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No ODNC WP7 Study Group Starting This Week

Mar 4

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Sunday, March 04, 2012 5:08 PM  RssIcon

Ottawa IT CampUnfortunately there will not be an OCDC WP7 study group this week.

Due to a lack of application submissions, I’ve had to make the difficult decision to cancel the ODNC WP7 study group which was supposed to start this Tues, March 6th, 2012 at CTE Solutions.


February 21st, I did an information session to try to “sell” the study group,  communicate what you can expect, and what is required to participate.  Well, at the deadline (last Fri) we had four application submissions into source control.  This is far below the minimum of ten which we’ve used in the past as a good guideline/number for viable participation.  Therefore, I had to make the tough call and cancel the study group.

imageI want to thank CTE Solutions for offering to open their doors to the ODNC and host our study group!  You’ve been there for our numerous past study groups, and I hope we can try this again next season?!  CTE Solutions continues to support OWSUG study group which also starts this Tues.

Cancelling this study group hurts!  I was REALLY looking forward to participating and there are three other people who REALLY wanted to participate as well.  How do I know that?  They submitted an application (a WP7 app as their application to participate) into source control.  This tells me, and other involved THEY WANT IN!  That’s why we do, what we do, and how we do it.  Everything we do is to further our goal, in this case to put YOUR wp7 app onto the marketplace.  Including have a minimum number of participants.  In this case we didn’t reach it.  I didn’t do a good enough job of selling it. Sad smile

Natural question that comes up is….should we reduce the requirements?  hhhmmm  Should we “lower the bar?”  That’s really the question being asked here.

“We” could, but then I cannot commit to leading the charge.  Why not?  We’ve learned A LOT over the last six study groups at the ODNC, and we’ve discovered a process which assures success of everyone involved, not just a select few.  Remember, these aren’t “courses.”  CTE Solutions has a FANTASTIC line up of instructor led courses!  That’s their line of business and they do an EXCELLENT JOB OF IT!  We’re not in competition with our hosts!  No!  We want to compliment them.

Here’s a bit of insight into “why we do what we do.”

“Money talks.”

It all started with our first study group I participated in.  It was free, you just showed up and you were in.  Half way through, half of the people dropped out.  It was too much work was one reason/excuse.  People just weren’t committed.  We decided if you put up a deposit which you could lose, you won’t drop out.

“Be there or be square”

In our next study group, we had some people show up half the time.  The problem with that is, selfishly, I’m NOT learning from your ideas, but equally as important, YOU’RE NOT LEARNING AT ALL!  So we came up with the 75% attendance.  Yes, life happens, people change jobs, people have kids, people get sick, even get cancer, trees fall onto cars, yes, all of these things happened to people participating in the study groups (thankfully nobody’s gotten divorced, knock on wood it doesn’t happen in the future!).  Life happens, we have to adapt, but you have to participate.  We find 75% is an acceptable balance.

“Application process”

During the first two study groups, we had some people that treated the experience like a training exercise.  Two people had never touched Visual Studio, others were new to C#.  They wanted to learn about the topics, but had to REAL shot at writing nor passing the exam.   But I certainly didn’t want the responsibility telling people if they “had what it takes to participate.”  Nobody but themselves should decide that.  But how and what is the best way?  This is where the “application process” was born.  You have to sign up for an account on CodePlex, email the account name, create an application and checkin/commit a simple program.  Something that SHOULD take you an hour MAX!!!!!!!  If it takes you a week to do this….well, that SHOULD tell you something.  If you need to spend that much time doing that simple task, maybe you should be focusing more on those tasks than on the certification.  Also, if you’re not interested in spending the time to follow THAT process, how are you going to last through the certification process (exam or marketplace certification)?  I ALWAYS feel nervous about an “application process” but once you’re through to the other side, you realize it’s not that and, AND what you learned in HUGE!  What did you just learn?

“Everyone’s equal”

When we start our first night, it’s HUGELY important that egos are left at the door…EVERYONE’S EGO (including mine)!  We’ve had MVPs participate and people who are relatively new, BUT once we start, everyone brings a different skill set which everyone can learn from!  Some people are STRONG presenters, some are strong async coders, some a fantastic low level Windows programmers and some know the ins and outs of web programming.  Everyone can learn from somebody else.  When we start off with everyone being equal, we start off on a good footing.  When people have a chip on their shoulder, they tend to not learn from others.  The whole process keys in on people knowing, believing and TRUSTING that everyone’s gone through the same crap to get to the juicy/fun stuff!  (And really, the application process isn’t THAT bad)

Ok, I feel bad about having to cancel the study group and ya, this is a bit of my way to justify it.  BUT I also wanted to explain a bit about why we do what we do.  Now that we all have a bit more time this week to write out next wp7 app, it’s time to grab a coffee and get coding!

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2 comment(s) so far...


Re: No ODNC WP7 Study Group Starting This Week

If ODNC advertising was better we would probably attract more people. Not sure if posting something at the local universities and colegges would help. However, the fact is there aren't too many people interested in WP7 at the moment in Canada as MS and operator advertising is close to 0.

On the topic of "application process" it might look like one hour when everything is setup, but if you are new tm MS tools might be way more than that. E.g. I had to install Windows 7 and upgrade memory on my old laptop just to be able to run the tools which took a few days after a hardware hick-up.

By Slobodan on   Monday, March 05, 2012 4:42 PM

Re: No ODNC WP7 Study Group Starting This Week

Hi Slobodan. The advertising thing, yup, I hear ya, it's a tough one. You voluteering to help out?! LOL But, seriously, if you're interested, I know the guy you can talk to!!!! No, really, no joking, we'd love some help! As for advertising the study group, I personally emailed over twenty five specific mobile companies in Ottawa, not sure how many people came from them?

re not too many people interested yet
hhhmmmm ggggggrrrrrr yes, I know you're right..gggrrrr BUT on a good note, I'm seeing more Focus phones out there more and more! So it IS catching on! Juuuuuust a bit slow on the uptake. (Hey MS, if you're reading, sorry, but it's honest, the truth, I'm doing what I can to push the WP7 agenda!!!!! No lack of effort on my side!!!!!)

re application process, way more than....
Ah, but there in lies the lesson. For YOU! You persevered! You were stubborn (in a good way!) enough to SLUG through it and you did it! Someone else who's only so-so interested would have given up long before. YOU were determined to FINISH what you started! Someone else might have said....aaaaahhh it's not worth it. You decided, you weren't going to let the lack of Visual Studio and WP7 experience beat you! Those are the people who are successful with these study groups! THAT'S what this application process is designed to do! (Oh and it's by accident by the way, I didn't orchestrate it that way, it's just a fluke, but don't tell anyone ok?)

To be honest, I had envisioned people participating as people who have already cut their teeth on the tools, they've already tried creating apps, they've already floundered a bit with isolated storage, felt their hands were tied with data binding, they cold wrap their heads around Navigation Servcies. If you're not in that boat, that's ok, you just might have to do a bit more work to catch up, but that's ok. IF you're determined enough to do that, GREAT! But this process helps YOU determine that for yourself.

You were one of the ones that DID IT! Unfortunately "it" didn't work out...this time around!!!!!! I do think once Win8 is released and people start playing with those cool new tools, this WP and Win8 on tablets is going to skyrocket!!!!!!!!!!!!

Thank you Slobodan for reading this blog and commenting! I really did think about it (your feedback) and value it very much!

By Peter Henry on   Monday, March 05, 2012 10:32 PM

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