24 Aug 2010

Tech·Ed Africa 2010: Want to go for free?

Win 1 of 4 Tickets to Microsoft Tech·Ed Africa 2010 worth R6 150 each!!!

Venue:    ICC Durban

Date:       17th - 20th October 2010

All you need to do is take a photo of a Microsoft Tag in a really cool/funny/practical place and upload the picture to the Facebook competition page.

More details in the competition animated video here.

Full Competition Rules on our Facebook page.

Dates for Submissions & Announcements of Winners:

  • 25 Aug 2010    -    Last Date For Submissions (week 1) (5pm)
  • 27 Aug 2010    -    Week 1 Winner Announced
  • 01 Sep 2010    -    Last Date For Submissions (week 2) (5pm)
  • 03 Sep 2010    -    Week 2 Winner Announced
  • 08 Sep 2010    -    Last Date For Submissions (week 3) (5pm)
  • 10 Sep 2010    -    Week 3 Winner Announced
  • 15 Sep 2010    -    Last Date For Submissions (week 4) (5pm)
  • 17 Sep 2010    -    Week 4 Winner Announced

Submissions & Announcements of Winners:

  • A new winner will be selected weekly.
  • Last date for submissions for a particular week is 5pm Wednesday of that week.
  • Winner for that week will be announced on the Friday.
  • Submissions after 5pm will count towards the following week.
  • Submissions which did not win in a previous week will still be considered in following weeks and need not be re-submitted.
  • A person can only win once, thereafter all his other submissions will be ignored.
  • You cannot submit on behalf of another person.
  • Submissions are done by posting a photo to the Facebook page wall.

Terms and Conditions apply:

This competition is limited to Tech·Ed Africa 2010 entrance and does not include Travel, hotel or any other expenses. You will be required to help out at the Developers Community Lounge at Tech·Ed Africa 2010 for 3 hours a day if you do win. For Full list of rules please consult the Facebook page.

20 Aug 2010

It's Dev4Dev's time again!

My favourite gathering of developers happens 2 or 3 times a year, it’s called Dev4Devs. This is a free event which Microsoft runs, where ANYONE can present a topic but they only have 20min! This means that in a morning you see 7 topics and rather than getting swamped in all the details you dive directly to the really important parts.

The topic list is below, and there is some exciting topics there and even some non-MS technology is covered too!

I am also really glad that the entire ATC team at BB&D, which is the team I work in, is presenting – they are highlighted in the list below!

The next one comes on the 4th September 2010 and it occurs at Microsoft’s offices in Johannesburg and you can register at https://msevents.microsoft.com/CUI/EventDetail.aspx?EventID=1032456806&Culture=en-ZA

Session List for Dev4Devs

Windows Phone 7 - Getting Started

A high level introduction to getting started with Windows Phone 7 development including: where to begin, options for developers, thinking about design and a demonstration application.

Presenter: Johannes van Schalkwyk

Making MVVM easy

Starting with WPF, Silverlight or WP7? Heard of MVVM but think it’s WAY too complex for your simple application? Join me for a crash course using the easiest MVVM framework available… Caliburn.Micro!
Presenter: Rudi Grobler (ATC Team Member)

Why you should care about Google Closure

Closure is a modularised set of JavaScript libraries that can assist you in building rich internet applications.

It's been battle-tested by Google on sites like: Gmail, Google Docs and Google Maps.

Attend this short intro to get an understanding of how important these libraries are and why you should consider using them in your next big internet app.

Presenter: Simon Stewart

Introducing NHibernate 3

The daddy of .NET ORM is back with a new release, in this session you'll see a few of the newest features - such as a full IQueryable LINQ provider - that makes NHibernate 3 the best release yet!
Presenter: Kevin McKelvin

Branding SharePoint 2010 with MasterPages, Layouts and CSS

One of the largest limitations of WSS3.0 and MOSS2007 is the ability to brand SharePoint without intricate knowledge of the platform and in some cases breaking a few rules and modifying out of the box system files to get the desired look and feel. Come and see how the theming engine in SharePoint 2010 together with CSS, Master Pages and Layouts can be used to brand your SharePoint site using the amazing new SharePoint Designer 2010.
Presenter: Brent Samodien

