• The authors are making sure Chapter 9, “Memory Management,” is just right, so we’ve had to slip the book a bit. Our ship date (files to printer date) is now in May, and our availability date is June 17. Shipping via online retailers follows that date by roughly a week.

    Mark and David and Alex, and Microsoft Press, hope you agree this wait is worth it. Hang in there just a bit longer!

  • Here’s to Darren Neimke, of gorgeous Adelaide (where my brother and I were paraded in suits in front of distant relatives once upon a time), who was generous enough to post a positive comment on Twitter about the book and then to respond to our idea of reviewing the book more fully. Thank you, Darren! 


    Darren here. I recently finished reading the latest Microsoft Press book for managing the development process titled Solid Code. Reading this book was a very enjoyable and thought-provoking journey, which covered the major aspects of what I believe it takes to produce quality software.

    A Manual for the Lead Developer

    A few years ago I had a dream of writing a book which was targeted at the Lead Developer (or developers who aspired to that role). The intent of such a book was to provide a thorough manual of what it takes to produce quality software. As anyone who has done this role before will know, it takes much more than just writing optimal code – although that is certainly a part of it! And anyway, the manual for writing optimal code was produced a long time ago… it is called Code Complete.

    Producing quality software requires a broader understanding; it’s about understanding what makes up quality processes, team development, stakeholder engagement, leadership, good management, and of course code quality. And at the environmental level, it’s about balancing the effect that each of these have on the development process. It requires a broader view. I believe that Solid Code is the type of book that I had envisaged for this purpose.

    Creative Dreaming

    The book itself is well organized and walks us through the design –> code –> test –> improve mindset that exists in the modern world of development. The mindset of the book is continuous improvement and looks at the typical development tasks through broader topics such as Performance, Scalability, Security, and Process Improvement.

    This book is extremely pragmatic and approaches its topic from a cultural angle that is needed to have a true impact on the mental models and assumptions of those who wish to drive the engineering process and to develop better teams around them. For example, it takes the time to explain in good detail the effect of memory management on performance and scalability and gives the reader a clear understanding of how to implement best practice solutions with this in mind.

    Solid Code is modern and gives attention to important topics such as automation and build processes. It also gives credence to the fact that programming is as much a creative exercise as it is analytical and provides the reader with the creative space to explore the role of modeling and prototyping in the design phase, topics that will surely come under greater scrutiny as the trend towards greater design and analysis time for software increases. During this section of the book I found my mind opening to the real possibilities for things such as combining Oslo modeling tools, Sketch View prototyping tools, and Visual Studio’s code design tooling. One of many creative dreaming excursions that I wandered into during my reading of the book!

    Through all of this, Solid Code speaks to the soul of the developer, right down to providing an abundance of great quotes that link abstract topics to real world feelings and emotions…a la Code Complete!


    If you are a software developer and you believe in continuous improvement, then there is a great deal for you in this book. It’s one of those manuals that I believe you will pick up many times as you strive to find ways to improve various aspects of what you do.

  • |

    Amber2Hometown: Santa Clarita, CA
    Current Home: Issaquah, WA
    Alma Mater: California State University, Northridge
    Microsoft Certifications: MCAS
    Favorite Road Food: In-N-Out Cheeseburger Animal style with fries well done 
    Most Likely to Get Kicked Off the Bus for: Under appreciation of my “kicking it old school” dance moves

    “I enjoyed meeting so many of you at the Redmond and EMEA MCT Summits; I'm thrilled to meet even more of you at each of the stops on the Career Express tour across the USA!

    After more than five years in Customer Service and Operations, I am proud to be supporting the MCTs and MCPs Worldwide Operations.  In a nutshell, I make sure you get your Welcome Kits and support questions answered!”

    Come join us on the Career Express!

  • |

    Dana CallejaHometown: Decatur, GA

    Current Home: Decatur, GA (After nearly 10 years in Redmond, I’m back!)

    Alma Mater: University of Georgia

    Microsoft Certifications: MCP

    Favorite Road Food: Barbeque

    Most Likely to Get Kicked Off the Bus for: Singing along with the soundtrack from BTVS: “Once More With Feeling”

    As the Managing Editor for Born to Learn, I can’t wait to see how this trip plays out on the blog. In a former life, I was a television political reporter, so I commit to you that I will cover great stories from MCPs and aspiring MCPs we meet as we travel across the US. I also promise that I’ll give you the inside scoop on what’s happening on the bus with each rider and will limit video of Ken singing along with his Bruce Springsteen collection.

    Feel free to submit any story requests or suggestions in the comments for this post. I’d love to get your ideas for interesting stories about you or people you know whose careers have been changed through Microsoft certification and training.

    I’ll be on the bus from Atlanta until Indianapolis, where Amber will replace me while I go back home for a family fix before TechEd.

    Come join us on the Career Express!

  • Microsoft Press recently released a book on Mac Office 2008. The book is Microsoft® Office 2008 for Mac Step by Step. Part of the popular Step by Step series and based on the Home and Student Edition, this book covers

    • Microsoft Word 2008 for Mac
    • Microsoft Excel 2008 for Mac
    • Microsoft PowerPoint 2008 for Mac
    • Microsoft Entourage 2008 for Mac
    • Microsoft Messenger for Mac.


    Author, Joan Preppernau, also includes coverage of features new to 2008, such as

    • Office Toolbox. Common to Word, Excel, and PowerPoint, the Toolbox contains most of the tools for tasks such as formatting and inserting graphics.
    • Elements Gallery. Another common feature, use this gallery to perform many tasks in all three programs.
    • Themes. Enable you to create documents, worksheets, and presentations with a common look.
    • SmartArt graphics. Create professional-looking diagrams of processes and relationships in any document,  worksheet, or presentation.
    • New file formats (Office Open XML Formats). These file formats make it easy to share files with Windows-based computers, as well as reduce file sizes and improve data recovery.

