Doug Reilly's Weblog

Embedded Reporting of the Information Age...
Tech Ed Lost and Found...

Folks,

Anyone who was at Tech Ed, if you happen to find a Wedding Ring, with "6-10-78" and "...There is Love" inscribed on the inside, could you see that it gets back to me?

Long story, but in recent months, I have been going through treatments that have caused me to lose lots of weight.  Among the consequences of that is that my wedding ring occasionally falls off.  I resisted folks telling me that I should get it resized, in the hope that I would put the weight back on and then would have to get it sized again.  Silly me.  Sometime on Friday, I lost the ring, never heard or felt it fall off, did not notice it being gone until we hit a resturaunt for dinner Friday night.

Getting it back would be a very nice thing, as I doubt that I will be able to put another 28 years into any replacement ring.  The old ring was frankly a cheap, some would say crappy ring, but having it back would mean the world to me and my long suffering wife, Jean...

 

Are Software Development Books Obsolete?

I don't think so, as I say here.

The Internet offers any numbers of ways to learn about software development, but it is difficult to do on a Web page the sort of thing that a good book can do.

What do you think?

If you are going to Tech Ed, Do Remember My Birds of a Feather...

It will be "Geeks With Cancer and Other Serious Diseases", and I will have some swag to give away from my friends at Red Gate (the folks who sponsor Simple-Talk.com, the site where my article on cancer survivorship appeared.

Geeks with Cancer and Other Serious Diseases
 
Day/Time: Tuesday, June 13 7:45 PM - 8:45 PM
 
Computer folks with cancer and any number of other serious chronic and/or life threatening diseases have some special issues that they need to be concerned about. Making time for treatment, planning for succession should the worst happen present special challenges. This Birds-of-a-Feather will let developers who are dealing with these issues get together and discuss these issues.
 
Session Type(s): Birds of a Feather
 
 
CNET Article...
CNET has published an article on Cancer Survivorship.  The article includes a very nice picture of my wife and I, along with my story.
LiveStrong Challenge!

The LiveStrong Challenge is a series of rides designed to support the work of the Lance Armstrong Foundation.  For those of you who do not know, the Lance Armstrong Foundation supports folks living with cancer and its after effects.  They have lots of material that is useful for the newly diagnosed, and support programs for cancer survivors.  If any of you recall Jim Ross, a fellow ASP Insider and Microsoft MVP, who died from cancer back in November, one of the things that allowed him to get through the last months of his life was an exercise program initially funded by the Lance Armstrong Foundation.

I have signed up for the LiveStrong Challenge ride in Philidelphia on September 10th, 2005.  I signed up for the 100 mile ride, though of course there is some doubt whether I will be able to do the entire 100 miles.  There are shorter rides, but since I will hopefully be finishing up the current chemo on August 4th, I hope to be able to train between the end of chemo and the date of the ride.

The LiveStrong Challenge Web site has a page for you to be able to sponsor me if you wish.  You can click here if you would like to sponsor me on the ride.  I have set a goal of $5,000, but if you are really enthusiastic and donate $15,000, I will get an invitation to the Ride for the Roses in Austin, which would be amazingly cool.

My Birds of a Feather Session, "Geeks with Cancer and Other Serious Diseases" has been Accepted!

If you are going to Tech Ed, and you are a Geek with Cancer or Other Serious Disease, or you work with one, do consider stopping by my Birds of a Feather session, at 7:45 PM on Tuesday June 13th!  There are 10 million cancer survivors today in the US, most of them back in the workforce.  Add in those managing other serious diseases, and you have a lot of folks, likely a number in your organization.  This raises some serious issues.

We will discuss the issues, both general survivorship issues as well as specific issues for folks who work with computers.  How do you handle the delicate task of talking about your disease?  Who do you tell?  How do you manage treatments along with working?  What about succession planning?

I have an unfortunate amount of experience with dealing with such issues, being a liver cancer survivor since 1998, and currently managing Mucinous Adenocarcinoma. 

I would be especially interested in discussing anyone's experience outside the US.

Glenn Johnson - Database Geek of the Week!

Glenn Johnson is the author of Programming Microsoft ADO.NET Applications - Advanced Topics.  He has perhaps more MS certifications than anyone else I know.  From the interview:

Doug: I am in the process of writing an article on the role of technical books in the overall career development of a software developer. Do you think there is still a place for books in this world of ubiquitous Internet access, blogs and so on?

Glenn: I think that there is place for Internet, blogs, and development books. There are plenty of people who simply refuse to read large articles on their computer. For them, the book is the answer. Also, many people like the ability to take the book to places where there is either no Internet access (I'm not sure where that is these days) or no power outlets (like at the airport).

I think that the Internet is a place to go to for specific articles, but a book typically provides a means for more structured learning of a variety of topics.

Complete interview is here.

Tech Ed BOF: Geeks with Cancer, and Other Serious Diseases
If you read my recent article on surviving cancer as a Software Developer and think the topic deserves attention at Tech Ed, vote here for the Geeks with Cancer and Other Serious Diseases Birds of a Feather for Tech Ed 2006 in Boston.
[Book Review] Fixing Access Annoyances

Fixing Access Annoyances
by Phil Mitchell and Evan Callahan
ISBN 0-596-00852-x

Admit it.  Even if you are a hard core SQL Server person, now and again, you find yourself dealing with Microsoft Access.  It can be a maddening experience, as Access can do so much, but can be so difficult to handle from time to time.

This is a book that I wondered about getting.  I have been working (and been annoyed by) Microsoft Access since the beta for Access 2, and thought I knew pretty much all I needed to know.  My mistake.  In the first 30 pages, I learned something (specifically, how to set default properties for controls on a form).  In the balance of the book, I learned a few things, and will keep the book nearby, as I still have one fairly major client who has me supporting a large MS Access application (developed by another developer).

If you use Access (and more of you do than will admit it, I bet) this is an important book to have on your bookshelf.

 

Posting to Forums? Here Are Some Questions to Ask Yourself

I just had an article posted on Simple-Talk.com about posting to forums.  Here it is.

This is part of a continuing series on career development, and how to keep up in a fast moving software development world.

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