After 16 great years with Microsoft, Friday 21st is my last working day. I am spending it in our new home in the chilly North York Moors with the company of sheep, rabbits, grouse and a rather fine bottle of Yamazaki Whisky bought by my friends in Microsoft DPE. The Whisky apparently has the subtle taste of peach, cookie and vanilla – which should be easy to identify when I consume it as a chaser to the cider with a sherry top also bought for me
A massive thank you to everyone who made those 16 years so much fun. I will miss so many of you. The good news is I will be keeping this blog going … hence I won’t really have gone far
Have a wonderful Christmas and a fun 2013
…which is certainly my plan.
So long, and thanks for all the fish.
Smile … then chuckle at the last 10 seconds
During the last 6 months I have been working with iOS developers building the first wave of Windows 8 applications for the Windows Store. Pretty much all of them have told me that they enjoyed making the transition to XAML/C#/.NET and Visual Studio 2012.
I have previously posted Resources for iOS developers but today and tomorrow there is something special going on. The Big Nerd Ranch and Microsoft have joined together to deliver two days of training designed to jumpstart your Windows Store app development.
It will be streamed on Channel 9 and The Verge from 4pm UK time.
Don’t miss it.
Those very nice people at Telerik have impressed me once again – so much so that it feels similar to the moment I woke up on Christmas day to find a TCR racing set under the tree (what an awesome thing that was).
Introducing … AppMock from Telerik
The blurb states “AppMock allows you to quickly and easily create prototypes of your Windows Store applications”
In reality “AppMock allows you to quickly and easily create prototypes of your Windows Store applications”
[Windows Store Tips]
When you submit to the store you get an opportunity to add promo images to your submission. It is tempting to skip over these as a) they are optional and b) they are in odd sizes! However promo images are what the store team need if they are to spotlight your application.
Fill them in to have a chance of appearing here…(as done nicely by the UK developers of Cocktail Flow)
[Windows Store Tips]
Pete has a great check list to do before submission. It includes store colors and logo which have been so often missed – but not by you Nigel Sampson has also done a nice post about Logo background color.
The logo background color not only affects the logo (I know… naming is everything) but also (and arguably more importantly) the background color in your Store listing.
e.g. Netflix got it right:
Three positive stories.
The final story refers to my daughter. It has been “regrettable” that both my son and daughter have been using Blackberry phones for the last two years and worse still, I have been paying for the contracts!
Well, out of the blue my daughter reported that whilst at University she has chosen to get herself a new Lumia 610 on her own phone contract. Wow! Clearly the biggest news story of the three by far!
Now… as I will be leaving Microsoft Dec 31st, I wonder if I can grab her old Blackberry. Just kidding
In 1996 I was happily working on large Unix applications when I was approached by Microsoft to join a brand new European arm of the (then famous – apparently) Microsoft US Developer Relations Group as something called a “Technical Evangelist” (Which incidentally caused all sorts of problems when I put that down on a mortgage application form the same year!)
My plan was simple.
- Join for two years.
- Use those two years to “understand the enemy”
- Get insider confirmation of just how sucky Windows really was and how arrogant all those Microsoft folks were.
- Once this was done I could then get back to my beloved Unix for development and Apple Macintosh for design and fun.
Well, after nearly 16 years I have given up looking.
The people are lovely – smart and caring. The technology is competent and some of it is fantastic. Yes I did find some sucky technology and even had to evangelise the merits of some (but even Entity Framework 1.0 blossomed in time) – but overall Microsoft makes great stuff.
I therefore give up Mission aborted.
I have decided it is time to leave Microsoft and spend the beginning of 2013 with family before working out what to do next. I’m sure whatever I do it will be fun – and definitely different to the last 16 years Oh – and it will be “up north” as I’ve moved from sunny Bath to chilly North Yorkshire. We had snow today!
An enormous thank you to everybody I ever met, presented to, advised, sort advice from, drank with, ate with, slept with (Mike T knows what I mean there). I have been incredibly lucky to have worked with and met so many smart people. I could list them… but I have my tea waiting downstairs…
Take care all
P.S. I’m still working for Microsoft through December…
If you attended the event yesterday in London then firstly, thank you for coming and secondly, you can find the slides we used attached to this post or via this direct link.
The tips I listed in my part of the day can be found at Windows Store Tips.
And finally, my group is very active in helping developers and designers skill up for Windows 8. Check out the resources (including in-person free training) at http://www.windows-store.co.uk/training
Round Table 29th Nov 2012 novideo
Just stumbled upon ClassBrowserPlus – what a great app!
Lovely clean UX with great detailed content
And some very nice code samples
Well done Russell!