Recommit to fill the void

I’ve been out of the blogging loop for a year now, and feel it is time to recommit to populate all the free space Word Press provides me. Hopefully you, the reader will find something helpful and interesting from the articles I will be posting.

As part of this goal to fill the free space given out, I am hopeful that the process of writing articles will allow me to become more concise and clear in my ability to provide technical details in a simple, fresh manner making me a better consultant, team player, and developer.

The one thing I took from my first year of blogging is that writing articles requires a more intimate understand of the code and the technology supporting the code which can I then translate into simple yet powerful tidbits of insight for everyone else.

So here we go 2012…more simple and powerful article to help the everyday coder and myself.

Let the void filling begin….Scott

Early to Plan and Early to Test Makes an Upgrade

…Intuitive, Effective, and Calm.

On Wednesday, November 17th I had the opportunity to speak to the Fort Wayne SharePoint User Group. This was the first time I have spoken to a use group, and feel over all it was a successful presentation. The title of the presentation was “Early to Plan and Early to Test, Makes an Upgrade Intuitive, Effective, and Calm.” During the presentation I spoke about the different approaches and steps to upgrading a SharePoint 2007 farm to SharePoint 2010, as a number of those in attendance are looking to begin upgrade projects during the first quarter next year.

I told those attending that I would be posting my notes and slides. I tried to format everything to include in the body of this post, but I couldn’t find a nice way to do it without hand editing a lot of HTML. (Any suggestions for a good blog editor for Word Press, I’m currently using Windows Live Writer.) Here is a link to download everything as a docx file:

image

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Early to Plan and early to Test makes an Upgrade intuitive, effective, and calm by Scott Gillis is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.
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Your Mid-Week Microsoft Fix

Welcome to the first mid-week of November. That’s right it is November, before we know it the new year will be upon us. If your company is anything like some of my clients, things really begin to slow down as people are in and out using up their vacation time or sick. Which means project work might not move as quickly as the rest of the year, and provides an excellent period of time to learn about some of the latest technologies as well as to polish our knowledge on already familiar technologies.

With this in mind readers, I would like to make a deal with you, to take some time to learn something new or extend our knowledge between now and January 1, 2011. (Life coaches say the best way to achieve goals is when someone is holding you accountable.)

My goal is to pass Exam 70-667 – Microsoft SharePoint 2010, Configuring (http://www.microsoft.com/learning/en/us/exam.aspx?ID=70-667&locale=en-us). Leave in the comments what your goal is. Maybe it is to read that book on design patterns, pass a certification exam, attend/view some training, or something else.

To give you some thoughts as to what to learn here is this weeks broadcaster links.

Course 10517: Introduction to the Microsoft SharePoint 2010 Development Platform

This course introduces existing ASP.NET developers to the SharePoint 2010 development platform.

The course covers the following topics.
– SharePoint 2010 as a Development Platform
– Introducing SharePoint 2010 Object Hierarchy
– Developing SharePoint Solutions by Using Visual Studio 2010
– Packaging and Deploying SharePoint 2010 Solutions

This course prepares you for the exam 70-573: TS: Microsoft SharePoint 2010, Application Development.

Course 10518: Developing Web Parts for Accessing Microsoft SharePoint 2010 Data

This course teaches developer how to develop Web Parts that access SharePoint data by using the server-side object model.

The course covers the following topics.
– Creating Standard Web Parts
– Creating Connected Web Parts
– Creating Visual Web Parts
– Working with SharePoint Sites Programmatically

This course prepares you for the exam 70-573: TS: Microsoft SharePoint 2010, Application Development.

How Do I: Create Visual Web Parts for SharePoint 2010 in Visual Studio 2010?

Visual Web Parts allow developers to build Microsoft SharePoint 2010 Web Parts using a design surface in Microsoft Visual Studio 2010. This allows for drag and drop of user controls from the Toolbox to build the visual web part’s user interface.

