Coding Standards: But that will limit my creativity!

At work I have been part of a standards committee with the goal of creating and enforcing a set of standards for .NET development in our organization. Any time I have been involved with the discussion or creation of any kind of developer standards I always hear the same thing, “But that will limit my creativity”.

The standards the committee has put together are a short list of things you should always do, and 3 times as many best practices we wish everyone would do. Many of them are industry standards that are set by default in Visual Studio anyway.

So why do so many developers believe that following a standard for solution, file, and code format will limit their creativity?

writing-musicIn the music industry, if you want to be a song writer you first must learn the language of music. This includes notes; quarter, half and full, as well as, the music staff and how to put the notes on the staff so that people can play the song. I would argue that this adherence to a standard has hardly limited the musician’s creativity. We hear new and different songs on the radio all every day.

I don’t believe that creativity in software development is found in the location of a curly bracket or the structure of an if statement. The creativity in software development comes from how you apply your knowledge of the language and patterns to solve a problem that brings value to your organization.

Even design patterns, which very few have issue with, are a standard approach to solving a problem.  I have never heard someone say implementing a Repository pattern limits their creativity. It more often removes the tedious, mundane task so you can focus on the more interesting parts of the solution, which is where the real creativity exists.

So if you are asked to create, review, or adhere to a standard look at it as a chance to see if you can eliminate time that you would have spent worrying about non-creative menial task of how the code should be written and focus on what code needs to be written to solve the problem at hand.

TechNet: Transforming IT: Virtualization to the Cloud Tulsa, OK - April 26, 2011

Are you ready for the challenge to lead and transform your IT organization?

Cloud computing is emerging as a promising IT service delivery vehicle. But is the question "To cloud or not to cloud"? For you and your organizations, it is crucial to recognize the opportunities and play a key role in the transformation from existing infrastructure-focused IT into a service-oriented, user-centric, and IT-as-a-Service environment.

Join your Microsoft® IT Pro Evangelists for this FREE, half-day event that will help you decide.

Location: Tulsa, OK

Register today at

Questions about these events? Contact us at
Stay Connected -

EventServer 1.0 Released

logoI am proud to announce that EventServer 1.0 has made it to release status.  The goal of EventServer is to create an application to be used to run multi-session, multi-track, multi-day conference. Much like CodeMash, DevLink, TechFest, CodeCamps, etc.

Event Server is a MicroCMS, meaning that it is an application that is designed to solve a very specific problem that contains some CMS functionality. Event Server is not a CMS which complicated module and theme architectures. Event Server does however have parts of the site that can be updated without requiring the code to be modified. Our focus on in-place administration has taken advantage of CMS like functionality to allow you to spend your time organizing the event, not creating a site for it. The Event Server project has a very narrow focus on the problem we are trying to solve without increasing the skills required to maintain or customize.

Featured included in this release:

  • Pages for Home, Speakers, Sessions, Sponsors, About
  • MicroCMS functionality allowing editing of static HTML content on any page using Live Writer or any MetaWebAPI compliant client.
  • Built in Blog for announcements.
  • Ability to post new announcements on the blog via Live Writer or any MetaWebLogAPI compliant client.
  • Ability to future post announcements
  • Allow potential speakers to Register and Submit session abstracts and bio information online
  • Ability to review and approve or reject sessions (with comments that are sent to the speaker)
  • Ability to assign sessions to a Track and TimeSlot
  • Ability to manager sponsors, add/remove, edit, and assign to sponsorship level
  • Ability to activate/inactive sponsors
  • 100% CSS themes, no complicated theme engines.

Features for vNext:

  • Ability to assign session to a day for multi-day event
  • Ability for attendee to register for the events
  • Ability for attendees to sort session by day

With this release all development has moved to the new project located on GitHub and has become part of the RoundTable family of applications. Even though development has been moved to GitHub public releases will still be made available on the EventServer CodePlex site.


Nwa .NET: Windows Phone 7 Launch Event March 8th, 2011


You have been hearing a lot about the new Window Phone 7 lately.  Did you miss the bubble with iPhone development because you didn’t want to learn a whole new language and framework?  Then you're invited to a hands-on event for Windows Phone 7. 

Get some help getting your Windows Phone 7 app into the marketplace. You’ll receive everything you need to develop an app—including some good community fun, sample code and templates. You can work individually or collaborate with others as a team.

Chris Koenig, Senior Developer Evangelist with Microsoft will be joining me for this fun, fact filled, dare I say Lab filled event.

Attendees will also receive a special entry card for a chance to win a Windows Phone 7, after your app has been submitted to the marketplace.

Be there!

Get started

  • Download the Toolkit
  • Register at the Windows Phone 7 Marketplace
  • Download the Windows Phone Mobile Advertising SDK to monetize their app


Date: March, 8th, 2011
Time: 6:00 P.M. – 9:00 P.M.

Technology 101
105 SE 22nd St, Suite #7
Bentonville, AR 72712

Please RSVP:

Nwa TechFest Sessions

Today I submitted my sessions for the Nwa TechFest, hopefully I will get some of them accepted. If you want to speak please go submit your sessions!

Here is the session info, I would love some feedback on the topics.

Getting Started to ASP.NET MVC3

This session will teach you the basics of building an ASP.NET MVC web application using Microsoft Visual Studio and ASP.NET MVC3.

Here is what you will learn:

  • How to create a new ASP.NET MVC project
  • How to create ASP.NET MVC controllers and views
  • How to create a new database using the Entity Framework code-first paradigm
  • How to retrieve and display data
  • How to edit data and enable data validation

Getting git: Distributed Version Control

You may have heard a lot of buzz about the distributed version control system called git. It has been very popular with open source projects and was developed by Linus Torvalds to use by the Linux Kernel team.

Here is what you will learn:

  • Why git?
  • First Steps
  • Basic Workflow
  • How to clone repositories
  • How to work with remote repositories

The Creamy Goodness of Nuget!

NuGet is a free, open source developer focused package management system for the .NET platform intent on simplifying the process of incorporating third party libraries into a .NET application during development.

There are a large number of useful 3rd party open source libraries out there for the .NET platform, but for those not familiar with the OSS ecosystem, it can be a pain to pull these libraries into a project.

Here is what you will learn:

  • What is nuget?
  • How to add packages to your project
  • How to update packages in your project
  • How to host your own package repository
  • How to create and publish your own packages


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