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Archive September 2009:

Great blogs for web people

I run into a lot of great blogs and I thought I'd share some of them with you. Here's my pick of the bunch, blogs related to web design, web development, programming and social media.

Web design and inspiration

Web design

  • Smashing Magazine
    - Because Smashing is a great source for all things web design and inspiration.
  • Think Vitamin
    - Great web stuff from the Carsonified team.
  • Inspect Element
    - Because Tom Kenny is awesome at what he does and shares great things.
  • Veerle's blog
    - Veerle Pieters is certainly one of the greatest female web designers. A must read.

Web development

Web development

  • 456 Berea Street
    - Because Roger Johansson is one of the pioneers of web accessibility in modern time.
  • Robert's talk
    - Because Robert Nyman continues to engage, inspire and create what web developers want.
  • Maxdesign.com.au
    - Great links for light reading from the Sydney based web design bureau Max Design.
  • CSS tricks
    - Awesome CSS resource.
  • W3Avenue
    - Because here you'll find a helpful set of stuff that matters to all modern web developers.
  • net tuts+
    - Great tutorials on all things web development.
  • A List Apart
    - Because this is for people who make websites. A List Apart's been around forever and continues to break barriers.

Programming and technology

Programming

  • Scott Guthrie
    - Because Scott Gu is the Microsoft guy who gives .NET developers all they want.
  • Scott Hanselman
    - Every aspect of Hanselman's blog is of interest to programmers and tech people. Don't miss Hanselminutes, the podcast!
  • Joel on software
    - Because Joel's got a unique talent for programming and business, and the ability to share his thoughts. An absolute must.
  • Coding Horror
    - Because Jeff Atwood is from another planet. He continues to inspire and give you really interesting thoughts on programming.

Social media & marketing

Social media

  • Mashable
    - Mashable's the portal to all social media news worth reading. Pete Cashmore at his finest.
  • Seth Godin
    - Great thoughts on marketing and business from the oracle Seth Godin. Don't miss this.
  • Jesper Åström
    - Brilliant posts on social media and SEO - you'll want to read Jesper's blog.

How to enable authentication modes for IIS

Sometimes you want different authentication modes with your ASP.NET website. Normally, you can enable and disable a number of authentication modes in IIS under the Authentication section for your website, but there may be a scenario where a couple of these authentication modes are missing.

To resolve this problem, you have to enable these under Windows Features:

  1. Go to Control Panel->Programs and Features, choose Turn Windows Features on or off.
  2. Navigate to Internet Information Services->World Wide Web Services->Security and tick the desired authentication modes:
    Enable IIS authentication modes

How to get SQL Server 2008 running

If you get the login failed error message for your SQL Server database, then it's a good idea to make sure that everything runs as it should. Here's a post on how you get SQL Server 2008 up and running.

Make sure:

  1. The SQL Server Browser service is running.
    You can find it under Services (Control Panel->Administrative Tools->Services)
  2. TCP/IP is activated.
    You can activate TCP/IP through SQL Server Configuration Manager, under SQL Server Network Configuration->Protocols for (SQLEXPRESS). Right click TCP/IP in the list to activate.
  3. SQL Server and Windows Authentication mode is activated.
    In SQL Server Management Studio, right click your instance->Properties->Security and tick SQL Server and Windows authentication mode.
  4. Remote Connections are allowed for your SQL Server instance.
    In SQL Server Management Studio, right click your instance->Properties->Connections and tick Allow remote connections to this server.

Last, but not least - make sure your SQL Server database credentials are correct! Mind the server, database name, user and password.

How to install .NET developer tools on Windows 7

I ran into problems with IIS and ASP.NET after I installed Windows 7, so I thought I'd share my then successful installation process with you.

Clean install of Win 7

First of all, a clean installation of Windows 7 is preferred. I recommend you this because it's otherwise possible you encounter a strange problem which has to do with an upgrade.

A clean installation of Windows 7 will always minimize your problems, plus it's the best start you can get.

First instructions

To minimize upcoming problems, the best thing to do is to install the .NET developer tools before you install anything else.

Make sure you install these tools before anything else and your installation will probably as smooth as anything.

My successful installation process went like this:

  1. Enable IIS and ASP.NET
  2. Install SQL Server 2008 + Management Studio (plus ASP.NET MVC)
  3. Install Visual Studio 2008 + Service Pack 1

Enable IIS and ASP.NET

After the installation of Windows 7 is done, it's first time for IIS and ASP.NET.

