Reminiscing the creation of the WCF 4 MOC

August 23, 2010


It is finally over ! no more changes, no more bug fixes, no more uploads, the final version of the WCF 4 official Microsoft course is finally here. I can’t even fix a small typo I found in one of the chapters.

It is not my intention to complain about what I’ve gone through in the last eight months, but rather reminisce the last year of my life, like you reminisce going to boot camp (“Tironut”).

We started preparing for this course during November of last year, around the time of the PDC. Little did I know about what was going to happen to me in the months to come:

  • Two supported languages – The course was written for both Visual Basic and C#.
  • Three different time zone I had to deal with – China (the testing team), India (the Microsoft’s course team), and the US (MS technical writer and MSL headquarters).
  • Four versions of Visual Studio 2010 – beta 1, beta 2, RC, and RTM. It wasn’t so troublesome, until we found changes in the WCF API between the versions, which made us go over all the written material to fix everything.
  • Five deliverables – Student handbook, Student CD, Hands-on labs, Lecturer slides, and Virtual Machines.
  • Six major contributors to the course – Manu who wrote the lecturer slides and the Hands-on labs, myself who wrote the student handbook and several of the labs,  Sasha who was our mentor and technical writer, Ishai (the VP Training of Sela) who was in charge of the whole operation, and Amir and Alon who helped me with the handbook when I began to collapse under the weight of all the writing (see last bullet) .
  • Seven Israeli lab testers – Sarit, Dolev, Nerya, Eli (x2), Ya’akov, and Avi.
  • Eight modules – beginning with the principles of SOA, and ending with advanced topics in WCF such as workflow services and how to extend the WCF infrastructure.
  • Nine nights without sleep – that’s what you get when you have a deadline that ends on 8am in US (Seattle’s) time zone.
  • 10 weekends that my wife had to remind me that I was married to her and not to my laptop.
  • And a student handbook with over 1300 pages (if you plan on doing this course, take in mind that you’ll have to carry a very heavy book back home).

We’ve had the pleasure of performing the first three session of this course here in Israel, and the fourth session will start at October, after the holidays, so you still got time if you want to register.

I think that out of the 3 years I’ve been working at Sela, this was one of the most interesting, difficult, enjoyable, satisfying work I ever did, and I would gladly do it again. So as our next project with MSL is just around the corner, I can only hope that it would be as enjoyable as the last one, and hopefully with less nights without sleep.

One last thanks – in the last post I wrote about the course I thanked all the people who helped in preparing this course and I forgot two important people – Avi Drucker our IT chief, and Roman Podobryanski from our IT crew.

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  1. Caro SegalAugust 23, 2010 ב 8:45 pm

    Thank you very much Ido for your hard work and leadership on this important project. It was the first time ever Microsoft, Redmond purchased MOC courseware from an Israeli company. We at Sela are proud and feel very good about it. I know other very interesting projects are being executed as I write these words (just can’t tell yet …). In-deed your execution was flawless. And it is being recognized all over, E.g.:
    “The subject matter expertise for this title came from the SELA group who are known for their techinal acumen in the developer space. What was an added advantage was that they provided content development support as well. ”

    Thank you!

  2. Ariel Ben HoreshAugust 24, 2010 ב 11:11 am

    Impressive, well done Ido. 🙂

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