Unit Testing - Code Coverage & Mocking

In this presentation William will demonstrate how code coverage tools help measure the effectiveness of your unit tests.  He will also show how Mocking tools can help to add value to your unit tests and ensure that all edge-case logic is properly checked.
Presenter: William Brander (ATC Team Member)

Getting ready for Windows Azure development

Heard about the cloud? Excited about the possibilities? In this session we have a 1000-mile introduction to Microsoft’s operating system for the cloud, Windows Azure, how it compares to the other cloud offerings that are out there and how to get your hands dirty with the skill-up process. Endless possibilities + new tech = fun stuff.
Presenter: Ryno Rijnsburger

An introduction to Mercurial Source Control

Want a quick introduction into a Distributed Version Control System (DVCS)? Meet Mercurial it is a cross-platform, fast, lightweight source control management system designed for easy and efficient handling of distributed projects.
Presenter: Zayd Kara (ATC Team Member)

Making money with Coded UI

Coded UI is a brand new feature of Visual Studio 2010 which enables you to quickly build automated user interface tests for your application and run them as if they were unit tests. In the talk we will look at how Coded UI can change your life, one UI at a time!
Presenter: ME! (ATC Team Member)

Hack .Net in 10 Seconds - Why obfuscation is critical

Hacking 101 – I demonstrate how to bypass basic copy protection in an unobfusctaed .Net application through reverse engineering and show how obfuscation adds a layer of protection. I also demonstrate additional techniques for protecting your applications from hacking once they are released in the wild.
Presenter: Mark Pearl

Composite Applications with PRISM

In this session Stephan will demonstrate how to leverage the Composite Application Libraries to create modularized applications for WPF and Silverlight. He will also show you how to do multi-targeted development by sharing lots of code between the web and desktop applications.
Presenter: Stephan Johnson

An Introduction to Pex and Moles

An introduction into Pex and Moles, covering the basics of Mole Types and Mole Stubs and Parameterised Testing.
Presenter: Dave Russell

ASP.NET Dynamic Data

I will briefly introduce ASP.NET Dynamic Data by showing how to build a complete data maintenance web application with almost zero code.

Moving on, I will demonstrate some standard ways of customising a Dynamic Data application, and some more advanced non-standard customisation techniques. I will finish off by illustrating how Dynamic Data libraries and controls can be leveraged in other applications that don't normally use dynamic data.

Presenter: Brady Kelly

ASP.NET MVC 3

As you probably already surmised, ASP.NET MVC 3 is the next major release of ASP.NET MVC. Join us as we highlight the upcoming features and modifications to this popular framework.
Presenters: Jaco Pretorius and Kobus Brummer

20 Aug 2010

Visual Studio Mobile Site

imageDid you know that there is a mobile version of the Visual Studio website? I stumbled across it recently and it is fantastic resource to have on your phone.

One of the really great parts is the Crack the Code game, which gives you four snippets of code (2x C#, 1x F#, 1x VB.NET) and asks you to figure out how many errors there are. If you work out correctly you get access to wallpapers for your mobile device and if you get all four correct you get a limited edition Visual Studio 2010 Window 7 theme!

To access the site go to http://mobile.microsoft.com/visualstudio (note the mobile in the URL) on your mobile device!

09 Jul 2010

Free Visual Studio 2010 and TFS 2010 training!

Update 13 July 2010: The event is fully booked now! If you want to add yourself to the waiting list in case a spot becomes free, please contact me.

trainingpic[1]I am very excited to announce that Zayd Kara, fellow Visual Studio ALM MVP, and myself have arranged a free hands on labs training for Visual Studio 2010 and TFS 2010. This is your opportunity to get some time learning about the new features in these products.

The event will take place on Saturday, 31st July 2010 and will run from 9am to 1:30pm and is completely free, but it is limited to 50 people!

