The .NET Sweatshop (v2)

"My life belongs to the whole community and as long as I live it is my privilege to do for it whatever I can." - George Bernard Shaw

  • The .NET Sweatshop (v2)

    Don't just use patterns & practices, build it!

    • 2 Comments
    You've used the blocks. You've read the guides. Maybe you've wondered where they come from? Maybe you've thought you could do it better? Now, come to Redmond and show us how it is done. The patterns & practices developer team is looking for top developers...
  • The .NET Sweatshop (v2)

    Inspiration in Indonesia

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    Most people think of December and the holiday season as the time of genorosity and I suppose I do too. However, January has always held more special meaning in my heart. Several years ago, I went through one of the most turbulent times of my life in January...
  • The .NET Sweatshop (v2)

    Yet another "Year-End Best Of" list - 2004 Edition

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    Well, we are at the tail-end of 2004 and there, I must do the usual year-end best-of lists. I’ve actually done this long before I had a blog, but this makes it feel more official. Every year, I’ve always picked my favorite album (since 1990’s ”Vivid”...
  • The .NET Sweatshop (v2)

    What Microsoft can learn from Linkin Park & Jay-Z

    • 8 Comments
    At the end of every blog entry, I always mention the album that is playing on my Dell DJ when I sign off. This time, the album is also the subject of the blog. Last week, I picked up “Collision Course”, a compilation of songs that were “mashed” between...
  • The .NET Sweatshop (v2)

    A community by any other name

    • 10 Comments
    A few months ago, I was put on point for patterns & practices “community”. For the previous year, I have been the marketing guy and erstwhile business manager. Community was a new track for me and I had to hit the ground running by connecting with...
  • The .NET Sweatshop (v2)

    We don’t make the products you buy. We make the products you buy better.

    • 9 Comments
    I’m a big football fan, but this year has been a painful disappointment for me. The Tennessee Titans have been decimated by injuries and won’t win at least 11 games for only the second time in the last six years. The playoffs have usually been a given...
  • The .NET Sweatshop (v2)

    What a difference a decade makes

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    In college, St. Patrick’s Day was always one of my favorite days of the year. There was something about green beer and the random excuse to drink it always made that a festive day. I particularly remember the one in 1994, but not so much for the green...
  • The .NET Sweatshop (v2)

    Smartphone = Smart Sandy

    • 9 Comments
    When I first got a cell phone six years ago, I was skeptical about using them. Like many people, I was pretty much lured in by the free minutes. Of course, I soon became dependent on a freedom and flexibility of a mobile phone and enjoyed the rapidly...
  • The .NET Sweatshop (v2)

    Voting Day

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    Ah yes, that time of the year when everyone, democrat or republican, can rejoice in one common theme: no more attack ads! Ugh, so much for focusing on the positive. My wife has been heavily involved in the I-884 campaign and I've really been proud about...
  • The .NET Sweatshop (v2)

    The New “BI” (Baseball Intelligence)

    • 10 Comments
    I spent last week at an off-site meeting with several other Microsoft people. With the unbelievable playoff action that was going on, the lunchtime topic inevitably turned to baseball. Given the international flavor of the table, it was an interesting...
  • The .NET Sweatshop (v2)

    Digital Gotham

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    If you’ve been around the Microsoft architecture “scene” (OK, it’s not a scene, but I don’t know what to call it), you are familiar with the Digital Metropolis metaphor. Courtesy of Pat Helland (quite possibly the funniest man at Microsoft), it paints...
  • The .NET Sweatshop (v2)

    Mr. patterns & practices goes to Washington (sorta)

    • 3 Comments
    I spent last week in Reston, VA (just outside of Washington DC) at the patterns & practices Summit. This was the third and final one of the calendar year and the first that was a certified sell-out. It's definitely been a gratifying experience to...
  • The .NET Sweatshop (v2)

