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so today wrapped up our technology summit where we invited key people in the competitive industry to come and have some time for an open discussion with a lot of key people...here are some of those key people to name a few

  • don box
  • anders hejlsberg
  • martin taylor
  • eric rudder
  • chris anderson
  • scott guthrie
  • rick rashid
  • clr team

there were more, but as you could imagine, these are some big names at ms -- people who have influential capability.  this was a great event in my opinion, allowing me to better understand the competitive landscape as well as get a feel for some of ms' position on the matter.  i see good things coming out of the feedback of the group.  i share the group's sentiments about whether their input to the ms teams will be heard and better understood (read: take some of the ideas/concerns into consideration during planning phases).  i think it will.  chris anderson showed a great demo at the end of avalon (which you can get the ctp bits now by the way) thar really wowed some of the crowd, especially the flash guys in the room -- the adaptive ui is cool.  chris was kind enough to join our evening event as well and talk more with the guys who came (despite his wife's attempts to pull him away ;-)).

we had some key people from the competitive landscape join us.  out of respect for their privacy, i won't list who they were, but some were very public so i'll list their blogs:

it was a great event, i got to meet my extended team and they are a bunch of great guys.  i look forward to more of these collaborative efforts!

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this week i'm in redmond all week with what we call “competitive influencers.” -- that's right, i'm sitting in a room of about 35 guys who are the most talented, articulate, and intelligent guys in the community...and they represent java, linux, mac, macromedia, etc.

ms is engaging in more dialogs with individuals in competing technologies...not to convert, but to understand and education -- from both sides of the fence.

this is hopefully going to be a great event...some really good key speakers are lined up: michael howard, don box, eric rudder, etc. -- key people within ms.

if you want to learn more from a participant perspective, check out matt raible's blog: http://raibledesigns.com/page/rd as he's here and is already writing about it.

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well, it's been a busy week (last week).  i started at microsoft in my new role.  i can say that i honestly underestimated the flood of resources and information that i would need (and want) to absorb.  this had an impact on finishing up the stuff i needed to finish in other aspects of my life.

as with any job, the first week is somewhat of logistics and hr “stuff” -- the cool thing about ms is that a lot of it is automated and online.  very little need to sign/fax/print, etc. -- the resources available at the company are amazing...truly amazing.

i met a lot of people and learned some quick things/issues/etc.  i'm looking forward to the challenges and successes.

i can say that i was surprised at how much information is available to everyone within the company...that is great -- the company is opening it's kimono (within reason) to all employees.

keep looking for more details as i progress

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You take the blue pill and the story ends.  You wake in your bed and you believe whatever you want to believe.  You take the red pill and you stay in Wonderland and I show you how deep the rabbit-hole goes.

well, i took the red pill.

as of around march 7 i'll be working for microsoft.  no, not on the engineering side of things (so i don't have the rigorous interviews that are legend -- although i still had to endure a “day” [note: day=day as in 8-5] of interviews back to back with some whiteboard code questions, etc...but not as detailed as someone in a product role would) but rather on the evangelism side of things.

i'm excited about this new role and hope that i can be successful at it...more later!

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a second great tool i've been using lately...llblgen pro (www.llblgen.com).

first: our team got sick of saying “LLBLGen Pro” when referring to the tool and the code it generated...so we affectionately named it “cool j“ (yeah, you can see the deduction of the name...started out being ll cool j, etc.)

i consider myself always a skeptic.  i am used to certain things and usually stick to them.  you can imagine my skepticism when a teammate decided we use an ORM tool for data access/code generation.

what!? no way, those things don't work

of course my argument had no weight since i had no evidence to the fact that the ORM tools sucked.  my teammate had evaluated a number of them and found LLBLGen Pro to be the best one out there from a feature/support perspective.

as with any ORM tool, your data model has to be solid...so we spent a lot of time on that.  once completed, “cool j“ interpreted everything and generated the required data access layers for us -- and using them is a breeze.  our project currently has only one stored procedure due to a long running process.

what!? you aren't using stored procs?! are you an idiot? everyone knows in-line sql is stupid, unsecure, hard to support, etc....

that's what i thought as well (again, my comfort zone) until i really did my research.  you see, database is not my strongest point beyond the basics...so i had to see the proof for myself.  well, what i found is that all the arguments for stored procs vs. dynamic sql statements aren't entirely valid and are based on a lot of assumptions of how dynamic sql statements are build and executed. (for a good synopsis, check out: http://www.theserverside.net/news/thread.tss?thread_id=31953)

“cool j” is awesome here.  you see it leverages sp_executesql so that the statements are cached and it uses parameterized queries.  additionally, the dynamic sql generated includes ONLY the updates required, because “cool j” has the capability of understanding what attributes of the entities are dirty and need to be updated.

in a nutshell, i'm a believer.  this tool (along with others: http://timheuer.com/blog/archive/2005/02/11/1670.aspx) has really helped accellerate my development allowing me to concentrate on core business functionality.  yes i'm still comfortable doing certain things my way, but i'm learning more and more about the generated code from “cool j” and ways of making it better based on my designs.

check it out.