    It’s been a couple of years since we had a book on Mac Office, so we’re very excited about this release and also want to hear what you think! Feel free to drop a line.

    Posted by Sandra Haynes

  • |

    Hometown: Philadelphia, PA
    Current Home: Bothell, WA
    Alma Mater: Drew University
    Microsoft Certifications: MCT, MCITP, MCTS, MCSE, MCSA, MCDST
    Favorite Road Food: Philly cheesesteaks
    Most Likely to Get Kicked Off the Bus for: Playing Bruce Springsteen CDs over and over and over…

    You know me as one of Born to Learn’s most prolific bloggers—now meet me out on the street as I join the crew of the Career Express on our tour across the USA!

    I’m a long-time MCT (since 1993) and MCSE (since 1995), and a proud MCITP: Enterprise Administrator. I also lead Microsoft Learning’s Community team, which means I’m all about you guys!

    Come join us on the Career Express!

  • I’ve had some comments to the previous “parts” of this blog post that required answers longer than a comment should be (although I’ve broken that rule more than once). Will this be the last blog post of this series? Hard to tell… Depends on what other questions I get and what I’ve forgotten to tell you.

    Industry Standards for Exam Development: Microsoft develops all MCP exams according to the standards described in the Standards for Educational and Psychological Testing. This is the industry recognized source for exam development and was co-written by a number of well recognized associations, including the American Psychological Association. I think a more descriptive resource for developing personnel selection tests (and certification exams that are developed for use by hiring managers are selection tests) was written by the Society of Industrial/Organizational psychologists--Principles for the Validation and Use of Personnel Selection Procedures. But I’m an I/O psychologist by education so I might be a little biased.

    Industry Standards for Psychometrics:The standards that define a good, bad, and questionable item depend on the purpose of the exam, which is why it’s difficult to find specific guidance online (psychometric consulting companies will provide this guidance for a fee, of course, and as a result, are the most likely results when you do an online search for “psychometric standards”). In high stakes testing programs designed to screen out the majority of candidates (or applicants), the guidelines defining good, bad, and questionable items will be different, usually more stringent, than for classroom exams. In the former, these programs may choose to keep items that <10% of candidates answer correctly where most other programs would remove those items because they are too difficult. In academic programs, professors may choose to keep items that >90% of students answer correctly, assuming (perhaps incorrectly) that this means that the content is well covered during the course rather than the item being easily guessed because it’s poorly written.

    So, what’s a good item at Microsoft? Good items are those that 25%-90% of candidates answer correctly. Items that fall outside that range are reviewed by SMEs and retained if they cover new functionality that candidates will become familiar with over time (in the case of overly difficult items) or if they are needed for face validity (items that are needed because their exclusion would lead to questions about the quality of the exam although nearly everyone answers them correctly) AND they discriminate between high and low performers. In today’s world of political correctness, “discriminate” is a bad word; in the world of psychometrics, it’s a very good thing.

    So, good items also discriminate between high and low performers. This is determined by a statistic called the point biserial correlation. This is the correlation between how candidates perform on that item in relation to how they perform on the overall exam. This correlation should be moderate or strong, and it must be positive (>.20; remember that correlations range from –1 to +1), meaning that candidates who answer the question correctly are doing well on the exam and those that answer it incorrectly are doing poorly on the exam. Negative correlations are bad—basically, negative correlations mean that someone who answers the question correctly is doing poorly on the exam and someone who’s answering it incorrectly is doing well. For some reason, the item is rewarding poor performers and penalizing high performers. Even if SMEs tell me it’s a great question, I cannot keep items that perform like this on the exam…it’s clearly unfair to high performers to have items that are essentially penalizing them on the exam.

    Occasionally, additional digging into the option analysis for items with negative correlations suggests a “psychometric miskey.” This means that an option that was not keyed as the correct answer (known as a distractor) is performing as if it should be the correct answer (a high proportion of candidates is selecting it; it’s discriminating between high and low performers better than the keyed correct answer). In these cases, we ask SMEs to verify the correct answer, and change it if the SMEs tell us that we had it keyed incorrectly. This doesn’t happen very often (less than once per exam), beta candidates are not scored on those items, and it is corrected before the exam is published.

    This is just the tip of the iceberg, but I’m starting to get into the minutia of statistics. For those of you who stuck with this post this far—you probably know more than you ever wanted to about item selection, but please let me know if you have questions...I’m happy to answer them or extend this series into another post. Thanks for hanging in there!

    Posted by libertymunson

  • macvspcNote: My name is Bob Caswell, and I am the product manager of distance learning stuff like V-Class, MODL, and Digital MOC (some of which don't exist yet but coming soon!). You can check out my pre-Microsoft bio here (my Born to Learn bio page will be updated shortly). The post below is also posted on my personal blog. Looking forward to more blogging!

    So Microsoft put together an ad (embedded below with more to come apparently) that does what Apple started (comparing PCs and Macs) only from Microsoft's perspective. That is, when either side plays this game, they focus on the pros of their team while pointing out the cons of the other side all while conveniently forgetting to mention their own cons.

    That's how commercials work, you see. By and large, Apple and Microsoft are playing the same game. A game that Apple started, I might add. And kudos to Apple for starting it; it seems to have worked well for them.

    But now that a strong response is out by Microsoft (a separate tangential conversation is whether Microsoft should be throwing so much money at a "response" campaign; that's debatable), the Apple fanboys are restless (this topic was at the top of Techmeme earlier today) and feel the need to point out the "offense," "pointlessness," and "inaccuracies."

