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The Ramblings of a Infragistics Product Manager

Copyright: Andrew Flick

INETAA Positions -- How to Apply?

Wed, 23 Feb 2005 15:03:00 GMT

Originally posted on:

Currently, I'm getting a good share of blog posts and e-mails about the positions available in INETAA.  So, the biggest question is “How do I get involved?”  First, a big cheers to the community...the responses have been awesome...

So, to apply for this position(s) contact me at by submitting the following information:

Your Name:

Position(s) you're seeking.

(If Academic Regional Director then your location)

After, I get this, I'll get in touch with you about the next steps, more detailed information, and make introductions to the appropriate teams.



Recruiting for INETAA

Sat, 19 Feb 2005 23:03:00 GMT

Originally posted on: International .NET Association Academic is a sub-committee of INETA with a focus on taking the voice and the needs of academic space and giving it the assistance required to form successful communities and help academics have a say in the workings of INETA.  The INETAA Student Committee is currently looking to fill the roles of different project teams and asks the help of the most dedicated and talented students/professionals to take part in the management/infrastructure of the User Group of Academic User Groups.   INETAA Available Positions   Academic Regional Director This position is a managerial and reporting position with direct ties to the student population and the Microsoft Student Ambassadors in their region.  Each Academic Regional Director will have the SA’s that are in their region as contact points for extended collaboration.  The end goal of the Academic Regional Director is to help build community, foster growth and collaboration between Industry and Academia, and help recruit and maintain the management structure of INETAA.  The ideal candidate should be a student, a natural community leader and understand how to influence and lead a team of individuals.  Prior knowledge to building an effective community is a definite plus.  Essentially, you are the Rockstars of INETAA.   Director of Marketing This position will manage all marketing of INETAA Student Committee and will directly interface with INETAA’s marketing professional.  The candidate should understand how to plan marketing stragetgies and effective means to influence the academic market.  Required skills include Graphics Design capabilities utilizing tools such as Photoshop and the ability to talk to mid-to-senior level Industry Professionals and discuss partnership strategies.  Knowledge of Flash is a definite plus.  Your team will be in charge of developing marketing materials along with all Press Releases.  .   Industry Academic Alliance Relationship Manager This position will work with the Director of IAA and help facilitate the relations between Academia and Industry.  This is a challenging market to break into and will require an individual who can pull resources from nothing and who has the perseverance and will to achieve an effective relationship.  Furthermore, as an IAARM you will be help shape the role-out of a major INETAA program and have direct influence on the design and scalability of the program.   ASKit Film Producer As the ASKit film producer, your job will be to conduct interviews with Industry Professionals.  As the Askit Film Producer, you will work directly with the Director of ASKit’s to help reach content goals.  A knowledge of journalism or the creation of video media is a definite plus although not required.    ASKit Developer As an ASKit Developer you will construct basic to advance applications with a focus of teaching best practices and coding techniques to the entry-level to advance academic developer.  Furthermore, you will interface directly with the On-Line Community and help build the community by taking existing application submissions and showing them what a development rock-star can do.  A strong knowledge in .NET is essential for this position along with the capability and flexibility to develop for any .NET targeted platform and the ability to utilize any existing tools.   ASKit Documentation Specialist As the Documentation Specialist you will take the code from the ASKit Developer and write technical documentation on how to achieve these projects in a number of steps.  Through tight coupling with the developer you will build How-To’s and Windows Media Player walkthroughs explaining the steps required to build these applications.  A clear understanding of the development process and some best practices is a plus.  Furthermore, this [...]

My Libraries are the Devil

Wed, 10 Nov 2004 13:56:00 GMT

Originally posted on:

I recently had the pleasure of speaking at the Northern New Jersey .Net User Group (N3UG) and while there we discussed the My Libraries.  I do think the overall idea behind them is REALLY cool, however, there are some problems...

Where exactly is all the code for the My Libraries?  What exactly was the VB team thinking there?  In the words of the famed DonXML why didn't they open the source and release them as application blocks???  That way we would have the source code and be able to utilize them and extend them as we saw fit...not just call some method.  In other words, truely make them our own.

However, for what ever reason they were not released this way...meaning they truely aren't My libraries.  Well if they aren't mine...who's are they?  Jeff Julian, the Prophet behind Geeks with Blogs, knows exactly who owns them.  He has proclaimed the “My Libraries are the Devil.” 