You'll have to enable these features through Windows Features which is located under Programs and Features in the Control Panel.

In the Windows Features window, make sure the following options are ticked:

  • Internet Information Services (you can also activate IIS 6 under Web Management Tools->IIS 6 Management Compatibility)
  • ASP.NET (under World Wide Web Services->Application Development Features)

Turning on IIS and ASP.NET in Windows Features

Use Web Platform Installer to install SQL Server and ASP.NET MVC

Microsoft Web Platform Installer is an awesome tool which will help you install programs, modules and much more related to .NET development. Use Web Platform Installer to install the following:

  • SQL Server 2008 + SP1
  • SQL Server Management Studio Express
  • ASP.NET MVC

Once you've downloaded and installed Web Platform Installer, activate the features under the Web Platform tab:

Microsoft Web Platform Installer, the Web Platform tab

The installer will automatically download and install all your selected features. Gone are the days with meaningless steps in the SQL Server installation process!

Mind, you can also choose to install a whole lot of other features, but I recommend you to save them for later.

Install Visual Studio 2008 + SP1

Final step is to install Visual Studio 2008 and Service Pack 1.

Once this is done, you should be set and everything should be fine.

If problems occur

If you encounter any problems, it's always a good shot to use your search engine to find anything related to the problem.

I tried a lot of different solutions though and no solution helped me - a clean installation and the above installation flow solved my problems.

Interview with Cecilia von Wachenfeldt

Cecilia is quite a new face in the developer community, but none the less interesting! She started her system developer career with Nansen in Stockholm earlier in 2009 and I had the opportunity to meet up with her for a chat on business during recession, general development and personal matters. Enjoy!

Cecilia von Wachenfeldt

How did you feel about beginning your developer career in the middle of a financial crisis?

I cannot say I felt the financial crisis that much because I began working with a company that needed me. I also found it useful to start studying in the beginning of the crisis and start working when the worst was over. I've had the luck to find a good company where I feel needed so it've felt good so far despite the crisis!

How come you went to Nansen then?

My brother had contacts in the company board and put in a good word for me. There were quite a few who were looking for professional practice at Nansen but I was picked because they knew me. Obviously they also thought I was good because I was offered a full time job after the practice period!

Facts

  • Cecilia von Wachenfeldt
  • System developer (.NET) at Nansen (Stockholm, Sweden)
  • Main focus on EPiServer development
  • MCTS certified
  • Follow on Twitter

Have you done anything special at work to handle the economy?

Not really, but I work hard and try to be as productive as possible. I've been very busy at Nansen since I came here.

Why did you choose to study .NET at Nackademin?

Again, it was my brother who thought I should try it. I've spent a lot of time with developers and I've always thought the IT industry's been interesting. Also, The World Wide Web is very changeable and you constantly develop when working with the medium. I've always liked to work with a computer too.

To study .NET was a bit like hit or miss because I hadn't programmed before, but I trusted my brother and it gave results.

It helped a lot too with Nackademin's reputation!

Was anything particularly hard when studying .NET?

.NET was quite easy to study, but I had a really hard time with JavaScript!

You've got a MCTS certification, do you have anything to say about it?

Nansen invests a lot in the employees and a part of this is the MCTS certification (Microsoft Certified Technology Specialist), which is the first step to the MCPD certification (Microsoft Certified Professional Developer). A certification is a proof of your skill and you gain from it both personally and professionally.

Any recommendations for those aiming to take the MCTS certification?

It's good to read the book many times. There are also practice tests and tasks you can do - they're very good! If you have a hard time with a block, just study it over and over again.

You can also find exactly what to study before the exam on MSDN.

I think you just have to study hard and then take the exam!

What are you most satisfied with when it comes to you and web projects?

Hard question. I'm very accurate and I care very much about the end result! I also ask more experienced developers if my code is good and if a specific problem can be solved in a better way. It's important to discuss ideas and solutions!

I can't say I'm the best programmer but at least I'm accurate!

Have you been part of a project where your work was particularly praised?

It's a project that isn't released yet, but I heard the EPiServer website I developed was very easy to maintain and understand! I've not been a part of particularly large projects yet, I've developed in smaller projects so far, but in this project the client was very satisfied with my work!