    Wow. Talk about a classic case of dishing out but not being able to take it. Case in point, what was the first point of the author who wanted to explain why this was so offensive? In his own words, "...she goes into the “Mac store” — red flag here already, anyone who is even remotely interested in a Mac knows it’s the Apple Store..."

    I can't even begin to understand what that has to do with anything remotely relevant to being offensive, but to each his own, I suppose. Anyway, back to my original point: When Apple ran their commercials, I didn't feel the need to take offense or complain about inaccuracies and onesidedness. It was a pretty good campaign. And now Microsoft has put together a decent response by using a similar formula.

    Why can't we just leave it at that? Do we really need to get out the fine tooth comb and go through all Apple's ads and all Microsoft's ads and benchmark them against some universal neutral fairness system (which doesn't exist)?

    Laptop Hunters #1 - Lauren

  • Learning Snacks are short, interactive presentations about popular topics created by Microsoft Learning (our mother org) experts. Each Snack is delivered by using Microsoft Silverlight technology and includes various media, such as animations and recorded demos.

    Check out this new snack on Windows 7: http://www.microsoft.com/learning/_silverlight/learningsnacks/win7/snack01/Default.html




    Microsoft Press is on Twitter: http://twitter.com/MicrosoftPress.

  • Thanks to the Computer

    you write a bad poem and you just
    press the "delete" key and watch the
    lines vanish as if they had never been,
    no ripping pages out of the typer,
    balling them up and tossing them into the

    the older I get the more I delete.
    I mean, if I see nothing in a work, what
    will the reader see?

    and the computer screen is a tough judge,
    the words sit back and look at you,
    with the typewriter you don t see them
    until you pull out the

    also, the keyboard on a computer is
    more efficient than that on the
    typer, with the computer the thoughts
    leap more quickly from your mind to your
    fingers, to the screen.

    is this boring?

    but I won t delete it because it isn t boring

    I am in love with THIS MACHINE

    see what it can do

    now let s get back to


    Charles Bukowski

  • I like to push my PC to the max, so I always go for the monitor s maximum resolution. At the end of a long day, I admit I find the font a little too small at times.

    Today I discovered High DPI , which lets me drive the monitor at maximum resolution, so great photographs and video, but the text is now really easy to read.

    If you re on the Windows 7 beta, give this a try:

    1)      Open the Start Menu

    2)      Type “dpi” into the search window

    3)      Click on the Control Panel item make text and other items larger or smaller

    4)      Select the DPI setting that looks best on your display

    (see table below for recommended settings)

    5)      Log off and Log in to apply the DPI setting change

    Here are the recommended DPI settings based on your display’s native resolution:


    Native Resolution

    DPI Setting

    >= 1024x768

    Smaller - 100% (96 DPI)

    >= 1280x960

    Medium - 125% (120 DPI)

    >= 1600x1200

    Larger – 150% (144 DPI)


    Posted by Tjeerd Veninga

  • Microsoft Learning will always recommend taking training from a Microsoft Certified Trainer. Why? Well because we know they know their stuff . We require MCTs to be trained and certified on the topics that they train you on. In fact, most MCTs by far exceed those requirements.

    Let s have a competition, GUESS:

    1. How many exams, on average, have our MCTs taken throughout their careers?

    2. How many of our 15.000 MCTs have taken more than 50 Microsoft Certification exams?

    Take a guess and perhaps you will win a Microsoft Learning branded watch. I ll send it to the one that sends in the best estimate. Send in your response by Thursday April 2nd by commenting on this post, I ll announce the winner and the actual numbers on April 3rd.

    You ll be amazed by the numbers!  

    Posted by Tjeerd Veninga


    Saturday, March 28, 2009 1:55 AM by Shivam Guness

    # re: How certified is your trainer?


    I would ay that on avaerage an MCT would have done about 25 certifications in their career. And that about 75% of MCTs have done mere then 50 certification exams(including upgrade exams)

    am I close??



    Saturday, March 28, 2009 7:36 AM by Zee

    # re: How certified is your trainer?

    I think only 1 MCT have taken more than 50 exams.

    Best Regards


    Saturday, March 28, 2009 7:53 AM by SACHIN BP SHETTY

    # re: How certified is your trainer?

    Hi Team,

    I can confidently say 85 % of MCT will have completed more than 50 exams.


    Sachin BP Shetty

    MCTS and MCP ID : 6668395

    Saturday, March 28, 2009 12:42 PM by Jim Goodwin

    # re: How certified is your trainer?

    I will go with 55 exams and 60 percent doing more than 50

    Saturday, March 28, 2009 1:23 PM by Shajahan

    # re: How certified is your trainer?

    1. ave. exam count would be 30-35

    2. lessthan 1000 mct would have 50+ exams

    mcp id:2038994

    Saturday, March 28, 2009 1:34 PM by Edward Laverick

    # re: How certified is your trainer?

    Average Exam count: 25 exams

    >50 Exams: 700

    Saturday, March 28, 2009 2:01 PM by Feras Mustafa

    # re: How certified is your trainer?

    Just wanted to mention that a lot of MCTs did  the fast track upgrades(2000,2003,2008) and some others are Early Achievers for those tracks!!

    I would say MCTs already did at least 30 exams.

    Saturday, March 28, 2009 2:53 PM by Thiago Cavalcante

    # re: How certified is your trainer?

    answer 1: 16484

    answer 2: 1856.

    that s all.


