Thursday, January 30, 2014

Preparing for Exam 70-486 ASP.NET MVC4

70-486: Designing ASP.NET 4.5 MVC Web Applications

Free Microsoft Virtual Academy Training

YouTube Videos

Pluralsight MVC 4 Training

Microsoft Exam Companions

Study Guides

Practice Tests -  You have to register but it has a TON of practice tests.


Friday, January 24, 2014

What did Sogeti do?

Our corporate office letting their hair down:

Preparing for exam 70-480: Programming in HTML5 with JavaScript and CSS3

Exam 70-480: Programming in HTML5 with JavaScript and CSS3

Free Microsoft Virtual Academy Course

YouTube Videos

Pluralsight HTML5 and CSS3

Pluralsight HTML5 Fundamentals

Pluralsight Javascript Fundamentals

Microsoft Exam Companions

Practice Tests -  You have to register but it has a TON of practice tests.


Study Guides

Example Project

HTML5 Cheat Sheets

Javascript Cheat Sheets

CSS Cheat Sheets

How do you get your MCSD Web Developer?


Programming in HTML5 with JavaScript and CSS3.  Exam 480

Developing ASP.NET MVC 4 Web Applications.  Exam 486

Developing Windows Azure and Web Services.  Exam 487

Friday, January 17, 2014

Learning about design patterns from the Brady Bunch

My favorite design pattern is similar to the Brady Bunch house.  When I visited Universal Studios in California several years ago we drove past several houses during the back lot tour.  It was also cool to see the clock tower from Back to The Future and the town square for Dukes of Hazard.  They were all Facades.  They had a simple front but there was nothing behind them.

I am a big proponent of KISS (Keep It SimpleStupid).  As developers, we all spend much of our life doing maintenance.  It makes sense to craft software so that it easy to understand.  Make your application easy to use for both the end user and future developers.  Maintenance costs will be reduced and it will be less frustrating to maintain.  The developer that maintains the code may be you coming back to it years later.

The Façade Design Pattern can be thought of as caller to several more complex systems.  The Façade Design Pattern is one of the easiest to understand and in my view, a critical part of enterprise architecture implementation.  One of my measurements of quality for an enterprise service or system is how easy it is to use. 

The Facade Design Pattern

A code example for Kellerman .NET FTP Library:

FTP ftp = new FTP;
ftp.Host = "";
ftp.UserName = "greg";
ftp.Password = "secret";


There is a lot of underlying complexity in the FTP protocol.  The Connect method has a lot of functionality behind it.  This complexity is hidden from the developer using the Façade pattern.  The connect command opens a TCP/IP socket, opens read and write network streams, resolves the host name through a DNS server, connects to the server, waits for the server to respond with a 220 welcome message, and then logs in using the UserName & Password. 

When we develop applications, libraries, or services; we need to take great care to make things as simple as possible.  The Façade pattern is an integral part of that strategy.  

More information:
Facade Pattern Examples in C# and Java
Facade Pattern Example

Friday, January 3, 2014

A Diet and Exercise Plan That Really Works

If you are like me, it is easy to pack up the pounds when you are sitting at a desk all day.  My evening activities such as playing video games with the kids, watching TV, and paying bills burn little calories.  I love chocolate chip cookies, ice cream, and Mountain Dew.  I eat so much chocolate, that if I am injured I would probably bleed chocolate.  Frankly I find exercise boring.  I am putting a stake in the ground to change.  I have a S.M.A.R.T. goal to lose 30 lbs by June so that I can ride the Raptor Roller Coaster at Cedar Point with my daughter Crystal.  This is not a New Year’s resolution to lose weight.  It is specific.  Losing weight is 90% mental.  The last time I visited Cedar Point, I didn’t fit in the seat for the Raptor.  It was quite a letdown since that is my second favorite Roller Coaster.  My favorite Roller Coaster is The Beast at King’s Island.

So how am I going to lose all this weight?  The South Beach Diet.  I know it works because I lost 20 lbs on it before.  I became re-addicted to unhealthy food because we got bored with the recipes.  This time I will press through it.  There are also a lot more low-carb cookbooks out there now.  I am way too heavy and I am going to start having health issues if I don’t do something.  I want to be around to give the hands of my daughters away in marriage and see my grand kids.

