Tag Archives: community

Microsoft MVP Again!

I wanted to take the time to thank all of those people who are responsible for my Microsoft MVP status.  I got the email this morning that I’ve been renewed as a Microsoft MVP in Visual C# for the 6th time!

So what’s this mean that you’re a Microsoft MVP?  How did you become a Minimum Viable Product?

Ha! I am not a Minimum Viable Product or even a Microsoft Garage project. ;)

Seriously, though, I’m a Microsoft Most Valuable Professional in Visual C#.  That means that somewhere in the community or Microsoft realm, there are people who find my contributions to the community valuable enough to get this recognition.  Some of my contributions include:

  • Blogging
  • Conference Organizing – Local, both in Cleveland and Columbus
  • Conference Speaking – Local and regional opportunities
  • Serving on a local high school’s advisory board and giving them guidance on including Microsoft technologies in their programs
  • Volunteering with Cleveland GiveCamp (which will be on July 18-20 this year!)
  • Serving as an MVP Mentor

Does this mean you know everything under the sun about C#?

Not a chance.  You do realize what you’re asking, right?  There isn’t a Matrix program that could be used to get me to spit out all the solutions to C# problems.  However, I do know where I can find these solutions or at least others who may have encountered these problems.

For those who don’t realize just how large C# is, some of the things you can do include:

  • Create PowerShell cmdlets to work with C# libraries.  Yes, those can be C#!
  • Create a WinForms application that can work on multiple platforms. Yes, C# can run on non-Windows platforms thanks to Mono!
  • Create shiny looking desktop apps using WPF.  Yes, C# can be used for those, too.
  • Create websites using ASP.NET MVC.  Or if you’re not a developer necessarily but want to get using some of the Microsoft web stack – use WebMatrix to try a project written in C#, such as Orchard CMS.
  • Go mobile and create apps that run on tablets and phones.  Yes, thanks to Xamarin, you can use C# to build apps to run on non-Microsoft platforms.
  • Create add-ins for Microsoft Office products.
  • Create projects that run in Windows Azure.
  • Create games using XNA Game Studio.
  • Control robots and other small electronics using the .NET Micro Framework and Gadgeteer.
  • Create an API for your clients to work with their data in your databases using WCF or even ASP.NET MVC.

And these are just some of the things that you can do with C#… there’s a whole lot more!

Are there any perks of being an MVP that you really like?

You can find out a lot more about what the award includes on the MVP Award Value page on the MVP program’s website.  Honestly, the part I like the most about being an MVP is networking with other MVPs and seeing how we can help each other and our communities out.  As we have relationships with the product teams at Microsoft, we can carry feedback from the community to the product teams.  Being an MVP has given me the ability to see that Microsoft doesn’t only solicit feedback from the community, but they also act upon it.

Okay… so I know something about Microsoft’s stuff and am very involved in the community.  How do I become an MVP?

Get noticed!  As MVPs, we talk with other MVPs and learn who the up-and-coming community members are.  We can pass this information along to the MVP Program by nominating people for the award.  Each expertise has their own guidelines on what they’re looking for, so it can vary.  But the heart of it all is definitely community engagement.  You can read more on Becoming an MVP on the MVP website.

So what can we expect this year?

This year presents new challenges.  I’m now figuring out how to balance work, community stuff, and now a growing family.  Owen (Sir Squirmy II) arrived in April, so I’m slowly getting back into things.  I’m on the planning committee for Dog Food Con and am planning on staying behind the scenes of Stir Trek again as well.  We’re talking about doing a SQL Saturday here in Cleveland next year, so I’m going to try to help with that as well.  As for presentations and blog posts, stay tuned, as I’ve got a bit in the queue.

The 9 Month Long Get-ChildItem Cmdlet

I’ve got to start off by apologizing for being so quiet here lately. I’ve been ramping down my community involvement, as I’ve had a new opportunity in my life that will be changing things.

Ramping Down

You may not be seeing me at user groups or other events as much as you used to.  This isn’t your imagination.  In January, my main focus was CodeMash.  In February, it was settling in for the last of my travels – speaking on PowerShell at the .NET group in Detroit and then checking out the Central Ohio Windows Phone User Group while in Columbus (for a conference my husband was attending).   Earlier this week, I sponsored the Ohio North SQL Server User Group.  It was a PowerShell-themed meeting, so I couldn’t resist sponsoring the group!  But now, I’m done with user groups and events until Stir Trek on May 4th.   Registration for Stir Trek opens on Pi Day at 1:59pm… so mark your calendars!