    Saturday, March 28, 2009 3:03 PM by Glebe Júnior

    # re: How certified is your trainer?


    Answer 1. 12 exams

    Answer 2. 800

    Saturday, March 28, 2009 3:03 PM by Fernando Peralta

    # re: How certified is your trainer?

    Answer 1 : 44

    Answer 2 : 12500


    Saturday, March 28, 2009 3:13 PM by Raphael

    # re: How certified is your trainer?

    Answer 1: 20

    Answer 2: 1250

    mcpid: 3043555

    Saturday, March 28, 2009 3:18 PM by Agnaldo Diogo dos Santos

    # re: How certified is your trainer?

    answer 1: 15

    answer 2: 200

    mcpid 2303151

    Saturday, March 28, 2009 3:31 PM by Tibi

    # re: How certified is your trainer?

    Hi Tjeerd,

    Here are my guesses

    Answer 1: 11,5

    Answer 2: 80

    Best regards,


    P.S. No need for more

    Saturday, March 28, 2009 3:53 PM by Marcell Borges

    # re: How certified is your trainer?

    1 - 22 exams

    2 - 42 MCTs

    MCP ID: 3307048

    Saturday, March 28, 2009 4:17 PM by Jackson

    # re: How certified is your trainer?

    1 - 14 exams

    2 - 42 MCTs

    MCP ID: 6030056

    Saturday, March 28, 2009 4:29 PM by Breiner Queiroz

    # re: How certified is your trainer?

    1 - 22 exams

    2 - 80 MCTs

    Breiner Queiroz

    MCP ID 2749639

    Saturday, March 28, 2009 6:00 PM by ecmansur

    # re: How certified is your trainer?

    1. How many exams, on average, have our MCTs taken throughout their careers?

    => 23

    2. How many of our 15.000 MCTs have taken more than 50 Microsoft Certification exams?

    => 75

    Saturday, March 28, 2009 6:05 PM by Fabio dos Santos Oliveira

    # re: How certified is your trainer?

    Answer of question 1:

    In my opinion was more or less about 37 tests.

    Answer the 2 questions:

    In my opnião on average about 2900

    Microsoft in the vein.

    MCT Brazil


    Saturday, March 28, 2009 6:15 PM by Daniel Donda

    # re: How certified is your trainer?

    1. How many exams, on average, have our MCTs taken throughout their careers?

    10 exams

    2. How many of our 15.000 MCTs have taken more than 50 Microsoft Certification exams?


    MCP ID 2180858

    Saturday, March 28, 2009 6:17 PM by Dalton Gerth

    # re: How certified is your trainer?

    1. How many exams, on average, have our MCTs taken throughout their careers?

    => 20

    2. How many of our 15.000 MCTs have taken more than 50 Microsoft Certification exams?

    => 75

    Zee says :

    "I think only 1 MCT have taken more than 50 exams."

    Well..., I have 88 Exams.

    Transcript ID : 655986

    Access code : Swordfish


    Saturday, March 28, 2009 6:18 PM by Dalton Gerth

    # re: How certified is your trainer?

    1. How many exams, on average, have our MCTs taken throughout their careers?

    => 20

    2. How many of our 15.000 MCTs have taken more than 50 Microsoft Certification exams?

    => 75

    Zee says :

    "I think only 1 MCT have taken more than 50 exams."

    Well..., I have 88 Exams.

    Transcript ID : 655986

    Access code : Swordfish


    Saturday, March 28, 2009 6:28 PM by Jorge Barata

    # re: How certified is your trainer?

    1 - 21 exams

    2 - 74 MCTs

    Jorge Barata

    Saturday, March 28, 2009 9:16 PM by Egan Hadsell

    # re: How certified is your trainer?

    1. How many exams, on average, have our MCTs taken throughout their careers?


    2. How many of our 15.000 MCTs have taken more than 50 Microsoft Certification exams?


    Saturday, March 28, 2009 9:58 PM by Ciro Machado

    # re: How certified is your trainer?

    1. How many exams, on average, have our MCTs taken throughout their careers?

    15 exams

    2. How many of our 15.000 MCTs have taken more than 50 Microsoft Certification exams?


    MCPID 2909878

    Saturday, March 28, 2009 11:15 PM by Thiago Pereira

    # re: How certified is your trainer?


    1. How many exams, on average, have our MCTs taken throughout their careers?

    Answer : 18 Exams

    2. 2. How many of our 15.000 MCTs have taken more than 50 Microsoft Certification exams?

    Answer : 13% of the MCTs

    Sunday, March 29, 2009 7:25 PM by Nicola Parodi

    # re: How certified is your trainer?

    1. How many exams, on average, have our MCTs taken throughout their careers?

    avg: 30

    2. How many of our 15.000 MCTs have taken more than 50 Microsoft Certification exams?

    Less then 20%

    Sunday, March 29, 2009 7:56 PM by Geyson Magalhaes

    # re: How certified is your trainer?

    1. How many exams, on average, have our MCTs taken throughout their careers?

    avg: 37

    2. How many of our 15.000 MCTs have taken more than 50 Microsoft Certification exams?


    Sunday, March 29, 2009 9:13 PM by Lucas Souza

    # re: How certified is your trainer?

    1 - 25 exams

    2 - 85 MCTs

    Lucas Souza

    Sunday, March 29, 2009 9:21 PM by Landry

    # re: How certified is your trainer?

    1. How many exams, on average, have our MCTs taken throughout their careers?

    23 exams

    2. How many of our 15.000 MCTs have taken more than 50 Microsoft Certification exams?


    Sunday, March 29, 2009 11:04 PM by Paulo Furtado

    # re: How certified is your trainer?

    1. How many exams, on average, have our MCTs taken throughout their careers?

    12 exams

    2. How many of our 15.000 MCTs have taken more than 50 Microsoft Certification exams?


    MCPID 3610891

    Monday, March 30, 2009 12:38 AM by matifhussain

    # re: How certified is your trainer?

    1. How many exams, on average, have our MCTs taken throughout their careers?

    Answer: 10

    2. How many of our 15.000 MCTs have taken more than 50 Microsoft Certification exams?

    Answers: 500

    MCP ID: 2789979

    Email: matifhussain@hotmail.com

    Monday, March 30, 2009 1:11 AM by Miklos C

    # re: How certified is your trainer?

    I think:

    1. 30

    2. Around 5000

    Monday, March 30, 2009 1:20 AM by Osvaldo Braga Neto

    # re: How certified is your trainer?

    1. How many exams, on average, have our MCTs taken throughout their careers?

    Answer : 23 Exams

    2. 2. How many of our 15.000 MCTs have taken more than 50 Microsoft Certification exams?