    Insufficent US Education Resources & The Link To Outsourcing

    • 16 Comments
    WARNING- Rant Ahead. Proceed with caution. :-> It takes a village to raise a child, but what does that mean? To me, it’s about providing the opportunities and support for them to reach their potential. Take a child’s future career. A college degree...
  • The .NET Sweatshop (v2)

    $pelling Micro$oft with a Dollar $ign

    • 13 Comments
    We spent last week in unfamiliar territory. Typically, we venture out to events with a pretty strong Microsoft presence (TechEd, VS Live, etc.), but last week, we attended the SD Best Practices Expo in Boston . Lots of .NET developers, but also a lot...
  • The .NET Sweatshop (v2)

    You Never Know Who's Reading...

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    A few weeks ago, I was sitting in a room with Jim Newkirk and Ward Cunningham when we were discussing Google Page Ranks. Essentially, Google has their algorithms to determine how important a page is. I believe this is a combination of how many people...
  • The .NET Sweatshop (v2)

    Steve Ballmer Rocks! And (sigh) so does Derek Jeter...

    • 3 Comments
    Microsoft held its company meeting today. I always love to tell the story about the first company meeting I attended. It was two years ago in the Fall of 2002. They held it at Safeco Field and it was one of the greatest experiences I ever had. 20,000...
  • The .NET Sweatshop (v2)

    Software Politics

    • 4 Comments
    Watching the American presidential campaigns has been an interesting experience. I think I watched in years past, but never as much as I did this year. The campaign intrigues me and perhaps the most intriguing is the whole “flip-flopping” accusation against...
  • The .NET Sweatshop (v2)

    An XML Ad for the upcoming patterns & practices Summit

    • 1 Comments
    I feel like I need to do an entry about the upcoming p&p Summit, but I've got an ethical dilemma as a principled blogger. I usually try to put some time into my blogs entries and don't usually like to do cheapies. So, I thought I would be more than...
  • The .NET Sweatshop (v2)

    Show Me The Moneyball (software edition)

    • 5 Comments
    Last week, I sat in on a great course from a group down in Austrailia known as Readify. They are doing some great work down there and they offered to let me audit a course on .NET known as Industrial Strength .NET. To sweeten the pot, they even offered...
  • The .NET Sweatshop (v2)

    Flying The Friendly EDRA Skies

    • 3 Comments
    I’ve been spending the last few weeks on the road, splitting between business and pleasure. New York City, New Jersey, and California have been my destinations and my credit card companies have been getting nervous about the activity (“he’s everywhere...
  • The .NET Sweatshop (v2)

    Wither Application Blocks?

    • 6 Comments
    There's been a lot of FUD (fear, uncertainty, and doubt) going on around the application blocks. After our TechEd presentations (where we provided a teaser, but little more), everyone was guessing about the future of the blocks. No, they are not going...
  • The .NET Sweatshop (v2)

    patterns & practices Live!

    • 6 Comments
    A year ago, when I stepped into my current role on the p&p team, I knew that we created good content but we weren't doing enough to make our stuff consumable. I didn't like that we just threw it over the wall and assumed that customers would get it...
  • The .NET Sweatshop (v2)

    Keep It Simple, Software Guy!

    • 4 Comments
    Simplicity is a funny thing. A colleague of mine was showing me an ad for Visual Studio that was set in an office. The coders in the office had put together a ridiculously long diagram to represent the application they were building. My colleague was...
  • The .NET Sweatshop (v2)

    Three Years and Counting...

    • 8 Comments
    Today is my three-year anniversary at Microsoft. It’s hard to believe. I love telling the story about how I had no intention of coming here—I had a cool job lined up in management consulting and was ready to live the life of airplanes and...
  • The .NET Sweatshop (v2)

    Software Socialism?

    • 6 Comments
    Working with the patterns & practices group has been a really interesting way to spend the last few years of my life (three years this week!). When I got here, we were just “PAG”, the team that worked on the first MSA and the Reference...
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