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My Career Bucket List

Thursday, January 2, 2014 1:09 PM

When I reflect back on 2013, I think “Lucky me”. A year that started off with uncertainty had turned into one filled with achieving some significant career milestones. These were goals I had set for myself as part of a bucket list years ago, and in 2013 I managed to cross a few off that list.  

Writing a Book

My first book proposal was accepted by Apress. I was over the moon, but knew the hard work was just beginning. My friend/colleague, David Totzke, and I spent the next 7 months working evenings and weekends to complete this project. When it was published, I was quite ecstatic. This was a major milestone for me. I always thought “someday” I wanted to write a technical book. Most people asked “Why?”. The main reason being that I have always found technical books the best resource to learn from, and wanted to one day make my contribution to the industry in the same way. Receiving feedback from people who have read my book, and being told that it helped them to get started on their path to mobile app development, gives me a great sense of pride and satisfaction.

Becoming a Consultant

At the same time, I was lucky enough to have joined the ObjectSharp team, a group of talented professionals who I always admired. Not only to join them, but to be welcomed with open arms, to be recognized and respected, and to be given opportunities as a consultant I had only dreamed of at one time in my career, but thought was out of reach. Working with an elite team of professionals is a dream come true. For someone like myself, who loves to continue to learn and grow, being surrounded by this type of talent is simply amazing.

Appearing on Channel 9

Being asked to participate in a web broadcast, Developer Camp session for Microsoft Canada was something that wasn’t even on my radar as a remote possibility. And shortly after joining ObjectSharp, there it was. That session is now archived on Microsoft’s Channel 9 site. There were no words to describe how I felt about that, except I did pinch myself a few times to make sure I wasn’t dreaming.

Writing Posts for the Canadian Developer Connection blog

Again, this is another opportunity that wasn’t on my radar, but when the opportunity arose, I jumped all over it. I wrote a 5 part series on getting started on Windows Phone development that was posted to Microsoft’s Canadian Developer Connection blog. Writing posts for my own blog is one thing, but being asked to submit posts for Microsoft’s blog is a whole new level of awesome. It was pretty exciting, and invoked another “pinch me, I’m dreaming” moment. I received positive feedback from those posts, and I get satisfaction out of helping others get started on a new development journey: 

1) You Have What It Takes To Be A Mobile App Developer… You Really Do!

2) Setting Up Your Windows Phone Development Environment in 30 Minutes (or less)

3) Time Saving Tips to Get Your Windows Phone App Started

4) Making Money From Your Windows Phone Apps

5) Publishing Your App – It’s Not The Last Thing You’ll Do

Growing the .NET User Group

Granted I have been running the local area .NET User Group since the end of 2011, but this is a group that  I love wholeheartedly. So they are at the top of my list every year. I’m always looking for ways to make the group fun and keep the content fresh for our regular attendees, while also looking at ways to raise awareness and increase interest in the group for students and professionals that don’t know about us yet. One big win for 2013, was a noticeable increase in women that attended our sessions on a regular basis. Providing a group that appeals to everyone, across the board, is what matters most. I feel that we achieved that in 2013. I say we, because I have a great group of volunteers that have been working just as hard to make this group awesome: David Totzke (who was the original founder in 2002 and ran the group for 9 years before allowing me to take over), Jamie Robinson, Steve Karnis, Ken Cenerelli, and Tom Walker. They are a talented group of professionals, with a strong dedication to this group. Without their help, this group wouldn’t be as vibrant as it is today. I appreciate them wholeheartedly and can’t thank them enough for what they’ve done and continue to do for our .NET User Group.

Into 2014…

I have more items on that bucket list, and my goal for 2014 is to knock one, maybe two, off that list. It may not sound so ambitious, but I’d prefer to have one or two things to work towards, while keeping myself open to new possibilities and opportunities, rather than bogging myself down with lists and creating some sort of career tunnel vision. After all the best opportunities out there are the ones that you don’t even know about yet!



On April 1st, 2014, I was awarded Microsoft MVP, Client Development! I am extremely proud and honoured to be part of such a great community!