2011: The Year in Review


2011 was an extremely busy and exciting year.  I had the chance to go to more conferences than I ever have before: MIX11, An Event Apart and BUILD were highlights for me.

Blog: I wrote several blog posts I was rather proud of – much as a doting father would be.  The most popular was Windows Phone 7 at a Crossroads which received more comments than I typically get as well as extremely flattering outside attention from codeproject.com and the Windows Phone Dev Podcast.  My two personal favorites, however, were one on Delight and another called The Kinect’s Past which received a comment from Bill Buxton.

Speaking Engagements: I also had a busy year speaking at the Greater Gwinnett Microsoft User Group, the Atlanta .NET User Group, CodeStock 2011, MADExpo 2011, Web Visions and SIEGE 2011 as well as a private presentation on UX for Microsoft and Bank of America.  I also did a podcast interview for IEEE Spectrum about Windows 8.

Keynote: I was invited to give one of the two keynotes at the Mid Atlantic Developer Expo conference.  It was a distinct honor and an extremely fun event.

User Group: I spent another year running the Silverlight Atlanta User Group.  Corey Schuman and I have been organizing and maintaining the Silverlight User Group for two years, now, and only recently changed the name to the Atlanta XAML group after what was frankly a very tough year for Silverlight.

Conference: It was the second year I led the organizing of the ReMIX conference in Atlanta.  Our attendance was up to 450 this year.  More importantly, we were able to get just about every speaker we wanted including Rick Barraza, August de los Reyes, Josh Blake, Arturo Toledo and Albert Shum.  We also had a single track devoted just to the Kinect.  I want to thank the other organizers of ReMIX for indulging me in this: Cliff Jacobson, Sean Gerety, Wells Caughey, Dennis Estanislao and Farhan Rabbi.

Book: I spent the last quarter of this year working on a Kinect SDK book for APress with my colleague Jarrett Webb.  This was a good outcome since I spent the first part of the year writing several chapters of a Windows Phone book that didn’t get to see the light of day.  Expect to see the Kinect book towards the beginning of February.

My most impressive achievement, however, was catching up on five seasons of The Wire.  There are lots of blog posts going up around the web right now purporting to give advice about what you should and should not do in 2012.  My advice is short and sweet: you need to watch The Wire.  If you don’t, you are a horrible person, hate America, are aiding and abetting terrorists and are preventing George R. R. Martin from completing his next novel.