What's the greatest thing about work then?

Your coworkers and the tasks you stand before. It's fun to solve problems and to learn new things - I learn new things every day which is very fun! I like almost everything - it's a fun industry with many great people. There's nothing bad I think!

How do you feel about being a woman in such a man-dominated profession?

No problems at all - it's very easy - this profession feels good. I've always had an easy time collaborating with men.

Do you have any plans on an upcoming blog?

Actually, yes! I built a simple blog platform during the ASP.NET course in school and right now I'm pimping it - but I don't know what I will write about yet!

What are your thoughts on Twitter then? Do you enjoy it?

I think it's very interesting to follow important people on Twitter, there are more experienced developers who are posting great links - it's a good way to keep you updated!

I'm quite bad at updating my Twitter account but it's fun to follow others and read interesting things!

Worst piece of code you've ever found?

I've maintained a project where you can almost pick anything from. I think it's an old ASP developer who've developed the website because there's so much inline styles, if statements in front-end code and so on. Here's an example:

Ugly code example

What does your home computer setup look like?

I've got a tiny regular laptop. I used it during my training period at Nansen and now I use it at home.

You moved to Stockholm three years ago, why was that?

I wanted to move to Stockholm right after high school! I'm from a small village in Hälsingland that's called Bergsjö and there are not very many job opportunities there and not much to do, so I wanted to see something else.

Then I got myself an apartment and a job in Stockholm and that made it easier to move!

What do you enjoy most about living in Stockholm?

There's always something to do here, an accessibility you don't get in a small village. There are many bars and restaurants to go to and the commuting service is good too. And if I get homesick it's just 2.5 hours by train to home!

I tried moving to London when I was younger but that was one step too large for me. Stockholm was much better!

What did you do before you began working as a system developer?

I studied to an optician technician in Norrtälje outside Stockholm. You get to learn a lot on eye diseases and to handle different types of lenses and so on. You learn to do everything the optician does except the vision screening.

I studied for a year and then I got a job in Stockholm city, where I worked as an optician assistant. After a year I felt that job wasn't very developing though – it was fun with such close customer contact but there were no career opportunities.

When you've got a free evening, what do you do?

I meet up with friends and have a cup of coffee. I also like shopping and during the summer the best thing to do is to sit at a bar outside and just take a beer.

Any favourite bar?

Reisen at Skeppsbron (in Stockholm) is very good – they've got delicious drinks! But they do also have an unpleasant bartender.. Other than that, I like Monks - but they've still got the best drinks at Reisen!

The latest concert you went too?

The latest one was Metallica, I've seen them three times this year! I saw them twice in Sweden and once in Paris, since I've got a friend who's living there and had a spare ticket!

Computer games you enjoy the most?

I like the Resident Evil and Silent Hill games, because they're so scary!

But I also like LocoRocco and Patapon, they are very funny and very cute and something completely else than Resident Evil.

I don't game that much, but I like horror games! 

What do you have to say about iPhone 3GS and HTC Hero?

What I like about HTC Hero and Android is that everything is so free and open minded, with iPhone everything's dictated. Also, the iPhone can't multitask very well, even though it has a better CPU and smoother navigation. I don't know if there's anything more that's good with iPhone. It gets very smeary too! I like HTC Hero much better!

If you go on vacation for two weeks and have all expenses paid, where would you go?

Either the Maldive Islands or Mauritius. I like the tropic climate and want a beach with a turquoise like sea – I love to lay in the sun and bath!

It's also nice with large towns, like Barcelona – I want to go back there! But if I get all expenses paid I want to go to Mauritius, because it's quite expensive there. I also would like to go to Japan, because there everything is way too expensive!

We change it to Japan – that's the place I want to go to!

6 quick

  1. Best weekday?

    Friday!

  2. Best way to travel?

    Aeroplane, it's fast, even though it's not environment friendly!

  3. Favourite colour?

    Blue.

  4. Nintendo vs Sony (for gaming)?

    Oh, I want to say Nintendo 8-bit for the nostalgia, but PlayStation 3 kicks ass!

  5. Drinking most?

    Water!

  6. Favourite drink?

    Mojito.

Three blogs you can recommend?

Final words?

Interesting and fun interview!

