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Microsoft “Black Friday” training offers

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What does everyone love about “Black Friday?” Simple, the big promotions that save us all money! What do most people dislike about “Black Friday?” The lines to get those big savings. Well, I’m happy to let you know that Microsoft has the solution for those of you looking to take advantage of Microsoft training. On Black Friday, we will be announcing some great offers on training that you can participate in, and there are no lines to fight through to get it since they will be available online. Now, I am not going to spoil the fun and
give you all of the details just yet, but I will give you a cheat sheet on where we’ll have the information on Black Friday so you can take advantage of them once they go live: Offer details: MeasureUp and Transcender will both offer X% discounts on practice tests MS Press has ebooks at X% discount and print at X% discount What % you ask? Well, I told you I’m not going to disclose full details yet; however, I will give you the links to the pages where...(Read whole news on source site)

The world of LESS

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The world of Less This post is an introduction to less, the css superset macro language, then a meandering discussion of various features and work I’ve been involved in in less.js and dotless. I’ve wanted to write a blog post about why I haven’t written anything in a while. The answer is that supporting 3 [...]

How To Lead High-Performance Distributed Teams

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I’ve had a unique privilege of leading high-performance distributed teams for more than ten years.   In the early days of the Microsoft patterns & practices team, one of the key driving philosophies was “leverage the best talent in the world, from around the world.” By opening up the opportunity to distributed teams early on, we got a lot of practice and experience in creating high-performance distributed teams. While on-site teams have the advantage of face-time and high-bandwidth communication, distributed teams can have the advantage of focus and results, with fewer distractions and more discipline (if done well.)   With
an on-site team, it’s easy to get distracted.  It’s easy to lose focus.  When you create high-performance distributed teams, it forces you to be specific and explicit.  It also forces you to find ways to create clarity around the basics:  What are the key drivers?  What are the goals?  What are the deliverables?  What are the priorities?  What do we do next?  What are the pressing issues? Process is paramount when it comes to distributed teams.  Why?  Because routines help simplify and clarify the work, and create a system for results.   This frees up people to spend more...(Read whole news on source site)

Event: New Jump Start for Developers! Build Windows Phone 8 Apps. Register Now.

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Some of you in the mobile space may have heard recently that MVP Andy Wigley recently joined Microsoft UK as an evangelist and he is already making his mark. We are thrilled to announce a new Jump Start for developers focused on building apps for Windows Phone 8. This special live online course is scheduled for two full days of fast-paced, demo-rich sessions led by Microsoft UK Technical Evangelist, Andy Wigley, and Microsoft Enterprise Mobility Strategist, Rob Tiffany. Andy and Rob are two of the most respected experts in mobile app development and are excited to
help C#/XAML developers get the most out of the Windows 8 platform. What: Building Apps for Windows Phone 8 Jump Start
Date: November 28-29, 2012
Time: 7:00am – 5:00pm PST
Cost: FREE!
Target audience: Application Developers who want a fast-paced, real-world understanding of how to leverage C# and XAML to build apps for Windows Phone 8 ** REGISTER NOW ** Help us spread the word with a blog post or a tweet like this one: ...(Read whole news on source site)

Production issue: ASP.Net Cache kills the application

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In one of our production deployments, we occasionally get a complete server process crash. Investigating the event log, we have this: Exception: System.InvalidOperationException Message: Collection was modified; enumeration operation may not execute. StackTrace:    at System.Collections.Generic.Dictionary`2.KeyCollection.Enumerator.MoveNext()    at System.Web.Hosting.ObjectCacheHost.TrimCache(Int32 percent)    at System.Web.Hosting.HostingEnvironment.TrimCache(Int32 percent)    at System.Web.Hosting.HostingEnvironment.TrimCache(Int32 percent)    at System.Web.Hosting.ApplicationManager.TrimCaches(Int32 percent)    at System.Web.Hosting.CacheManager.CollectInfrequently(Int64 privateBytes)    at System.Web.Hosting.CacheManager.PBytesMonitorThread(Object state)    at System.Threading.ExecutionContext.Run(ExecutionContext executionContext, ContextCallback callback, Object state, Boolean ignoreSyncCtx)    at System.Threading._TimerCallback.PerformTimerCallback(Object state) As you can see, this is a case of what appears to be a run of the mill race condition, translated to a process killing exception because it was thrown from a separate thread. This thread, by the way, is
the ASP.Net Cache cleanup thread, and we have no control whatsoever over that. To make things worse, this application doesn’t even use the ASP.NET Cache in any way shape or form. Any ideas how to resolve this would be very welcome....(Read whole news on source site)

SkyDrive Introduces The Most Requested Feature, Selective Sync For Files

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by WindowsPhoneGeek SkyDrive team has just announced that the usage of SkyDrive has doubled for the last 6 months. What is more today they are releasing an update to our sync apps that includes the ability to select what you sync along with the ability to share files and folders right from the Windows File Explorer.  Also there are updates to the SkyDrive apps for Windows Phone and Android improving how you access your SkyDrive across different devices.  SkyDrive for Windows Phone 8: A fully optimized SkyDrive app for Windows Phone 8. In addition to all-around
performance improvements and some visual updates to better fit Windows Phone 8, you can now search your SkyDrive files and folders and control photo upload and download size. via SkyDrive blog ...(Read whole news on source site)

Free Windows 8 Wireframe Templates for PowerPoint

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Microsoft has finally released Windows 8, and is promoting its launch with a billion-dollar marketing campaign. This creates new opportunities for app developers, especially since the Windows Store isn't yet as crowded as the Apple and Android counterparts. However, before you go ahead and start programming an app, I'd suggest you design some quick prototypes first to validate your idea. To help minimize the prototyping effort, I have created a set of interface templates for PowerPoint. Using these templates, you can quickly put together a Windows 8 app layout and iterate on it. All elements in the set
are based upon regular PowerPoint vector shapes, and are fully editable and customizable. Read more and Download Windows 8 Wireframing Set for PowerPoint here. ...(Read whole news on source site)

Design patterns in the test of time: Chain of responsibility

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The chain-of-responsibility pattern is a design pattern consisting of a source of command objects and a series of processing objects. Each processing object contains logic that defines the types of command objects that it can handle; the rest are passed to the next processing object in the chain. A mechanism also exists for adding new processing objects to the end of this chain. More about this pattern. It is actually quite common to see this pattern now-a-days using events. Something like CancelEventArgs and a CancelEventHandler to handle the FormClosing event of a Form. We
use Chain of Responsibility in RavenDB in several places, like this one: foreach (var requestResponderLazy in currentDatabase.Value.RequestResponders) { var requestResponder = requestResponderLazy.Value; if (requestResponder.WillRespond(ctx)) { var sp = Stopwatch.StartNew(); requestResponder.Respond(ctx); sp.Stop(); ctx.Response.AddHeader("Temp-Request-Time", sp.ElapsedMilliseconds.ToString("#,# ms", CultureInfo.InvariantCulture)); return requestResponder.IsUserInterfaceRequest; } } Note that we have moved on the the behavioral patterns, and those tend to have withstand the test of time much better, in general. Other places where Chain of Responsibility is used is request routing and error handling. A common approach is to also have this...(Read whole news on source site)