Posts Tagged ‘Developer’

You deserve a Second Shot at Microsoft Exam’s, until June 30th, 2010!

February 8th, 2010

Okay, I was partly holding off on publishing this because at first I thought it expired REAL fast, but apparently, that’s changed! so here you go! It’s good until June 30th, 2010! woohoo!

Have a Second Shot at your Microsoft Exam!image 

If you guys remember my original post Certification and MeasureUp Discounts 20% off Certs! that story is still true – so the ‘approved’ countries will still be able to get 20% off which can make your exam costs as little as $100 USD! (Fill in the blank of your respective country :)) However, if you don’t want to get money off and instead want to take your chances at the exam at full price YET if you happen to fail (No one ever fails, right? Especially not ME?!? :)) This will give you a second chance at the exam for free then!

So, in USD terms, here’s a breakdown of the values!

  No Voucher 20% off Voucher Second Shot Voucher
First Try $125 $100 $125
Second Try $125 $100 $0
Total! $250 $200 $125

So, by looking at that, wow! There is a definite value in taking advantage of this Second Shot Program! However, if you KNOW you’ll pass the first time and you live in an ‘approved’ country, then the 20% off voucher is definitely valuable.  Otherwise though, jump all over this Second Shot offer, as far as I know it’s available in EVERY country, which is great, and the fact it ALSO run’s until June 30th, 2010 – means you’re all winners all around!

So, just like before, feel free to email me, contact me on facebook, twitter @CXI, even linkedin (or you can comment here) – Whatever means is comfortable for you to get these vouchers.  I don’t have any limits, and I want you to pay as LITTLE as possible for your certification! (In the event you didn’t catch it, this is all free :))

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Posted in Blog, Certification, Education, MCT, Microsoft | Comments (0)

Microsoft WebsiteSpark takes the web by storm

December 8th, 2009

You may remember me talking about two other programs that Microsoft has offered up in the past – BizSpark for Startup Businesses, and DreamSpark for for Education;  Now let me deliver to you (Yes I know this was launched in September, but the marketing machine is oblivious to many of us, myself included ;)) So, introducing WebSite Spark!

Microsoft WebSpark - A program that offers visibility, support and software for professional Web Developers and Designers

So, what exactly is WebSiteSpark?

Visibility, support and software for professional Web Developers and Designers – at no upfront cost!*

Does your company have 10 or fewer employees?
Receive Windows Web Server and SQL Server Web Edition at no cost to host new websites. Learn More

Finding an Expert, Training, Support, Software and Solutions

What does this mean for you? 

If you are a developer, designer or more and you need to take your business to a new level leveraging all that is the wonder of Microsoft technologies this gives you all of the tools to get your business off the ground with visibility in the internets! Check it out!

Do you provide services, support and hosting to businesses that develop web sites and applications? Sign up here
*A one-time $100 Program Offering Fee is due upon exit or at the end of the 3 year term.

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Posted in .NET, ASP, Informational, Microsoft | Comments (1)

Real World Azure coming to a city near you (US)

August 9th, 2009

TechNet Events Presents: Real World Azure with Microsoft IT (Thanks to Keith Combs for posting this, and my full on hijack of it! I’ll try to visit DG or Chicago if I can!;)


TechNet & MSDN Events Present: Real World Azure with Microsoft IT

Come spend a day with us to explore Windows Azure, Microsoft’s platform for building and deploying cloud based applications from a real world point of view!  During this event, we’ll review critical lessons Microsoft IT has learned migrating internal line-of-business applications to Windows Azure.

What is Windows Azure™? When should I use it? How does it apply to my job?  Whether you’re an IT Professional, Developer or Architect, we’ll address your top of mind questions about cloud computing.

TechNet Presents – for the IT Professional from 8:30am to Noon

  • Azure architecture from the IT professional’s point of view
  • Why an IT operations team would want to pursue Azure as an extension to the data center
  • Configuration, deployment and scaling Azure-based application
  • The Azure roles (web, web service and worker)
  • Azure storage options
  • Azure security and identity options
  • How Azure-based applications can be integrated with on-premise applications
  • How operations teams can manage and monitor Azure-based applications

Dates and Locations Registration Link

August 18, 2009 Columbus, OH
August 19, 2009 Mason, OH
August 19, 2009 Downers Grove, IL
August 20, 2009 Indianapolis, IN
August 20, 2009 Dallas, TX
September 16, 2009 Grand Rapids, MI
September 17, 2009 Southfield, MI
September 17, 2009 Overland Park, KS
September 17, 2009 Houston, TX
September 22, 2009 Bloomington, MN
September 22, 2009 Cleveland, OH
September 24, 2009 Waukesha, WI
September 24, 2009 Austin, TX
September 29, 2009 St. Louis, MO
September 29, 2009 Nashville, TN
September 30, 2009 Knoxville, TN
October 1, 2009 Chicago, IL

And don’t forget, the second half of the day at each location is developer focused.  Here’s the general description of the MSDN sessions in the afternoon.

