Posts Tagged ‘FireStarter’

I have been web silent for a while, except for my Twitter updates. Now I feel it’s time to break the ice with my blog.

 Leading an invisible web presence doesn’t mean that I haven’t been active. During Spring/Summer, I completed 4 ART classes at California State University and I had a chance to work with Photoshop, Illustrator and InDesign on Mac. In fact, I also spent some messy time with charcoals, pencils and paper. Recently I modestly shared some of my digital work on Deviantart. All these efforts to boost my knowledge in design are not solely for distraction or entertainment. It might be a brave goal to admit, but I’d like to be able to design as a developer.


Though irrelevant, I also started to learn French and completed two classes. Now and then, I get some instant moments of happiness, when I catch a word or two in some lyrics, a restaurant menu or a beauty magazine. C’est merveilleux!

But besides my artsy aspirations, I kept my geeky persona alive. I worked on .NET web development assignments, continued to experiment with Silverlight 3 and tried out the new features of Expression tools. Here’s a more accurate list of my routine…


My latest geeky reading list

Silverlight 3 – Programmer’s Reference

Accelerated Silverlight3

Expression Blend 3 with Silverlight

The Passionate Programmer

The Golden Ratio – The Story of Phi, the World’s Most Astonishing Number


My latest geeky activities

being a community volunteer at Digigirlz Camp, Culver City, LA and proctoring Small Basic, Kodu, Blend 3, Windows Live Movie Maker classes

writing about MSDN Kid’s Corner and Digigirlz events/sessions on Digigirlz’ Space – Windows Live

tuning in to the Silverlight 3 Firestarter event

watching Ignite Your Career WebCast Series

solving puzzles while playing Professor Layton and the Curious Village

refreshing my algorithm skills through Programming Interviews Exposed


In case you missed it, you can find the Silverlight FireStarter slides on Mithun Dhar’s blog; the sessions will also become available soon on-demand. The next Firestarter live webcast I’m looking forward to is the ASP.NET MVC event. ASP.NET MVC seems so much more familiar for someone who has done Java development with MVC methodologies and it’s great that you can associate your former coding experience with all the features you are reading about. Basically; it’s nice to know that you already know something.

Another interesting news to mention is the WebsiteSpark program that Microsoft announded yesterday. It will offer web developers and designers access to Microsoft services and products at no upfront cost.


For someone keeping silent; I’m surprised about  how much I had to write about. I’ll do my best to keep up with the writing. But from now on, I won’t wait till I come up with a crazy invention or original topic, but rather simply share the basic discoveries that I make during my developer work, my Silverlight experiments, my design progress and my daily life. The longer I plan, the less I can share and the less genuine it will be. 


After all, why should we have a web presence, if we don’t use the opportunity to share and provide information that could be useful or interesting to others; even if that turns out be only one person.

Read Full Post »

This Saturday (May 17th) I’m planning to attend the SQL Learning Day Fire Starter event at the Microsoft Irvine California office. The event aims to bring developers and IT Pros together to share their content.

Firestarter Events


Here is some info about the presenters I know: James Johnson, President of the Inland Empire .NET User’s Group (IEDOTNETUG), will be presenting “Using ADO.NET Data Services to Connect to SSDS“. I have been to a couple of .NET UG  activities since I’m in California and he’s running by far the best UG events. Actually he deals with every aspect of each organization and never lets anybody down. Another presenter will be MSDN Developer Evangelist Lynn Langit, who will present two sessions; respectively “Overview of BI” and “What’s New in SSAS“. Lynn’s presentations are always informative yet fun and they definitely meet the target audience’s expectations. You can find a link to their blogs on the left; if you haven’t already noticed! Matt Penner is also a member of IEDOTNETUG; his presentation sessions are “Beginning SQL Spatial Features” and “Advanced SQL Spatial Features“.

By the way – How did a mainly Java developer end up in Microsoft technology events? That’s a whole different story:) Let’s focus on my interest in SQL Server.


Interestingly I have been working on the  Oracle database for almost 8 years🙂 I have ben writing SQL queries, working on reports with PL/SQL, generating stored procedures for reusability and sometimes for batch database jobs. There were some nights (oh plus many many weekends!) were I was losing my head over emergency SQL patches. At some times it almost felt as if I would be stuck in my cubicle forever; querying, double-checking, updating, deleting, recovering zillions of records. Why the hassle? Because there’s always a DEADLINE to meet. Even the separate parts of this word sound negative, don’t you think?


Based on our IT strategy, application developers would also work on datamodel design; which meant we had to think of relations, constraints, indexes, triggers etc. Certainly we had the opportunity to recheck the model with DBA’s in case we needed some advice. Still it was more convenient to define specific user privileges, to analyze user sessions, user rights and (please don’t meet again!) database locks, on your own. Last but not least; we sometimes had to deal with Oracle Forms, despite the fact that we were essentially developing web-based applications.


On top of all these bitter-sweet memories, I am definitely fond of Oracle and its database tools. For specific cases you might want to use SQL PLUS (ewwww!), yet for development purposes I would use QUEST SQL Navigator. Some friends are SQL TOAD fans; however I prefer to navigate through my database development expeditions with my friend – SQL Navigator.


Back to SQL-Server. Our latest team project was based on a Business Process Management suite called Ultimus, which leverages Microsoft technologies. That’s when Visual Studio, SQL Server joined me as new tech-friends;) We needed to write Java Web services as integration nodes for the designed workflow project. Furthermore we had to offer data reporting capabilities through Oracle Discoverer to business units. There were several reasons to transfer data back and forth between SQL Server and Oracle databases. Once we struggled for almost one week with Oracle Data Provider for .NET (ODP.NET); just to realize that there were still problems with the Turkish characters. That issue might have been resolved by now?


To cut the long story short: We had to work with both; Oracle + SQL Server.

After this much techie details; my artistic inner voice does have a question … Although the lyrics don’t apply, will we have Prodigy Firestarter at least buzzing in the corridors of the event location? Hey Mr.DJ put that record on! Just to remind you of the song; here’s the scary(!) music video from 1996.



Whaaat? There’s no DJ? At such a funky event? You must be kidding?!? NOOOOOO WAY!

Again this is my inner voice. Now screaming with astonishment;)

Read Full Post »