Recruiter email etiquette

By James at September 26, 2012 15:50
Filed Under:

I get a lot of emails from recruiters, and normally I just trash them. However, today I received one and it caught my eye as it was for a MVC and JavaScript position. I briefly skimmed the job description and this line popped out.


“Javascript/jQuery/Ajax – If you are good with Javascript, jQuery is easy to pick up. If you are not good with Javascript, you need to understand jQuery since you’ll be using it as a crutch to make up for your weak Javascript skills. If you do not understand encapsulation, namespace pollution, and closures; you need to be good with jQuery”

Is this supposed to be funny? Would you want to work for a company which advertised for a position like this?




IIS 7.5 Express kills IIS 8.0 Express

By James at May 30, 2012 15:44
Filed Under: MVC, Visual Studio, Web Development

I always love to use beta software, and with that comes the occasional, “oh great, what just happened?” moment.

I repaved my main machine last week, and really loving how Visual Studio 11 is shaping up, only installed that. Yesterday, I decided I needed to install Visual Studio 2010, did that, then ran the Web Platform Installer from to update the installation. This included IIS 7.5 Express.

The process went fine, until today, when I started working and none of my MVC 3/4 sites would work, even small “delme” projects. The browser would show a 500 Internal Server Error, with no other messages. Bingling, for IIS 8.0 Express, I ran across this page,, which states that “Side-by-side installations of IIS 8.0 Express and IIS 7.5 Express are not supported.” It goes on to say that the IIS 7.5 Express installer doesn’t check to see if IIS 8.0 Express is installed, so, there is the rub.

Fortunately the article goes on to talk about how to fix the issue.

1. Open Control Panel –> Programs and Features

2. Uninstall IIS 7.5 Express

3. Right click IIS 8.0 Express and click “Repair”

4. Open Registry Editor and delete the following key:

I did all that, and my pages are working again. All better now.

Looking for work…once again.

By James at May 11, 2012 15:23
Filed Under: Life in General

No need to go into the details, so I won’t, but it seems I, along with my entire team, are/am looking for a gig again.

While I would like to get back to work as soon as I can, I am enjoying the time off I have to sharpen my skills. That being said, a job is a job, and I need to find one. I’ve been thinking it would be a good time in my career to move up to a Director position; I sure have the skills from running the IEDOTNETUG, and my community involvement. However, a nice, calm production developer position would be welcomed as well.

If you happen to know any companies which are hiring, and you think I would be a good fit, or, you yourself is hiring, please contact me through my blog.

Here’s my resume for you to take a look at.

Thanks everyone!


Rich Web App with jQuery, Ajax and .NET–Los Angeles .NET Developer Group

By James at April 04, 2012 20:52
Filed Under:

I had the opportunity to present “A Rich Web App with jQuery, Ajax and .NET” to the Los Angeles .NET Developer Group on Monday, April 2, 2012. Michael Chiang is the new President of the group and is doing a bang up job of running LA.NET. The presentation went very well, and the group is highly interactive; peppering me with questions and keeping me on my toes. I had a great time!


My slide deck is below. The source code for the demo can be found here.

Visual Studio 2011 Conversion Wizard woes

By James at January 30, 2012 15:43
Filed Under: Visual Studio, CAD

I thought I’d try out the Developer Preview of Visual Studio 2011 as I had heard there was round-tripping between VS 2010 and VS 2011. After opening a VS 2010 project in VS 2011, I was presented with the Visual Studio Conversion Wizard, which I thought was fine. I converted the project and started working. Trying to open the project in VS 2010, I was shown the Conversion Wizard again, and thinking this was normal went through the steps.

However, every time I would open the project in VS 2010, I would still get the Conversion Wizard. This was getting irritating so decided to do some spelunking into the .sln and .csproj files with Notepad2 to see what was up.

I noticed in the .csproj file in the first <PropertyGroup> section there is an element, <FileUpgradeFlags> which had a value of 40. I removed the value, so the entry is now <FileUpgradeFlags></FileUpgradeFlags>. Saving the .csproj file then opening in VS 2010, the Conversion Wizard doesn’t appear now, so I think the problem is solved.

Does anyone know why this happens? So much for using software that isn’t even in beta yet.


Inland Empire .NET User’s Group–December 13, 2011-Woody Zuill and Llewellyn Falco

By James at December 14, 2011 11:42
Filed Under: Inland Empire .NET UG

Woody and Llewellyn are two of the best presenters I have seen. Hands down. They are funny, intelligent, bright, and can really boil down a difficult subject into it’s barest essentials , making it easier to grok. On Tuesday December 13, 2011, Woody and Llewellyn presented “Testing Microsoft Technologies” to the user group.