MSDN Presents – for the Developer & Architect from 1:00pm to 5:00pm

In this session, we will discuss:

  • Cloud computing architectures in general and the Azure architecture in particular
  • Several aspects of Azure from the developer’s and architect’s perspective
  • Azure roles (web, web service and worker)
  • Azure storage options
  • Azure security and identity options
  • How Azure-based applications can be integrated with on-premise applications
  • Configuration, deployment and scaling Azure-based applications
  • How development teams can optimize their applications for better management and monitoring

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Posted in .NET, Azure, Cloud, Microsoft | Comments (0)

I’m WFAD! And I’m not gonna take it anymore! (71-505 WFAD)

November 21st, 2008

Please see the Free Testing Archive for tests like this and more!

Register for Beta Exam 71-505: TS: Microsoft .NET Framework 3.5, Windows Forms Application Development

Registration Begins 11/21/2008

You are invited to take beta exam 71-505: TS: Microsoft .NET Framework 3.5, Windows Forms Application Development. If you pass the beta exam, the exam credit will be added to your transcript and you will not need to take the exam in its released form. The results willnot appear on your transcript until several weeks after the final form of the exam is released. The 71-xxx identifier is used for registering for beta versions of MCP exams, when the exam is released in its final form the 70-xxx identifier is used for registration.

71-505: TS: Microsoft .NET Framework 3.5, Windows Forms Application Development counts as credit towards the following certification(s).

· Microsoft Certified Technology Specialist: .NET Framework 3.5, Windows Forms Applications

· Microsoft Certified Professional Developer: Windows Developer 3.5

· Microsoft Certified Professional Developer: Enterprise Application Developer 3.5


Registration begins: November 21, 2008

Beta exam period runs: November 25, 2008– December 15, 2008

Receiving this invitation does not guarantee you a seat in the beta; we recommend that you register immediately. Beta exams have limited availability and are operated under a first-come-first-served basis. Once all beta slots are filled, no additional seats will be offered.

Testing is held at Prometric testing centers worldwide, although this exam may not be available in all countries (see Regional Restrictions). All testing centers will have the capability to offer this exam in its live version.

Regional Restrictions: India, Pakistan, China

Registration Information

Please use the following promotional code when registering for the exam: X356Y
You must register at least 24 hours prior to taking the exam.

To register in North America, please call:

· Prometric: (800) 755-EXAM (800-755-3926)

Outside the U.S./Canada, please contact:

· Prometric:

Test Information and Support

You are invited to take this beta exam at no charge.
You will be given four hours to complete the beta exam. Please plan accordingly.
Find exam preparation information:

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Posted in .NET, ASP, Baltimization, Certification, Christopher Kusek, Informational, Microsoft | Comments (1)

Suffering from Click and Stare

September 2nd, 2008

I suffer from Click and Stare.   Not every day, and not every time.  But too often.

What is click and stare?

Before I go into the exact description of click and stare, let me provide you with a little context.   Application Developers, Efficiency Experts, and other Productivity people who analyze what people do and how they do it have identified that for every 1 less click, you’re saving ‘x’ number of seconds!   So lets say that for every 1 less click you do in an application a day, you’re saving 5 seconds, and you click once an hour.

So at 1 click = 5 seconds per hour, with 8 hrs in a day (40s a day)
Which adds up to 200 seconds a week per click, resulting in  ~3 hours a year per click saved!

Wow, that’s amazing! So, the more clicks we get rid of, the more time we save and we’re all productive all around! Excellent!

Oops, sorry that didn’t work out like we planned.

So, on paper it all sounds so logical.  If an action you do frequently takes you less time to do, you can do it more often.   No arguments from me here.   I can go click a big B or hit ctrl-b and make this text bold.   Instead of going into a file-function menu to do that.   Excellent!

The problem is, this only takes into account things which THEY thing we do, and do most often.

Here’s a real world example of where it triumphs and wins!


