Monday, July 14, 2008

What I did on My Summer Vacation

So it's not so much did as still doing but here's just a little update on what I'm up to at the moment, it's quite a bit.

Moving

moving Many of you already know this but I am in the process of selling my house and moving out of Ohio.  It is with mixed feelings that I do this as I have really come to love the emerging sense of community in the Cleveland development arena and the help we've had in building it from the twitter tribe.  On the other hand I'm taking this opportunity to move to anywhere I want, anywhere at all. 

I've been searching for a specific type of company for the last several months and finally decided on one that I feel is a perfect for for me at the moment.  I'm not going to say who yet, I don't want to jinx it, but it's a great web firm out of Seattle and they are flying me out for an in-person interview in a week or two.  I've already had a couple phone conversations with them as well as did a "home work" coding assignment.  So far it would seem like they like what they see, I know I do.  This is a great chance to be a full time Silverlight developer, and I'm more than a little excited at the prospect.

As part of this process we're also selling our house.  If you've ever sold a house before you know how much work it is getting and keeping everything perfect.  It's not a great market to be selling a house but we're optimistic that we'll get an offer soon.  We hope so anyway.

Writing

campbell_cover150 The writing on Silverlight 2 in Action is still ongoing.  I now see how much effort goes into the writing of a book.  There is probably a hour of research and coding for every five minutes of actual writing.  We are waiting until the release candidate comes out to finalize everything but I still have a ton of work to do even before that.  It's all worth it though.

It is known among people that teach or present that committing to do one of those actions is a good way to learn a technology.  I would argue that writing a book is even better.  You have to ensure that you know the material good enough to stand up to the criticism of peers, and trust me, we can criticize quite well.

Speaking

microsoft_silverlight_c Remember a minute ago when I said that presenting is a good way to learn a new technology?  Well, watching a presentation can be a good introduction as well, so come watch me talk.  I'll be the speaker at the August 12th meeting of the Cleveland .NET SIG.

Here's my abstract for the talk: Now that most people know that Silverlight can do fancy animations and play videos, lets look at how to make it do some real work.  In this presentation we will demonstrate connecting to web services, using returned data, binding data to controls and discuss some limitations Silverlight currently has.  And of course, since it's Silverlight, we'll try to make it look good in the process.

Coding

stacked_small_slbc_08 Hopefully you have all heard about the Silverlight Control Builder Contest by now but if not, head over there and read up on it now.  Basically, you build a templateable custom control, submit it to the contest, and win prizes.  Well, you can try to win prizes anyway, a whole bunch of other people will be entering as well.  The prizes are getting better and better and include books, software, gift certificates and more.  Wait a second, the more people that enter the less my chances of winning.... Never mind, don't enter :).