XRM Virtual User Group - Looking for member #500

Looks like we’ll hit 500 today.  So, if  you’re a developer or if you’re a CRM freak (no offense Menno), swing by and give us a look.

We’ve got two tracks that each meet monthly and this Tuesday morning at 9am pst, we have David Yack presenting on Using Silverlight in your XRM Solution for our advanced track.  If you are not familiar with David (which, if you are here, reading his wife’s blog, not sure how that would happen, but…) he is the author of (x)CRM as a Rapid Development Platform and is currently writing Building Silverlight RIAs to be released later this year.

So, back to that 500 thing….#500 gets some cool swag.  A signed book from David, some XRM/CRM swag thrown in by my friends at Microsoft (thanks Ben and Bryan), and a few other things thrown in.

XRM Virtual User Group -

Michelle Obama

I am grateful to Michelle Obama because she is showing my daughter that you can achieve great things on your own and in support of your husband.  That is is not taboo to be proud of your spouse.  I hope I am showing her that too, but you know teenagers, when it’s THIER mom, it’s just all wrong.


Michelle Obama has had her own successes.  She has also made her husband’s success possible.  At the end of the day, how successful can one be without someone at home that will cook you dinner and help pay the bills while you pursue your dreams?  And this goes both ways.  The he and she of the relationship should be doing this give and take (or he and he or she and she, makes no matter).


I am blessed that I have a supportive husband.  I am cursed because we both work in the same industry.  There are still people that assume I am his secretary/assistant/subordinate.  That was the assumption for several years actually.  Heck still to this day he often gets credit for my work. :)  He will be staying home with the kids while I go off to Tech Ed in a couple weeks.  But I am home doing the family thing this week and next while he’s away on business.


So what is the takeaway from my babbling today?

Women- it’s ok to be part of a successful TEAM at home.  Don’t be afraid to be supportive of your spouse.  However, don’t be submissive if you are not getting what YOU need for your success.  When a kid is sick take turns missing work so you both have additional opportunities available to you.  When women fail to have a balance at home that carries over to work, it’s our own fault if that means we get paid less.  Make it equal at home too, so you can be equal at work.  Be aware that success is cyclical.  There may be months where you’re busy busy busy, kicking ass at work and hubby is home every night cooking dinner.  But when his promotion comes thru, slow yourself down a notch to make sure he can excel as well.


Men-  take those days off work to take the kids to the dentist.  Do some laundry.  Remember that when SHE is successful the whole family benefits, not just her.


Here is a link to the story I read this morning that inspired this blog post.


Why Michelle Obama inspires women around the globe - CNN.com

WomenBuild at TechEd 2009

1.  Are you going to TechEd 2009?

2.  Are you a woman in technology or do you know any women in technology?

So, you answered yes to the questions?  Read on…


I am very excited to be a part of WomenBuild at Tech Ed 2009.  I have heard about these events before and had looked forward to my chance to participate.  How cool it is that my first time I get to help out behind the scenes!  The TechEd event will be Thursday night (aka Community night) and it is open to the 1st 100 TechEd registered folks that show up.  In the past the event filled up quickly, so plan ahead for this one.


So what is WomenBuild?  Very good question actually. (cut and paste to follow, to include eye candy)

clip_image002The WomenBuild program is specifically designed to address the decline of female talent and leadership in the computer science industry. Microsoft partnered with LEGO® SERIOUS PLAY (LSP) through Robert Rasmussen & Associates to create a unique interactive workshop, using LEGO® Bricks to model solutions for growing strong female leaders in the software industry.

WomenBuild is not only a program but a growing community that provides accessibility to female role models, access to resources, and an open communication path to the Microsoft Women in Technology community.


What that nets down to is an event with some unique problem solving ideas and an opportunity to spend time with some pretty spectacular people.


See you there?

INETA at TechEd 2009- are you going?

Yup, we’re all aware of the “current economic downturn”.   We know your training and travel budgets have been axed.  Yes, some of you have been laid off.


BUT some folks are still getting out to TechEd, no?


I will be spending loads of time with my fellow INETians (that is the word for a group of INETA people) at the community area.  It’s not really a booth and not really a lounge, but it should be one of the coolest places to hang out at TechEd.