The South Beach Diet

I have a secondary goal after that.  I want to lose 40 lbs by August.  Zoombeezi Bay has a weight limit on its tube slides.  I am way over the limit.  It was really disheartening this past summer when I had to watch my daughter go all the way up the stairs and then go down the slides by herself because I was too big.  

Here I am at 286 LBS.  I am 6’2” with a BMI of 36.7 which makes me Obese.

Here are the things that I am going to do to ensure that I will have success with the diet:
Follow the diet.  The first two weeks of South Beach are very difficult.  I am going to press through it.
  1. Ensure I have a surplus of healthy snacks.
  2. Exercise with my kids by playing Kinect.
  3. Exercise by walking the dog.   
  4. Exercise by serving my wife by doing household chores
  5. Join a Volleyball or Dodge ball Meetup after winter

Things that have helped me before when executing the South Beach Diet
  • Budget extra money when buying groceries.  That 50 cent box of Kraft Macaroni and Cheese is inexpensive and delicious but it is so bad for you.  Healthy food will be more expensive.
  • Budget extra time to prepare meals and snacks.  Sure, it takes 30 seconds to go through the drive through to get a Big Mac and another 30 seconds to woof it down.  Cutting up and cooking vegetables and lean meats will take time.
  • Buy other low carb cookbooks so that you will stay on the diet.  Definitely buy the Orange South Beach cookbook.  Be careful of high fat low carb recipes. 
  • Have emergency healthy snacks; in the glove box of the car, at home, in your cube at work.  Some good ideas are beef jerky, nuts, Fiber One Bars, fruit. 
  • Mentally accept that all the sugar and carbs you are eating is making you fat.  After the first two weeks of the South Beach diet, your taste for sugar will change.  The food and beverage industry wants you to be addicted to sugar.  It is food crack for the body. 
  • Mentally accept that everyone around you will continue to remain addicted to sugar and carbs.  This is something you need to do for yourself to live!  People will think that you are weird when you order vegetables at a restaurant. 
  • If you fall off the diet, get back on as soon as you can.  There are times when you go to eat with family or at a party where there are no good food choices.  Eat as healthy as you can then get back on the diet.
  • Recognize that you are fat.  If you get any fatter, you will probably have a heart attack and die.  Then your wife will die of a broken heart.  Cats and dogs will start living together.  Then the earth will fall into the sun.  Chaos.

I will be blogging again in June when I have reached my goal.  I am accountable to all my readers.
So what about you?  If you are reading this, you must be interested in losing weight.  Don’t just sit on the couch, eat Cheddar Cheese Pringles and watch episodes of the Biggest Loser.  Set a specific weight goal then do it.  Buy the South Beach diet book.  Buy the healthy food.  Prepare the healthy food.  Eat the healthy food.  Get to a healthy weight.  While you are at it, vacuum the house as exercise.  Your wife will be happy too.  

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Central Ohio Developer User Groups

Here is a list of all the developer user groups in central Ohio.  If you know of any other user groups to put on this list, please contact me.

Adobe Users Group Presentation Night 

Columbus Digital is the official Adobe User Group for the Greater Columbus Area. We're a group of like minded web professionals who love expressing our talent, skills and interests, and who happen to like some Adobe products on the side. Monthly presentations cover both design and development topics, and weekly socials are planned as informal networking opportunities. Columbus Digital: Adobe Users Group has a monthly presentation night, and weekly happy hours. The presentation night is typically the last Tuesday of the month, happy hours are also Tuesday evenings. Check the website or sign up to receive updates from the Google calendar for specifics. ICal:

CIDUG (Columbus iPhone Developers User Group) 

6:30pm-8:30pm Every fourth Tuesday
Location:  OCLC!forum/cidug

CONDG (Central Ohio .NET User Group)
Meetings are held on the fourth Thursday of each month at the Microsoft building on Polaris Parkway in Columbus, Ohio.
The meetings start at 6:00pm and go until 8:00pm. Anyone interested is also invited to attend the geek dinner afterwards.
Microsoft Polais Office, 4th Floor: 8800 Lyra Dr. Columbus, OH 43240 