Handling subscription and languages in EPiServer

I recently stumbled upon a problem in EPiServer CMS 5, where no subscription e-mails were sent out - even though users had subscribed to changes for specific pages. Together with the excellent Ted Nyberg, the problem was localized and solved. Here's a post on the case plus some reference material regarding the subscription handling in EPiServer CMS 5.

Subscription basics

First of all, the Subscription class in EPiServer is located in the EPiServer.Personalization namespace. You can find details on the subscription class in the EPiServer SDK: Subscription class

For a visitor to be able to subscribe to a page, the property EPSUBSCRIBE must be present on the page type used for the specific page.

Here's a basic example on how to subscribe a user to a page:

Subscription.SubscribeTo(new PageReference(7));

The SubscribeTo method automatically pics up the current user's profile and subscribes the user to the specific page.

Subscribing to a specific language version

What went wrong with the website was that there was no specification of what language version of a page a user had subscribed to.

How it came down to this one can only speculate about, but the website was migrated from EPiServer 4.11 to the latest EPiServer CMS 5 release, a huge step which might have contributed to the confusion.

To be able to narrow the problem down though, we had to take a look at two tables in the EPiServer database: aspnet_Profile and tblLanguageBranch.

  • aspnet_Profile contains the profiles on the website
  • tblLanguageBranch contains details on the languages available on the website

In this case, the website was a one language website.

The aspnet_Profile table

What we had to do was to first identify any user with subscription problems in the aspnet_Profile table. The easiest way to identify a specific user and find the user in the aspnet_Profile table, is to run a query on the table aspnet_Users, like this:

SELECT UserId FROM aspnet_Users WHERE UserName ='martin.soderlund';

Then you'll get the UserId, which you can use on the aspnet_Profile table, where you'll want the PropertyValuesString column’s value:

SELECT PropertyValuesString FROM aspnet_Profile WHERE UserId='[USERID]';

The PropertyValuesString column contains XML data, where the SubscriptionInfo element is of special importance. It looks like this (when subscription works as expected):

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="utf-16"?>
<SubscriptionInfo xmlns:xsi="http://www.w3.org/2001/XMLSchema-instance" xmlns:xsd="http://www.w3.org/2001/XMLSchema">
<SubscribedPages>
<SubscriptionDescriptor>
<PageID>7</PageID>
<Languages>
<string>en</string>
</Languages>
</SubscriptionDescriptor>
</SubscribedPages>
<LastMessage>2009-09-08T14:19:23.0145533+02:00</LastMessage>
<Interval>0</Interval>
</SubscriptionInfo>martin.soderlund@[email-address].se

Pretty much is actually obvious – information on subscribed pages for a user is stored, together with page language settings, e-mail intervals and an e-mail address to the user at the end.

What I and Ted discovered though was that the Languages element was empty - meaning no subscription e-mails were sent out for the specified language – in this case the default and only existing language.

In comes the tblLanguageBranch table, plus a language parameter for the SubscribeTo method.

The tblLanguageBranch table

To be absolutely sure about which language prefix was used on the website, we just opened the tblLanguageBranch table and realized the language id was a mis-match in regard to what was used for pages users were subscribed to.

Here's how the tblLanguageBranch table might look:

Example on tblLanguageBranch languages

What we did, was to also add an existing language string parameter to the subscription code, in this case the fkBranchLanguageId value, "en":

Subscription.SubscribeTo(new PageReference(7), "en");

When this was done, we knew subscriptions would work. However – there was one small thing left – an EPiServer oddity.

Know how subscription works for a specific page

When you want a specific page's update to be sent out via subscription e-mail, you have to meet some requirements first:

  • You'll need to tick the Mark page as changed checkbox
  • The subscription scheduled job must be able to run
  • You'll need to make sure the user is subscribed to the parent page

Particularly the last requirement is worth taking a note on, since a subscription to a page doesn't do what's first expected.

If you update a page ticking the Mark page as changed option, a subscription mail won't be sent out for the page's update - but for its child pages, if the Mark page as changed option is ticked.

Also, it's good to know there's a possibility to choose how often subscription e-mails should be sent, through the Interval property. Make sure you know the interval when testing!