Tell me if you’re going?  Swing by the “booth” and say hi?

Details of INETA’s involvement are in the newsletter below, and a few other cool tidbits too.

INETA Newsletter - April 2009

13-year-old's school strip-search case heads to Supreme Court - CNN.com

Ok, total soapbox warning to start with, you don’t want to hear my opinion, move along now.

So, the quick story is…. this 13 yr old honors student was accused by another student of providing prescription strength ibuprofen to classmates at school.  She denied it, and wound up strip searched, to the point of exposing her breasts to school officials, by officials I mean a school nurse (who are rarely RN’s anymore) and the principal’s assistant.


No one was in danger.


No property damage was imminent.


Honor student, no prior discipline issues.


This is absolutely INSANE.


Yes, zero tolerance for drugs at school is a good idea.  However, I now feel the need to teach MY 13 year old daughter to tell school officials no (hell no is ok too) to a strip search under any circumstances.  Make them hold her down first.  If the risk to the students were so huge, and the compelling evidence was so, well, compelling, then CALL THE POLICE, that is THIER job.


This school has made themselves look like arrogant pedophiles.  And now, to defend their actions all the way to the supreme court is simply embarrassing.  I don’t care if they found the ibuprofen.  I don’t care if they found crack.  Still not ok to do this.  (oh and for the record, no drugs were found, yes NO DRUGS WERE FOUND)


Ok, search backpacks.  Lockers.  Desks.  I can totally go along with those.  Pat down the exterior of a student if the risk is big enough.  But except under the threat of imminent physical harm to PEOPLE at the school, under no circumstances should the school be strip-searching our children.


I would love to hear the school’s explanation on how this particular scenario creates a better learning environment, this assault on a child.  That’s what it is. I will stop just short of calling for sexual offender status for the adults involved, but it would be pretty easy to convince me of that.


Anyone else curious as to what become of the other student that offered up this girl?  My guess is one girl was mad at the other for looking at the wrong boy or wearing the wrong clothes or some other stupid teenage girl nonsense. 


13-year-old's school strip-search case heads to Supreme Court - CNN.com

XRM Virtual User Group – meeting Thursday the 23rd

Click below for more details and to learn more about XRMVirtual.  But here’s a taste.  This is for our beginner track, the more advance developer track meets May 5 with David Yack presenting on Silverlight in CRM.


Join Ben Riga and Girish Raja on Thursday April 23 at 9am pst for this Beginner Track session...XRM provides the platform for getting your line-of-business applications to market fast. In this session, we’ll discuss how XRM supports a wide range of business applications with the essentials required for building, delivering and maintaining them in multi-tenant Software+Services environments. . We will also cover how solutions built on the XRM platform benefit from other Microsoft technologies to provide compelling experiences (using WPF or Silverlight), build on familiar skills (using Office or SharePoint) and give your customers the power of choice.

When: Thursday, Apr 23, 2009 9:00 AM (PDT)

Duration: 1:00

XRM Virtual User Group -

MSDN Unleashed returns to Colorado

After such a successful round 1, they’re coming back!  Events in Denver on May 26 and 27, Colorado Springs May 28.  Links for registration down below.


Please join us as we present some of the highlights of MIX! 

Because of the overwhelming demand for this content, we’re offering two different sessions in Denver and on in Colorado Springs. We are still working to hold an event in Ft. Collins.

Please register for the one that works best for your schedule!

What’s New in Silverlight 3?

Are you interested in building business-focused Rich Internet Applications (RIAs)?  Would you like to take advantage of 3D in the browser, but assume it is too hard?  Have you wanted to take a Silverlight application offline?  Then this session is for you.  We will explore and illustrate the new features of Silverlight 3, including the following:

· Support for perspective 3D

· Offline Support

· .NET RIA Services which simplifies the traditional n-tier application pattern by bringing together the ASP.NET and Silverlight platforms

Building Web Applications with Windows Azure

This session will begin with a brief overview of Azure and discuss some of the announcements made at MIX.  We will then illustrate through demo how to build a Windows Azure application from the ground up.  We will illustrate how to consume Azure Table Storage, how to host services, web pages and Silverlight components, as well as how to deploy your solution to the cloud.

