Archive for August, 2009

Virtual Brown Bag Meeting: follow-up (August 6th and 13th)

Heck, I’m running behind with my follow-up posts again…  :-/

My buddy JB helped us out again and took care of the meeting on August 6th. He’s posted a followed to his blog here. If you’ve heard about the Virtual Brown Bag Meetings from me and end up joining a meeting that I’m not there, don’t panic: JB will likely be there for you.  🙂 Seriously, this is how these meetings go: sometimes I just can’t make to it, but that doesn’t mean we aren’t having the meeting: whenever JB is available, he’ll take care of it, and if both of us aren’t available we’ll certainly find some other buddy who’ll make sure the meeting does happen.

So here’s also a quick summary of the meeting on August 13th:

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Material from Presentations at DevLink

I’ve had a good time presenting at DevLink 2009, in Nashville, TN. Got to get together with old buddies, and met several new ones. I’ve presented three sessions there:

  • Beyond the Core Concepts of OOP (SOLID)
  • Design Patterns
  • Building a Composite WPF Application

All sessions went smoothly, and I got lots of compliments from the attendees, so I’m always glad to hear when people find my talks useful. There were several attendees who have come to each one of my sessions. I appreciate it.

All my presentation material (slides and source code) can be downloaded here.

Hopefully I’ll be “seeing” some of you at the Virtual Brown Bag Meetings in the future.  🙂


Material from Presentations in Southern California

I’ve uploaded my material presented at the LA C# and SoCal user groups here and here, respectively. I’d like to thank everybody who showed up. There were lots of good questions and participation from attendees.

I’ve had some weird things happening to my machine at the SoCal meeting. In the last several days I’ve noticed that is seems like there’s a Windows Update available almost every day. I normally apply the updates and they seem harmless. When I was shutting down my machine before heading to the SoCal meeting, I noticed there was an update “ready to be installed”, so I just trigger the install. I found it odd that it took about 20 minutes for the updated to finish installing.

Things looked normal as I was doing the presentation, but when I got to the point where I was going to dive into test projects, I noticed that the project was being listed, but I couldn’t see any files underneath. Eventually I decided to just recreated the test project from scratch, but Visual Studio gave me an error that essentially told me all my VS project templates were gone.

I went ahead and ran “devenv /installvstemplates” to recover the templates (which takes a couple of minutes), and when I’m finally back inside Visual Studio, the machine is running *really* slow. I’ve had to reboot everything and start all over, and it took me a lot of time to be able to get back into VS and continue on with the coding part of the presentation. I’ve tried to fill in the time by taking questions from the audience, so I hope they didn’t get too annoyed by these technical difficulties.

I usually never make changes to my machine before doing a presentation, and the one time I do, all hell breaks loose. Oh well…


Virtual Brown Bag Meeting: follow-up (Jul-30)

This meeting was great. My buddy Jared Bienz demoed Silverlight 3 Out of the Browser experience, and also made himself available to answer miscellaneous questions regarding Expression Blend, WPF, styles, etc.:

  • We’ve seen a quick presentation on Silverlight 3 Out of the Browser experience
  • This link has been mentioned as a good resource on Silverlight
  • It was recommended watching the Silverlight “Visual Kitchen” video
  • There’s a book on “Dynamic Prototyping with SketchFlow in Expression Blend” in the works. Preview chapters can be downloaded here.
  • Interesting managed API for interacting with Windows 7 features (such as the taskbar) from with .NET apps
  • Virtual Earth Silverlight Map control CTP: very interesting control for adding maps to Silverlight apps.

Jared also sent me an email with his own notes to links and other things he had mentioned during the meeting. Thanks a lot, Jared!

Tim Heuers’ original video that I “borrowed” from to present today:

Tim’s sample code:

Application Skinning in WPF and Silverlight:

Virtual Earth Map Control for Silverlight

Note that you’ll need to sign in to connect and apply for access, but anyone can join.

Below you’ll find information about the Front Runner program. If you join the Front Runner program or are interested in logo certification, please let Jared know ( Jared can serve as your sponsor and can also act as a local resource here in Houston should you have any issues.

Once you’re in and answered a couple of questions you can go to the Expert Support tab:


From there you can get free e-mail support and even live phone call support from our Windows 7 / Server 2008 R2 compatibility engineers.

Front Runner provides other benefits as well, including some pretty valuable marketing resources when you’re compatible and a logo you can display to show that you’re early adopters. Front Runner is separate from the Windows Logo program, though, which has benefits of its own and is now free to complete. The Windows 7 logo program includes partner points, for example, so we’re really hoping ISVs will choose to do both.

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Speaking at two user groups in Southern California

Tomorrow morning I’m flying out to L.A. for two presentations at user groups through INETA. I’m certainly looking forward to it. Since the two user groups are 25 miles apart from each other, we’ve figured I could present topics that compliment each other, hoping that the local folks could attend to both meetings.  🙂

8/4/2009, Tuesday,  6:30 pm for LA C# at Manhattan Beach library (info)

Topic:  Intro to Test-Driven Development

Even though the name suggests that Test-Driven Development (or TDD) is all about testing code, it is actually more about designing the code. By following TDD, a developer writes code that is well designed, tested, and documented, and therefore, the quality of what is produced is much higher then that of a code-and-fix approach.

8/5/2009, Wednesday,  6:30 pm for SoCalDotNet at Buena Park (info)

Topic:  Isolating Dependencies in Unit Tests Using Mocks and Stubs

Soon after getting used to writing "unit" tests, developers tend to realize that those tests weren’t really testing "units"; they were testing way more than that. In order to write real unit tests, it’s necessary to use test doubles such as mocks and stubs. This session covers how to create and use those, and how to use Rhino Mocks to simplify things further. As we learn about those things, we’ll also learn about the importance of thinking through how we write our code, putting thought into the dependencies that a class may have, and how things should be split up.

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