Microsoft Company Meeting

How does the largest software company in the world hold a company meeting when there's tens of thousands employees in the Puget Sound area? Simple: they rent out SafeCo field.  Our seats weren't as good as they were on our day trip back in June, but what an event.  Attendance was around 20,000 ... and it was no secret to tell Office from MSN -- among others -- because of culture-specific garb like hats or shirts purchased for the event. Billg opened the event, and the day proceeded with a ton of... [More]

Google Treading on Thin Ice?

I really admire the innovation and Google, and generally, think their stuff is great ... I can admit that.  Recently, Google's initiative, Google Print, is getting into some hot water with a lawsuit from the Authors Guild.  I have to side with the Guild on this one ... Google Print is a great idea, but it's violating copyright law. ABC News and The Christian Science Monitor posted articles about the lawsuit, and it's easy to see two different sides to the story.  Even Susan Wojcicki (VP of P... [More]

More Site Mods, Thanks Mike!

In another round of website updates, I did it -- I got rid of the CAPTCHA.  Kind of a shame -- I was proud of that control!  But in truth, CAPTCHA has been considered only somewhat reliable, and the degree of spam protection it provides is proportional to the amount of annoyance it has to visitors.   So, Mike (over at AngryPets and fellow vet/crusader) built an HTTP Module to help fend off spammers ... ReverseDOS.  I finally got around to installing ... many thanks Mike!  It's pret... [More]

Visual Data ... cool.

So, like every other geek out there that has a website and likes to develop code, it's fun to collect data. The fun part of coming up with a database design is figuring out cool ways to relate data and make nifty little reports. Heck, I finally had a real use for a cross join query not too long ago (read this post). The thing is, presenting that data in a way that looks cool isn't easy. A "cheesy" way to do basic charting is raw HTML manipulation, by stretching various images to make bar graphs and the li... [More]

Microsoft Losing Key Employees

This BusinessWeek article (Troubling Exits at Microsoft) is a fairly hard-hitting and frank evaluation detailing the recent losses of Microsoft people, notably Kai-Fu Lee, to Google and other companies. Until Lee's case goes to trial in January, he's received permission to work at Google in a limited capacity. The damage is done, though -- even if Lee is blocked and can only work in a limited capacity, Lee and Google have successfully painted Microsoft as the bad guy (Lee being sharply critical of Microso... [More]

11 Ways to Mismanage a Dev Team

Turnover kills – it should be on a bumper sticker. I should actually qualify that a little and say, "turnover can kill." I had the opportunity to ask Tom Peters about turnover a number of years ago since it's a pretty typical scenario that plagues many companies. There's certainly an upside to turnover (as Tom told me) – it can be an opportunity to bring in fresh blood and a new energy, and maybe even weed out dead weight. Often the case, though, it's the wrong people who are leaving. In a feature team... [More]

PDC Wrapup

PDC05 is done, and I'm back in Redmond. A truly cool experience. On the last day, the coolest talk I attended dove into the intricacies with the .NET 2.0 Garbage Collector. This is an area that managed coders can know nothing about, relying on it to work under the covers. But hearing about the improved performance and considerations that went into the modifications was really interesting. I think what has made this year's PDC so remarkable is the sheer number of new technologies coming out. Virtually ... [More]

PDC Day 3 Sessions

I just completed day three at PDC05 and another evening draws to a close (the picture is outside of my hotel room with a 5 second shutter). I had a little change of pace today: while I attended a few sessions on Atlas and the new XML/XSLT editor in VS 2005, I decided to focus more time in the labs. Sessions overall have been great, but nothing beats hands on learning. The session DVDs will be available after the show, so I decided to not fret over missing a session here and there. I'm glad I did this: ... [More]

PDC Day 2 Sessions

Of all the sessions I took today at PDC05, two of them stood out: C# 3.0 (codenamed Orcas) and ASP.NET Atlas (essentially .NET's AJAX -- asynchronous javascript and XML -- implementation). Also below, I'll include a bunch of pictures I took from the show -- I spent a little time walking around since Annie, Kerry, Beverly, and Erin from the Windows Hardware Platform Evangelism team flew down from Redmond to check out the event (whew, some familiar faces!). I've now had the honor of seeing Anders Hejlsber... [More]

PDC: Day 2 Update

Small update here from PDC05. There's the usual bling around the exhibitor booths that you expect at tradeshows... I think Altova wins the award for the "loudest" bling with a small logo pin containing a bunch of rapidly flashing LEDs. It should carry an epilepsy warning. Picts to come shortly. On a cool note, I was a randomly selected for a free developer license of Telerik's r.a.d. controls suite -- I've never used them before but they look nifty. Thanks Telerik! I attended an IIS7 session on creat... [More]

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