Summary on subscriptions

To be able to send subscription e-mails, make sure the following is in place:

  • You add a language parameter in the SubscribeTo method
  • The same language actually exists in the tblLanguageBranch table
  • You meet the requirements for page subscriptions

Further reading

Twitter basics - a beginner's guide

I've been asked questions about Twitter a number of times the last couple of weeks. What is Twitter? Why use it? What's it good for? In this blog post, I'll try to cover the basics of Twitter to get you started.

What is Twitter?

TwitterTwitter is a micro blogging service where you post what you find interesting, plus communicate and interact with other Twitter users. It’s called micro blogging because you’re allowed to only use 140 characters in each Twitter update.

Twitter is a real time media where everything happens right now, which is one of the reasons the service has become so popular.

Why join Twitter?

Twitter has gained a whole lot of attention over the last couple of years, but it’s not until now that it has become as huge as it is. Twitter is very popular, particularly in countries such as USA, where Twitter has become one of the mainstream services everybody uses – even celebrities.

And that’s one of the things that’s so special with Twitter – celebrities use Twitter and you can actually see what they do. And you also have the possibility to communicate with them.

Of course Twitter’s not only about the celebrities there, even though they have a big part in the growth Twitter has had – you can decide to follow anyone you find interesting.

What’s so good with Twitter is that one has to get to the point, since the 140 character limit forces you to carefully plan what you want to communicate.

Also, Twitter is probably the fastest news channel available on earth. Much news breaks first here and is spread very quickly. Twitter is a great way to keep track on what’s happening around you.

How to use Twitter

First of all, you need to register to become a Twitter member.

You should probably use your own name or a name that is connected to you as your Twitter username, but it’s entirely up to you. Many professional Twitter users use their own names as username. Examples: lancearmstrong, britneyspears

When you’ve registered, it’s time to post Twitter updates, so called “tweets”, on topics you find interesting. But Twitter’s all about conversation and following interesting people, so you need to build your own Twitter network.

Follow people

Follow peopleYou can follow other Twitter users and see their Twitter updates. Their tweets will appear in your Twitter stream and you can choose to interact with them.

You also don’t have to follow people to be able to interact with them. This makes conversations even simpler on Twitter.

Gain followers

Gain followersYou might want other Twitter users to listen to you, so you should gather an audience which follows you and are able to see your Twitter updates. It’s good with some sort of continuity in your Twitter updates, to be able to get new followers and keep existing ones.

Interact!

Interact!Interaction is the key to successful tweeting. You can post on topics you like, but social media and Twitter aren’t about one way communication. Interact with people on Twitter, ask questions, answer questions, and you'll see how your Twitter network slowly starts to take shape.

The @ keyword

The thing with Twitter is the way you can interact with other Twitter users. You can reply to any Twitter user by using the @ keyword before the username. Like this, if you want to tell me something:

@dileno I like your article on Twitter basics!

When using the @ keyword together with a username, the user has the possibility to be notified of the conversation you’re initiating. This @ keyword is of highest importance if you want to interact with users and build a network.

Promote tweets you like

If you like a tweet and want to spread it, you can promote them. You do it by re-tweeting. You promote a tweet by adding the following to the actual tweet you want to spread:

RT @username: Twitter message to promote.

RT stands for Re-Tweet and is a Twitter standard when it comes to promoting tweets. If you promote a tweet, you also want to give the original user credit for it - that's why you include the username.

Hash tags

Twitter didn’t have discussion groups by default, so these were invented by the users themselves. You can put your tweets into a category by adding a hash tag to your tweet. Like this, for a tweet on World Cup 2010:

Looking forward to World Cup in South Africa next summer! #worldcup2010

By adding a hash and the tag “worldcup2010”, you create a hash tag which is searchable. When many Twitter users use a hash tag like this, it becomes more useful, making it easier to find tweets and users posting on a particular topic.

Search and trending topics

SearchTwitter search makes Twitter even more useful. You can search hash tags and other terms you find interesting. You’ll see real time updates on your search term, which is why search is one of the most used parts of Twitter - it's happening in real time.

Also, Twitter will always give you a list on what’s hottest on Twitter, particular topics appearing in tweets. This is called trending topics and is a great way to find out what’s happening around the world.

Twitter applications for more effective Twitter usage

Twitter has provided the community with a great API, making it easy for third parties to consume Twitter data. This means there are a number of applications and websites which will improve your Twitter experience.