Right here, I have a very basic email window (My actual email window)

I don’t need to attach a signature it’s already done, and if I wanted to attach it all I need to do is click "Signature" and select my alternates from the Drop down.  Excellent.


However, lets say I wanted to turn this from an HTML email into a Rich Text one.

Well, firstly I stare, and stare and look around.  Nothing.  Okay, lets click Options.

Click and stare.


Oh, there it is, it took me a few seconds to find it here.   However if I didn’t know it was in options (I know :)) I would spend a good 10-15 seconds just finding out it’s not on the main tab before going to click on other things.

But this problem isn’t a fat application focused one.  No, this lives in the Internet as well (And stores.. I’ll get to that)

I’ll visit a website.  I visit it every single day, I know where it is what I’m looking for, I go to click on it.   


Hmm, that feature I use every single day (Even every other hour) is now harder to find, or not there at all anymore.    I go to a new "menu" where it might be, click and stare to find what it is I’m looking for.

But I’m not that guy, I don’t just stare – I search (this is a webpage) and STILL I don’t even find it!   WTF?    What is going on here.  It’s like the very functions which we rely upon for living our lives and running our business are intentionally being made harder in the effort to make us more "Productive".

I understand what you’re saying, where you’re coming from.   I analyze productivity and productive people in order to take the best they’re doing and replicate it.   However, I don’t do it in a completely counter-intuitive fashion which cripples a persons ability to work, leaving them like a deer in head-lights perhaps unable to even recover.

All of a sudden a 5 second ‘loss of productivity’ from having an extra click becomes 30 seconds to 5 minutes just trying to figure out what on earth they were doing when they lost their train of thought.   All because someone wants you to click less.


I thought it important to reference this before I go into real lessons of how to actually fix these click and stare scenarios.

It’s Monday evening.   You go to your local grocery store you visit all the time.   They’ve decided to restock the shelves and re-arrange the store since you were last there, to ‘liven it up’ and make it ‘easier?’ and a ‘better shopping experience’?

You go to where your regular stock items are.  You cannot find them.   You ask for assistance, they cannot find them.   "Maybe we don’t carry that?" they say.   Leaving you to fend for yourself in their incompetence because they’ve not only crippled you the consumer but they’ve also crippled their own employees.

Sadly, I’ve experienced this at a number of grocery stores (Nothing is as sad as walking into a grocery store expecting to spend several hundred dollars, and being unable to find ANYTHING you were looking for, WITH assistance)   Think about how that’d impact your customer service oriented business if your CS told the customer "Yea, we don’t do that" When clearly they know you do.

Resolution and Recovery?

Programmatically, there is an actual resolution to "click and stare".   It is by designing your applications to operate as a hybrid, in a fashion which the people use it, instead of how you feel they should use it.    What this means is, let the application operate and run as it normally does.   Enable a "discovery" feature, which is tagged on an individual basis.    As the application is used more and more, the features and functions which are actively used appear in a "Frequently used feature/function" area, similar to your "Recent Documents".   What this will do is allow your Accountant to operate like an Accountant using the tools they use, while your engineers, Architects, CS, and others – all using the same application can continue to operate it at their pace with their toolset.   

Some might say "Well, we’ll make the most universal functions available which we queried was being used by each of these parties"  That’s great, except for when it doesn’t work.   User Preferences are individualized for a reason.   Some users prefer things one way, and others a different way.    Letting the application be ‘user aware’ and working with them instead of against them can help solve and resolve these future issues.

Life and work are supposed to be easier the more we do it, not make it harder to do something routine simply because a developer or architect felt we didn’t actually use that function more than we do.    With the advancement of software factories and user aware applications, this does become easier, but it takes more than doing all the work to make the job done.    The code, the applications, even the businesses and stores need to realize – We’re the target audience.   Watch what we do.   Watch how we do it.   Don’t try to change our behavior because it won’t happen – Model and adapt to follow it.

Short of automating everything and anything we do (I prefer to do that ;)) people are going to continue to do things their own way.   If you’re not working with them to get the job done (Helping a customer, running an application, buying in a store) you’re working against them.

Look for patterns, watch them repeat, repeat and repeat again (re: genetic sequencing, flowers, life)  and model them and improve them.    Or work against them.   History has shown that isn’t too successful, it’s not impossible – but it takes a major shift to adopt.

Hopefully you don’t suffer from too much click and stare.   I’m doing my damndest to suffer from it less!

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Posted in Baltimization, Christopher Kusek, Microsoft | Comments (1)

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