Columbus Ruby Brigade

6pm-8pm every third Monday of the month
We are the Columbus Ruby Brigade, a bunch of professionals, students, and geeks who are simply excited about Ruby and Rails and the joy they have brought to development. Currently our only purpose is to get together and geek out about one of the best languages ever developed. We talk about the zen of programming. When we get tired of talking about it, we invite others in to talk about it to us. Networking and socializing are just great perks that come along with the territory. Who can join? Anyone with a pulse. Go to our mailing list ( and sign up to begin chatting, or look for our next meeting. Currently meetings are held on the third Monday of every month. We look forward to seeing you there. Free pizza and beverages are provided to meetings. There is often an informal happy hour after the meeting.

COSPUG (Columbus SharePoint User Group)

5:30-7:30 every third Thursday of the month
Columbus SharePoint User Group meets every 3rd Thursday of the month in the Microsoft office across the highway from the Sogeti building.  Meeting room is on the 4th floor down the hall to the right once inside.

TechLife Columbus

The focus of this meetup group to accelerate the pace of getting to know really cool tech people in town. Join now and get the insider invites to our get togethers. Some are impromptu and some are planned. Either way you'll never know if you don't sign up. Our events focus on tech community networking, entrepreneurship, environmental sustainability, and professional development.

Central Ohio Cloud Computing User Group

2nd Monday of every month

COJUG (Central Ohio Java Users Group)

We meet on the second Tuesday of each month lunch time meetings are from 11:30am - 1:00pm and evening meetings start at 6:30 p.m. All of our meetings, unless otherwise noted, are held at OCLC in the Smith building cafeteria at lunch and the Kilgour building auditorium in the evening.

OCLC Online Computer Library Center,
6565 Frantz Rd., Dublin, Ohio 43017

Columbus SQL Server Users Group

Are you looking to learn more about SQL Server or perhaps you would like to teach others about how you overcame certain trials and tribulations with SQL Server?  If so, joining the Columbus SQL Server Users Group may be a good idea for you. 

The Columbus SQL Server Users Group meets the second Thursday of the month.  The meetings are fairly informal and consist of: networking/pizza time, announcements, a presentation (an hour or less), Q&A and typically they give away a few door prizes (such as a book or two). You can learn more about the local chapter here:

Should joining the Columbus SQL Server Users Group interest you or you have any particular questions about the group I would recommend to reaching out to our fellow Sogetian, Sarah Switzer.  Sarah has attended several meetings in the past and would be a good resource to get information from.

COWUG (Central Ohio WebSphere Users Group)

IBM FileNet User Group

Windows Developer User Group

Excited about Windows Phone & Windows 8? How about the new Modern UI design language? Well, we are .. and there is plenty of company!

The Windows Developer User Group has been established to nurture knowledge base and collaboration among Windows Phone & Windows 8 application developers & enthusiasts. While we are primarily based in Columbus OH, developers from all around Ohio, neighboring states and just about anybody who has interest in the Microsoft ecosystem, is most welcome.
With all that’s happening in the Microsoft technology stack, the future looks awesome. Windows Phone 8 and Windows 8 share essentials; Windows 8 is changing computing form factors as we know it & XBox is bringing the ecosystem to the living room. Guess what’s common in all of these – the new Modern UI design language & similar programming paradigms.
With the vibrant developer community around Columbus OH, we needed a dedicated forum to talk about upcoming technologies, architectures, design & development paradigms around building applications/games on Windows Phone & Windows 8 platforms. Our focus will be Modern UI Design, XAML/C#, HTML/CSS, WinRT & XNA development, so that we appeal to variety of developer interests. We are registered with INETA & collaborate with other similar User Groups to bring you some of the best speakers/experts in this technology space.
Please come join!

6pm-8pm, meets the 3rd Monday of the Month
TechColumbus, 1275 Kinnear Rd, Columbus, OH, 43212, us