Unit testing has become a industry wide best practice. But many Microsoft technologies propose quite a challenge when testing attempting to unit test them. In this talk, Llewellyn will go through the techniques he has personally developed to unit test the following Microsoft API’s:

· Entity Framework
· Datasets
· RDLC Reports
· WinForms

Attendance: 30

Raffle Prizes: 30


Inland Empire .NET User’s Group–November 8, 2011–Mike Roth

By James at November 09, 2011 11:42
Filed Under: Inland Empire .NET UG

Mike Roth is a long time friend and uber-software architect. On Tuesday November 8, he presented to the group, “Tales from the Trenches: Real World Use of MVC and EF”. In this session we will build parts of a start up that was built this month! In this talk we will focus on how to get your business from nil to something using MVC and EF. We will talk about hurdles and technology and appropriate use of things that are seldom covered in other MVC talks. We will be focusing on Model Binding, Filters, PGR (Post Get Request) method as well as diving deep in to unique solutions to common problems as Mike goes over the basis that he used for his start up.

Attendance: 22

Raffle Prizes: 30


Inland Empire .NET User’s Group–October 11, 2011-Craig Bernston

By James at October 12, 2011 12:37
Filed Under: Inland Empire .NET UG

On Tuesday Octover 11, 2011, my friend and fellow MVP, Craig Bernston talked about “Software Gardening” with the IEDOTNETUG.

Creating great software is not like construction. It's more like gardening. In this session you will learn about important software gardening concepts such as soil, water, seeds, light, pruning, insecticide, weeding, and more. Along the way you'll see processes, concepts, tools, and techniques that you can use in your software gardening project. By applying the ideas presented in this session, your software will be lush, green, and vibrant.

This presentation really opened the doors to a great new way to develop software.

Attendance: 25

Raffle Prizes: 30


Inland Empire .NET User’s Group Meeting–September 13, 2011–James Johnson

By James at September 14, 2011 12:34
Filed Under: Inland Empire .NET UG

On Tuesday, September 13, 2011 I presented to the User Group with a title of “A real world web app with ASP.NET MVC”. MVC is the latest web development technology from Microsoft and requires a bit of a reset from what you know about web forms development. There are lots of examples for building MVC apps available, but not many on "real world" applications. In this presentation we will dig deep into the inner workings of an MVC web site and cover Authentication, Models, View Models, Database operations with Entity Framework, how to do file uploads with MVC, and some groovy stuff with jQuery. All the pieces needed to build a real world application.

I thought the presentation went really well.

Attendance: 28

Raffle Prizes: 30


Inland Empire .NET User’s Group–August 9, 2011–Bill Sheldon

By James at August 10, 2011 12:31
Filed Under: Inland Empire .NET UG

On Tuesday August 14, 2011, my good friend and fellow MVP, Bill Sheldon presented on “Building Business Applications with LightSwitch” to the IEDOTNETUG.

Need a new distributed business application? Concerned that creating a new rich application requires learning more than one new technology? WCF, Silverlight (XAML) and Entity Framework – the Microsoft business application stack consists of a series of technologies that didn’t exist 3 years ago. Have you mastered all of them? If not perhaps LightSwitch is for you. Microsoft has announced that this tool will be or was (depending on when you are reading this) released on July 26th. This session will show you how LightSwitch provides you with an abstraction above low level technologies like WCF, EntityFramework and XAML. LightSwitch allows you to build and customize new applications which use these technologies. Instead of spending your time in the weeds trying to figure out how to set up your WCF service. Learn how you can leverage LightSwitch to generate boilerplate code while you focus on the business requirements.<br />Internationalization<br />This session will take you through some of the built in features of Visual Studio 2010 for managing multiple languages and cultures. The session looks to help explain the difference in how the operating system treats the language and culture settings and demonstrates many of the built in features for supporting multiple languages and cultures when using .NET

Attendance: 27

Raffle Prizes: 30


About the author

James James is a five time and current Microsoft MVP in Client App Development, a Telerik Insider, a past Director on the INETA North America Board, a husband and dad, and has been developing software since the early days of Laser Discs and HyperCard stacks. As the Founder and President of the Inland Empire .NET User's Group, he has fondly watched it grow from a twice-a-month, early Saturday morning group of five in 2003, to a robust and rambunctious gathering of all types and sizes of .NET developers.

James loves to dig deep into the latest cutting edge technologies - sometimes with spectacular disasters - and spread the word about the latest and greatest bits, getting people excited about developing web sites and applications on the .NET platform, and using the best tools for the job. He tries to blog as often as he can, but usually gets distracted by EF, LINQ, MVC, ASP, SQL, XML, and most other types of acronyms. To keep calm James plays a mean Djembe and tries to practice his violin. You can follow him on twitter at @latringo.

And as usual, the comments, suggestions, writings and rants are my own, and really shouldn't reflect the opinions of my employer. That is, unless it really does.

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