There is a time and place for celebration, but come on. After winning a tournament game, this ladies basketball coach was given a Gatorade bath by his players...on the hardwood...not brilliant. Hilarity ensues!
It has certainly been a while since the last time I posted an article. What's new? In short, a lot. It's the same catch 22 as usual: the busier you are, the more you learn and the more you have to share, but the less time you have to share it. I've got lots to share when I have more time. I'm still doing a lot of SharePoint, but focused more on Web Parts and VS features than on InfoPath and SharePoint Designer. We have a new partnership at work that I'll announce on our company blog. I've been pretty active outside of SharePoint, too, delving into Windows 8 development and even a little iOS development. I've been learning a little about Office 365 -- particularly how to share data and make it play nice with on-premise SharePoint installations (a hybrid cloud). I'll have more to share on all of these topics in the future. I've also got some devices to show off, including a Surface RT and a Dell XPS 12. I'm looking forward to writing more.
“I’ve got a feeling…” that theRobMan has more in common with will.i.am than I realized. Music has always been a big part of my life. I never go too far without a great set of headphones. I’ve played guitar for a thousand people before. I’ve written a few songs—one of them was recorded by a local musician and I’ve seen him perform it a couple times live. But what I’m equally excited about is innovation and technology. That’s one of the reasons I’ve always been a fan of Brad Paisley. The guy plays guitar with the best of them, writes some of the best stories ever in a song, pays respect to those that paved the way for him, and quite frankly is a creative genius when it comes to incorporating technology into a performance. He has set the bar incredibly high in my mind. Enter will.i.am. – rapper extraordinaire of Black Eyed Peas fame.
I recently visited East LA, where William Adams was raised. I saw enough of it to know that it is much different than the West Virginia where Brad Paisley was born and the Nashville (and apparently Malibu) he now calls home. Both of these guys are self made professionals. There is no doubt they had to work hard to achieve their levels of success. I have not met either of them, but they both seem to remember their roots and strike me as being grounded despite being super famous. Whether you are a fan or not, you have to appreciate that will.i.am is using his fame to make a difference with our youth. The impact could potentially go much further than a few changed lives.
Like many teenage boys, I dreamed of growing up and becoming a rock star. I learned to play guitar much earlier than I learned to program computers. When I really started working with computers in college and in my early career, it bothered me that more young people were not growing up with an interest in technology careers. Granted, there was a time when most of our tech jobs were sent overseas and our universities could not recruit people for a program that made no promise of employment. But now the jobs are back, and we have a shortage of tech talent. It seems that we have more young people content to partake of the games and social platforms developed by others rather than seeking to develop one themselves. This is one of the reasons I got involved with Vincennes University over seven years ago. Not only did I want to give back to my alma mater, but I wanted to increase the awareness of the exciting careers offered in tech – and more importantly, help young people find jobs. At a micro level, I have had some success with this. Aside from celebrating in the achievements of my precious wife and daughters, I find very little more gratifying than emails from former students – thanking me for my small role in their careers. It blows the paycheck out of the water.
So as a quintessential nerd and hopeless rock star wannabe, it got a rise out of me recently when I read some of will.i.am’s comments on the Mashable! blogs I follow. The first article I read talked about Will performing the first ever concert on Mars via the Curiosity rover. It was cool, but the follow up article was what really got me excited. Will.i.am was working with inner city kids to increase an interest in STEM – much like I have been able to do from Vincennes to Indianapolis through my roles at Vincennes University. I remember thinking as I read it: “Wouldn’t it be great if celebrities would continue to promote STEM and education – maybe even develop a reality show to encourage aspiring technologists like they do musicians.” So when I read TechCrunch’s article on the topic today about how Simon Cowell and will.i.am are creating an “XFactor” for tech, it was enough to prod me to pull the cover off the old blogmobile and fire up the engine! Like him or not, Simon Cowell knows talent. Personally, I like the way he carries himself and is transparent with people. I think he knows what the public will appreciate and what they will not. And it goes without saying that he knows how to create an award winning reality tv show. It is like he read my mind – only he will obviously make it better than I could have imagined. I would love to be a part of something like that, and on a micro level I will be. I’m looking forward to watching this unfold. I am convinced that games and social media platforms are going to be instrumental in helping us solve some of the toughest challenges our society is facing. I’ll explain that comment in more detail as I talk about some of my pet projects in future posts.
Update: As I was typing my blog post, Mashable! was posting their spin on the most recent developments. It's a good read.
It has been just over six months since my last blog post. My last post was to offer condolences to the victims of the Indiana State Fair tragedy. Little did I know that a week later I would be sharing the waiting room with some of those same families outside the ICU at Methodist Hospital in Indianapolis praying for a miracle for my wife’s mother. A sudden, unexpected headache on a Sunday morning, followed by a quick ambulance ride to Evansville and a LifeLight from Evansville to Indy. Peggy was otherwise healthy, so it was extremely hard to take when the ruptured aneurysm claimed her life. My family had never gone through anything so tragic, and we are not out of the woods yet. Life will never be the same – especially for my wife, who lost her best friend. But were pressing on, and trying to focus on all the good things.
Professionally, I have barely presented in the past six months. Besides the recent life-changing events, I’ve also been inundated with project work. The good thing about being swamped with work is that you collect a wealth of topics about which to blog. The downside is that you have very little time to blog. In the end, a blogger simply has to make time. That’s what I’m doing now. I plan to get back on the speaking circuit soon. I hope to do more writing as well. I also hope to turn over a new leaf and start creating some training videos. We have new partnerships in the works at my office. But probably the biggest change professionally has been my acquisition of a MacBook and iPad! I never thought I’d see the day, but I’m excited about it. I have been a fan of the iPhone since I bought my 3GS. After a short stint with WP7, I went back to the iPhone (at least for now). Why the MacBook and iPad? Well, in the fall I will begin teaching an Introduction to iPhone and iPad Development course at Vincennes University. I will be teaching using Objective-C and the Cocoa framework, although I would have loved to take advantage of MonoTouch. I am going to make MonoTouch development a hobby if time allows, and Windows 8 development as well. This is definitely going to be the year for the tablet in the enterprise, and I want to be a part of that. Of course, I’m growing deeper SharePoint development skills at the same time – and hopefully will be able to mesh it all together.
