Hello everyone! I hope you have been doing well.
Over the past few years since Matt and his amazing team has taken over Geekwithblogs.net, I have had a few changes in my day-to-day activities. About one year ago, I hung up my responsibilities as the lead developer of AJi Software and started to lead the marketing initiatives. Now as Chief Marketing Officer, my days are spent working on content and reaching new audiences.
The years of work on Geekswithblogs from a platform marketing role gave me tons of experience that aligned with modern digital marketing tactics like Content Marketing. Content Marketing is a term that all developers should come to know if you work on public-facing sites for your company. It is an approach that is aligned with the heart of Geekswithblogs, provide amazing content to educate or entertain an audience on a consistent basis. This community has done this for over 11 years and I am proud to be a part of it. Companies that embrace Content Marketing provide platforms for their customers, influencers, and prospects to educate and entertain.
What have I been writing about
Most of my blog posts for the past 6 months have been about Agile Marketing. We all have seen the benefits of the agile processes in our software projects, but most other departments are a little late to the game. As part of a book I am working on, I broke all the content into concept to fit into blog posts and placed them into a backlog. Each week, I plan a sprint to produce the content for AJi and that includes primary blog posts, guest posting, podcasts, web page content, and graphics. The process works amazingly and I can’t wait to finish the book and share it with you all.
What have I been speaking about
Mostly I talk about the same topics: content marketing, content strategy, SEO, and agile marketing. In years past, I would travel around the US and speak at developer conferences, .NET user groups, and corporate IT departments. Now I present at marketing conferences, associations like DMA or AMA, and corporate Marketing departments. It has been a dramatic shift to rebuilding my voice as a marketing contributor, rather than someone in software, but I have enjoyed the process.
Midwest Marketing Show
Six months ago, I launched a new podcast aimed to show the world some of the cool marketing that is going on in the Midwest. We have had some amazing guest on the show and the format is very similar to that of the original Podcast Studio we did with Geekswithblogs.net. If you are interested in marketing, check out some of our shows.
Sitecore Experience Marketing Platform
At AJi, over the past three years we have invested a lot in our Sitecore practice. We absolutely love the platform and our developers can solve problems faster and work on some amazing websites. I spent my last years developing on this platform, but I didn’t offer a lot back to the community.
This has to be one of my biggest regrets. My plan (and you know how those work out), is to transform this blog into my home for Sitecore content for developers and the occasional tech-savvy marketers. This has always been my favorite developer community (biased I know) and I can’t wait to be a community member again. I will also provide some tips on creating content for your blog and how to develop a cadence that is sustainable and audience building. I love helping bloggers build their brand.
Russ Fustino, Senior Developer Evangelist at GrapeCity, sits down with us to close the Iowa Code Camp to talk about Windows 8 development. Russ is a former Microsoft Developer Evangelist and host of the Russ Cam TV. In this podcast we hit a wide variety of topics like mobile development, social tools, and Windows 8 applications. Another area we hit is the ability for Enteprise Developers to have a marketplace to build applications and bring them to market in their evenings while using the same frameworks they use during the day.
Devin is one of our great friends from days of ole'. Devin was a great community leader in
St. Louis .NET space. The then moved to New Jersey to work at Infragistics where he was a huge
asset for the .NET and Usability communities. He is now at Twilio as an evangelist and you will
see him pretty much at every cool conference promoting Twilio and educating the masses.
In this show, we talk about what Usability is and how developers can understanding what the how to
solve problems with usability and some of the patterns we can use. Devin really wants to bring the
focus back to the beginning of knowing who your users are and we talk about how to produce personas
of the users of our products. We dive into REST for the second piece of this podcast. Devin helps
us understand more about REST and what goes into a RESTful application or service.
We are very excited about this show. John and Jeff sat down with Scott Davis and his son Tommy to talk about Gamification and Programming for Kids. Tommy is nine years old and the Iowa Code Camp was his second time presenting. Scott and Tommy introduce a package called Scratch that was developed by MIT to teach kids about logic and interacting with programming using sprites. Tommy's favorite experience with programming right now is Lego Mindstorms because of the interaction with the Legos and the development. Most adults when they get started with development also got started with interacting more with the physical machines. The next generation is given amazing tools, but the tools tend to be sealed and the physical interaction is not there. With some of these alternative hobby platforms like Legos, Arduino, and .NET Micro Framework, kids can write some amazing application and see their code work with physical movement and interaction with devices and sensors.
In the second half of this podcast, Scott talks about how companies can us Gamification to prompt employees to interact with software and processes in the organization. We see gamification throughout the consumer space and you need to do is open up the majority of the apps on our phones or tablets and there is some interaction point to give the user a reward for using the tool. Scott gets into his product Qonqr which is described as the board game Risk and Foursquare together. Scott gets into the different mindsets of gamers (Bartle Index) and how you can use these mindsets to get the most out of your team through gamification techniques.
Patrick Delancy, the first person we interviewed on the AJI Report, is joining us again for Episode 18. This time around Patrick explains what Code Smells and Anti-patterns are and how developers can learn from these issues in their code. Patrick takes the approach of addressing your code in his presentations instead of pointing fingers at others. We spend a lot of time talking about how to address a developer with bad practices in place that would show up on the radar as a Code Smell or Anti-Pattern without making them feel inferior. Patrick also list out a few open-source frameworks that use good patterns and practices as well as how he continues his education through interacting with other developers.
Javier Lozano opens up the conversation with John and Jeff about the importance of web applications in the cloud and we walk through some options for enterprise developers to consume today. Javier has been an ASP.NET MVP and ASP.NET Insider for years and is a great resource in the Midwest when it comes to ASP.NET. Javier is one of organizers of the ASP.NET conference, aspConf.
This episode we sit down with Jason Bock to talk about Windows Runtime and his upcoming book on Metaprogramming. Jason has been a consultant at Magenic for the past 11 years. In this show, Jason walks us through how to get started with Windows RT and talks about what the experience is like deploying to the Windows Store. We get into the new frontier of device development and the restrictions that are in place to protect the users and other applications. Towards the end of the show we start talking about Jason's book on Metaprogramming that he is co-authoring with Kevin Hazard.
We sit down with Zac Harlen and talk about Iowa Code Camp, what makes up a Code Camp, and how to start your own Code Camp. Zac has been a part of the leadership team for a few years for Iowa Code Camp and is the Development Manager for JP Cycles. We also get into what it takes to speak at a Code Camp if you are interested in growing beyond the user group as a speaker.
We sat down with Brian at the Iowa Code Camp to talk about his sessions, WPF, Application Design, and what Infragistics has to offer developers. Infragistics is a huge supporter of regional events like Iowa Code Camp and we want to thank them for their support of the Midwest region. Brian is a sharp guy and it was great to meet him and learn more about what makes him tick.
Brian Lagunas is an INETA Community Speaker, co-leader of the Boise .Net Developers User Group (NETDUG), and original author of the Extended WPF Toolkit. He is a multi-recipient of the Microsoft Community Contributor Award and can be found speaking at a variety of user groups and code camps around the nation. Brian currently works at Infragistics as a Product Manager for the award winning NetAdvantage for WPF and Silverlight components. Before geeking out, Brian served his country in the United States Army as an infantryman and later served his local community as a deputy sheriff.