Maarten Balliauw {blog}

ASP.NET MVC, Microsoft Azure, PHP, web development ...

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Byebye 2010, welcome 2011!

fireworks

Happy New Year 2011! I wish you all the best in your career and personal life. And I know it’s a classic one: I wish you a good health! Some family members have had some serious issues on that part and really, health is the most imprtant thing you need. All the rest depends on that. If you’re healthy, you will do something, that something will earn you money, and money buys you things. An Indian taxi driver in Redmond, Seattle, WA told me this exact lesson this year. I was a bit fuzzy at that time after a long flight from Belgium, Europe, but he is right. Sandeep, happy new year to you to although you may probably not read my blog.

In this kind of posts, just like in 2008 and 2009, I’ll start with looking at the top blog posts.

Top 5 blog posts of 2010

  1. Code performance analysis in Visual Studio 2008 (2009: 3rd; 2008: 2nd) – Visual Studio developer, did you know you have a great performance analysis (profiling) tool at your fingertips?
  2. ASP.NET load balancing and ASP.NET state server (aspnet_state) (2009: 5th; 2008: 3rd) – A how-to on load balancing with ASP.NET. Also related to ASP.NET Session State Partitioning and ASP.NET Session State Partitioning using State Server Load Balancing.
  3. Code based ASP.NET MVC GridView (2009: 2nd; 2008: 4th) – This post gives a shot at a gridview for the ASP.NET MVC framework, built using expressions.
  4. Building an ASP.NET MVC sitemap provider with security trimming (2009: 4th; 2008: 5th) – Building an ASP.NET MVC sitemap provider that can be used with standard ASP.NET sitemap controls.
  5. ASP.NET MVC and the Managed Extensibility Framework (MEF) (newcomer!) – Showing some integration points of the managed extensibility framework with ASP.NET MVC.

It’s stunning to see there’s only one newcomer in this list, ASP.NET MVC and the Managed Extensibility Framework (MEF). All other top posts are from 2008 (!), cover older technology but are still of value. Is this because these posts rank higher in search engines? Is it because people use older technology more then cutting edge technology? I’m really interested in this, as I may shift focus to cover a bit more of the “older” technologies for 2011 if this is indeed the case.

Open-source in 2010

I continued to work on PHPExcel, PHPLinq, PHPPowerPoint, the Windows Azure SDK for PHP (with Microsoft), ASP.NET MVC SiteMap Provider, some contributions to Zend Framework, my port of MEF to PHP and that’s about it I guess.

I’m very happy with the contributors to PHPExcel and the fact that this library is being used so widely. Really great to see! Also, I’ve received some financial support for the other projects and that really helped in getting things forward. I would also like to thank Microsoft and my employer, RealDolmen, for providing much needed development time on these projects.

Presentations in 2010

Ok, presentations. This kind of exploded in 2010. I wanted to do “some” more in 2010, it actually were around 17 on large events and some more at smaller events, our AZUG user group and internal sessions at RealDolmen.

The best thing: out of these 17 large-event sessions, I did 11 abroad throughout Europe. That’s not glamourous life, but it’s great to meet peers from all around the world. I’m absolutely wanting to do more of this in 2011.

The list of sessions can be found on my talks and presentations page. If you want me to speak at your conference, feel free to shoot me an e-mail. I'll be happy to provide you with session proposals. That’s in bold because it’s a hint for all you conference organizers out there :-)

Most valuable professional

image In July 2009, I became an MVP ASP.NET. And in July 2010, this title got renewed. I’m very happy for that, it’s a great honour and a great door-opener for other things I do.

My focus was still on ASP.NET MVC in 2010, but also more and more on Windows Azure. These two make a great combination, and will be the main topics for my blog in 2011 as well.

Traveling in 2010

A lot of traveling in 2010… A lot! I went on a ski vacation and a summer vacation, but next to that I did some traveling for work and conferences as well:

  • Lisbon, Portugal (2 times)
  • London, UK
  • Vienna, Austria. A beautiful city!
  • Helsinki, Finland (2 times). Cold but warm people!
  • Poznan, Poland. Great wodka, cheap wodka and great people!
  • Copenhagen, Denmark
  • Seattle, US

A lot of airmiles this year, too bad they are on separate frequent flyer programs. This year I also discovered www.tripit.com, a great site for tracking everything related to your trip!

Thank you!

I do take credit for all that I did in 2010, but I would also like to thank my company RealDolmen for providing enough room to do some of this during work hours, as well as for challenging me in this. Recruiters often offer great salaries, but this is what I find important. And as far as I know, this is also quite unique in Belgium for a company to do. Thanks guys, really!

My family is also great, especially my wife. I’m often out of the house at evenings to various local events, writing blog posts, traveling abroad or just toying with technology. Thanks for letting me do this, I owe all of you big time!

Next, thank YOU too! For reading my blog, following me on Twitter and providing me insights and inspiration to do what I love to do. Feel free to ask me questions and to challenge me.

Summary and look ahead

All traveling and presentations weighed a bit on my blogging habits. Down from 79 posts to 48. It’s been a busy year, both for professional and community work. I hope to be able to invest even more in the latter, but we’ll see.

Oh right, I did some articles for PHP architect, .NET magazine, Technet, the WIndows Azure website, … I also became a cloud leader apparently, even though I’m just a technology enthousiast with an opinion. For 2011, I will probably do a little less articles but that’s in favour of writing a book with some other guys. It’ll be great, I promise. But more on that later.

Enjoy 2011, I definitely will! Oh and Sandeep, if I’m in Redmond again I definitely want you as my taxi driver.

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