You will be able to do the following labs:

  • Authoring and Running Manual Tests using Microsoft Test Manager 2010
  • Branching and Merging Visualization with Team Foundation Server 2010
  • Code Discovery using the Architecture Tools in Visual Studio 2010 Ultimate
  • Debugging with IntelliTrace using Visual Studio 2010 Ultimate
  • Introduction to Coded UI Tests with Visual Studio 2010 Ultimate
  • Introduction to Test Case Management with Microsoft Test Manager 2010
  • Planning your Projects with Team Foundation Server 2010
  • Understanding Class Coupling with Visual Studio 2010 Ultimate
  • Using the Architecture Explorer in Visual Studio 2010 Ultimate to Analyze Your Code

Click here for more details and registration form.

I would also like to take this opportunity to thank our sponsors for making this possible:

BB&D CI Glyph_Top 25 Years_Top Small  & byteslogo

09 Jul 2010

What's new in Visual Studio 2010 quick reference poster

One of my favourite aspects of my work at BB&D, is the creation of quick reference posters and cheat sheets for the DRP site which is one of BB&D’s way of sharing knowledge outside the organisation. I have recently produced a bunch of new posters which I will be releasing over the next few days. First up is…

What’s new in Visual Studio 2010

A quick reference post which explains the edition changes, some new features (IntelliTrace and the architecture tools) and gives some hints about the IDE (docking of windows, search shortcuts, block selection and zooming).

Cheat Sheet

You can download the high definition XPS file below.

AttachmentSize
File VS 2010 Cheat Sheet.xps665.35 KB
08 Jul 2010

Presentation Dump - Mid 2010: VS2010, NDepend, RESTful Design, SSIS, EntLib 5, .NET Reflection, AppFabric, BDD, Sikuli & Redmine

The past 6 months have been hectic from a presentation perspective for me, with 20 presentations and classes given this year so far. So instead of a single dump of presentations at the end of the year, as I did last year, I am doing a mid-year dump.

What is new in Visual Studio 2010

This presentation is the one I have given many times this year. It originally started as 10 on 10, which looked at 10 features in 20min for Dev4Dev’s last year. It then evolved into 12 on 10, which added two more features, still in 20min. It then evolved into ?? on 10 for 6 degrees of code where it became an hour and half presentation. It is demo heavy and really the slides are the very basics – the important is hidden slides and notes for the demos.

NDepend

The tool that keeps on giving! For people working with taking over customer sites, reviewing code or anything else where you need to deal with other peoples code this tool is a must. This presentation was given to the architecture team at BB&D.

RESTful Design

RESTful design is an evolution of an earlier presentation I did, REST & JSON, which drops the JSON stuff completely and also drops the heavy compare with SOAP/WS* parts which seemed to cause confusion. This revised presentation covers just REST and looks at it much more practically by covering the required HTTP knowledge and patterns for designing RESTful services.

SQL Server Integration Services

Another upgrade in 2010 of an earlier presentation which not only cleans up some aspects but also goes into a lot more detail.

Enterprise Library

“The presentation that never was”, often I will spend time researching a technology or trend and preparing the presentation to come to the conclusion that it is just not worth the time of the attendee’s. Enterprise Library 5 is one of those, as the presentation covered what is new in it, and that is not very much.

.NET Reflection

This one is actually one from last year, but I had problems getting it onto SlideShare so it is only showing up now.

Windows Server AppFabric

AppFabric, the local one – not the Azure one, was a great presentation I did for the BB&D architecture team. This is not the original presentation – it has been edited to remove customer info as a lot of analogies between a project BB&D did and AppFabric was in it (cause who hasn’t built a system similar to AppFabric).

BDD

One of the presentations I spent the most time on this year, and one of the most exciting presentations. It really is a great methodology and I would love to see it used more.

Sikuli

Another presentation which did not make the cut to actually be presented. It is an interesting project, but of limited scope and when compared to the Coded UI from Visual Studio 2010 it is really far behind.

Redmine

Redmine is a bug tracking system, and being it’s not TFS may surprise you that an ALM MVP would do training on it. However for me to do training meant I head to learn it, which means I know the ALM landscape better and can point out which is better or not without uneducated bias (btw it still is TFS :)). This training was aimed not at developers but at call centre/power user people who would log initial bugs to then be managed in the system – so it was more of a ticketing system than a bug system in the end.

14 Jun 2010

What Office taught me about Visual Studio? A very cool toolbox trick.

