Welcome 2012

Things that happened in 2011

  • MIX11 was a good conference, but not as great as MIX11. I blogged about
  • The BUILD conference (here’s my short recap) at first did a good job at exciting me about the things to come. But then too many “oh, wait a minute, so you’re saying …” moments hit me.
  • On both conferences Microsoft didn’t do much to prevent Silverlight from being labeled as “dead”. It’s a sad fact that we’re living in a world where reality is reduced to 140 characters or less. It’s just “good vs. evil”, “win vs. fail”, “the past vs. the future”.
    There was one sentence near the end of the “Standards-based web, plug-ins and Silverlight” blog post in April that did say the right thing: “HTML5 is a solution for many scenarios, but developers should make the appropriate choice based on application needs”. But the mismanaged communication by Microsoft, obviously caused by political in-fighting, puts this pragmatic “use the right tool for the right scenario” approach at risk. Why was Silverlight RC5 announced one week before BUILD? Why wasn’t the 10 year support guarantee communicated at BUILD (even if without a specific date)? 
    Other companies would have entered the stage with a loud and clear voice, telling everybody “Look at us, we’re the greatest development company in the world, we offer X and Y and Z.” – without showing the infamously silly architecture diagram.
  • On a more positive note: The dotnet Cologne 2011, the conference organized by the .NET user group Köln and my own group Bonn-to-Code.Net became the largest .NET community conference in Germany with almost 330 attendees.

Things that I have learned/observed/noticed in 2011

  • I learned that I’m not the only one to have the growing feeling of “less participation, more consumption” in the (local) .NET community.
    A discussion at the .NET Open Space 2011 in Karlsruhe brought up the word “consumity”. In Bonn, despite the success of the dotnet Cologne conferences, the core audience has remained virtually unchanged over the years; the majority is “cherry picking” specific topics and finding speakers from within the group is tough.
  • I (again) couldn’t decide on a new smartphone to replace my vintage XDA Neo. After comparing Android, Windows Phone and iOS, I was ready to buy an iPhone (for its available software), but the 4S kept the design of the iPhone 4 which (in my humble opinion) is cool to look at, but doesn’t feel good in my hand. So one more year of being the only guy without a “real” smartphone. On the other hand my track record of waiting for a certain point in time to buy a piece of technology hasn’t been too bad.
  • I finally made the jump from Paint Shop Pro to Photoshop. Being a PSP user since 4.x, the transition – especially un-learning certain key strokes – wasn’t easy and there are still situations where I’d be faster in PSP. But of course I also gained a lot from the transition. And learning something different and trying to soak up a different philosophy from time to time isn’t a bad thing, either.

Things I’m looking forward to in 2012

  • The dotnet Cologne 2012 on May 4th. We’ll be able to keep many sponsors from last year, but we’re also looking for new sponsors. Just drop me a line via the “Contact” link and we’ll send you our information on sponsorship opportunities. 
  • A new version of Visual Studio, which I suspect/hope to be more of a “Visual Studio 2010 R2” than something completely new.
  • Using async/await in C# in an RTM, i.e. non-CTP environment.
  • Continuing my personal path from being a software developer with an interest in GUIs to becoming a UI/UX expert.

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