Joining Microsoft Canada as a Developer Advisor

I've recently accepted an offer to join the great team at Microsoft Canada in the role of Developer Advisor! This new position will be a great challenge and a lot of fun as far as I can tell. I'll be bringing in my experience as a former Microsoft MVP and user group leader in the role, and I'm looking forward getting deeply involved with the developer community in Canada!Update: Noah Coad has posted about my new position here. 

Posted by on 11 August 2006 | 1:11 pm

Status Update

In case you were wondering, I'm still alive and posting (although not as prolifically as my good friend Noah). I've been up to a few cool things - here is a status update:Professional Team Foundation Server: I got word that my first book Professional Visual Studio 2005 Team System is a great success (we sold a higher than average number of copies at TechEd 2006 and our sales rank on Amazon is pretty darn good). Mickey Gousset and I are hard at work writing Professional Team Foundation Server, the follow up book. The first book is very comprehensive and provides good information about the features end to end. The follow up book is more scenario based. We tried to stuff as much pragmatic information into this follow up book - if you are asking questions on how to use Team System in a real world context, this book is for you. If I get permission from the publisher, I'll try to post the table of contents. In the meantime, check out the Amazon.com details page right here.Team System Courseware: Brian Harry blogged about some Team System courseware that is being developed. I am directly involved in developing the official 300 level content. Microsoft has a very interesting way of categorizing levels of content as it relates to Team System. 200 Level means that you will get a working level of knowledge of Team System - how to checkin code, create basic build types, and so forth. 300 Level content deals with topics such as migration, advanced administration, customization and extensibility. 400 Level content is over the top extensibility - you are creating APIs and adding functionality to Team System that wasn't there before. Speaking: I've been speaking quite a bit in the last few months. Last month, I did a Western Canada speaking tour on behalf of the MSDN Speakers Bureau. I had a blast and got a chance to meet a lot of great people. I'll go deeper in detail in a separate blog posting. The topic of most of the talks was Atlas. At TechEd, I led a Birds of a Feather on the topic of "Switching to Team System". The BOF went off without a hitch and was well received (as far as I can tell).Work: As of December 2005, I joined ObjectSharp Consulting. I'm lucky to be surrounded by a brilliant bunch of folks such as Barry Gervin, Bruce Johnson, John Lam, and Dave Lloyd - the collective brainpower in that one company is awe inspiring. I've been involved in many Team System deployments that have been both enjoyable and technically challenging. Personal: Two months ago, my wife and I made the tough decision to move in an apartment in Toronto. The fun part (and I use the term "fun" loosely) is unpacking the fifty or so bins filled with papers, electronics, and so forth. The struggle is ongoing and getting more "fun" by the minute. Thank goodness for CSI episodes on DVD (thanks Matt). I also attended the Molson Indy - check out these photos I took posted on Flickr.Now consider yourself up to date...for now. :)

Posted by on 4 August 2006 | 1:08 pm

Fix: Guidance Automation Toolkit Uninstall Error - The File Mvp.Xml, Version=2.0.2158.1055 cannot be found

I installed the Guidance Automation Toolkit, The Guidance Automation Extensions and the NUnit Converter to do some testing. When it was time to uninstall the application, I got the following error: "The File Mvp.Xml, Version=2.0.2158.1055 cannot be found". The order in which I installed the application was as follows:(1) Guidance Automation Extensions(2) Guidance Automation Toolkit(3) NUnit ConverterWhen it came time to uninstall the application, I did the reverse order and got the error when trying to uninstall the Guidance Automation Toolkit. After playing around a bit, I figured out the problem. NUnit Converter removes some of the .dlls that are required for the removal of the Guidance Automation Toolkit! I had to repair the Guidance Automation Toolkit install (because it aborted mid-way), and re-installed the NUnit Converter. The following is the correct uninstall order:(1) Guidance Automation Toolkit(2) NUnit Converter(3) Guidance Automation ExtensionsI thought I would post about this because the uninstall order isn't intuitive, and there may be others experiencing the same problems. 

Posted by on 3 August 2006 | 5:27 pm

Vote for my TechEd 2006 BOF Session - "Switching Over to Team System?"

Voting ends at 5PM today! If you are interested in Team System and would like to hear how it is being deployed. Here is the link to vote: https://www.msteched.com/cfp/bofVoting.aspx   Switching Over to Team System?Have you or your company considered (or made the move) to adopt Team System? This session will allow participants to discuss and share the challenges and success stories in extending, customizing and migrating existing assets and code to this new SDLC suite of tools.Intended Audience: DeveloperSubmitted By: Jean-Luc David, ObjectSharp Consulting

Posted by on 31 March 2006 | 7:17 am

Team System MSDN Public Chat

Visual Studio Team Edition for Software Developer &Visual Studio Team Edition for Software Testers When: Wednesday March 15th @ 10am PST What: Join us to discuss the Profiler, Test Tools (Unit, Generic, Manual), Web & Load Testing, and Code Analysis (FxCop & PREFast).  Come prepped w/ all your tough questions! Where: http://msdn.microsoft.com/chats

