The Cost of Training

July 29, 2011

A large part of my job is training. I’ve been doing that professionally on and off for the past 13 years. I remember the “good old days” of teaching C and C++, then COM (Component Object Model). These two, C++ and COM (with ATL, no doubt) where the backbone of any productive development on the Microsoft platform, and it all seemed to be possible to do, each with its own training course: 5 days of C++, 5 days of COM (non consecutive, as it’s pretty unrealistic to take some software guy and teach C++ then COM in straight 10...
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Getting Started with Windows Phone Development

July 22, 2011

I must admit I was reluctant to get into Windows Phone development too deeply because I had no actual device running the Windows Phone OS. An emulator, no matter how good, cannot replace the actual device experience, and for some applications such as games, is simply inadequate. Well, the excuses are over. I got a Windows Phone device (the Samsung Omnia 7) a few days ago. It’s time to take WP7 development more seriously (but not too seriously, as it’s fun…). Instead of going with the traditional “hello world”, I’ll go for something a little more ambitious:...
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WPF/Silverlight Custom Control Binding Gotcha

July 8, 2011

When creating custom controls (not user controls) in WPF or Silverlight, the control creator typically supplies a default control template to give a default look to her control, but a client can change that control template using the Template property (inherited from Control). This is the standard way of working. If some part of the template requires data binding, it’s not supplied with the default template: if it did, a client wanting to replace the template would have to correctly preserve the data binding expressions, which may be difficult or even impossible (if converters are involved, for instance)....
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