MVC 1.0 vs ASP.Net Webforms

Have you heard about the new ASP.NET MVC  framework from Microsoft and wondered what it was all about? Are you curious whether this replaces ASP.Net WebForms?  Well in this session you will learn how to use the model-view-controller (MVC) pattern to take advantage of your favorite .NET Framework language for writing business logic in a way that is de-coupled from the views of the data.  In addition, we will talk about the pros and cons of both MVC and Web Forms, how to determine the best choice for a specific project, various techniques and patterns used to build MVC applications vs. Web Forms applications, and the implications for using each approach.

Thursday, May 28, 2009
7450 Campus Drive
Colorado Springs Colorado 80920
Time: 1:00 pm –5:00 pm
Register: http://msevents.microsoft.com/CUI/EventDetail.aspx?EventID=1032413167&Culture=en-US

1-877-673-8368, reference Event ID 1032413167

Tuesday, May 26, 2009
Microsoft Denver Office
7595 Technology Way #400
Denver, CO 80237
Time: 1:00 pm – 5:00 pm
Register: http://msevents.microsoft.com/CUI/EventDetail.aspx?EventID=1032413165&Culture=en-US

1-877-673-8368, reference Event ID 1032413165

Wednesday, May 27, 2009
Microsoft Denver Office
7595 Technology Way #400
Denver, CO 80237
Time: 8:00 am –12:00 pm
Register: http://msevents.microsoft.com/CUI/EventDetail.aspx?EventID=1032413166&Culture=en-US

1-877-673-8368, reference Event ID 1032413166

More authors turn to Web and print-on-demand publishing

Last year, when we published our (x)CRM book, we semi-self published.  I say semi-self published because we did have a team of folks and since most (all?) of us had had experience with the “big” tech publishing firms, we kinda felt like we knew what we were doing.  We also printed some in advance, have some print on demand and also the ever popular eBook available.

We are in the process of doing this again with a book on Silverlight 3 in the works as I type.

Would I recommend just anybody self publish?  Nope.  Just because you feel like writing a book, doesn’t necessarily mean that you should.  Find people to talk to that will give you an honest opinion (I am certainly happy to chat, I will be honest, even if you don’t like it).  Talk to some people in your target audience.  Do some research, see if someone else is in the middle of writing the same thing already.

Then if you decide to do it, think again.  Are you prepared to do all that work yourself?  Can you find people to work with that will work for a percentage of sales or do they want paid NOW?  Can you afford to pay them NOW?  Do YOU possess the dedicated and passion for your topic that will motivate you enough to finish when you’re 167 pages in and not wanting to write.another.word.

Good idea.  Good rewards.  As long as you are in it for the long haul and have a good supportive group of people working with you.


More authors turn to Web and print-on-demand publishing - CNN.com

I officially added a comma to my name, MVP

Most people think MVP and think Most Valuable Player.  People in the nerd world, my world, know it to be Most Valuable Professional.  I was awarded a (nerd) MVP yesterday (I’d never get the other kind, I am a clumsy dork).  More specifically, I am now a proud CRM MVP.

It made my day (probably week and month too, can’t say year, that is reserved for accomplishments of my kids).

So for the non-nerds, what does the nerd MVP mean?  It means a few things. 

First obviously, you are involved in technology as your profession, specifically Microsoft technologies.  Everything from Windows to Excel to ASP.NET has an MVP community.  That’s not to say that just anybody can be an MVP, but that says that even if your specialty is xBox or Cluster, you too can be an MVP. And that you can be deep technical or not so deep technical and still receive the award.

Second, you are good at your chosen technology.  It makes sense, big company like Microsoft calling you MVP for their technology would expect you to be good, yes?

Third, community involvement.  Professional community involvement.  That could be user groups.  Traditional meet-in-person-talk-for-two-hours-and-have-pizza groups.  Virtual right-to-business-fluff-what-fluff groups.  Online forums, hang out at the online Microsoft Q&A groups, ask questions, answer questions.  Speak at meetings, events, conferences, etc.  In other words, evangelize.  Know your stuff and tell the world.

So, you’re interested and want to become an MVP?  Let me know and I will make the proper introduction for you to the correct community for your chosen technology and they can help you make a path for this.

Here’s the link to my new MVP profile :)

MVP Profile