    Answer : 78% of the MCTs

  • Shannon Bray, Microsoft Certified Trainer, will present an online exam coaching session next Thursday (April 2nd) to help ensure that nothing gets in your way.

    Preparing for your Windows SharePoint Services 3.0, Configuring Exam (70-631)
    April 2:  Register Now:  7:30 A.M. Pacific Time (What time is this in my region?)

    Check the schedule for the full coaching session calendar.

    Posted by DeborahG

  • |

    Get on the Bus - Enter Now! I can just hear you now. “Why should I enter? I never win anything.”

    Well, this could be your chance to change your luck. If you’ve been thinking it’d be nice to win a FREE TRIP TO TECHED, let me say that again, A…FREE…TRIP…TO…TECHED, now is the time.

    It’s Friday. We’re heading into the weekend (or Spring Break for some) and I’ve got a homework assignment for you. Enter Get on the Bus! To enter, you’ve got to:



          1. Post a note telling us why you should win (you can get a free blog from MSN if you don’t currently have a URL to post it to). Also, if you have a video camera, record and post a video to make sure we see your sparkling personality. Geeky personalities are encouraged to enter as we’re all geeks, too.
          2. Complete the entry form

    Easy-peasy. You might want to add a fourth step though – pack your bags because you might win!

    Think about it.

    • How many people in your town want to go to TechEd?
    • Now subtract the people who are already scheduled to go.
    • Now subtract the people who get motion sickness on busses.
    • Now subtract the people who can’t come because Great Aunt Gwen’s birthday party is during the trip and she’ll only turn 95 once.

    You know who’s left? YOU! Well, you and that geek you know from the Windows Server user group, but you’ll cream him in the head-to-head competition.

    Don’t miss the bus! You have to enter by 9:00 am Pacific time on April 6th!

    Posted by Dana


  • Hi,

    With my last post I was (and still am) incredibly sad that my hometown is having record flooding.  My personal connections run high. The MS campus has been closed for 2 days and will remain closed until it is safe to return.  Right now, that could be a week.   Microsoft Learning has 20 some people in that office.

    In my previous life with the Dynamics group,  and with my current MCP role, I am very cognizant that our earth is fragile and between fires in Australia, snowstorms, volcanoes rumbling, just to say the very least ---

    I wanted to at least try to say is some odd connection that Microsoft is trying to reduce how our carbon footprint.  Not only reduce it but to quote “we are committed to software and technology innovation that helps people and organizations around the world improve the environment”.  

    So, for those of you who are interested in an ERP solution and want to measure your company’s carbon footprint – Check this out.  Plus, I have to give a bit of shout out for Dynamics…


    What would you like to see from the MCP group to help reduce or carbon footprint?  All Ears.  This I always see in tough times is how communities come together.  We, too, can help.

    The NoDak MCP gal -- Sarah

  • Last year we partnered with the publishers of Windows Vista: The Official Magazine, based out of the UK, to produce a book that would be a "best of" their Windows Vista tips. The book is The Best of Windows Vista®: the Official Magazine: A real-life guide to Windows Vista and your PC. Here s a view of the Introduction, straight from the book pages.


    Inside this book you’ll find easy-to-follow, step-by-step guides to using every aspect of Windows Vista. You’ll discover how to get the most from the impressive-looking interface and how to tailor the layout to your particular liking. Once you’re comfortable with the basics, you can move on to the many built-in features: from the new Security Center, the Parental Controls, to the varied and exciting Media Center options. Then you’ll discover just how Windows Vista, and its integrated applications, can help in all areas of your life – including organizing exciting events, creating cards and even getting fit.

    Get Started
    If you’re new to Windows Vista, want to know how to get around the new interface, or just want to see if you’re missing any fundamentals, our Get Started guide takes you around all the essential elements of Windows Vista: from key features to integrated applications.

    Once you’re up and running, it’s time to start exploring every feature that Windows Vista has to offer. Here you’ll find an in-depth look at each area and, in turn, discover how to get the most from Windows Vista while you’re online, working, organizing, or just chilling out and playing games.

    Do More
    Armed with a thorough knowledge of the workings of Windows Vista, it’s time to start having fun with it. The Do More tutorials enable you to organize your life and have fun with your PC, while getting your family, friends and colleagues involved with events, parties and gifts.


    Look for the follow-up book that covers both Windows and Office 2007 early this summer (Windows® and 2007 Microsoft® Office System: A Real-Life Guide to Getting More Done).

    Posted by Sandra Haynes

  • Dino Esposito’s latest book, Microsoft .NET: Architecting Applications for the Enterprise (Microsoft Press, 2008; ISBN: 9780735626096;464pages), co-written with Andrea Saltarello, was published in October 2008 and is on a tear at Amazon: eight 5-star reviews and two 4-star reviews.



    Of course it’s the content of the reviews that matters.  Here’s a favorite snippet, by Raghu Rudra:

    In the era of online documentation, this is one of the few technical books that I read from end to end. Thoroughly enjoyed it while occasionally referring to Martin Fowler s P of EAA book.

