Archive for May, 2012

Visual Studio

Saturday, 26th May, 2012

I see MS have detailed their new plans for the latest releases of Visual Studio 11.

The Express editions of VS11 will only be able to create Metro apps. This is about as opposite as you can get from what most of us were hoping : that Express 11 would include VSTO. Rather than beef up the features of the free IDE they have kneecapped it in a rather desperate looking attempt to get devs to target Metro. Express 2010 will still be available for a while so its not the end of the world, but it doesnt look great for VSTO etc.

In fact Office dev is barely mentioned in all the bumf.

On a separate note I actually spoke to a pimp (agent) about a VSTO role this very week. I never heard back after I told him my rate! He did say most of the other applicants had only dabbled with it and there weren’t many of us with real world commercial experience. I guess the client went with one of those cheaper neewbs. I hope the deployment goes well for them ;-).

I have long since doubted Microsofts commitment to Office development (from around the time they disbanded the Office Developer Advisory Council ;-)). But everything I read seems to confirm that I made the right choice to de-emphasise it. Indeed I haven’t seen anything for a long time that would give me any doubts about my decision to de-emphasise Microsoft altogether.




Thank you Halfords

Tuesday, 22nd May, 2012

or alfreds as we used to call it oop north.

Leave a comment if you ever stuck a card to your bike to make it sounds like a motorbike…



(ps if you dont watch uk telly (who could blame you)…


Summer Excel conf

Tuesday, 8th May, 2012

After the success of the London Excel DevCon in January I had floated the idea of doing something in Madchester in July to tie in with Eusprig.

Due to a bit of a change in direction for me and the multinational conglomerate Codematic, this is now not going to be realistic.

I would however be happy to help if someone else wanted to take over the organisational baton.

Needless to say the New OrleansĀ  XLDevCon this summer is also looking pretty doubtful!

I can’t think of N O without thinking of this:



[more on that change in direction coming up in due course]



Job Hunt update

Sunday, 6th May, 2012

What an eye opener this job campaign has been!

Not sure what happened in the last couple of years but its a different world from the last time I was looking.

I already mentioned ridiculous NDAs but having found someone a bit more real world I began to go through the process.

For this role the confidentiality clause needed witnessing by someone who was not a family member who did not live at the same address. Yes this is for a low risk Excel dev role, seriously!

There were over 10 increasingly ominous, largely pointless forms to fill in. One of which was a rehash of my CV I had already provided. But now they wanted contact details. Why? If they want to check up they should use publicly available contact info. If they don’t believe my version of my work history, then asking me for people who can confirm it is grossly flawed. If I can’t be trusted to tell them where I worked, why can I be trusted to give them valid contact info?, rather than a friend or family member. This is just vetting pantomime – either pay and do it properly, or don’t do it.

Having battled through that and other bull shit I finally got first glimpse of the contract terms.

Client can give me immediate notice at any time, I can’t give notice for the duration of the contract (6 months). WTF?? that’s not a commercial agreement, its slavery. Thankfully I am not so desperate I need to accept such rubbish, or work for the sort of scumbag company that tries to shaft their workers like this (Large UK bank – of course!).

I know some people say just sign it, its so unfair they could not enforce it, and that may be so. I don’t do schoolboy law. But I do distrust completely any organisation that would try and trick or force their workers into this sort of shite. What else would they do? (well one thing for sure is they would cut the agreed rate whenever they fancied it, by as much as they thought they could get away with).

So I am still in the market, but probably not targeting banks. Which is a shame as they are about the only organisations still making heavy use of Excel contractors.

Have you seen this nonsense? have you signed this sort of rights grab contract?