Thursday, September 30, 2010

G. Andrew Guthie and Dane Morgridge invited me to be the featured guest on Community Megaphone Podcast this week.

We talked about community, give camps, user groups, INETA, MVPs, fried foods and kilts.

I had a blast.

You can listen to the show here.

Thursday, September 30, 2010 9:32:22 AM (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)
 Monday, September 27, 2010
Monday, September 27, 2010 6:21:21 AM (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)
 Wednesday, September 22, 2010

This is a 2-part recording of Jim Holmes's presentation An Introduction To Unit Testing, delivered at the September 15 meeting of the Great Lakes Area .Net User Group.

Part 1
Part 2
Wednesday, September 22, 2010 6:21:39 AM (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)
 Monday, September 20, 2010
Monday, September 20, 2010 6:22:50 AM (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)
 Monday, September 13, 2010
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Monday, September 13, 2010 5:38:49 AM (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)
 Sunday, September 12, 2010

At the June 2010 Great Lakes Area .Net User Group meeting, Microsoft Regional Director Bill Wagner shows off many of the new features of C# 4.0

Here is that presentation captured on video.

C# | Video
Sunday, September 12, 2010 9:48:14 PM (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)
 Tuesday, September 07, 2010
Tuesday, September 07, 2010 7:45:00 AM (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)
 Monday, September 06, 2010

This is a 3-part recording of Randy Pagels's presentation New Testing Features of VS2010, delivered at the August 18 meeting of the Great Lakes Area .Net User Group (GANG)

Part 1:

Part 2:

Part 3:

Monday, September 06, 2010 1:48:51 PM (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)
 Sunday, September 05, 2010


It has been almost a decade since I first learned C#. It didn’t take me long to become productive in this language; but years later, I am still uncovering its secrets. There are two reasons for this:

  1. C# is a relatively complex language and new features are added with each release. There is a lot to learn
  2. In many cases, C# offers multiple ways to accomplish the same task and it’s not always obvious which way is best for my project.

In Effective C#, 2nd Edition, Bill Wagner attempts to demystify C# by explaining much of the inner workings of the language and by providing specific advice points to improve your coding.

The book assumes a basic understanding of C# syntax. It builds on this understanding in two ways:

  1. Explaining the implementation details of the language
  2. Providing advice on how to use the language and the .Net libraries in your coding.

The second edition of this book includes new features introduced in C# 3.0 and 4.0, such as lambda expressions and LINQ.

The book is split into 50 chapters and each chapter advises developers on a specific coding preference. Wagner backs up his advice with an explanation of the inner workings of the C# language. Among the questions that Wagner answers are:

  • What is the difference between readonly and const and which one should I use and why?
  • What new C# feature reduces the need for multiple overloads?
  • When and how do I need to explicitly dispose of objects?
  • What does it mean for a variable to be statically typed as a dynamic variable? Does that even make sense?

I learned something new in nearly every chapter. Some chapters shed more light on topics that I thought I knew well. Other chapters introduced me to concepts about which I knew very little. And a few chapters contained information so complex that my head began to hurt (I'm looking at you, IDynamicMetaObjectProvider).

With 50 chapters of solid advance and concise explanations, everyone beyond a beginner level in C# can benefit from this book.

Effective C-Sharp book
Sunday, September 05, 2010 9:03:41 AM (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)
 Thursday, September 02, 2010

Don't let anyone tell you that nothing ever happens in central Kentucky. The Great Pork Chop Incident of Carrollton, KY was still fresh in my mind as I drove the 300+ miles from Michigan to Lexington, KY Tuesday to speak at the first-ever meeting of the Lexington .Net User Group.

The drive down was uneventful and I arrived early enough to review my presentation before the meeting began.

Matt McKnight, who - along with his wife Tiffany - had founded the user group, sent me several text messages directing me to a good parking spot, the ideal building entrance and the location of the meeting room inside the Lexington Public Library.

But I never made it inside the library. Matt's final text message arrived as I was getting out of my car. That was the moment that everything changed. The police had arrived and ordered an evacuation of the building. I found Matt outside the library and he took me to a local bar, where about 20 user group attendees were self-applying beer to help recover from the emergency evacuation. The bar wasn't adequately equipped for a presentation, so Matt made some phone calls and found that DeSha's Restaurant had an available back room. The entire group headed across downtown Lexington to our new destination.

The restaurant had no projector, so I gave an abbreviated version of my presentation - Writing Your First ASP.Net MVC Application - using only my laptop. It went well. People were engaged and asked good questions and no one complained that my presentation was too long.

I was really impressed with this crowd that was willing to walk 5 blocks across downtown Lexington in order to attend a user group presentation. I think this bodes well for the future of the group.

I'm very glad I was present for the nascence of this group. I expect great things from them in the future.

LEXNUG site.

Thursday, September 02, 2010 2:27:11 PM (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)