge-Base."  It's like a simple Wiki, with folders and pages.  The big deal is "access anywhere"...
  • Blog Post: A Map for the Microsoft Application Development Platform

    When you can speak the language, it’s easier to find your way around.   One of the key things I’ve learned at Microsoft is that I can find my way around the platform fast, *if* I know the language.   The language usually consists of scenarios or topics, features, and APIs. The toughest...
  • Blog Post: MSDN Library Home Adds Quick Links

    Jeff Braaten let me know that the MSDN Library Home is now featuring Quick Links … and it’s poetry in motion: The point behind the Quick Links is to help you jump quickly to some of the most popular areas of the MSDN Library. App Types / Platform Technology Clusters The links are clustered around key...
  • Blog Post: Reference Models, Reference Architectures, and Reference Implementations

    "All models are wrong, but some are useful." -- George Box I often see confusion over reference models, reference architectures, and reference implementations.  In this post, I’ll share my experience and learnings and observations: Reference Model - A Reference model is a model of something...
  • Blog Post: MSDN Library Home Mockup to Simplify Finding the Product Docs

    The MSDN Library is the primary showcase of our Microsoft product documentation.  It’s a treasure trove of gems.  The problem is, if you don’t know where to look, sometimes finding the documentation you’re looking for can be a challenge.   Part of your success hinges on finding the...
  • Blog Post: ADO.NET Scenarios Map

    The ADO.NET Scenarios Map is a consolidated and shared view of the common scenarios and tasks around Microsoft data access technologies. You will find Getting Started and Architecture scenarios first, followed by other common areas. Scenarios in each group should represent common tasks developers would...
  • Blog Post: Silverlight Developer Guidance Map

    If you’re a Silverlight developer or you want to learn Silverlight, this map is for you.   Microsoft has an extensive collection of developer guidance available in the form of Code Samples, How Tos, Videos, and Training.  The challenge is -- how do you find all of the various content collections...
  • Blog Post: Developer Guidance IA at a Glance

    The Information Architecture (“IA”) for Microsoft Developer Guidance is a work in progress.  You can see a living instance of the IA at Microsoft Developer Guidance Maps .  The purpose of the IA is to simplify and improve the effectiveness of content for Microsoft developer guidance. ...
  • Blog Post: Getting Started, Solve-a-Problem, and Arch-and-Design

    This post is about creating an effective body of knowledge for helping developers succeed with your product.  When I try to size up a space in terms of technical documentation, best practices, and prescriptive guidance for a given domain, product, or technology, I use the following mental model...
  • Blog Post: Silverlight Videos Map

    Here is a simple map of the Silverlight videos available from www.Silverlight.net . While making our map, I was surprised to see how many Silverlight videos there are, compared to code samples or How Tos.  That said, if you need a Silverlight video, I think you’re in luck.  Currently this is...
  • Blog Post: Microsoft Developer Guidance Maps

    As part of creating an "information architecture" for developer guidance at Microsoft, one of the tasks means mapping out what we already have.  That means mapping out out our Microsoft developer content assets across Channel9 , MSDN Developer Centers , MSDN Library , Code Gallery , CodePlex...
  • Blog Post: Code Sample Types

    As part of rounding up our available developer content, one area I can’t ignore is code samples.  Code samples are where the rubber meets the road.  They turn theory into practice.  They also help eliminate ambiguity … As Ward Cunningham says, “It’s all talk until the code runs.” ...
  • Blog Post: Simple IA

    Imagine if you were tasked with mapping out the existing Microsoft developer content spanning Channel9, the MSDN Dev Centers, MSDN Library, Code Gallery, CodePlex, the All-in-One Code Framework, etc..  How might you go about it? Imagine if you had to create an information architecture that encompasses...
  • Blog Post: 3 Flavors of Information Architecture

    Information Architecture, or “IA” for short, is an over-loaded word that means many things to many people.   I’ve found it helpful to think in terms of three flavors, summarized in the following table: Item Notes Content IA Content types, schemas, and relationships of content types.  This...
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