Why Ramping Down… and Going Forward

For almost 9 months now, as I’ve told my PowerShell friends, I’ve been running the Get-ChildItem cmdlet and am waiting for a result.  You could say that I’m working on spawning a child process.  Oh the euphemisms I could come up with using technical terms!  Long story short, my first child is due on April 4th, so I’m ramping down my community involvement so that I can focus on my little one’s arrival.

I’m hoping that once I adjust to my little one, I’ll blog more and continue my presence on Twitter.  I’ll also be working on Cleveland Tech Events, as there are a few more features I’d like to add to that site.  Of course, I’ll also be at Stir Trek, as I’m in charge of volunteers again this year.    Then there’s Cleveland GiveCamp, which both Kev and I are already committed to helping out.  As for other events, we’ll see as the time comes.  For the next few months, events will be on a case-by-case basis.  There’s a greater likelihood to find me at a Cleveland-based event that’s a couple hours long than at an out-of-town multi-day conference.

Stay Tuned!

I’m going to try to squeeze a few more blog posts in before Logan arrives. If you have a PowerShell or random question that you’re hoping to see answered here, drop me an email at sarah at this domain, and I’ll do what I can to include it here!

Cleveland GiveCamp 2011 – Sadukie’s Tales, Part 2 – Meet Sadukie, the Project Manager

Cleveland GiveCamp starts tomorrow afternoon, and I’m excited that it’s finally here.  This year, I am working as a business analyst/project manager for two different charities.  I’ve talked about ASL Advocates; however, I’ve also taken on another one, so that we can help multiple non-profits.

My Other Non-Profit

My other non-profit this year is the American Indian Education Center.  We’re going to create a website that’s easier for them to maintain.  This group’s goals include spreading the work about Native Americans, American Indians.    I hope we can get them a site that they can keep updated.

My Role as a Project Manager

I was happy that Mark and his committee figured I’d be a great fit for the project manager role.  I’ve led many development projects in my past, and I’ve enjoyed being the project manager and the one who focuses on getting a great user experience for the client.  It’s great when you have a developer who can fit this role and deal with end users directly, acting as a go-between between the non-profit contacts and the devs.  I like to encourage the devs to meet the contacts and talk with them – I’m all about open lines of communication.

Tonight, I made notecards of the various features that each group wants on their site.  Each group has special specifications – certain colors have certain meanings, certain audiences require extra attention to accessibility.  I just hope that I get teams who understand the benefits of notecards and using them as a method of tracking tasks and getting things done.  After all, our goal this weekend is to complete some decent-sized development projects for selected non-profits.

Look forward to some upcoming posts on how the event is progressing and what’s going on at Cleveland GiveCamp 2011.  I will be blogging about it here at CodingGeekette.com.

Got any GiveCamp tales you want to share?  Leave a comment here!

Pittsburgh GiveCamp Needs Volunteers!

This weekend, I was supposed to be going to the Pittsburgh, PA area to help them with their first-ever GiveCamp. Unfortunately, I have to stay back due to health issues, but while I can’t be there, I want to be able to get them the help they need.  One of their organizers sent this today:

Come and be a part of something
special this weekend

A small group of software developers and web site designers will be
spending this weekend helping 7 local non-profit groups to build web sites,
system integrations, and solve other technical issues. It will be a marathon
event for sure but on Sunday afternoon we will go live with all of the projects
from Pittsburgh’s first GiveCamp.

Even with all of the support there are still some technology gaps that need to
be filled and we can really use your help in these areas.

- PHP experience

- Web Design (HTML, CSS, Photoshop)

- Experience with any CMS including Drupal, DotNetNuke, Joomla, Orchard, etc.

- WordPress themes

Even if you can’t volunteer for the entire weekend, please consider
volunteering a few hours on Friday or Saturday and add your experience to one
of our projects. In just a few hours you can help make a difference to these
groups and in turn they will spend the rest of the year making a difference to
thousands of others right here in Pittsburgh.

The event is being held at the DDI offices in Bridgeville. You can find the
location and sign-up form on our web site.

http://pghgivecamp.org/Volunteer

 

If you’re able to help them, please volunteer to help them!  The Pittsburgh community, from what I met in April, are a great group – yes, they seemed to like me even though I root for their rival NFL team!