    Another favorite, by Rafal Buch:

    I ve been following Dino Esposito s work for some time, and as usual he delivers great content in a clear and concise (and often humorous) manner. I am only half way through it, and even if i was to stop here, its already a worthy buy.

    And one more, by Oleksandr Novosad:

    Author s use of common English language and easy-to-use explanations really stands out in this book. As a developer, I feel that I ve gained a tremendous amount of new understanding of architectures from this masterpiece.

    Dino is a masterful writer of technical content. His latest book is another in a long string of such examples, and it will help you make smart architectural decisions up front and control project complexity. Enjoy, and then utilize, this pragmatic guidance!

  • Do you know a high school or college kid who loves technology? Is your son or daughter interested in becoming the next super-developer in your family? Microsoft wants to help.

    Through Microsoft DreamSpark, high school and college students around the world* can download Microsoft Developer tools and also get discounts on learning and certification products. Notify your child’s high school administrators and once they sign up with the program, students will be able to start getting hands-on with the latest tools from Microsoft. Microsoft Visual Studio 2008 Professional Edition? Got it. Microsoft SQL Server 2008 Developer? Got that too. Windows Server 2008? Of course! Go to the website and take a look – there are currently 16 products listed for download.

    While you’re there, click on the Get Training link.

    You’ll see free eBooks, Learning Snacks and exam discounts. As part of the DreamSpark initiative, Microsoft Learning will be distributing up to 150,000 MCTS exam vouchers good until June 30, 2009. Students must redeem the voucher and schedule their exam online at the Prometric website by June 30, 2009, so don’t hesitate. Contact your local high school or college administrators today – I did.

    *(except China, India, Sri Lanka, Malaysia, Vietnam)

    Posted by Dana


    Friday, March 27, 2009 7:36 AM by Peter Read

    # re: Free Microsoft Developer Tools for High School and College Students

    I can see some merit to the software side of this (particularly commercially for MS, get 'em while they're young...), but doesn't distributing exam vouchers like this devalue these as professional certifications underpinning real experience if  it's being marketed to high school kids?

    Friday, March 27, 2009 9:35 AM by Charles Hyman

    # re: Free Microsoft Developer Tools for High School and College Students

    In response to Peter's Comment:

    The exams can be taken today by High School students today, if they want. Most of the institutions on the list are higher education institutions.  Anything that can give people a sense of accomplishment for learning something new that is of value, is a good thing in my opinion.  The vouchers will make this possible, by allowing students to give it a tray without having to outlay the dollars. I dont feel that any of my certifications would be "devalued" by this in any way.  Certification and Experience are two separate items in a persons career toolbox.

    Friday, March 27, 2009 2:59 PM by Kevin

    # re: Free Microsoft Developer Tools for High School and College Students

    I'm a bit torn on the certifications going to high school students.  On one hand, I've always believed that you get a certification to demonstrate your knowledge and experience with a technolohy.  On the other hand, I have taken certification exams the week that they came out of beta (some Windows 2008 exams, for example) or immediately after a product was released.

    At any rate, I don't think that high school students getting certs is any "more wrong" than people who go to a weeklong training class where they take the exam on the last day.

  • Looking for a great training provider in your area?

    We’ve always enabled you to find *a* training provider: our Class Locator tool has referred hundreds of thousands of customers to Certified Partners for Learning Solutions over the years.

    Today, however, we’re pleased to announce a new Class Locator feature:

    You can now see what our customers think of the training providers featured in Class Locator!

    How it works:

    At the end of every Microsoft Official course taught at or by a CPLS, the MCT who teaches the class asks the students to complete an on-line course evaluation.

    Those evaluations are stored in an on-line database, indexed to the CPLS that offered the class.

    When you search for a class in Class Locator, the search results now include a Customer rating, showing the number of surveys we have on file for that center from the previous twelve months, and a “star” rating indicating how satisfied those customers were with the training they received.

    You can also view the detailed breakdown for the scores for a particular class.

    Let’s take an example… here I search for a CPLS offering a particular Windows Server 2008 course (6421, Configuring and Troubleshooting a Windows Server 2008 Network Infrastructure) within 100 miles of Philadelphia. My results look like this:


    All three of top matches have the same star rating, but Solartech’s New Jersey office has the most evaluations collected. So I’ll take a closer look there, clicking on “View course results…”


    Those are some pretty satisfied customers!

    So the next time you’re looking for a place to take a Microsoft Official course, consider using our Class Locator to find a provider evaluated by other students like you!

    Posted by Krosen

  • As you may or may not know, I lived in Fargo, ND for the last 17 years (working for Microsoft with the Dynamics group for 10 of those), and that community is  getting hit with a record flood.  I have been a bit distracted with how my friends and family are doing.  I have watched my Facebook and Twitter fill up with ‘sandbaggers need here’ and the school kids being bused to (indoor) locations to do their service too.  They have pulled together and I wish I was there too filling sandbags.  When you pour water on a table top, it moves fast & for a long distance.  

    So, this post really has nothing to do with learning specifically.  I just wanted to give a call out to the Fargo/Moorhead/NoDak folks and all our MSL team members located in the Fargo office.  These type of things, sadly, do happen throughout the world, and I, for one, wanted you to know that some days the time and energy needs to be concerned with the realities of today, rather than fighting today’s business deadlines.  Always a balance…

    I always have an ask at the end of my posts – this is mine for the day – when life’s realities are in front of you (down turn in the economy, the environment, life), how can I / we / Microsoft Learning / Microsoft help?  I will pass on feedback :)

    North Dakota Fan - Sarah


    Thursday, March 26, 2009 1:37 PM by Gisabun

    # re: Life Beyond Learning

    Question. When the flooding is over what happens to the sandbags? Emptied? The bags themselves? Recycled bags?