TweetDeck

TweetDeck logoOne of the greatest applications for Twitter usage is TweetDeck – a great client which makes it easier to keep track on your Twitter stream, to tweet and much more. I highly recommend you to download it and give it a try – it will surely improve the way you use Twitter.

List of some Twitter users to follow

As I’ve told you, Twitter is hugely popular in particularly USA. Here’s a number of useful links where you can find celebrities and other interesting people to follow on Twitter:

Also, you want to browse the We Follow Twitter directory, where you can find Twitter users to follow in a number of categories:

WeFollow

If you come across a Twitter account that seem to belong to a celebrity – watch for the Verified account icon that will tell you it’s the real person who’s behind the Twitter account. There are many fake accounts out there, particularly for celebrities, so watch out who you're following!

Most important thing – just get started!

Many wonder why and how, but the most important is just to get started. Start using Twitter right away and you’ll find out what it’s all about. You won't be disappointed!

Interview with Daniel Berg

Daniel Berg is one of the most devoted and skilled .NET developers you will meet. He’s very business oriented, a great consultant and a good guy. I’ve had the pleasure to work with Daniel for a year and to know him better. I also had the chance to interview him before his final days at work in Stockholm. I recommend reading Daniel's blog and following Daniel on Twitter.

Daniel Berg, .NET consultant

So, Daniel, you’re going to Thailand on vacation very soon, how does that feel?

It feels well deserved; it’s been a long year. I’ve moved to Stockholm and have worked with a new company – it’s been quite intense one could say. It feels good going to Thailand with my girlfriend for a couple of weeks. It’ll be great just relaxing on the beach, drinking coconut drinks..

Have you been in Thailand before?

Yes, I and a couple of friends went backpacking in Cambodia and Thailand a couple of years ago. I also went to Thailand during my early years, since my father was one of them who introduced Thailand to Swedes.

Can you tell us what will happen when you come home?

When I’m coming home, I’m moving to my apartment in Helsingborg. I will also plan a bachelor party and I will begin working with consultant firm Sogeti in Helsingborg (Sweden) (link in swedish).

So, you’re going from one consultant firm to another?

Yes, an organization which is a bit different though.

You’ve been with Hallvarsson & Halvarsson for a year, how do you feel your time have been there?

It’s been fantastic and fun. Hallvarsson & Halvarsson (H&H) is an interesting bureau because there are so many different competences around. The consultants within every service area are very capable in what they do. Even though there are so many competences, the project groups are relatively small, and because of this the project members must be the ones best suited for the task. This means everybody is very skilled in their profession.

Do you have a single project you’re very satisfied with from this year at H&H?

Yes, a platform for social media integration in a news room, where I’ve been an integral part of the team. This social media platform is very well built and has been fun to develop. It’s even more fun to see it being used and to see the satisfied clients. There has really been a demand on the market for this type of product.

When working as a consultant, what would you say are the most positive things?

Oh, there are many. That you’re able to take on many different roles. That your work isn’t the same from day to day. To travel and meet new people. That you always evolve and learn new things.

I also think most consultants have a curiosity many other employees don’t possess. As a consultant, you’ve got to have an interest in what you do and always develop in your profession. By doing so, you’ll be more attractive for potential customers.

If you stop being curious and if you don’t develop in your profession, your consultant day life will probably be boring and then you should possibly take on a 9 to 5 job.

What’s on the negative side with consultant life then?

Sometimes there are very long working days and that affects your private life. It gets tough when the economy is bad, particularly for consultant businesses. At the same time, there is a challenge in this, to hold your position and to continue being attractive to clients.

What do you think most consultant firms can improve?

The most important thing a consultant firm has is its consultants.

A consultant firm must be able to collect the best coworkers, to develop existing coworkers and keep them on track with what’s hot on the market.

A consultant firm must brand itself and be visible. A firm must dare to be a bit cocky and dare to tell people what the firm is good at.

Engaging coworkers is a great idea, and make them show what they can. Encourage use of social media such as blogging to make the coworkers show what knowledge lies inside the firm. This way, the coworkers become ambassadors for the consultant firm.

The single most important thing a consultant can do to help improve the economy?

In dark times you have to be as creative as you can and see the possibilities instead of focusing at the negatives. If you see the opportunities, ideas will pop up and this way you can inspire others. You’ll get a positive momentum.

