Microsoft Regional Directorship

It’s probably about time for me to announce that I am now a Microsoft Regional Director.  The logo has been on the side there for a little while.

Let’s do the FAQ thing…

So you’ve been hired by Microsoft? No.

You’re an MVP.  So this is another award like that? No.

Is it something like a Microsoft Certification? No.

 

Teasing pause.  Being a Regional Director is a role, external to Microsoft, but working closely with Microsoft, that Microsoft invites select external people to undertake under contract.

 

How much does the role pay? Nothing.

Do you get any specific benefits? "… working closely [very closely] with Microsoft… " at many levels,  a presence on http://theregion.com, various other invitations, offers and program awards, and working with fellow program members.

How many RDs are there in the world? Right now, a little over 125 (see http://theregion.com) and the program has been around for many years.

Can I apply to be one? No.  You have to be invited.  Start by getting to know your local Microsoft Evangelist/Advisors.

What are the attributes of someone invited to become an RD.

From http://theregion.com (the official site for RDs)

Regional Directors are members of an elite, worldwide group of technology thought-leaders known for their national and international speaking tours, their authorship of books, articles and blogs, and their business acumen. Regional Directors are well-versed on the totality of the software industry. They are recognized for their achievements in communicating the benefits of emerging technologies.

and further qualification…

RDs are seldom specialized around a single [can be multiple] technology, but rather are well-versed on the totality of the software industry. Regional Directors have a strong affinity for emerging technology and are known to be early adopters of Microsoft products and technologies. Around the globe, RDs provide strategic technical direction for their business community.

So what tasks does the ‘role’ entail?

RDs start by working their regular day to day careers with employers or customers.  On top of that, or in the course of doing that, they evangelize Microsoft technologies and products through various channels, either of their own volition or sometimes at Microsoft’s request.  This may involving blogging (duh!) or other communication mediums, tweeting, meeting with customers, speaking at events, attending conferences, meeting with Microsoft teams and executives Winking smile, and advising companies or other institutions, etc.  RDs also bring valuable and trusted community and industry insight back to Microsoft.

 

In the last couple of monthly, I’ve been extremely busy lately with work and RD/MVP stuff.  I have a few blog series coming up around WP7, HTML5 & Silverlight, onto which you may want to keep an RSS reader tuned…

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Microsoft MVP Award for Silverlight

 

 

 

 

On Oct 1 2010, the award of Microsoft MVP was bestowed upon me, for "exceptional contributions to technical communities worldwide" by the Silverlight team.

I would have mentioned it sooner but for the facts that (1) you don’t easily get an award without being busy and (2) I had to wait for permission to use the award logo.

The MVP award process (which involved signing an NDA, signing up for benefits, agreeing to logo usage terms, getting access to the MVP site, receiving a physical package, being invited to the annual MVP summit and having access to product teams) is a well-oiled machine.  Naturally the terms of the NDA prevent me from saying anything I learn that is not legitimately public, but of course I will be blogging merrily about those things when they are officially announced.

About that physical package – it included an actual physical award (heavy and made of glass), a pin, a card and a certificate…

20101013 - award

That "2010" is a separate pieces that slides on.  It will take a few years to fill up the side of the award – another goal Smile

20101013 - cert

 

I’d like to thank the Microsoft Canada’s DPE (Developer & Platform Evangelism) team and Simran Chaudhry for their relentless support in nominating me.

Get Ahead With In-Depth Developer Training & Early Device Access for Windows Phone 7

The current Windows Phone 7 rumour-mill currently has:

  • Sept 2010Oct 2010 Confirmed by Microsoft – Mobile Marketplace opens for Windows Phone 7 application submissions
  • Sep 16th 2010 Confirmed by Microsoft – Tools RTM
  • Oct 2010 – Windows Phone 7 devices retail in Europe
  • Nov 2010 – Windows Phone 7 devices retail in North America

Are you ready to ride this huge opportunity?

To be at the front of the line you’ll need these key things:

  • WP7 Developer Knowledge and beyond

    The developer tools for basic WP7 application are free and easy to start with.  That’s a great story for your fart application, but not for building fully cloud-integrated applications where you have to build cloud services and/or understand the cloud space, especially if you want to use notification services.  You’ll need in-depth knowledge for this and expertise extending all the way to developing for 3-screen & the cloud in some cases.  Plus, do you really have weeks to spend researching all this stuff?

  • Access to Windows Phone 7 devices to test your application(s)

    The developer tools for WP7 include an emulator which provides a great experience, far more useful that its predecessor for Windows Mobile 6.x, and even more graphically powerful that Virtual PC since it integrates with the host’s graphical hardware acceleration and multi-touch (if available).

    However, the tools will not allow you to get a good sense of performance, test under real network conditions, or get real data from built-in devices like the accelerometer, GPS, compass, and multi-touch (this last one would require a multi-touch capable developer machine).  If you are building a game (with XNA) for WP7, you definitely want to get your hands on some real hardware.

    Do you have access to a device before retail availability?

