I learned a lot this year and I thought I’d take a moment to share some of my favorite blog posts, books and newly discovered blogs.
Besides continuing to play with BizTalk Server, I also dug deep into Windows Server AppFabric, Microsoft StreamInsight, Windows Azure, Salesforce.com, Amazon AWS, Microsoft Dynamics CRM and enterprise architecture. I learned some of those technologies for my last book, some was for work, and some was for personal education. This diversity was probably evident in the types of blog posts I wrote this year. Some of my most popular, or favorite posts this year were:
- SIMPLER Way of Hosting the WCF 4.0 Routing Service. I wrote this post while researching the book and I think this was the first example of someone trying to do this. So either I’m a trailblazer, or clinically insane. Jury’s out.
- Debatching Inbound Messages from BizTalk WCF SQL Adapters. I took a look at how to split messages coming in from the new WCF-based SQL Adapter.
- Top 9 Things to Focus On When Learning New Platform Technologies. I wrote this after attending a conference on Dynamics CRM and thinking about my learning plan for that technology.
- Using the New BizTalk Mapper Shape in a Windows Workflow Service. This post came around the BizTalk Server 2010 beta launch and showed a neat new way to do efficient data mapping in Windows Workflow.
- 6 Things to Know About Microsoft StreamInsight. I drank the StreamInsight Kool-Aid this year and really hope that Microsoft-centric developers/architects embrace event processing more in 2011.
- Leveraging and Managing the StreamInsight Standalone Host. There was very little initial documentation by Microsoft on how to use a centralized StreamInsight processing host so this was my effort to explain that a bit more.
- Using the New AWS Web Console Interface to Set Up Simple Notification Services. I’m a big fan of Amazon’s cloud capabilities and here was a quick walkthrough of their SNS offering.
- Metadata Handling in BizTalk Server 2010 AppFabric Connect for Services. There are some quirks with this new feature pack, but overall, I liked the way that we can now easily expose BizTalk endpoints to the Azure cloud.
- Using Realistic Security For Sending and Listening to the AppFabric Service Bus. I wish that the release of new technologies from Microsoft came with more in-depth demonstration of real-life scenarios. This post was a case of highlighting the difference between every Service Bus demo ever, and what you’d actually want to do in real life.
- I can’t pick a favorite interview of 2010 among Mike Stephenson, Thiago Almeida, Mikael Hakansson, Udi Dahan,Aaron Skonnard, Dan Rosanova, Saravana Kumar, Mark Simms, Johan Hedberg, Brent Stineman, and Ben Cline. I suspect that my stupid questions have gotten stupider this year, but I’m scared to research it.
While I find that I use Twitter (@rseroter) instead of blog posts to share interesting links, I still consider blogs to be the best long-form source of information. Here are a few that I either discovered or followed closer this year:
- InfoQ.com. Great site for news and analysis of technology trends.
- ReadWriteCloud. Good spot for keeping up with industry news about cloud computing.
- Harvard Business Review Blog. Insightful place for information on leadership and management.
- HighScalability.com. I love this blog and really like reading statistics and strategies for high-performing websites.
- Windows Server AppFabric CAT Team Blog. Exceptional content on topics like BizTalk, AppFabric and StreamInsight.
I tried to keep up a decent pace of technical and non-technical book reading this year and liked these the most:
- Event Processing: Designing IT Systems for Agile Companies. Easy read about how to think about, and build solutions for, event driven systems.
- Heat: An Amateur’s Adventures as Kitchen Slave, Line Cook, Pasta-Maker, and Apprentice to a Dante-Quoting Butcher in Tuscany. Wonderful book about an editor of the New Yorker who wanted to learn more about life in the kitchen.
- Adventures of an IT Leader. Interesting fictional story about someone who is thrust into the role of CIO and must learn as he goes.
- Men with Balls: The Professional Athlete’s Handbook. Crude and hilarious “guide” for professional athletes.
- Beyond Bullet Points. One of my goals for last year was to become a better presenter, and this book helped me focus my presentations and rely less on PowerPoint and much more on preparation.
- John Adams. Well-written and thorough account of an American patriot.
I somehow had a popular year on this blog with 125k+ visits and really appreciate each of you taking the time to read my musings. I hope we can continue to learn together in 2011.
I want to thank you for great work you have done/and doing towards Microsoft community in general and Biztalk in particular. I love your blogs as they are complete in concept and implementation. Your blog posts also help me get a view of the emerging technologies and help me pick the ones I want to expand into.