    Thursday, March 26, 2009 3:53 PM by Lee...

    # re: Life Beyond Learning


    Just keep going...

    Everything we do, to some extent, involves learning, whether it s learning about life, a new subject, or just dealing with the constant changes that are all around us.

    And remember, as long as there is air in your lungs and thoughts in your head, you can do anything your imagination dreams up.

    Keep challenging, keep pushing, keep testing the edge, because you just don t know what maybe on the other side. Sometimes it s more about how others react, than how you react...

    Friday, March 27, 2009 2:12 PM by Sarah Grant

    # re: Life Beyond Learning

    You are so correct!!  Everything is a learning experience. I challenge myself to learn something new each day. 

    Your post was very uplifting.

  • We’re happy to announce that Microsoft .NET and SAP (Microsoft Press, 2009; ISBN: 9780735625686; 480 pages), authored by Juergen Daiberl, Steve Fox, Scott Adams, and Thomas Reimer, is available now. This book shows .NET developers how to use familiar skills and tools to connect with and customize SAP applications.



    Let’s begin with book’s Foreword, by Microsoft’s Neil Leslie:


    Like many of you, my experiences working in and around software for the last 19 years have left me with many lasting impressions. One of those, as the senior engineering leader in Microsoft’s Internal IT organization, brought me insight and inspired passion for the power businesses can derive from a well-managed approach to Microsoft and SAP technology in the enterprise.

    As you undoubtedly know, Microsoft and SAP have a long-standing partnership, reaching back to an agreement between the companies in 1994 to support SAP applications running on Microsoft’s SQL Server and Windows Server platforms. Since then, Microsoft has become a significant platform for SAP installations, with the majority of all new SAP Business Suite systems today running on Microsoft Windows Server.

    Beyond the partnership at the operating system and database layer, Microsoft and SAP also offer a deep integration on the application level. This integration is demonstrated by the joint commitment to Web Services for interoperability between both application stacks, as well as with the first joint product named Duet, which bridges Microsoft Office and the SAP Business Suite.

    Although these days I spend my time evangelizing about Microsoft technology to the external world, my time in IT made real for me the importance of bringing both Microsoft and SAP stacks together to get the best out of both worlds and enable business to be more efficient.

    It is in that vein I highly recommend this book. It covers application-level interoperability topics in depth, spanning topics such as:

    • How to build custom .NET applications that access and modify SAP data
    • How to get the information in my SAP systems into the familiar user environments of Microsoft Office, Microsoft Office SharePoint Server, and Microsoft InfoPath
    • How Microsoft Business Intelligence integrates with SAP applications

    Developers and architects who work in a Microsoft-SAP environment and who are looking for best practices and guidance about how to bring both application stacks together in a productive way should consider this a must-read.

    Neil Leslie
    Microsoft General Manager
    Platform Evangelism


    The book’s Introduction describes its goals and intended audiences:


    During the time we spent in the Microsoft–SAP area as Technical Evangelists for Microsoft and as specialists in the field, we recognized that a lot of people have the same questions:

    • “How can I achieve single sign-on between Microsoft and SAP?”
    • “How can I expose business data from my SAP applications through the Microsoft Office SharePoint Server Portal?”
    • “How do Microsoft BI and SAP work together?”
    • “Can I use Web services to integrate SAP into a Microsoft .NET solution?”

    We tried to answer some of the questions by publishing white papers at http://www.microsoft.com/sap, but we also recognized that no book was available that described some basic scenarios in detail so that a developer could use such a book as a starting point for this complex topic. Therefore, the scenarios covered in this book try to answer the most frequently asked questions we’ve heard. As you can imagine, though, the possible integration scenarios between Microsoft and SAP far exceed the number of scenarios described here.

    Another topic that is not discussed in this book is the use of the Microsoft platform (Microsoft Windows Server and Microsoft SQL Server) for SAP. Our colleague Josef Stelzel wrote a book about SAP on Windows (which you can see details about at http://www.sappress.com/product.cfmaccount=&product=H2902). For SAP on SQL Server, you can find good resources at http://www.microsoft.com/isv/sap/technology/platform/sql.aspx.

    Who This Book Is For

    This book is written for developers who want to integrate SAP applications such as mySAP Business Suite or the SAP NetWeaver Portal into a Microsoft-based solution like Microsoft Office, Microsoft Office SharePoint Server, or a Microsoft .NET–based solution. The samples you will find in the various chapters should give you a starting point for your own solutions, and they explain the integration between Microsoft and SAP in detail.

    What This Book Is About

    This book starts by giving you a short overview of the history between Microsoft and SAP and then follows with an overview of SAP and Microsoft. The discussion then moves into integration scenarios, and the samples provided will enable you to start developing your own solutions. Following is an overview of chapter content.

    Chapter 1, “SAP: Company Overview, Development Tools, and Microsoft .NET Interoperability” Here you’ll find an overview of SAP, the product offering from SAP, and the development tools available for the SAP environment. We also give a brief overview of the historical relationship between both companies.

    Chapter 2, “Microsoft .NET Development Environment and Tools” The chapter introduces the development environments offered by Microsoft that are used for the scenarios described in the book. You will find an overview of Microsoft Visual Studio, Microsoft Visual Studio Tools for Office, and the Microsoft BizTalk Server.

