This year has been a pretty amazing year. A few weeks ago, I was writing about my first year at IdentityMine. A little more than one year ago I was closing the Siemens book (after around 13 years of working into Building Automation, but always from a software engineer perspective) and started the IdentityMine chapter of my life :). As I mention in the post in question, this first year was a very interesting and also challenging year. Interesting because I got to work with some of the best creative people and developers in the world. It’s always such a pleasure when I introduce myself to someone by saying I work at IdentityMine and to see a look of recognition on their face. This firm rocks, and I love being part of it. Challenging, because being the only European employee can be tough at times, even though the team has been amazing in making me a part of the family. To mitigate the distance, technical mediums like Twitter and Facebook, MSN and an IP phone have been super helpful. Of course nothing replaces the face-to-face contact, and my regular trips to Seattle (which will continue in 2010, I will be in Seattle again in February) make wonders to reconnect and continue the relationship. Surprisingly actually, the distance has not been as tough as I thought it might be. Of course it might not be OK for everyone to work this way, but it has been OK for me.
In the past year, I worked on multiple projects, in multiple roles
- During presales, talking the the clients, identifying their needs, coming up with preliminary technical evaluations. Super interesting especially when you deal with the latest technology to do stuff that has never been done before.
- Helping out for development tasks, working with a stellar team of developers and learning tons of new stuff in the process.
- (my main role) Working as an integrator on various Silverlight and WPF projects. The integrator is the “missing link” between designers and developers. I take the inputs from designers and information architects (wireframes, comps) and extract the design assets to integrate them in the application. This is a great role, because you are the one who puts the final touch in the user experience, and it requires a very good knowledge of WPF, Silverlight and XAML, so it is yet another area where I have been learning tons of new things.
- Consulting work, such as training clients’ teams, guiding them during the projects to make the best out of the technology, especially when designers are involved. This is a relatively new process, to have designers so involved into the application’s development, and I am lucky to have started working with designers very early on production projects. It is great to look back at this experience, analyze it, and then pass it back to clients and the community.
- Talking at conferences, writing on my blog, interacting with the community and carrying proudly the name IdentityMine in front of people. I love to show what we do, and teach what I learned. I find that teaching and talking about technology is the best way to learn even more, and I love this. The highlight was of course talking at MIX09 (I had a session and took part to a half day workshop too), but all the other talks in various places in the US and in Europe were a fantastic time too.
Some of these tasks involved a lot of travelling, and it was a great year for my passport. Of all the trips, the ones I loved most were the long stay in Seattle in July, which was a great occasion to reconnect with many friends, make new ones, and then have my family join me for a vacation between Seattle, Victoria and Vancouver and then my visit to Macau and Hang Zhou in the summer, my first stay in both places, and I loved it. Of course the yearly pilgrimage to Las Vegas earlier in the year and the shorter trips to Belgium, Germany, Italy were all great times.
I also had a few private projects going on in 2009, and had very exciting results. I published my MVVM Light Toolkit, a set of libraries and tools to make MVVM application development easier. It has encountered a great success so far, with hundreds of download (on Codeplex and on my website) and many, many interesting requests, discussions, etc. I am really excited about what is happening there, and will continue to work on it in 2010.
Of course my blog has been keeping me busy too, and I loved to wrote a few in-depth articles about Silverlight, WPF, MVVM and other topics. I saw a constant progression of subscribers this year, which is of course a great feeling, but also made me feel very humble and eager to produce quality articles.
The last big project is also one that is taking a lot of time, which is why the two other projects I mentioned here are maybe going to slow down a little in the beginning of 2010: I started working on Silverlight 4 Unleashed, the sequel to my first book Silverlight 2 Unleashed. This is a huge job, and I hesitated a lot before accepting to write it. I am now in the process of writing, and while it is really something I like to do, it is unavoidable that some things are going to suffer a little from this extra activity. So to the users of MVVM Light, and to readers of my blog, I ask you to be patient and don’t worry, normal activity will resume eventually ;)
2010 is going to be a great year too. My first big trip of the year is going to be to Seattle, again an occasion to meet friends from IdentityMine and from the community. Can’t wait for this trip. The next one should be to MIX10 in Vegas, and those who know me know how much I love this conference, and this year should be no exception. I am also scheduled to talk in a couple of conferences in Europe, more about this later on my blog.
It is a fantastic privilege to be involved in such a wonderful community. To all of you who make this possible, thank you thousand times. You did truly change my life. I cannot wait to see what the future has in store for us, and I am sure 2010 will be an amazing time yet again.
Happy New Year and as usual, Happy Coding!