Interview with .NET Developer, Microsoft MVP, and Wiki Ninja: Ken Cenerelli

I'm super elated to announce that today's Interview with a Wiki Ninja is with...

Ken Cenerelli

Ken Cenerelli's avatar

Ken has won several TechNet Guru awards and is a Microsoft MVP!

Some of his achievements include:

  • 8 TechNet Wiki Articles
  • 582 Wiki Edits!
  • 415 Wiki Comments
  • 9 Forum Answers and 41 Forum Replies!
  • 67 Blog Comments!

Here are some of Ken's top Wiki articles:

One thing I love about Ken's Wiki contributions is that he's not only contributing high-quality Wiki articles, but he's also helping out a ton with all those edits!

And before we get into the interview, here are two Guru Awards he won from June:

Gold Award Winner


Ken Cenerelli Wiki: How to Subscribe to the Wiki Ninjas Blog through RSS in Outlook 2013 Ed Price: "Very cool. I love it! Great plug for the blog! And the truth is that this is incredibly useful to have written up like this." Richard Mueller: "I liked this a lot. Well explained, and this could be useful."

Bronze Award Winner


Ken Cenerelli How to enable line numbers for C# in Visual Studio 2013 Carmelo La Monica: "Great content, thanks for sharing"

Okay. Enough DILLY-DALLYING! Let's get to the interview...

Who are you, where are you, and what do you do? What are your specialty technologies?

My name is Ken Cenerelli and I live with my wife Renée in Guelph, Ontario, Canada. I am located about one hour west of Toronto. I am have been a developer for over 13 years. I presently work for a water/wastewater engineering firm in Guelph as a Programmer Writer. This means that I do both technical writing and development tasks in my job.

In July 2015, I was selected as a Microsoft Most Valuable Professional (MVP) for my work with the .NET Platform in the developer community. I am co-organizer of my local .NET User Group and I am an active blogger. As a public speaker on emerging technologies, I have spoken at conferences across North America. I have also been a technical reviewer on multiple technology books.

01. Ken Cenerelli at Wrigley Field for a Chicago Cubs game in 2013.


What are your big projects right now?

Since I only recently became an MVP I am trying to focus on that right now. I am getting comfortable with the program requirements. I am also reading a lot on Visual Studio 2015 and Windows 10. I am currently in the midst of doing a technical review of an upcoming book on C# 6.0. As well, I am preparing new talks to submit to conferences.


What is TechNet Wiki for? Who is it for?

The TechNet Wiki is for anyone who wishes to know more about Microsoft technologies. As well, it is a great resource for anyone looking to improve their technical writing. If you have ever thought about writing a computer/technical book then this is a great place to learn. You can use the articles you create to show as samples to prospective publishers.

The TechNet Wiki also provides a way to publish your ideas to more than just your blog. I recently wrote an article entitled Write Once, Publish Anywhere [] for the Canadian Developer Connection MSDN blog. In it I talk about the fact that there are lots of ways to contribute content to other sites including the TechNet Wiki. These contributions can then be used on your own blog as a way to boost its content. The crux of the article is that you can get better exposure for your ideas and your blog by submitting to other sites than just your own.

02. Ken and wife Renee with The Simpsons at Universal Orlando in 2014.


What do you do with TechNet Wiki, and how does that fit into the rest of your job?

When I transitioned from developer to programmer writer I realized that aside from my own blog articles I did not have a portfolio of technical writing to demonstrate my writing skills. I decided to investigate the TechNet Wiki and I liked what I saw.  

The site allows me investigate topics outside of my day-to-day work. I can write about subjects and ideas that interest me. It also demonstrates to my peers, and any future employer, that I can communicate my thoughts clearly.


On what Wiki articles do you spend most of your time?

When I started writing I was focused mostly on Azure and Application Insights. I am now writing more articles around C# and .NET. These are both areas of interest for me so I feel I will continue in these veins.

When I edit I try to read new articles and contribute where I can. Even if it is just a few tags. I also try to collate lots of information. I recently went through all of the survival guides and added See Also links which pointed to the Survival Guides Portal. I then added each of these articles to the portal. It is this circular referencing which helps new Wiki members find things more easily.


03. Ken Cenerelli speaking in 2014.


What are your favorite Wiki articles you’ve contributed?

I have done three articles on Application Insights and I hope to contribute more in future. Of the three I have contributed the one on Using Microsoft Application Insights in an MVC application [] is my favourite as it was the first in-depth article I wrote and it was my first Featured Article.


Who has impressed you in the Wiki community, and why?

I find the dedication of a lot of the active authors really impressive. When I started out I wrote my first few articles on Azure and so I modelled them on posts by Chervine Bhiwoo []. Since then I have followed the work of: Richard Mueller, Durval Ramos, Pete Laker (XAML guy), Andy Oneill, and Ed Price. All of these people (and many, many more) make the TechNet Wiki an excellent resource for learning.


Do you have any tips for new Wiki authors?

Make the commitment to start. Once you have you will see how quick and easy it can be to contribute.

However, before you write your first article I would suggest you edit one to get comfortable with the editor and to see how the pages are put together.

Once you know you want to author an article, then:

  • Pick a topic and do a quick search to see if it has been done. If it has then give it a new spin or choose something else to write about.

  • Once you have your topic, start small. Create something that you can complete.

  • Focus on formatting and accuracy. Check your spelling.

  • Make sure it is the best it can be before you are done. Do not rely on TechNet members to clean up your article.

  • Use Firefox as your default TechNet Wiki browser. Chrome and IE can do some crazy stuff.

  • Enter it in the TechNet Guru Competition [] and then start your next article.



Awesome! That's some fantastic advice!

Please join me in thanking Ken for his contributions so far, as we look forward to more great achievements from Ken as both an MVP and Wiki Ninja!


Remember to Wiki while you Work! (Or perhaps after work.)

   - Ninja Ed