Changing status, moving forward
A quick note about what I am up to these days. Lots of folks have been asking me if I am going to ever blog again - for good reason considering the timing of my blogs so far, but, yes, I plan to get started again. My friend and guy in the office next door at Microsoft, Ralf Lammel, has started his new blog (http://blogs.msdn.com/ralflammel/) so perhaps that will inspire me. I love to read Ralf's papers and email (and I am sure blogs) since he writes in his own interesting, quirky style. Ralf came over from Germany and speaks German natively but I'm not sure that completely explains his style :) I think it is more that he has a sense of play and humor even about complex computer science subjects and it shows through in his writing. I have had the luxury to publish several papers with him and I always get a good laugh and a lot of enjoyment working with him.
My role at Microsof has changed a bit in the last few months. For awhile there I was the program manager for XLinq (XML Language Integrated Query) technology which is the XML specific implementation for LINQ (http://msdn.microsoft.com/data/ref/linq/) then, for a briefly (a few months) I took on the Group Program Manager role for the XML team. This put me into a middle management role that I really did not like, so, when we (Microsoft) decided to consolidate our XML team into a larger data programmability team I jumped at the opportunity to move back over into a development role. I am now working hands on a very cool XML developer tool (can't say specifically what quite yet) that uses WPF (also known as Avalon) and XLinq extensively. I look forward to doing some future blogs in these areas. So far I reeeaaally enjoy working with these technologies. I have already had the chance to work with XLinq quite a bit and so I knew what a pleasure it is to write XML code in that technology (who would of thought - a "pleasure" to write XML code?). WPF is quite a bit different but I am super impressed. From my perspective it has a consistency of architecture and composability that makes it super powerful yet very approachable. The big challenge with WPF is there are not yet mature tools for it and the community around it is just forming. So when you run into an issue it is often not as simple as just doing a web search to find the answer. Also there is not a huge amount of documentation out there yet (although Chris Sells book is really good). If the app that I am working on is any indication the next generation of "fat client" apps written with WPF will be amazing.
The other big thing that is going on with me is that I am doing Ironman Coeur D'Alene on June 25. Which is about 8 days from now. I have done the "iron training" and should feel confident but I have to admit I am freaking out a bit. If you want to follow my progress (for some strange reason) it should be available on Ironman Live (my number is: 1455). I will definitely be slow. I am guessing 14 hours or so but I really have no idea. I just hope to finish ...
A week later my wife and I are heading over to Tuscany, Italy for a two week bike trip from Fiorenza (a.k.a., Florence) to Rome. I hope I can ride by then!
Anyway, more blogs soon although I suspect I will have a hard time keeping up with Ralf.