So better late than never: here’s to a happy 2012 and the new adventures it will bring!
Just wanted to offer my heartfelt condolences and prayers to the families of the deceased and injured at the SugarLand concert in Indy. We sat on the third row, stage right many years ago during a Clint Black/Wynona concert. It is horrific to think of a fun filled night turning into such an unanticipated disaster. This video makes it very real, and it is disturbing to watch. Watch with caution.
Each quarter, INETA recognizes community leaders with its Community Champions Award. I am honored to be a recipient in the second quarter of 2011, having won in the same quarter last year. If you are an active leader in the .NET community, I encourage you to participate in this recognition program. Thanks INETA for all you do for the .NET community -- groups and leaders.
Another of my articles is currently being featured on SharePointBriefing.com. The article (titled "7 Techniques for Customzing SharePoint 2010") explains at a high level some of the more popular techniques for customizing SharePoint 2010.
Earlier this year, I was privileged to mentor four students from the Information Technology department at Vincennes University who entered Microsoft’s Imagine Cup 2011 competition. Imagine Cup is a worldwide student competition featuring projects of students from over 100 countries. This year the theme was “Imagine a world where technology helps solve the toughest problems.” The students were encouraged to choose a project that aligned with the United Nations Millennium Goals (see http://www.imaginecup.com/about/theme). This year, over 74,000 students in the United States alone entered the competition.
The Vincennes University team, EpicFacePalm, entered the Software Design competition. The team was made up of Information Technology and Computer Programming Technology majors, including: Kiersten Clark, Mario Goodwin, Seth Stockrham, and Johnathan White. Our project, DiapersForSadie.org, was an online directory for international orphanages to identify themselves and their top five needs for supplies. Visitors to the site could make commitments to donate supplies and learn where to send them. Ultimately, donors would earn “badges” for their gifts and share their activity on social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter. The project was inspired by a local family who recently adopted a daughter, Sadie, from Ethiopia.
Our team made it past the first round in short order. The second round – which included a working prototype of the software and a video of the students presenting the software – was the end of the line for this year’s team as the field of 74,000 US students was narrowed down to twelve (three US finalist teams consisting of four people each). Less than a week after we were informed of our fate, we received a second email from the Imagine Cup officials. The text of the email is below:
While you were not an Imagine Cup US finalist, we wanted to commend you on your exceptional project that caught the attention of our judges. To recognize the effort and quality of your idea and project we would like to provide you with this ‘Honorable Mention’ certificate.
As you talk with faculty, professionals in industry and potential employers you should talk your Imagine Cup project and this certificate, which is a recognition of your teams outstanding work. Potential employers are often eager to hear about your role on the project, the technology you used, the goals of your project, and especially what you learned from the process.
Your team scored very well overall and definitely has what it takes to stand out against the thousands of students that compete in Imagine Cup each year. We sincerely hope that you’ll continue working on and further improving your project and consider submitting again next year for Imagine Cup 2012.
Congratulations on behalf of the Imagine Cup US team!
I wanted to take the time to encourage everyone to participate next year. We are looking forward to participating again – it was a rewarding experience. I also want to take the time to congratulate Kiersten, Mario, Seth and Johnathan! I’m proud of what they accomplished and proud that they took the initiative to get involved. It was a real pleasure to work with them on a real project outside of the normal classroom environment.
Around the middle of 2010, I decided it was the right time to take the next step in expanding one of my favorite passions: writing. My family is tired of hearing the story about how I always thought I would be a journalist when I grew up, but ultimately decided to go into technology. Little did I know then that one day the Web would allow me to do both! I have been blogging for a few years now and I still very much enjoy it. Late last year I contributed to some SharePoint learning resources -- an invaluable experience where I got to meet some great people and learn more about writing from a gifted publisher. Early this year I started contributing to SharePointBriefing.com. Tonight as I checked out the home page, I was excited to learn that my three of my SharePoint 2010 articles are featured 1, 2, and 3 on the five feature caurosel on the home page. What an honor!
Of course, work comes first. My SharePoint and .NET development projects are keeping me more than busy, but as time allows I will continue to follow my passion for writing and sharing with others. Hopefully soon you will see some of my work show up in some additional SharePoint publications -- one in particular I will be especially proud of. Stay tuned...
Yesterday I got a nice surprise in my inbox from Microsoft. It was an award (a fairly new one) given for contributions to the online community -- specifically the MSDN and TechNet forums in this case. The details of the award follow. Just wanted to say thanks to Microsoft for the recognition. It's an honor to be a part of a thriving technical community.
Through the Microsoft® Community Contributor Award, we express our thanks to individuals who freely volunteer their time and energy to help improve the Microsoft online technical community experience for others.
More and more technology users are seeking ideas and solutions for enhancing their technology experience through online resources. At Microsoft, we help our customers find answers when and where they want them through online forums such as TechNet, MSDN® and Answers.
Today, up to 4,000,000 people gain valuable information through Microsoft online forums--and that number is growing.
These valuable resources are enhanced by the contributions of Microsoft Community Contributor awardees, who help other participants in a range of ways, such as providing helpful answers, translating online resources into local languages and serving as moderators.