Brian Lagunas - 2012 Year In Review

Brian Lagunas / Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Wow, that was fast!  The year 2012 just flew by.  It’s amazing how much can happen in a year, and it is hard to appreciate what you have accomplished without looking back at the road that got you where you are today.

Obviously the first major event to happen to me during the year 2012 was an opportunity to be a Product Manager for Infragistics’ XAML tools.  This was exciting and terrifying all at the same time.  I just started building a new home, and my Extended WPF Toolkit was gaining popularity.  I had a great job working with Karl Shifflett building awesome WPF applications for Gayle Manufacturing Company.  Life was good and very comfortable.  Obviously, I took the risk, and accepted the job.  Looking back, this was the best decision I made this year.  As a result of taking the job with Infragistics I could no longer keep my precious Extended WPF Toolkit.  Luckily, Xceed acquired my toolkit and still provides new controls and updates to the open source community.

During the year 2012 I kept up my responsibilities as co-leader of the Boise .NET Developers User Group (NETDUG) and as part of the Boise Code Camp planning board, helped to organize another great Boise Code Camp event.  I was also awarded the Microsoft Community Contributor Award for the second year in a row.  Incase you’re wondering; I still have not been awarded the Microsoft MVP award.  I appreciate everyone who suggests that I should have been awarded MVP.  Maybe some day I will get it.  Unfortunately I didn’t complete my newest Pluralsight course on WPF custom controls.  Due to my job responsibilities and travel, I just couldn’t find the time as I placed my family as priority 1 during my very limited free time at home.  I did have time for a Pluralsight “Call Me Maybe” parody.  I hoping that for 2013 I can get back on the Pluralsight horse.

I managed to start a new website call Xaml TV which, as you can probably guess, is a website dedicated to Xaml development.  It has a number of instructional videos on various Xaml platforms such as WPF, Silverlight, Windows Phone, and Windows 8.  If it is Xaml, it has a video for it.  Where do the videos come from?  Well obviously they come from me, but they also come from the development community.  Anyone can register and post their own video tutorial.  Every now and then we even get a special guest like David Kelley and Pete Brown to show us a little something.

Another event that I am particular proud of was my appointment to the Microsoft Patterns and Practices Prism advisory board.  I have always been an advocate of Prism and have been very successful building very large applications with it.  Actually, one of my most popular requested talks is my Introduction to Prism session.  I am honored to be part of a group of people that are smarter than me to help drive the direction of the Prism framework.  I even started a multi-part video series call “Building IG Outlook” that walks you step by step on how to start writing a multi-platform WPF and Silverlight Prism application.  SO far there are 6 videos, but there will be more coming in 2013.

One of the biggest changes that happened for me during 2012 was the amount of traveling and speaking I do.  I love to speak at user groups, code camps, and other developer events.  In the past I was limited by time and location.  Being in Boise, I could really only do local user groups and code camps.  Since taking a position with Infragistics, it was now my job to speak at user groups, code camps, and developer events around the country.  I started my speaking with Infragistics in March of 2012.  Since then I have traveled and given a session on some Xaml related topic at the following events.

  • Boise .NET User Group (NETDUG) [Boise, ID] – 1/19/2012
  • Boise Software Developers User Group (BSDG) [Boise, ID] – 3/1/2012
  • Nebraska Code Camp [Lincoln, NE] – 3/10/2012
  • Boise Code Camp [Boise, ID] – 3/24/2012
  • Iowa Code Camp [Cedar Rapids, IA] – 5/5/2012
  • Southeast Valley .NET User Group (SEVDNUG) [Chandler, AZ] – 5/24/2012
  • Dallas XAML User Group [Dallas, TX] – 7/3/2012
  • vNext OC User Group [Irvine, CA] – 7/24/2012
  • East Bay User Group [Berkeley, CA] – 7/26/2012
  • St. Louis Days of .NET [St. Louis, MO] – 8/2/2012
  • Lincoln .NET User Group [Lincoln, NE] – 8/29/2012
  • Omaha .Net User Group [Omaha, NE] – 8/30/2012
  • Chicago .NET User Group [Chicago, IL] – 9/20/2012
  • Windows 8 Unleashed Boise [Boise, ID] – 9/28/2012
  • Iowa Code Camp [Des Moines, IA] – 10/27/2012

Wow, that’s a lot of travel and speaking.  If I visited your group, you may remember me taking your groups picture for my little user group contest (which I will be holding again in 2013).  I actually cancelled 3 events.  Two of which I had a speaking slot.  One was HTC and the other was ThatConference.  I was just traveling too much and need more time with my two little girls and wonderful wife.  You may notice how I have no events in November and December :0).  During the holidays I took a nice little vacation to Italy and then had a lot of family come visit.  It was a nice break from all the travel.  Of course I will be ramping up my user group schedule again in 2013.  If you would like me to speak at your user group, code camp, or developer event, just ask.

Besides speaking at a number of developer groups and events, I also hosted and helped host a number of events.

  • Boise Code Camp [Boise, ID] – 3/24/2012
  • Scrum Fundamentals Workshop w/ Richard Hundhausen [Boise, ID] – 5/1/2012
  • Windows 8 Unleashed Boise [Boise, ID] – 9/28/2012

Putting on a developer event takes a lot of time, money, and resources.  There are always a number of volunteers that sacrifice their time away from their families to help plan these events.  Sponsors graciously donate their time, money, and sometimes resources to help your local group hold these events.  So the next time you attend a user group, code camp, or other free developer event; be sure to thank the volunteers for making it possible.  They really do put a lot of effort into making the best event they can.

I was also lucky enough to attend two Microsoft conferences in 2012.

  • TechEd [Orlando, FL] – 6/11/2012
  • BUILD [Redmond, WA] – 10/30/2012

If you have never been to a large developer conference, I highly recommend attending at least one.  You will meet a ton of great people, and build connections that can change your life.  I met Jason Beres (my boss) for the first time at BUILD 2011.  Months later I was offered a job.  The cost of the conference was well worth it for me.  Add a conference to your bucket list.  Hopefully I will see you there.

Besides the large number of events I spoke at and attended, I also blogged a number of posts.  52 posts to be exact.  Looking at that number actually surprises me quite a bit.  I wrote 52 blog posts in 2012.  That is awesome!  Of course the year is not over, and I probably have about 2 more left in me for 2012.

That’s all I could really think of off the top of my head.  I am involved in so many community groups and organizations, it is hard to keep track of every community activity I was involved in.  I have tons of great memories of other fun and exciting activities that I just can’t squeeze into this post.  I made a ton of new friends and met so many smart people from around the world.  This has really been a great 2012 and I would like to thank my wife for being so supportive, my kids for being patient with my travels, and my developer community for your support and continued interest in what I have to say.  Hopefully 2013 will be just as good, if not better!