I spend a significant amount of time in PowerPoint and to get a constant look and feel in my slides, I often use the Format Painter option. Using this tool you highlight some text/image/video, click the Format Painter button and then paint some other text/image/video and it applies the format settings from the first group to the group you paint.

What if you want to do this over and over? You may think you need to highlight → click → paint over and over again, but Office has a trick – double click the button! Then you can highlight → double click → paint → paint → paint

image

So how does this help in Visual Studio? I am working with the UML diagrams at the moment and needed to connect a bunch of items and the first few times I did the following: Click the connector in the toolbox → click source item → click destination, repeat from start.

image

Suddenly I thought, maybe it works like Office and you know what? It does! You can double click a toolbox item, and then it becomes sticky and adding lots of them is easy!

image

09 Jun 2010

Pro tips for the Visual Studio Pro Power Tools

The team has release a new version of the tools which solve a lot of the issues, and provide a bunch more great features. Please make sure you see and use the latest version.

At Tech·Ed North America on Monday the Visual Studio Pro Power Tools were announced, and they are fantastic. A full run down of them can be found on Brian Harry’s blog. However there are some tips in the usage which may not be immediately obvious so this post will explain some additional tips.

Add Reference Dialog

image

The new dialog is amazing and fits the UI experience of VS2010 way better than the out of the box one. One point to be aware of is that when you hit Add that it does not close the dialog - it does mark the selected assembly and in the background it adds it. This is great for adding multiple assemblies. If you want to remove an assembly you can do it here too – just select an already added assembly (green tick) and the Add button becomes a Remove button.

Document Tab Well

This is one of the first things you will see, because the tabs are a variety of colours suddenly. How can you control this? Go to the Tools menu –> Options –> Environment –> Document Tab Well to customise the settings. Setting the preset to Visual Studio 2010 is the same as disabling it.

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As a side point, if you are thinking of disabling it – before you do disable it, try the Dynamic Tab Well preset. It is very similar to the standard VS2010 tabs, but with more features added and should appeal without over killing it.

The shortcut to get to that part of help is right click on any blank space in the tab well and click Customize…

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Highlight Current Line

Another one that is immediately obvious – the grey behind your current line of code. If this colour is not aligned to your colour scheme then you can tweak it using the Tools menu –> Options –> Environment –> Fonts & Colours –> Display Items –> Current Line (Extension).

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To “disable” it set the background to Automatic.

Align Assignments

If this is not working for you, it could because your C# settings are stopping it. To , you must uncheck: Tools menu –> Options –> Text Editor –> C# –> Formatting –> Spacing –> Ignore spaces in declaration statements

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Colourised Parameter Help

Don’t like the the colours of the new tool tips? Want them to match your theme? 

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You can do this via Tools menu –> Options –> Environment –> Fonts & Colours –> Display Items –> Signature Help Tooltip Background

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Important to not that the foreground colour cannot be changed, only the background colour.

Move Line Up/Down Commands

Did you have something already on the Alt+↑ or Alt+↓ or maybe you want to bind to something else? You can do this in Tool (menu) –> Options –> Environment –> Keyboard. The commands are:

  • Edit.MoveLineDown
  • Edit.MoveLineUp

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The Hack

Should you really dislike an extension or a specific extension is conflicting (tab well for instance conflicts with another tab management extension available) there is a completely unsupported hack to remove a specific feature while keeping other features on. Note that you will need to do this for EVERY update and it is unsupported, so do not bother to ask for help. It may also cause side effects to Visual Studio which cannot be foreseen. In short you had better be desperate.

Hack #1

The VSIX file is just a ZIP file, which you can open in your favourite archive tool. From there you can see the assemblies for each extension and remove them if needed.

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Hack #2

When an extension is installed it is unpacked to C:\Users\<Username>\AppData\Local\Microsoft\VisualStudio\10.0\Extensions\ in here you will find directories for the various authors and under those the extensions. To find the Pro Power Tools go to: \Microsoft\Visual Studio 2010 Pro Power Tools\10.0.100525.1000  and you will see all the files, simply delete or move out the assembly of the feature you do not want that will disable it.

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