Posted by on 14 March 2006 | 9:45 pm

XBOX 360 Madness

I woke up early to pick up an XBOX 360 this morning. I started by going to a Tim Hortons to buy a large coffee - my change was $3.60. I thought that was a good omen. Man was I ever wrong. Arrived in Ajax, Ontario. The Best Buy had a line-up of over a hundred people. There were kids that had been shivering outside, waiting since 5AM and didn't get a console. People in the crowd were using their cellphones to call family and friends to "butt" into the line. It was a madhouse. If you had pre-ordered a unit in June, you were fine. Otherwise, the store only had 30 consoles in stock (which were all accounted for by very early morning). I then went over to Future Shop - they had 10 units in stock which were all accounted for. Some of the people in line were reporting that pre-ordered XBOX units were selling on eBay for $700+. The sales people were handing out pre-order forms and said that I might be able to get a 360 before Xmas. I dutifully filled out a form and moved over to a Zellers. There was a lineup of eight kids in front of me - all had been waiting since 5AM (the store opens at 9AM). A manager came out with coupons for six units - they were snatched up in seconds by the early comers. From an ROI perspective, I realized at that point that I wasn't going to get a unit today. I'm not a hardcore "gamer" by any stretch of the imagination - I can wait until my FutureShop order comes in (I learned that they are one of the largest supplier of XBOX 360's in Canada). Went home and checked the Microsoft stock price - not surprisingly, it went up this morning.

Posted by on 22 November 2005 | 8:07 am

Chat with the Team System Developer and Test Tools Team

If you are working with the Team System test tools and would like to ask questions to the product team, here is your opportunity! The chat is happening at 10AM PST/1PM EST. Visual Studio Team Edition for Software Developer & Visual Studio Team Edition for Software Testers When: Wednesday, November 16th @ 10am PST What: Join us to discuss the Profiler, Test Tools (Unit, Generic, Manual), Web & Load Testing, and Code Analysis (FxCop & PREFast).  We have questions for you, will answer questions from you, and will chat about the exciting new technology. Where: http://msdn.microsoft.com/chats

Posted by on 16 November 2005 | 2:12 am

East of Toronto .NET User Group - Moving C++ Applications to the Common Language Runtime

Our very own Kate Gregory will show you how to effortlessly move your C++ applications to the CLR. Here is a description of the talk: Come and see how real C++ projects are moving to the CLR without a full port or rewrite. Learn how to easily migrate existing native code -- including MFC applications -- to run under the CLR. Strategies for choosing which parts of the application remain native and which are managed will be discussed. See how to take advantage of the power of the framework libraries. Finally, this session will provide guidance on how to build high-performance managed "wrappers" enabling reuse of native libraries. The event will be taking place at the Whitby Public Library on November 30th. For more information, visit: http://gtaeast.torontoug.net/UG_Events/1286.aspx

Posted by on 14 November 2005 | 10:46 am

Free Copies of Visual Studio 2005 and SQL Server 2005 in Toronto!

On November 7th, Microsoft will be launching Visual Studio 2005, SQL Server 2005 and Biztalk Server 2006 in Toronto! It promises to be a huge event with two tracks (IT Pro and Developer), Cabanas, the works. If that wasn't enough, Microsoft will be giving everyone fully functional "non-evaluation" software - including Visual Studio 2005 and SQL Server 2005! The Toronto Windows Server User Group will have a pod, you'll get an opportunity to connect with your local Regional Directors, MVPs and other local experts. If you haven't signed up - do so now! Here is the link: http://www.microsoft.com/canada/launch2005/ Here is Mark Relph's announcement about the free software: http://blogs.msdn.com/mark_relph/archive/2005/10/28/486419.aspx

Posted by on 31 October 2005 | 11:43 pm

Two great ways to interact with the Team System product team!

Cross posted with my Team System blog: I've got two great opportunities if you would like to interact with the VSTS team and help shape V2 of the product. The first opportunity is a chat this Wednesday with the Dev & Test tools team. The chat starts at 10:00 AM PST (1:00 PM EST) - bring your questions and comments about Team System features such as the Profiler, Test Tools (Unit, Generic, Manual), Web & Load Testing, (and my personal favorite) the Code Analysis tools (FxCop & PREFast). Bring your really challenging questions - they can handle it (honest). Here are the details: Team System MSDN Public ChatVisual Studio Team System for Software Developer & Visual Studio Team System for Software TestersWhen: Wednesday 10/19/05 @ 10am PSThttp://msdn.microsoft.com/chats (FYI, the one hour long Team System chats happens on the third Wednesday of every month @ 10am PST). The next opportunity comes via Rob Caron - have you had a really good (or bad) experience installing Team Foundation Server? If so, the Team System group wants to hear from you to improve the overall experience. Take the Team Foundation Server Setup Experience survey and let them know how you feel about the product. Here is a direct link to the survey: https://mscuillume.smdisp.net/Collector/Survey.ashx?Name=TFS+Setup+Beta+3

Posted by on 17 October 2005 | 11:14 pm