Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Episode 34

Brian Genisio is developing Silverlight and WPF applications using the Model-View-ViewModel pattern. In this interview, Brian describes the pattern and how to use it.

8 mins, 56 secs

Wednesday, July 15, 2009 1:07:45 AM (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)
 Tuesday, July 14, 2009

My sister Denise passed away very suddenly Saturday morning. I very much appreciate all those who have offered their love and support over the past few days.  Below are the details of her funeral and visitation.

Visitation
 Wednesday 7/15, 3-9PM
 Thursday 1-9PM (Rosary at 7PM)
 Wujek-Calcaterra & Sons Funeral Home
 36900 Schoenherr Rd.
 Sterling Heights, MI 48312
 Map: http://is.gd/1yL05

Funeral Mass
 Friday 7/16, 10AM
 St. Isadore Catholic Church
 18201 23 Mile Rd. (at Romeo Plank Rd)
 Macomb, MI 48042
 Map: http://is.gd/1yLLJ

Entombment
 Resurrection Cemetery
 18201 Clinton River Road
 Clinton Township , MI 48038
 http://is.gd/1yLN6

Denise and David

Tuesday, July 14, 2009 2:55:36 PM (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)
 Monday, July 13, 2009

Episode 33

In this interview, Corey Schuman describes Silverlight. He discusses the difference between Silverlight and other technologies, such as Windows forms, ASP.Net and Flash.

10 mins, 30 secs

Sunday, July 12, 2009 11:50:55 PM (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)
 Wednesday, July 08, 2009

Episode 32

In this video, author and speaker Josef Finsel describes moving databases to "The Cloud" using Azure Table storage.  You can read more of his thoughts on the subject at http://azuredba.com/blog.aspx

11 mins, 9 secs

Wednesday, July 08, 2009 6:46:42 AM (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)
 Sunday, July 05, 2009

Episode 31

In this interview, Jim Wooley discusses the relevance of stored procedures and best practices for accessing a database.

13 mins, 32 secs

Sunday, July 05, 2009 6:16:55 PM (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)
 Friday, July 03, 2009

Contribupendence Day is the brainchild of Microsoft Developer Evangelist Jeff Blankenburg.  He came up with the idea a year ago and this is the second year in which I have participated.

Jeff pointed out that most of us sometimes get to work with outstanding people (true for me) and that we often don't take the time to recognize the contributions of those people (also true for me). To correct this, he deemed July 3 "Contribupendence Day" - a day in which we can contribute to the independence from mediocrity of outstanding colleagues.  

Jeff suggested that we do this by choosing a few excellent past or present co-workers and writing a recommendation on a networking site. I chose four former co-workers and wrote a recommendation for each on LinkedIn. I won't list their names here, but you are welcome to view my LinkedIn profile and see what I wrote.

I don't expect anything in return but I didn't expect anything last year and I ended up reaping benefits anyway.  I wrote a number of recommendations last July in response to Jeff's call. A couple months later, I found myself out of work and looking for a job. One strategy in my job search was to request LinkedIn recommendations from former co-workers. I believe that I received better responses from these requests because I had so freely given recommendations earlier in the year. I was touched and delighted by the outpourings of those willing to write nice things about me in a public forum. During my job search, several interviewers told me they read my LinkedIn profile and were impressed with the quantity and quality of the recommendations I received.

So take a few minutes today to speak honestly about those who have impressed you. You never know when or how the favor will be returned.

Friday, July 03, 2009 6:44:26 PM (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)

CodeStock 2009 is in the books. I didn't attend last year, but this year, the Knoxville developer conference expanded to two days and more than doubled the number of attendees.

This conferences ranks high on the important value-per-dollar scale. As a speaker, the $25 conference fee was waived; I shared a ride to Tennessee with five other attendees; and I used the last of my Marriott points for the hotel. All told, I had 2 days of great content for under a hundred bucks in meals and gas. By far, my biggest cost was the two vacation days I had to spend in order to attend.

I saw some very good sessions and met a lot of bright people. In one spontaneous open space, I solicited feedback on the layout of my blog. As a result, I've removed some unneeded links, moved the RSS feed to the top of the main page and enabled Google analytics.

I even had a chance to talk with CodeStock organizer Mike Neel near the end of the conference.

I presented a session on Microsoft Managed Extensibility Framework. It was well-received and many in the audience were actively engaged, asking questions that indicated they grasped all the concepts I was trying to communicate. 

You can download the slides for my MEF presentation from the link below.

The content and samples of this presentation are covered in the articles below.

Friday, July 03, 2009 7:59:07 AM (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)
 Wednesday, July 01, 2009

Episode 30

This is only the second year of CodeStock but Mike Neel managed to expand the Knoxville conference to a 2-day event and more than double attendance to 376.  In this interview, Mike talks about the conference and the developer community in the Heartland region.

17 mins, 15 secs

Wednesday, July 01, 2009 6:32:53 AM (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)
 Wednesday, June 24, 2009

I'm really looking forward to attending the CodeStock conference in Knoxville, TN this weekend.

The speaker lineup looks amazing (not just because I'm in it) and the two-day format should give me time to talk with a lot of attendees outside of the sessions.

I will bring my video camera to CodeStock in hopes of recording more interviews for my online TV show "Technology and Friends". In this show I interview technologists about their passions.  Past shows have focused on topics such as frameworks, careers, events and community-building. A typical show lasts 10-20 minutes, so it tends to be very focused. You can see the first 29 episodes by clicking here: http://www.davidgiard.com/CategoryView,category,Interviews.aspx

If you would like to be on this show, please e-mail at me at  and suggest a topic you would like to cover.

And if you see me at CodeStock, please stop me and say "Hello".

Join me at CodeStock

Wednesday, June 24, 2009 7:40:18 AM (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)
 Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Mike Cramer and I grew up in suburban Detroit when Mark "The Bird" Fidrych burst onto the sports scene.  Tall, lanky, long-haired and filled with quirks, the Bird captured the imagination of both kids and adults during his time with the Detroit Tigers. His career was brief but spectacular. He won Rookie of the Year in 1976, but an misdiagnosed arm injury the following year hindered his performance for the rest of his career.  Several attempted comebacks fell short and Fidrych pitched his last Major League game in 1980.

In 1976, Fidrych was famous for both his pitching prowess (he started the All-Star game and was runner-up in the Cy Young voting as a rookie) and for his on-field personality.  I saw him pitch once that year.  I was 14 years old and I remember well his enthusiasm for the game.  He would talk to the baseball between pitches and sometimes he would get down on his hands and knees to smooth out the dirt of the mound. He never hid his joy after getting a batter out or retiring a side or winning a game.

Now Mike Cramer has a film which features Mark Fidrych and the effect he had on a young boy in suburban Detroit - an effect The Bird still had when the boy grew up and struggled with his empty life at middle age and set out across the country to find the answers from his boyhood hero.

Mike's movie - Dear Mr. Fidrych - debuts this Friday night June 26 at the Detroit-Windsor International Film Festival.

Mr. Fidrych will not be in attendance.  The Bird passed away less than three months ago, killed while working alone on a dump truck on his Massachusetts farm.

But the Bird is in this film and I believe he will be at this screening in spirit. I hope you go watch it. The Bird and the movie may inspire you the way he inspired me when I was a kid; the way he inspired Mike Cramer and the boy turned man of the movie.  Maybe he'll inspire a generation of sports fans and movie fans who never got a chance to see him.

Maybe this is the comeback that baseball denied The Bird.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009 9:40:49 PM (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)