Core Architecture of SharePoint 2010: How Do I: Understanding SharePoint 2010 Topology (Part 1)

This module concentrates on the key architectural changes in SharePoint 2010. We’ll cover the different topology options available and also the changes in the service application architecture. There are also new capabilities available for business…

My Shiny Black Laptop

I have recently become the proud parent of a Lenovo ThinkPad T510. I find it to be quite cute and very slick looking, were as my wife has a different opinion, and I quote, “It is soo ugly! And what is with the tacky red dot?” (I feel it must be noted this was within minutes of removing it from the packaging.) I then had to explain it wasn’t bought for its fashionably good looks but rather for the secret power within it, yet I continue to get a small eye roll every time I get it out.

My greatest complaint so far is with the keyboard. The keyboard feels a little on the squished side, but has very nice feeling keys which type soft with just enough click noise and feed back to make you realize there is structure to the whole chassis. What I find most aggravating is that the left Control key is not placed on the outside edge of the keyboard (directly under the Shift) but slid in wards with the emphasis laptop Function key sitting in the normal place.

As a developer I do a lot of copy and paste (write one copy often) which leads to a lot of stop think and readjust the hand to properly copy and past. If you know of a way to change key functions leave a comment, I would love to turn the function key into a control key to save myself a lot of grief.

On a positive note, the non-glare screen is very nice, you still have a little reflection when in bright sunlight but is very ghostly/shadow like and hasn’t hurt my ability to work. Even wearing sunglasses allows the screen to be easily seen in all light conditions.

I have not had a lot heat issues as of yet, but I still haven’t gotten into a lot of heavy processing, I’m still in that love stage of setup…I try to return to this issue in a few weeks after running SASS cubes and SharePoint BI. The 9-cell battery upgrade has added some bulk but as I’ve done setup and install procedures I have gotten in the 7 hour realm of battery life which I think is fantastic.

So now to unveil the specs of this machine:

Processor: Intel Core i5 M540 2.53Ghz
RAM: 4 GB
Screen: 15.6 anti-glare (1600×900)
2 mega-pixel camera
500 GB Hard drive 7200 rpm
Bluetooth Antenna
NVIDIA 3100M 512MB discrete graphics

The Windows Experience Index rated the system at 4.9 with the following scores:

Calculations per second – 6.8
Memory Operations per second – 5.9
Graphics – 4.9
Gaming Graphics – 5.9
Primary Hard Drive – 5.9

I am currently running Windows 7 Professional ( the 64-bit version of course) with all of the 2010 Office Client stack and Visual Studio 2010 Ultimate. For virtualization of developer servers I am running the latest version of VMPlayer. So far I have not run into any gotchas involving this stack of software. For virus and malware protection I am relying on Microsoft Security Essentials, as I feel it has a smaller footprint then some of the other free virus protection. The Windows 7 Homegroup feature allowed this new machine to immediately start sharing files and printers with the other machines on my home network, and has made it very easy to move over old files I had on those other machines, someone really thought that feature set out.

As I continue to use the machine I’ll post updates, but so far I would highly recommend the system to anyone looking to purchase a lot of power on a tight budget. (Especially if looks aren’t a priority.)

Dig Through the Attic

I was inspired to create the Code Attic as I remember as a kid the excitement my siblings and I had when we were given a chance to explore Grandma and Grandpa’s attic. You never knew what type of treasures and some time strange garbage they might have placed up their.

It may have been stuffy, hot, and had a funny smell, but we always seemed to enjoy the exploration that could be done. And usually came across at least one interesting thing to play with during that visit.

So now that I am older, I feel there should still be an ‘attic’ of sorts to store away my thoughts for later looking and to provide others with that childhood excitement of an attic search, without the smell and heat.

The Code Attic is going to become the attic of my adventures in technology, as a Microsoft SharePoint consultant. The articles and how-to entries will revolve around SharePoint and custom .NET development but may bleed into what ever other technologies I might be learning/working with at the time. My hope is to start giving some back to the crazy realm of the blog-o-sphere that has helped me along the way.

My end goal is to store away something new to The Code Attic every Tuesday and if something real cool or for that matter strange comes along, and extra post might happen.

You can contact me via the comments, try me on twitter #thecodeattic, or drop an email to thecodeattic at gmail dot com.