    Chapter 3, “Connectivity Between Microsoft .NET and SAP” This chapter covers basic integration scenarios between Microsoft and SAP, such as the SAP Connector for Microsoft .NET, Web service integration, the .NET Data Provider for NetWeaver BI, or the integration between Microsoft .NET and SAP Enterprise Services by using the Enterprise Service Explorer from SAP. Most of the scenarios described in the later chapters are based on one of these integration techniques, and further integration scenarios are based on the topics described here.

    Chapter 4, “Microsoft Business Intelligence” In this chapter, you will find different integration scenarios and technologies that can be used to implement a Microsoft BI solution for SAP.

    Chapter 5, “Microsoft Office SharePoint Server: UI Integration” The integration of the SAP UI into SharePoint Server is covered in this chapter. You will find information and samples of how to display an iView from the SAP NetWeaver Portal in Microsoft Office SharePoint Server Portal, as well as information about WSRP (Web Service for Remote Portlets), a standard that allows you to display iViews in Microsoft Office SharePoint Server Portal. The chapter also describes how to display BSP (Business Server Page) applications and Web Dynpro applications in the Microsoft Office SharePoint Server Portal.

    Chapter 6, “SharePoint Business Data Catalog and SAP” With Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007, the Business Data Catalog was introduced. This chapter describes the use of the Business Data Catalog with SAP for displaying and searching SAP content.

    Chapter 7, “Office Business Applications” Duet, the first joint product from Microsoft and SAP, was introduced in 2005 and is likely the most well-known Office Business Application. This chapter provides an overview of Duet as well as samples of how to develop your own Office business applications.

    Chapter 8, “Custom Development” In this chapter, we covered some typical integration scenarios, such as the use of Microsoft InfoPath, the portal Development Kit for Microsoft .NET, and the integration of Microsoft Office Communication Server into the SAP NetWeaver portal.

    Chapter 9, “Identity and Security Management” The chapter gives you an overview of Identity Management in a Microsoft/SAP landscape and introduces various ways of achieving a single sign-on solution between Microsoft and SAP.

    And meet the book’s authors:

    Juergen Daiberl

    image Juergen Daiberl is a Senior Technical Evangelist on the Developer and Platform Evangelism Team in Redmond, Washington. He has more than 10 years of industry experience and has worked for Microsoft since 2005. Prior to his role in Redmond, he worked at the Collaboration Technical
    Support Center (CTSC) in Walldorf, Germany, which is a joint-staffed team between Microsoft and SAP. In his current role, he is responsible for the interoperability between
    Microsoft .NET and SAP NetWeaver on the application level. Before joining Microsoft, Juergen worked as a Senior Consultant and Architect in the EAI Space for Softlab (a BMW Group Company) and for Compaq Professional Service.

    Steve Fox

    image Steve has worked in the IT industry for almost 15 years, 10 of which has been spent with Microsoft and with technologies such as search, natural language, developer tools, and Microsoft Office and SharePoint development. When not working, Steve plays hockey, writes and reads, and watches


    Scott Adams


    Scott Adams is a Business Intelligence and Performance Management Specialist at Microsoft. Scott helps enterprise customers and partners adopt Microsoft Business Intelligence and Performance Management solutions and is recognized as an expert in delivering solutions on SAP. Prior to working at Microsoft, Scott spent five years at Business Objects (an SAP company) in various senior engineering management roles. Scott has more than 15 years of experience
    in developing and deploying Business Intelligence solutions.


    Thomas Reimer

    imageThomas Reimer works at Microsoft as a Regional Business Development Manager in the EMEA SAP alliance team. Thomas joined Microsoft as an enterprise technology strategist in January 2007, focusing on service-oriented architecture,
    business process management, and SAP interoperability. Prior to joining Microsoft, Thomas held a management position at Resco (Acando Group), a European systems integrator, where he was responsible for a consulting unit focusing on
    Microsoft and SAP technologies. Thomas is based in Munich, Germany, and holds a Master of Business Administration degree.


    We’re pretty sure you won’t find another book like this that’s not written in German. Use it and interoperate!

  • Steven St Jean just posted a review of Inside the Microsoft Build Engine: Using MSBuild and Team Foundation Build (Microsoft Press, 2009; ISBN: 9780735626287) on his blog. It joins the stellar reviews on Amazon.

    Steven’s review is the most detailed yet. He has put a lot of work into the review, so please be sure to read it.

    Here is Steven’s opening:

    Quote for the Media ;-)

    “Wow!  This is the book that I wish I had written.  Sayed and William have covered the topic’s depth and breadth with enough illustrations and code examples to make any developer productive with MSBuild and Team Build.  No Experience Required.”

    And here’s his close:

    While I may sound like a shill for the authors and publisher, I really do believe what I’ve written.  In fact, I bring the book with me to most of my consulting engagements and recommend it to my clients.  It’s useful when read from cover-to-cover or when used as a reference. 

    So go out and buy a bunch of copies and make Sayed and William the first technical authors to get rich off writing a book.

    Steven, thanks very much! We’re glad you find the book so useful.

  • If you're a Developer and you've ever wondered "Why should I get Certified?", Gerry O'Brien has the answer for you. He'll be discussing the value of certification for Developers as well as how to select a credential, how to prepare for your exam and what the next steps are during his Microsoft Virtual TechDays 2009 presentation.

    Have you registered for this event yet? You should.

    Its 24 hours of content just for developers. Its online. Its free. Its in your region (no matter where you live around the world.)

    And when you register, make sure you add Gerry's session to your Schedule Builder. Just search for keyword "certification."

    Microsoft Certification: Why and How
              Wednesday, April 1st  2:30 AM - 3:30 AM  GMT  (what time is this in my region)
              Wednesday, April 1st  3:00 PM - 4:00 PM GMT  (what time is this in my region)

    Posted by DeborahG

  • clip_image001

    So… what are you waiting for? Dig in!

    Posted by Krosen