Saturday, January 17, 2009

One of the things I love about developing in Microsoft .Net technologies...

I was fortunate enough to have the opportunity to ride down to CodeMash 2009 from Detroit MI to Sandusky OH with Keith Elder, MVP, INETA Speaker, and co-host of the Deep Fried Bytes podcast.   Having some one-on-one conversation time with Keith was awesome, and best of all, the microphones were turned off.

The conversation was surprisingly non-technical; we discussed owning dogs, personal financial strategies in these tough economic times, production techniques he uses on his podcast (okay that was a little technical), past CodeMash experiences, etc

At one point I stated "I like .Net because I can go from an expert to a novice in the same day".  Keith immediately sent that quote out on Twitter with his mobile phone.  At first I was a little embarrassed, my thought was "Great!  Keith Elder just announced to the twitter-verse that there is a lot of .Net that I don't know.  Ouch!".

As I thought about it further, I felt reaffirmed in my original statement.  Like most technical people, I love to learn new things; that is what attracted me too many years ago to the computer industry as a teenager.

I realized that my initial embarrassment was a mistake.  I have to work on what is currently paying the bills and my time to explore new or unfamiliar areas of the .Net Framework and CLR languages will never be as much as I would like it to be.  I'm certain this is a common experience for all good .Net developers.

Every day I look forward to learning how to do something familiar in a more efficient or elegant way, or learning an entirely new technique.  Working as a developer still excites me, even after more than twenty years working in Microsoft languages and technologies (yes they have gotten better over time).

Thank you Microsoft for giving me and many others the chance to have a good paying career that makes me look forward to going to work every day.  May it never end!

So which portions of the .Net framework am I a complete novice at?  I'm not saying ....

Joe Kunk
Microsoft MVP
Okemos, MI


Sunday, January 11, 2009

CodeMash 2009

I returned late Friday night from 4 days at CodeMash 2009.  This was my first attendance at CodeMash and I have to say it was an awesome conference.  My hats off to Jim Holmes and the entire crew for making it a fantastic event for 500 geeks.  I really liked the idea of having at a water park so that it could be a family friendly event as well, even though my family was not able to make it.

Highlights were the Microsoft Influencers Summit on Tuesday night, coding in Ruby for the first time on Wednesday morning, playing with the Microsoft Surface for the first time, many great talks (below), and seeing many prior friends and making new ones.  For the limited cost and excellent environment, this is a conference that should not be missed and I will continue to attend as often as I can.

Sessions that I attended and completely enjoyed were:

Keynote by Venkat Subramaniam

Three Tips to Improve Your Dev Process, presented by Jim Holmes

A Programmers Guide to User Experience, presented by Josh Walsh

Thrashing, presented by Mary Poppendieck

Modeling types with extension methods, presented by Bill Wagner

Practices of an Agile Developer, presented by Venkat Subramaniam

Managed Extensibility Framework, presented by Drew Robbins

Sessions that I wish I could have gone to?  All the rest!

Joe Kunk
Microsoft MVP
Okemos, MI


Does anyone know of a utility to dump the directory structure of all your Amazon Web Services S3 buckets to a standard XML file?

I am looking for some utility that will allow me to point it at my Amazon Web Service S3 account and it gives me a standard XML file that contains the directory for my S3 account, that is, a structured listing of all files and their metadata across all buckets. 

If I could set it up in a scheduled Windows batch utility for regular listings, that would be even better.

Is anyone aware of a good way to do this?  Or is this the next great S3 utility that needs to be written?

Joe Kunk
Microsoft MVP
Okemos, MI

Friday, January 02, 2009

Microsoft MVP Award

I am deeply honored and excited to announce that Microsoft has awarded me a Most Valuable Professional (MVP) award in VB.

I am confident that much of the basis for the reward came from my involvement in the .Net community.  I have been involved in GLUGnet for over 4 years, the last two years as its President.  GLUGnet is the Microsoft .Net User Group that operates in both East Lansing MI and Flint MI.

The rewards of becoming deeply involved in your .Net user group are many and if you are not regularly attending .Net user group meetings, I recommend that you start immediately.

You can get a list of .Net user groups by region at  See you at the meetings!

Joe Kunk
Microsoft MVP
Okemos, MI