  • Assistance with getting your application into the marketplace and potential promotion

You can get help with these things by attending the Windows Phone 7 Boot Camp that I’m running Smile

Boot Camp participants get:

2 solid in-depth workshop days covering major topics in depth, samples, exercises and expertise in Microsoft technologies at Microsoft offices – see agenda below

50+ Demos/examples

40+ Samples

Priority invite to Microsoft Canada’s deployment clinics, for invaluable application testing on a real device.  Unless you have a relationship with Microsoft, this may be your only opportunity before retail device availability!!!

FREE go-to-marketplace support from Microsoft – you’ll be connected with a Microsoft evangelist to help you with getting your application(s) into the marketplace with potential for promotional assistance

Due to a shortage with devices, Microsoft Canada has withdrawn the loaner program (substituting the deployment clinics) and a device cannot be present in all bootcamp cities.

Want More?  How about, all this for less?  Use the promo code WP7BOOTCAMP to get $100 off.

 

A whole new market is approaching…  Register today.

If the package, location, timing or content does not suit you and/or you want a tailored training experience, go ahead and contact me.

Current Agenda

Day 1 Day 2

Getting Started

Tools

Hardware

Emulator

Architecture

Application Types

Services

 

Visual Basics

XAML

Controls

Layout

Drawing, Brushes, Styles, Resources, Media

 

Applications

Stack

Model

Projects

Navigation

Threading

 

Builds & Deployment

Debug

XAP Files

Deployment

Localisation

Porting, Compatibility & Re-use

 

Application Layouts

Orientation

Transforms

Hubs, Panorama & Pivot

 

Data Binding

Essentials, Hierarchies, Lists

Converters

LINQ

 

Data Services

Service Proxy

WebClient

HttpWebRequest

OData

Design

Guide

Theming

Blend

MVVM

Control Templates

 

Platform Integration

Launchers

Choosers

Application Bar

Settings

 

Device I/O

SIP

Touch

Accelerometer

Location Services

Network

Maps

 

Storage

Isolated Storage

Perst

Cloud

Syncing

 

Application Lifecycle

In-depth

 

Notification Services

In-depth

 

Performance

 

Web Integration

Browser Control

Integration

 

XNA

Basics

 

Marketplace

Registration

Requirements

Process

Now Twittering…

I’ve taken the plunge into Twitter.

Within my first couple of weeks of tweeting Twitter has taken away the setting that allows someone to see @replies from the people he/she follows to people that he/she does not follow – I believe this is something which will slow down the discovery of new connections.  Twitter’s announcement seems to suggest that they think they know what’s best, but I imagine it is also a cost-control tactic to slow down the growth of one-to-many SMS transmissions they have to pay for.

I’ve also started a small project to create a new WPF-based twitter client, because I like stuff to work well in a certain context and the existing stuff just didn’t do it – perhaps more on this later.

Feel to follow me at http://twitter.com/colinizer.

2 months and 80 entries of Blog fun…

Having been a blog reader for a few years, in the industry for 15 years, and a developer for 25 years, I finally decided to jump in to blogging 2 months ago.  This is my 80th post – woohoo.

A few things I’ve learnt in that 80 days…

1 If you want people to find your blog by searching with IT terms:

  • Post about the news at a specific event
  • Post several posts about the subject over the course of the day – and of course make them useful – this seems to be a good way to stay fresh on something like Technorati
  • Post a summary of highlights as soon as you can, aswell at the end of the event, including links to other people that have written about the event
  • Be sure to use a variety of tags
  • In each post for the day, put the link to your posts with that tag (or to your blog) to encourage readers to read your other posts (which will provide them access to posts you have not yet even written at that point!)
  • Posting from lunch time ET to early evening PT seems to get the most traction
  • Post in the comments of other people who are talking about the event – don’t be shy about including explit URLs if you have written something useful

2 Mutual linking is appreciated by practically everyone.  Referral tacking is bloody useful.

3 Use a rich desktop tool to blog, rather than a web interface which is usually contraining to some extent.

4 Reply to comments.  It is a pity that there’s no good unversal way to be notified of specific replies to one’s comments in the blogosphere.

5 Keep a ‘notepad’ of blogging ideas, because they can be easy to forget and it’s easy to run dry of ideas sometimes.

So with that said, here are some of the posts I’m thinking about soon:

  • The hidden cool kernel features of Windows Vista and Windows Server 2008
  • Microsoft’s Universal Communication platform and gadgets
  • Does outsourcing to India work?
  • Popfly alpha review (now that I have a login)
  • If there’s something you’d like me to (attempt to) do a post on, put a comment on this post, and I’ll give it some thought.

Hello world!

“Welcome to WordPress.com. This is your first post. Edit or delete it and start blogging!”

So off I go, after… years of procrastination, I’m now blogging. I was very keen on writing my own blog application but wordpress will do largely because of three reasons:

  • I’ve seen it evolve and handle Robert Scoble’s blog – not that I expect his traffic.
  • It has a programmatic interface along with manual import/export features should I every change my mind.
  • As much fun as it is to write something from scratch, I’d never get around to it and have more important things to work on.

See the about page to learn more about me.