SQL CLR Integration

I’ve been listening to heaps of the TechEd sessions from San Diego while driving around in the car. Just finished listening to Mahesh Prakriya and Ramachandran Venkatesh in DAT318 on .NET CLR programming in the database. Interesting session – reiterated much of what’s in the white papers but I picked up a few gems I wasn’t aware of.

If you use VS2005 to deploy a SQL Server project to the server and are in Debug release mode, the assembly, the pdb files and the source code all get deployed to SQL Server. I haven’t looked at how you retrieve them from there yet but it certainly opens up some interesting possibilities, such as a roll-your-own server-side recompile of the assembly.

The Donald

I was stuck in an airport the other day waiting for my plane when <shock horror> I realised I didn’t have a techo-book to read on the flight. I’d finished the last one I had with me.

So I went and bought a book from the newsstand. Given my family’s fascination with “The Apprentice”, it was obvious which book I had to read. Yes, “The Donald”’s book. No mucking around here with book titles like “How to be a great guy” or “How to improve your wealth or heath or sex life or …”. The Donald’s book is called “HOW TO GET RICH” in huge letters on the front, along with the obligatory picture of “The Donald” and his infamous hair.

I was proud of myself. I did persist with it (ISBN 0-563-52218-6) until the end. It’s basically about 160 pages of fairly random thoughts on what he thinks matters in business, a bunch of pages on how he spends a typical week and finally another bunch of pages on The Apprentice and the people who took part in it. He displays all the great capitalistic trends telling his readers “It’s not personal, it’s business” and emploring them to hold grudges when someone does the wrong thing, etc. It’s also full of “what a great guy I am” and “look what I can show off” pages.

After having read it all, I really wonder if Bill won or lost by being the last one standing…

TechEd Keynote

On Thursday afternoon we were given the demo materials for the keynote with Eric Rudder. Terry Clancy and I tried to sort them out a bit and practiced delivering them during the afternoon.

After the dinner for the Dedicated Developers (MSDN Connections) with Eric Rudder at Woodstock, we went back for the first rehearsal while everyone else went on to the TechEd party.

It was certainly interesting to see Eric the businessman rather than Eric at the party. I liked seeing the no-nonsense style. Although he seemed ok with our demo (moreso than one other), we knew he wasn’t wrapped in it and Terry and I decided to change it. We decided to align it with the 3 main messages he’d be delivering before passing across to us.

We spent the late hours scouring for materials to use and then spent the whole morning preparing and practicing the delivery. At the 1pm rehearsal, Eric seemed very pleased with the changes.

I then spent a bit of time at the MVP stand and before I knew it, it was “keynote time”. We started setting up around 3:45 and were pretty much ready by 4pm. I really need to mention how professional the support crew that staged the event were. They did a great job. Even though I’d been to lots of keynotes, etc. before, I had no idea how much was involved in the production you get to see from the audience.

It’s hard to describe how a stressful day and a half of preparation suddenly becomes a 7 minute presentation. I certainly had some butterflies before getting on stage but once there, I felt ok and I think it flowed pretty well.

After we were done, we got to sit on a lounge chair and watch the rest of the keynote. The pressure release was significant. When Eric came backstage, he said he was “more than happy” with what we’d done. That made the work worthwhile.

Thanks to Chuck for the opportunity to be involved. Thanks to the MVPs out there supporting us in the audience.

Getting to present a demo at a keynote with a Microsoft Senior Vice-President was certainly a highlight of TechEd for me. It’ll certainly be hard to top for next year 🙂

TechEd Australia

Well, TechEd Australia was a great couple of days as well. I had a quick start with a press lunch half an hour after arriving in Canberra from Auckland and the pace didn’t stop from then on till the end.

I felt really bad when I couldn’t just hang around the MVP stand a lot, especially when people were chasing me for the MVP bingo cards but I just seemed to have a series of non-stop commitments. Wednesday was such a long day. I’d been up since 1am and didn’t get to bed until 1am the next day. No sleep in though because I was presenting back-to-back sessions from 8:30am.

Thanks to Chuck, Frank & the gang for the opportunity to speak again this year.


The Elements Of Style

Still be doing a bunch of reading. Latest was “The Elements Of Style“ – William Strunk Jr. (ISBN: 020530902X)

Thank you to whoever it was on the Stanski dotnet mailing list that suggested reading this. Most entertaining! Andrew Parsons mentioned he thought it should be compulsory reading for most of us, particularly writers. Details are at:


There is also a partial on-line version at:


Might seem a bit odd (or pedantic) when you start reading it but it contains thought-provoking topics.

TechEd New Zealand

I arrived in Auckland yesterday for TechEd NZ. It’s an impressive event. I’m told there are 1800 delegates. Seeing the queues today, I can believe it. Congrats to the organising team!

Last night I attended the speakers dinner at the top of the Sky Tower. It was great to catch up with many people. At our table, I was speaking to Peter O’Dowd (just made an MVP – congrats Pete), Valentine Boairkine, Jesper Johansson, Michael Leworthy, Nate Muggli, Ben Smith, Brian Komar and his lovely wife (Krista?). Quite a mixture and an interesting night.

Today, I attended a couple of sessions by Prashant Sridharan on Visual Studio Team Services – very impressive, the MattMan (Matty Hardman) on VS2005 VB enhancements – always entertaining, Brian Randell on Yukon data features – very energetic and fast paced! Got to speak with Scott Woodgate and Tony Goodhew then also got to have dinner with Joel Pobar and Mitch Denny. That rounded out the day really well.

Gotta love TechEd!