April 2011

It’s the Final Countdown, Day 4

by Joey deVilla on April 19, 2011

This is my final week in my biggest, most influential, broadest-reaching job to date, and in its honour, I’m marking my last days with a different version of Europe’s classic ‘80s hair-rock hit, The Final Countdown. Today’s rendition: an orchestral version led by three cellos performed by an orchestra from Liepaja, Latvia, still with the head-bangin’.

This article also appears in The Adventures of Accordion Guy in the 21st Century.

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If you’re curious about NUIs – that’s Natural User Intefaces – and if you’re going to be in the area of the University of Toronto’s downtown campus, you’ll probably going to want to check out this TorCHI session: Best Practices in Interface Design and Applying Them to Microsoft Surface. Here’s the abstract:

See how Natural User Interfaces such as Microsoft Surface and gesture-based UI’s such as Kinect are being applied in the real world.  This session will outline many of the “dos and don’ts” when designing for these new paradigms. More importantly, we will also discuss what techniques and behaviors can be applied to help a good HCI designer become a great one.

infusionThe session will be presented by James Horgan, Creative Director, Sales and Strategy at Infusion. James studied industrial design at Central St. Martin’s College of Art and Design in London, UK and has been an award-winning industrial and interaction designer for many of the world’s premier brands. James has had the good fortune to design everything from hearing aids for children to the world’s first Microsoft Partner Surface application, using a unique combination of visual, functional, and architectural skills.

Here are the details for the session:

This article also appears in Canadian Developer Connection.

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Office 365 Public Beta: Available Now!

by Joey deVilla on April 18, 2011

office 365

The news is all over online – perhaps you saw the PC World article or the official Microsoft announcement – Office 365 is out as a public beta and ready for you to take it for a spin! It’s the successor to BPOS, Business Productivity Online Suite and gives you productivity goodies such as:

Here’s a diagram that gives you the 10,000-foot view of what Office 365 can do for you (click to get the full-size version):

office 365 poster

If you’d like to get the public beta of Office 365, office365.ca is the place to go! You’ll find out more about the various packages available for business, from small businesses who want to get stuff done but don’t have the IT department or infrastructure, up to the biggest enterprises looking to integrate Office 365 with their own infrastructure for that special you-got-your-chocolate-in-my-peanut-butter IT goodness.

There’s also the Office 365 Blog and the Office 365 Technical Blog, which show you how to best take advantage of Office 365 tools as well as performing advanced tasks and troubleshooting issues. If you’re the competitive type, there’s the Ready for Work contest where you can win $50,000, a one-year subscription to Office 365 for your business and more – and all you have to do is share your Office 365 success story on our Facebook group.

win 50000

Go for it – sign up for the Office 365 beta now!

This article also appears in Canadian Developer Connection.


Help Wanted: News Editor at GigaOm (San Francisco)

by Joey deVilla on April 18, 2011

gigaomMathew Ingram’s been putting the word out that GigaOm – the technology blog started by Om Malik – is looking for a news editor. If you’ve got the knack for running a virtual newsroom and coordinating the activities of bloggers who are scattered all over the globe, this could be the job for you!

somaSOMA: Your work neighbourhood, should you get hired.

Here are the details, as they appear on their LinkedIn jobs page:

Job Description

SOMA/Financial District (San Francisco Bay Area)

GigaOm is looking to hire a News Editor to manage the edit flow for the team. This person will work on east coast time and will be the main assigning editor for hitting news stories. Working very closely with the Managing Editor, the NE needs to stay on top of everything happening in the (virtual) newsroom and focus everyone toward the same goals. It is a fast-paced, collaborative online newsroom, and the NE duties change every day but they include:

  • Manage the editorial team’s day to day work, including assignments based on current news, scheduling, editorial guidance, and final edit on stories before they go live;
  • Manage story budgets;
  • Maintain the balance of news and long feature pieces on the sites;
  • Work with editors to align and direct news and feature coverage across all channels, crossposting materials as much as possible;
  • Community management including tweeting and general interaction with the community, as well as approving comments on GOM;
  • Assign, review and edit guest columns for weekend and holiday content;
  • Coordinate event and breaking news coverage as the point;
  • Regularly review the online stats and work to shift focus to increase traffic;
  • Bring in and review new freelancers and story ideas.

This position is full-time with full health, dental & vision benefits, vacation and sick time, and a competitive salary. There is room in the SF office but someone working remotely on the East Coast could also successfully fill this position.

Everyone at GigaOM is busy doing their thing, so the hiring process for this position is being managed externally. Please submit your resume, cover letter and relevant clips or links to Emma Logan via LinkedIn or email emmalogan.hr (at) gmail (dot) com; direct applications to GigaOM may get lost in the shuffle.

Desired Skills & Experience

The ideal person will be/have:

  • Passionate about technology and the changing media landscape;
  • A head for news;
  • An engaged management style with experience handling a remote team environment;
  • Google Analytics or other stat evaluation software experience a must;
  • Hard-core organizational skills;
  • Relevant experience at a comparable online company;
  • Engaged, eager, optimistic, realistic, and flexible;
  • The ability to juggle, negotiate, charm, and let water roll off your back.


Where to Stay in Minneapolis (May 6th–8th)?

by Joey deVilla on April 18, 2011

minneapolisCreative Commons photo courtesy of Sri Dhanush.

I’m helping out with BarCamp Minneapolis, a.k.a. MinneBar, which takes place on May 7th. The event takes place at Best Buy’s headquarters out in Richfield, and we out-of-towner helper-outers are staying downtown. If you know any good and reasonably-priced hotels in an interesting but not sketchy part of downtown, please let me know in the comments or drop me an email!

This article also appears in The Adventures of Accordion Guy in the 21st Century.


It’s the Final Countdown, Day 5

by Joey deVilla on April 18, 2011

Being a developer evangelist at Microsoft was my biggest, most influential, broadest-reaching job ever, and as this is my final week working for The Empire, I though it would be fitting to mark it with a different version of Europe’s classic ‘80s hair-rock hit, The Final Countdown. To kick it off, I give you the original version in all its mulleted Reagan-era glory. Crank up your speakers, bang your head, throw the horns and enjoy!

This article also appears in The Adventures of Accordion Guy in the 21st Century.

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MobileTeach 2011: May 30th–June 3rd in Montreal

by Joey deVilla on April 18, 2011


Billing itself as the biggest mobile development conference in Canada, MobileTeach will take place in Montreal from Monday, May 30th through Friday, June 3rd. It’s put on by our friends at DevTeach and part of the annual DevTeach conference (also taking place May 30th – June 3rd) and will cover Windows Phone 7 development along with development for the Esteemed Competition’s platforms.

Among MobileTeach’s sessions on Windows Phone 7 and Silverlight are:

  • What you should know about WP7 Dev
  • WP7 high-end app pitfalls and how to avoid them
  • Secure and Personalize with WCF RIA Services
  • Async Calls in Silverlight and WPF clients
  • Optimizing Silverlight animation

colin meliaThere will also be a full-day post-conference Windows Phone 7 workshop on Friday, June 3rd run by our good friend Colin Melia, who’ll get you up to speed on Windows Phone development topics, including:

  • Silverlight Development
  • UI Design
  • Data Binding & Data Access
  • Development Tools
  • Notification Services
  • Cloud Services
  • MVVM
  • Application Model & Navigation
  • Input
  • Shell Integration
  • Devices Integration
  • Building Phone-compatible Services
  • Marketplace policies
  • and other select topics requested and a selection of XNA topics

For all the details, see the MobileTeach site.

This article also appears in Canadian Developer Connection.