Introduction to Windows 8 Apps for Software Developers

by Dmitry Kirsanov 29. December 2012 08:24

Earlier this month, I wrote an introduction to Windows 8 Store for those who didn’t attend any course or online event, but would like to learn about it.

I met quite a few people so far, who wanted to go through Windows 8 development labs without knowing anything about how Windows 8 works, what are the new key components and so on. Needless to say, practice without even the basic theory is a waste of time.

So, this is the second part of about 10-part introduction to Windows 8 for Software Developers, and this time we’ll talk about the Metro Style application principles – what they are, how they work, what you should know first.

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The Price of Effective Training

by Dmitry Kirsanov 21. December 2012 00:00

I’ve finished an experiment today. For a bit more than a week I was going to prepare myself for a Microsoft certification exam 70-480, which is about HTML5, CSS3 and JavaScript. I had good prior knowledge of HTML 4, some basic JavaScript and (as I thought) good enough CSS. However, this was about the next, more advanced level.

The experiment was simple – even though I had access to quite expensive courses and official training materials, I was only going to use free video training created by Microsoft, which is available for everyone at Channel9. And what do you know? 900 / 1000.

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Creating Windows 8 Store Apps: Introduction to Windows Store for Software Developers

by Dmitry Kirsanov 15. December 2012 05:16

For a long time I had an itch to create an introduction to Windows 8 Metro Apps development with using either XAML or HTML 5 and JavaScript, but had no time to begin. So here it goes.

This will be the first part of (hopefully) many and I’ll begin with explaining the Windows Store – what it is, how it works and why I think it should matter for you.

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How To Ruin a Good Idea, part 2

by Dmitry Kirsanov 16. November 2012 22:34

New technologies allow us to reach new goals. Different tool sets enrich scenarios and it becomes easy to do things we couldn’t dream about before. We implement features so fast, that sometimes we just can’t analyze the impact until the most loyal customers uninstall our app.

Once upon a time I’ve downloaded the mobile application which made my phone a toy that could be handed to a kid. Just like the Kid’s Corner in Windows Phone 8, but for Android. It contained a few badly written games, but it was not the reason why I uninstalled it.

In Android, just like in Windows 8, you can use other apps to enrich your application with their services. Connect to social networks, send e-mails and whatever else.

What this particular application did – it used my e-mail application to send e-mail to developer of that application, to automatically register me as it’s user. I realized that only when I’ve received an e-mail with the password and warm “thank you” for registration which I didn’t commit or solicit.

In some countries that’s crime which could cost you your business.

The morale is – sometimes you can’t do what you can do. You can use contracts in Windows 8 (or their analogs in Android and iOS), but you shouldn’t do anything that your customer is not aware of and can’t cancel before it happens.

The Possible Future of Reporting Services

by Dmitry Kirsanov 15. October 2012 06:04

Today, if you’ll visit the MSDN Labs, you won’t find there much about Microsoft SQL Server Reporting Services. The reason is simple – Microsoft doesn’t consider reporting to be the edge technology. The frontier of changes and fountain of creativity is somewhere else. Usually what you see in there is something that is complex or very important for Microsoft. Neither is a category for reports.

However, I recognize the trend, which is, although relatively distant, could shift the position of Reporting Services and perhaps make it more widespread, potentially adding more jobs to the market.

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Time To Leave the .NET 3.5 Behind

by Dmitry Kirsanov 24. September 2012 08:32

For some software companies, the .NET Framework 3.5 is the current production version. However, it was also very problematic release because of the deployment issues. Windows Vista machines didn’t have it installed by default, so many companies continued to use 2.0 as much as they could, but then Windows 7 had it installed by default, so it became the new standard. But Windows 8 changed it all. More...

Devign Intervention

by Dmitry Kirsanov 11. September 2012 09:44

Windows 8 typical application user interface

When average developer is asked to work on the user interface of his application, he is doing everything that is in his power to not do anything about it.

As the result, we usually get some minor visual enhancements which may further impair usability, but look better during the weekly meeting presentation. In worst case scenario, though, we get something that looks like an echo from 90-s with non-standard windows and 3-D controls. Because your boss is dying to see something “apple style”, and so you deliver. More...

Two Things To Learn From LinkedIn

by Dmitry Kirsanov 7. June 2012 07:45

LinkedIn logoAs you already know, the LinkedIn passwords were supposedly leaked and became available online in form of hashed data. Or they were not, but it doesn’t really matter.

What really matters for you as for web developer is to see mistakes of LinkedIn developers and learn from them.

1. Website Performance

When people learned, that their passwords were jeopardized and these passwords could be the keys to other systems as well, they rushed to change the password. All at once. And LinkedIn has about 161 millions of users so far. No, of course there are thousands of dead accounts and people who haven’t heard about the problem yet, but still – many millions of people logged into their accounts, went to the profile settings and started the password changing procedure.

As the result, many people couldn’t do that, because the machines, responsible for that feature, were too busy. If you were among those who tried to change his password the day it hit the news, you could see that Ajax window, saying it’s waiting for the operation to complete. I did it from second attempt, since my password was one year old anyway.

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Overlooked Features of Visual Studio 11

by Dmitry Kirsanov 16. April 2012 05:39

Visual Studio LogoScott Hanselman is a senior program manager in the developer division (whatever that means) at Microsoft. In other words, he is one of the primary sources of information regarding Microsoft Visual Studio.

He has quite interesting post about features of Visual Studio 11 which presumably were not noticed by the community. Until his post, anyway.

What I find especially interesting is that Visual Studio 11 Express edition is going to provide unit testing feature – something that wasn’t available in free Visual Studio editions before. This correlates to Visual Studio 11 Team Foundation Server, which got it’s free edition as well, making Visual Studio much harder to beat even if the budget is tight. I suppose this could lead to improved quality of other development environments.

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The Law of the Draft, or What it Takes to Write Good Software

by Dmitry Kirsanov 9. April 2012 16:41

Moses (brings 10 testaments), painting by RembrandtNot long ago one acquaintance of mine, an HR manager, said that she doesn’t believe that I’ve deleted a small document I’ve created a year ago for my own needs. A list of 20 questions for beginner software developers. I wouldn’t ever consider it an asset.

She couldn’t believe I was able to delete so important and useful thing.

I tried to recall what else I’ve either deleted or abandoned during my life as professional, and who would consider THAT as an asset. And the scale of what I’ve seen in my vision led me to obvious, but perhaps unwritten law of software developers. The law of the draft.
In short, I believe that you should always have at least one project ongoing, and it shouldn’t be anything related to your job, as well as you should not consider to obligatory release this project.

Here is why I think you should follow this rule, unless you already do:

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