PowerShell The Community’s Command Line Part 27 of 31: It Takes a Community to Raise a Language

Much like the saying It takes a village to raise a child, it takes a community to raise a programming language. Without passionate people in that community, the word won’t spread and a language can die. Yesterday, I talked about some of the cool community resources and sites. Today, I want to salute those who are working on community projects with PowerShell. These are just a few of the many out there.

StudioShell, by Jim Christopher (@beefarino)

http://studioshell.codeplex.com/
StudioShell is an integrated PowerShell host available inside Visual Studio 2010 and 2008. This tool exposes Visual Studio’s extensibility points and makes it easier to extend your Visual Studio from the command line rather than from compiled binaries. Jim will be giving a presentation on his StudioShell project and using it to extend Visual Studio at CodeStock 2011 down in Knoxville, TN this June.

MongoDB PowerShell Provider, by Jim Christopher

http://mosh.codeplex.com/
If you’re in an environment where you need to manage a Mongo database, then the MongoDB PowerShell Provider may make your life a little easier in managing the database from within PowerShell. This project is nicely documented both on the CodePlex site and from within PowerShell.

PowerShell Script Provider, by Oisin Grehan (@oising)

http://psprovider.codeplex.com/
While developers who can think out a provider’s logic may be more comfortable with writing the provider in C#, this provider allows IT Pros and those comfortable with PowerShell to write their providers in the PowerShell scripting language. Oisin Grehan, PowerShell MVP and PowerShell provider guru, is the guy behind this project. It’s great to see the option of writing providers in PowerShell, as working with the scripting technology directly in its own language makes more sense to many scripters.

Show-UI: The PowerShell WPF Toolkit

Show-UI
For those who have our book, disregard the recommendations on page 397 on the two things to help with WPF apps in PowerShell, as WPK and PowerBoots are merging. Show-UI is the project that they are merging into. Yes, you can use PowerShell to create GUIs. Show-UI is a project that can help make that process even easier in PowerShell. Shoutouts to the coordinators and developers – Jaykul, Doug Finke, and James Brundage.

Others?

Got any other PowerShell projects that you want to share? Leave me a comment!

PowerShell My Father’s Command Line Part 26 of 31: Start Spreading the News…

I’m watching this week’s episode of Glee again while writing this post, and the “I Love New York/New York, New York” mashup really inspired this title. I have to give a shoutout to my dad in the title, as while he isn’t technologically inclined, he taught me the value of networking and establishing relationships. He was a union leader for the city’s emergency response service for many years, and in those years, I watched as he networked with people in his line of work and those who impacted his line of work – councilpeople, mayors, senators, and the like. Watching him, I learned how to network and how to participate in communities.

Up until this point, Matt and I have been talking about scripts and code in PowerShell, but there’s more than just that. If the language didn’t have a community behind it, it would fall flat and not continue on like it has been. So let’s do a shoutout to some of those in the PowerShell community!

2011 Scripting Games

Hey, Scripting Guy!, the Scripting Games, and the Scripting Wife!

Ed Wilson is also known as the Scripting Guy over at Microsoft. He answers languages on various scripting technologies, with PowerShell being the focus nowadays. Whether he’s answering questions in the Hey, Scripting Guy! blog, posting on Twitter as @scriptingguys, speaking at various events throughout the world, or writing books, Ed is a great community resource when it comes to PowerShell! One of the events that he promotes on his blog are the Scripting Games, and the 2011 Scripting Games were no exception! This is a great contest for testing your scripting chops against other PowerShell scripters, competing in either a beginner or advanced level. What made it even neater to follow this year was that Scripting Wife joined the games. While I didn’t have time to participate this year due to other timing conflicts, I did enjoy reading the journeys of Scripting Wife as she learned working with PowerShell. Check out the Hey, Scripting Guy blog, as Ed covers some of the topics that you’ve probably wondered about.

