Ann Arbor Give Camp 2011

09 Sep 2011
by mjeaton, posted in business, personal, programming   |  Comments Off

The 4th Ann Arbor Give Camp is coming up next week – September 16-18, 2011.

A total of 40 non-profit organizations submitted proposals to us this year. I’m pretty sure that’s a record for us.

We have selected 9 non-profit organizations to help this year. Why so few? To be honest, the number of volunteers has been declining each year and we’re currently at our lowest point yet. With a week remaining before the camp, we have just over 50 volunteers.

If you’d like to volunteer to help out next weekend, please sign up at

The Give Camp will once again be held at Washtenaw Community College. They are an amazing host for this event and this event wouldn’t be possible without their generosity and support. We also have a number of great sponsors this year.

Visit our site for more details.

WPF Training in Chattanooga

18 Jul 2011
by mjeaton, posted in business, programming   |  Comments Off

I’m very proud to announce my two day WPF Workshop on August 15th and 16th in Chattanooga, TN at the historic Chattanooga Choo Choo hotel. This course is one of 3 other Sharp Axe Training courses that will be going on at the same time. The training is the 2 days immediately before the awesome DevLink conference starts.

In this hands-on workshop, you will learn everything you need to know to write solid, maintainable line of business applications in WPF. Topics will include XAML, data binding, commands, styling, templating, MVVM and more. No previous knowledge of WPF is required.

More details about the training, as well as a link to register for the course can be found at the Sharp Axe Training website.

Microsoft MVP 2011

07 Jul 2011
by mjeaton, posted in business, personal, programming   |  Comments Off

For the third year in a row, July 1st brought an email from Microsoft presenting me with the MVP award in Visual C#. :-)

Key books every developer / designer should read

19 Apr 2011
by mjeaton, posted in business, programming   |  10 Comments

It seems like every software developer I talk to has at least one or two books they consider absolutely essential reading.

My list is pretty small and includes mostly non-technical books like Peopleware from DeMarco and Lister, Anthem by Rand and Maverick by Semler. There are others, but those are more on a personal level than professional. I’ll blog about those in a separate post.

So, my request is simple – I’m asking for books you think are essential reading for other software developers and designers. Please reply in the comments, or at the very least, blog and link back!

The Kalamazoo X Conference 2011

12 Apr 2011
by mjeaton, posted in business, personal, programming   |  Comments Off

On Saturday, April 30th, we’ll be holding the 3rd Kalamazoo X Conference in downtown Kalamazoo, MI. The event continues to focus on “soft skills” – all the things I like to say developers are typically bad at doing. :-)

It’s amazing how much time developers will spend learning the latest “shiny” tool or technology, but when it comes to improving their soft skills, they spend almost no time trying to improve. It’s something we’re trying to fix with the X Conference.

This year we have another great line-up of speakers including Joe O’Brien, Leon Gersing, Jim Holmes, Tim Ford, Jeff Blankenburg, Jeff McWherter and Laura Bergells. I have a couple other speakers in the pipeline, but I don’t want to announce until I have a firm commitment.

The talks this year range from “Rocking Your Body Language” to “Design Skills Every Developer Should Know” to a talk about what DBAs believe developers should know and do. I’m looking forward to each and every talk because I know the speakers are all extremely passionate about their topics.

We are continuing with our single-track format with talks ranging anywhere from 20 to 40 minutes. We’re also going to have what I think will be an *awesome* panel discussion on interviewing!

Here are some pictures from last year’s event and an interview I did with my friend Dave Giard for his Technology and Friends show.

You can register for the event here!

Updated at 9:23pm on 4/12 – fixed date.

Going Independent with Deep Fried Bytes

06 Apr 2011
by mjeaton, posted in business, personal, programming   |  2 Comments

Shortly before the MVP Summit, I received emails from Keith and Chris asking if I’d like to be on DFB to talk about WPF or going independent. While I really dig WPF, I told them I’d prefer to talk about being an independent developer for the past 10 years or so. A couple weeks ago, we recorded this episode. After Keith edited out an epic amount of “umms” (from both of us) and some of my so-called “tangents”, here is the result: Episode 67 – Tips on how to be an Independent Software Consultant with Michael Eaton