The Beta of My Health Info

It's been a little less than 2 months since My Health Info launched on MSN. 'My Health Info' is the project I've been working on at IQ Interactive the last 5+ months or so. It is written in Silverlight 3 using Prism and is a pretty big chunk of code, of which I am very proud. I have had the pleasure of working with a large number of incredibly talented and creative people at IQ Interactive. In the Silverlight space I've had the privilege of working with Corey Schuman and Mason Brown. I think this project has been a great learning experience for all of us.

Here are a few videos on My Health Info..

Product Reel for My Health Info (produced by IQ Interactive)

What is currently released is a beta version, and another version will be released within the next month or so. I hope you'll check it out now and once the newer version is up towards the middle of next month.


A Little Bit About the New Silverlight Gig

This was my first week at a new gig as a full time Silverlight developer. I'm still getting into the flow of a totally new job, but this first week has been great. I am working with Corey Schuman over at IQ Interactive on a really neat project which I hope to brag about once it's public. Working with people in the design community and another Silverlight developer is going to exponentially help build up my Silverlight abilities.

I can't suggest enough that people who want to get into the Silverlight space get involved with your local communities - or start local groups if you don't have one in your area. Corey took the initiative to startup the Atlanta Silverlight Meetup Group just a few months ago, and there are already over a dozen people showing up for the meetups, and that is now leading towards an upcoming Atlanta Silverlight firestarter. This has served to encourage me to get out there and get more involved in the community as well - hopefully there will be more on that going forward.

I've heard several people tell me how Twitter is a waste of time, or is stupid, or things like that - but if your a developer and aren't on Twitter then you are really missing out in my opinion. In a very real way using Twitter is what helped me land this job - getting my name out there and having some back-and-forth with peers in relative fields.

A quick search on Linkedin shows that there are hundreds of thousands of folks out there labeled as a Software Engineer, tens of thousands labeled as a .Net Developer, but a search for Silverlight Developer turns up just a handful of people, and I am very happy to be on that list - I can't wait to see where it leads.


The End of Another Chapter..

Today is my last day at my current job - it is the end of another chapter of my career. I don't want to overstate the significance of this job, but I must admit that this job opened my eyes to a lot of new things, and provided me tremendous amounts of opportunities to progress in my career. While I am incredibly eager to start my next opportunity - which I will post more about later - I will definitely miss many of my coworkers here, and I wanted to express my deep gratitude for their support and the opportunities afforded to me the last two years.

My soon-to-be-former employer is a gold certified Microsoft partner, and as such I had the privilege of using a ton of great Microsoft technologies, attending numerous training sessions put together by Microsoft, and in some cases working side by side with Microsoft reps on mission critical projects. Another great perk of this shop was their affinity for giving developers the time and resources to visit some of Microsoft's annual conferences - I myself got the chance to go to PDC 2008 on the company's dime - something which was a great opportunity for me. This shop is also quick to pick up on new Microsoft technologies, and that is what afforded me the opportunities to work in .Net 3.5, WPF, etc. - the breadth of technology used here (and used well) is something to be seen.

From a developers standpoint, this job was my first introduction to a real development shop. By that I mean a company with not just 5-10 developers, but several teams of developers, all of whom are proficient in a wide variety of technologies. Project management and code maintenance were crucial here, and as such I got to use a lot of things which many other developers may be familliar with, but perhaps don't rely on heavily. This included unit tests, acceptance tests, continuous builds, virtualization, sprint planning, sprint reviews, backlog planning and breakdowns, and several other processes that made all our teams and players work together and get things done. It was quite impressive to see how such a large development team is orchestrated to commit to the same projects without everything falling apart and ensuring code quality.

I can't say enough about this great development shop, and I wish everyone here and the company itself the best of luck going forward - I am sure we will stay in touch through the local code camps and user groups.