PowerScripting Podcast

PowerScripting Podcast

Hosted by Hal Rottenberg and Jonathan Walz, the PowerScripting podcast is recorded live on UStream every Thursday night at 9:30pm Eastern Daylight Time (GMT -4). They feature various people in the PowerShell community – including talking with Jeffrey Snover (father of PowerShell), the directors of PowerShellCommunity.org, PowerShell MVPs, people on the PowerShell team, vendors of PowerShell products, and even those on product group teams whose products can benefit from PowerShell. While recording, they’ll take questions from the audience via the chat channel. I was able to catch the show on PowerShellCommunity.org, and it was neat to see how they record the podcast. After recording the show, the hosts play music while wrapping up the show – always great to rock out with these guys! Matt and I will be on PowerScripting tonight talking about our book and our love of PowerShell!
PowerShellCommunity.org

PowerShellCommunity.org

Run by the community for the community, PowerShellCommunity.org features news, forums, learning resources, steps for forming a PowerShell user group, and a poshcode.org-powered script repository. Special thanks to the sponsors of the site who provide financial support to enable the online community presence and support local PowerShell user groups – including Microsoft Windows Server 2008 R2, Quest Software, SAPIEN Technologies, Inc., Compellent, Idera, and Pragma Systems.

PowerShell.com

PowerShell.com is another community for PowerShell scripts, tips & tricks, webcasts, blogs, and other resources. Once again, Idera and Compellent are sponsoring another community resource (in addition to PowerShellCommunity.org). Concentrated Technology and nSoftware also sponsor PowerShell.com. This site also features the Master-PowerShell eBook written by Dr. Tobias Weltner. Yet another great resource for PowerShell scripters!


Get-ToThePrompt -at PowerGUI.org

PowerGUI.org

Quest Software, Inc. runs PowerGUI.org, a free community for PowerGUI users. PowerGUI is a script editor and administrative console based on PowerShell. Their community site includes tutorials, PowerPacks, forums, wikis, demos, and other goodies related to PowerGUI. If you’re using PowerGUI, then this site is a must-have resource!

#powershell on irc.freenode.net

If you’re an IRC user, definitely check out the #powershell channel on irc.freenode.net. Don’t have an IRC client? mIRC, xChat, and others are out there. Of course, freenode is awesome and has a webchat available!

Others?

These are just a few of the PowerShell resources and communities out there. Got any you want to recommend that I haven’t mentioned here? Leave me a comment!

This one time, at Pittsburgh Code Camp…

This past weekend, I had the privilege to speak at Pittsburgh Code Camp 2011.1 at Robert Morris University in Moon Township, PA. The talk I was scheduled to give was “Three’s Company – Writing for the Desktop, the Browser, and the Phone”. This is my tips and tricks for choosing WPF or Silverlight and writing as little code as possible for apps on all 3 platforms. Unfortunately, due to technical difficulties – blue screens of death and random rebooting of the demo’s VM and video card corruption issues on the laptop – the code wasn’t shown. There will be code coming up after Stir Trek, so in the next couple weeks.

The slide deck is available here.

(Note: This is the second time I’ve had technical difficulties with this talk, so it is getting shelved until after the code is blogged about and things are looking better.)

While I was there, I did get a chance to meet the organizers – Eric Kepes, John Hidey, and David Hoerster. These guys are driving many of the events in the Pittsburgh area and could always use more help! I’m looking forward to joining them again July 15-17th for their first Pittsburgh GiveCamp. I also got to learn about a website called BrainCredits, a great way of tracking your conferences, user group events, and other technical training participation. This site is in BETA, but we’re still going to try it out for this year’s Stir Trek. David Hoerster is one of the people behind it.

I sat through Matt Groves‘ talk on Project Euler, scheduled at the last minute due to a cancellation. If it had been better publicized, it would’ve been better attended. I enjoyed the talk!

I also enjoyed sitting in John Baird‘s Windows Phone LOB talk, as it was nice to see a LOB app on the Windows Phone and not some toy app. He will be blogging on some of the things he talked about, so catch his blog here: http://blog.xamlware.com/

The session though that my husband and I both really enjoyed together was Matt Stultz‘s “.NET in the Physical World”, where he talked of Hack Pittsburgh, netduinos, arduinos, weather balloons, LEDs, and how to control a tri-color LED through a circuit and *gasp* some C# code. But it’s so simple! So cool! My husband has been tinkering with an arduino for awhile – he set it up to poll some temperature sensors so that we could monitor the temperature in the house while we’re away, so that we can see if it gets too hot for our chinchillas. This was a session that he could relate to, and it got a lot of coolness points in my book.

Overall, I’m glad I went to Pittsburgh Code Camp! It was a great opportunity for me to see some of my friends from the community – including Rich Dudley and Joel Cochran. It was also great to meet some of the developers in Pittsburgh’s developer community. I look forward to attending more of their events in the future!