Mario Cardinal

"The real voyage of discovery consists, not in seeking new landscapes, but in having new eyes" – Marcel Proust


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Hello World Road Trip is in Montreal

The Hello World Road Trip featuring Shawn Wildermuth will be in Montreal on June 6th at noon at the Microsoft office’s. For the occasion, I will be the guest for the “Hello World” podcast. During the live recording you will learn my story of how I got started writing software.

HWRoadTriplogo

Following the recording, Shawn will be giving a talk: BUILDING APPS WITH ASP.NET CORE 1.0!

This event is FREE.  However, you must register on the website http://www.hwroadtrip.com/ for the event.


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Great FREE resource for online training

Successful developers never stop learning and technology never stops evolving. Here is a great opportunity for those of you who want to improve their technical skills for free.

I have already written in the past on the importance of continuous education. Several training options are available. Among my favorite options, some cost a few dollars a month like Pluralsight and some are free like Microsoft Virtual Academy (MVA).

There is another free online resource offered by Microsoft that is too often forgotten.

channel-9-logo

Channel 9 is one of the premier industry-leading community content sites – there are tons of series’, shows, and events you are able to watch Live or On Demand.

Microsoft really want the community to experience all of the great Channel 9 content because it is a great FREE resource with superior content. Just a few weeks ago Microsoft released on channel 9, the entire contents of the conference //Build/.

Microsoft will do the same next week for the Evolve conference.


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Down the stretch

In this blog post, I am presenting how we just started the final stretch that will lead to the first release of DayTickler.

I was fairly quiet in recent months regarding DayTickler. Some readers may question if we were still alive? Think again! Being silent is certainly not a sign that we drop DayTickler. It is rather the opposite. We work so hard that there is little time to feed this blog.

Since January, we completed adding synchronization between device’s calendar and DayTickler. This new feature allows a unified view of all your commitments into the Today list. We are very pleased with the end result.

DayTickler_calendar

Unfortunately, on some other aspects everything is not perfect.

These days we are doing a major refactoring. We are adding the ability to itemize a to-do with a work plan. This will allow to tick partial achievements (and thus get the benefit of viewing them in the Done list). For us here, we think that the world will be a better place if you feel satisfy about your day. Unfortunately, because we are not supporting correctly partial achievements, it is difficult to provide this feeling of satisfaction. This is a major discovering we did using the Beta version of DayTickler. For every little step of work, the product must reward users. Overall, we need to encourage each and every one to achieve what is important in their life whether it is a small or a large step.

I leave you on this. I still have to finalize the user experience to reach version 1. Completing these latest features is a long winding road. It takes time. Give us a few more months to fine tune everything and soon you will be able to download DayTickler from your favorite app store.


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MVP Renewal Day!

I’m an April 1st recipient of the Most Valuable Professional (MVP) award. Each year on April 1, while the rest of the world focuses on the April Fools, I usually find my MVP renewal amongst the other emails coming in.

This year is no exception. For thirteen consecutive years, I am the proud recipient of the Most Valuable Professional (MVP) award from Microsoft.

MVP status is awarded to credible technology experts who have demonstrated their deep commitment to helping others make the most of their technology, voluntarily sharing their passion and real-world knowledge of Microsoft products with the community. While there are more than 100 million social and technical community members, only a small portion are selected to be recognized as MVPs. Each year, around 4,000 MVPs are honored. They are nominated by Microsoft and other community individuals for this annual award. Candidates are rigorously evaluated for their technical expertise, community leadership, and voluntary community contributions for the previous year. They come from more than 90 countries, speak over 40 different languages, and are awarded in more than 90 Microsoft technologies.

According to the MVP blog, there are 1024 of us awarded today. I’m happy to be included once again!


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The latest news about DayTickler

The last two months have been very busy. Our software, DayTickler, is beginning to take shape. The basic features that enable to list, schedule and tick tasks are completed. We finally finished fine tuning the user experience and we are very proud of the end result.

DayTickler

The next story we will begin this week is “As user, I want to sync device calendar inside Today list”.

In the coming weeks, we will expand the product to add personal workgroups. Since early this fall, we have made several prototypes of the workgroup functionality. Storyboarding is almost completed. As I indicated last October, the challenge is not only to team up with your close ones to achieve what is important in your day, but above all to enable asynchronous communication between workgroup members. I will be back soon with more information about this design challenge.


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Daily Planning, Workgroup and Synchronous Communication

If you are planning your personal work, as you can easily do with DayTickler by committing and scheduling tasks in your “Today” schedule, you are not challenge by communication. You do not need to sync your brain with someone else to organize your daily schedule. As I explained in a previous post, the main challenge is to sync your brain with your gut.

The context is very different if you have to plan the daily schedules for a workgroup. Whereas personal planning is asynchronous – users scheduled tasks on their time and at their own pace – we expect group planning to be synchronous as it requires all parties to share information.

Meeting is the ultimate solution for synchronous communication. It is perfect for scheduling one on one conversation. Meetings are also perfect if you want to communicate a message from one person (the presenter) to many (the attendees).

meetings

However, as we have all experiment, meetings are very inefficient if you expect a many-to-many conversation and decision-making between all parties. Most decision-making is better left for asynchronous communication.

writingWriting is a proven solution for enabling asynchronous communication. Whereas meetings are synchronous – all parties must be present and engaged for the duration of the event – written communication allows the parties to address requests on their own time. It frees all the parties from the need to be “synced up.”

One of the strengths of DayTickler is that it allows to articulate your daily schedule in writing. In my next post, I will explain how we use this opportunity to add support for workgroups in DayTickler.


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Team up and achieve tasks with your personal workgroup

In this post, I present one of the most promising feature of DayTickler.

An important structural element of DayTickler is the daily list. It simplifies the challenge to pair your brain with your gut by providing a schedule for what needs to be done today. Separating your “Today” list from the master “To-do” list is a clear incentive for action.

I have long assumed that this was the most important feature of DayTickler. I changed my mind recently, as I just finalized prototyping a new feature that we call “personal workgroup”. This powerful feature enables users to tickle their family, friends and buddies to team up and complete tasks.

tickle-hand 

This is much more than simply list sharing. By relying on the daily schedule, everyone can easily follow workgroup progress.

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