# Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Last week, Microsoft released Windows 8 and made it available to MSDN subscribers.

Recognizing that more applications will make this platform more successful, Microsoft is offering free help to developers who want to build applications for Windows 8.

You can sign up for the GenerationApp program to get guidance, including free access to Microsoft architects and consultants to advise you on everything from design to getting App Store approval. There are some limitations, so check out http://tinyurl.com/30daysWin8 for more information.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012 7:53:54 PM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)
Tuesday, August 21, 2012 4:27:41 AM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)
# Sunday, August 19, 2012

JavaScript’s popularity proves how useful people have found the language. Novices use it to add simple validations to web forms, while advanced build amazing applications with JavaScript.

Yet, for all its utility, many look at JavaScript with disdain and fear, pointing to dangerous features and to the difficult of dealing with the browser's Document Object Model.

In JavaScript: The Good Parts, Douglas Crockford distinguishes between the good features of JavaScript that make it and elegant and powerful language; and the bad parts that make it dangerous and difficult to understand. Crockford’s message is to use the good parts and avoid the bad parts and stop fearing JavaScript.

According to Crockford, most people misunderstand JavaScript and so they misuse it; then, they complain about the language.

Crockford acknowledges that the designers of JavaScript made some mistakes (global variables, for example), but that there are enough good features of the language to make it appealing to a wide range of users writing a wide range of applications. He notes that JavaScript succeeded as a platform for creating client code for the web – something that that the more powerful Java language attempted and failed badly – and that this proves JavaScript’s power.

Applications will be better and developers happier, notes Crockford, if developers avoid the bad parts of the language. For example, always use the "===" operator, which returns what most users expect because it doesn't do any type coercion. Avoid the confusion of the "==" operator, Crockford recommends.

Crockford's style is concise and straightforward. At fewer than 200 pages, the book has no room for distractions. Regular Expressions are presented and described and examples are shown how to use them. Crockford clearly describes Closures, a feature that is likely new to many developers; and he spells out how callbacks are implemented in JavaScript.

Before reading this book, I was unaware of implied semicolons in JavaScript and whey they can be dangerous. Crockford spelled out the dangers and how to avoid them very clearly.

JavaScript can be a great language if you confine your programs to using the best parts of the language and steer clear of most of the dangerous features. This book will help distinguish the two.

Sunday, August 19, 2012 3:36:23 AM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)
# Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Here is Mike Wood's presentation on Continuum (of the Windows Azure Variety) at the July 2012 Great Lakes Area .NET User Group meeting.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012 1:36:59 PM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)
# Monday, August 13, 2012
Monday, August 13, 2012 8:27:00 PM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)
# Sunday, August 12, 2012

I recently delivered a presentation titled “Persistence in the Cloud: How to Use Azure Storage” at the aspconf online conference. A recording of this presentation is available at http://channel9.msdn.com/Events/aspConf/aspConf/Persistence-In-The-Cloud-How-to-use-Azure-Storage.

Sunday, August 12, 2012 5:52:59 PM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)
# Monday, August 6, 2012
Monday, August 6, 2012 7:49:43 AM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)
# Wednesday, August 1, 2012

I recently delivered a presentation titled “HTML5 is the Future of the Web” at the aspconf online conference. A recording of this presentation is available at http://channel9.msdn.com/Events/aspConf/aspConf/HTML5-is-the-Future-of-the-Web.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012 3:07:00 PM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)
# Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Training is an important part of employee development and most managers recognize this. At the same time, most managers have a budget to which they need to adhere.

Next time you request training, do yourself, your manager, and your company a favor by articulating the reasons for this training. To reduce misunderstanding and ambiguity, state your case in writing. Be explicit about what you are requesting. This may include time away from work, training fees, and travel expenses.

Your statement should answer as many of the following questions as you  can:

  • How will this training benefit your ability to complete your current project or an upcoming project? How will this training benefit the company or department?
  • How does this training align with your career goals?
  • How much will the training cost? How much time will you need to miss from my regular assignments? Do you plan to make up this time? Do you plan to take vacation for the missed time?
  • If the training is out of town, is similar training available locally? If so, why is the out-of-town training preferable.
  • If your company provides "free" training resources, what does this training provide that is not available in those resources?

Generally, managers are supportive of training for their employees. Help them make the decision easier by clearly stating a case for your training.

Note: This blog post was inspired by a recent conversation with career counselors at the Sogeti Minneapolis office.

Tuesday, July 31, 2012 9:54:50 AM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)
# Monday, July 30, 2012
Monday, July 30, 2012 4:57:00 PM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)