It’s also important to know there are always business opportunities, even in a recession. By being creative and innovative one can help the economy grow again.

Can you share a cool story on something that has happened at work during last year?

It’s hard to point out a single event, but the other day when I went down to the bicycle room at the office, my colleague Gustaf had wrapped my bike in wrapping paper and put a small cat figure on top of it. He left a goodbye message too. We’ve been working on our bikes during the spring and this was like the last thing he did before I left.

Anything particular in the development community you’re looking forward to?

PageTypeBuilder and in the long run Silverlight, together with EPiServer and Google. I want to create an open source product and blog about it.

So what’s the plan with your blog then? What will we see there in the future?

I will focus more at EPiServer but also BizTalk and integration. I worked as an architect and technical project manager with Sogeti before Hallvarsson & Halvarsson and I will continue with this focus when I begin at Sogeti again.

I will also take some certifications, first MCPD (Microsoft Certified Professional Developer) and then MCSA (Microsoft Certified Solution Architect).

You’ve mentioned something about Sogeti and a .NET award before?

When I was with Sogeti, we won a .NET award for a solution where SharePoint, Performance Point Server, BizTalk and InfoPath collaborated.

The solution looked like this:

Via SharePoint Forms Services, we presented InfoPath forms where users could publish and send data. This data was sent to a web service which was consumed by BizTalk. BizTalk processed the data and sent it to different systems, among them SQL Server.

This lead to a solution where it was possible to use Performance Point Server to show graphics in SharePoint, based on the SQL Server data. This way, it was easy to see how a business performed.

Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to attend the price ceremony since I had given notice. When we won, an IT chief from our client Diaverum called me from the price ceremony and was filled with joy! Hopefully there will be more awards to win, where I can attend the ceremony!

Links:

Your roots are from southern Sweden, Helsingborg to be exact. How would you compare Helsingborg to Stockholm?

The tempo is much calmer in Helsingborg. I’ve got my family in Helsingborg too, but what I’ve been missing most during my time in Stockholm, is to be near the ocean. It’s also cheaper to live in Helsingborg, with better living possibilities. But I have to say a calmer tempo attracts me.

What will you miss most with Stockholm when you move back to Helsingborg?

I will miss my friends and my work in Stockholm. I will miss to be in the centre, where everything happens.

Putting development and consultant life aside, what do you enjoy the most in life? How do you spend your spare time?

When given the opportunity, I like sports like snowboard, wakeboard and kitesurfing. When you kitesurf, you use wind power and a kite to ride the board across the water. You don’t have to pay for any gas and in Helsingborg it’s much windier than in Stockholm.

I was a bit of an extreme sport fantast when I was younger and now it’s time to buy some gears, go down to the ocean and surf around!

Imagine yourself going to an island for a couple of months. You’re allowed to bring 3 items with you. What will you bring?

  • My girlfriend
  • An axe
  • Fire steel

A movie you really, really can recommend?

Slumdog Millionaire, it’s a really good movie. The way it’s directed is fantastic, and you get happy when you’re watching it.

5 quick

  1. EPiServer vs SharePoint?

    EPiServer for public websites, SharePoint for document management and user collaboration. I choose EPiServer if I have to work with one of these products for the rest of my life.

  2. Best Xbox 360 game?

    Halo!

  3. Friday evening, what do you do?

    I play the guitar by myself or hang out with my friends partying. Now I would say I spend some time with my girlfriend, watching a movie after a great dinner.

  4. Early bird or night owl?

    Night owl!

  5. Nicest chill music?

    My Spotify playlist. I’m a sucker for all things acoustic, like Ryan Adams, Jewel, Tom Petty, Matchbox Twenty, R.E.M., Sting and many more.

For how long have you been playing the guitar?

Since my time as a student. When I studied there weren’t very much to do at the campus, so you stayed at home and played the guitar. I know a couple of guitar chords at least!

In 10 years time, what will you do?

In 10 years time, I work as a system architect and will have delivered a large scale project which is of great use to very many people.

A quote to share?

Not a quote, but this:

When you think what you’re doing at work isn’t fun and you don’t like going to work in the morning – then you should quit. It should be fun going to work, what is the idea of work otherwise?

Any last words?

Thanks for a great time at Hallvarsson & Halvarsson and in Stockholm. Hope to see you soon again, in Helsingborg! And finally – see you at my blog!

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