A special thanks to the anonymous N3UG who helped us come upon this startling realization.  Closing with a call-out to the community...if they aren't My Libraries...what should we call them?


INETAA -- IAA -- Post from the PM

Tue, 14 Sep 2004 19:50:00 GMT

Originally posted on:

Scott Canham has recently taken over INETAA -- IAA initiative as the new Product Manager.  He forwarded an INETAA internal email around, but I figured I'd post it and look for feedback from the community en masse.

Here are my current thoughts on the IAA pilot program. Let me know what you think and please add anything if it comes to mind. 

I'd like to run the pilot program from Oct 1 to Dec 31 with at least 3 groups.

This should give us enough time figure out:

  • What kind of user groups work well
  • What industry contacts work well
  • What user groups and industry need in terms on communication

Main scenarios:

  • User groups working on projects looking for help from industry on specific issues
  • User groups looking for inside information related to their projects
  • Industry contacts looking for user groups to provide cheap labor/research labor
  • Industry contacts looking to build recruitment relationships with specific user groups and universities

I think it would be good to get user groups with an emphasis on several different areas. By this I mean we should try and find active groups that are focused on general .NET topics as well as groups that are focused on ASP or DirectX. I believe that if we diversify IAA groups and types of industry contacts we will have an easier time matching groups and we will see better results.

The challenge is going to be in identifying user groups and industry contacts for our pilot program. To do this, I think we need to leverage the contacts some of us already have, so if you have some groups or industry people in mind speak up right away please :) Also, perhaps we can get some assistance from Microsoft Developer Evangelists, Microsoft Academic Developer Evangelists and INETA pro-devs? Thoughts on this?



Thu, 09 Sep 2004 20:17:00 GMT

Originally posted on:

INETAA will have it's very own server....

  • DELL PowerEdge PIV-2.0 Ghz
  • 1.0 GB ECC RAM 
  • 3 x 60 GB HD's
  • Windows Server 2003 Ent.
  • SQL Server 2000
  • and a few others that will be announced as they become public.

Lots of exciting stuff going on here.  We may be looking for some community support in the development aspect.  So, if you find yourself interested in helping out...let me know!!!



ASKit's (Academic Starter Kits)

Thu, 09 Sep 2004 20:06:00 GMT

Originally posted on: recent development out of the depths of months of INETAA Student Committee Meetings has been the introduction of the Academic Starter Kit. This Groups Product Manager is Paul Hacker.  The following content is what we are going to try and implement into it.  I realize that this is really scarce, but if anyone has questions on the meaning...or if anyone would like to add to the content or help in it's creation let me know!! We can use all the help we can get! Audience Student Developers Little or No Development Experience (For 100-Level Kits)   Technologies Core Technologies (Visual Development) 100-Level WinForm Development (C#/VB) Web Development ASP.Net Web-Application ASP.Net Web-Service Compact Framework Development (C#/VB) Core Technologies (Business Development) 200-Level Security Basics Introduction to Security in .Net Building Reusable Software Classes, Structs, etc Introduction to Architecture & n-tier Applications Core Technologies (Advanced Development) 300 - 400 Level Microsoft Application Blocks Creating and Utilizing Software Components WSE 2.0 Etc. Content Technical Content Links to content Lab-manuals Code Samples and Project Files Windows Media Encoded Coding Walk-Through of Samples Extensibility Ideas This was shown, on your own what can you do. Potential to post these things in the INETAA Community Building a Student Community with INETAA Whitepaper on setting up a users-group FAQ INETA Speakers Bureau Resource Guide (How to Get Free Stuff) Interview with a Pro Career Profile Docs Application Developer Systems Administrator Technical Evangelist Security Analyst CEO Web-Developer Interviews with Industry Professionals about There Jobs Fame Shot (Photo) Microsoft "Exclusives" Information from MS Developers on MS Information on the MVP Program Information on MSDN and MSDN Student Flash Information on being a DCC Vender Misc. Freebies [...]

New INETA Program -- Industry-Academic Alliance

Sun, 23 May 2004 13:07:00 GMT

Originally posted on: The IAA program is an INETA endorsed program that provides a structured framework and support line to establishing an alliance between Industry and Academia.  This program offers an annual award certification to INETA users-groups that meet the IAA standards by effectively establishing a hybrid community with a passion for educating and promoting Microsoft® .Net technologies.   Why IAA? IAA provides many long-term benefits to both industry and academia.  For academia, a driven and passionate student will have an un-surpassed interest for the ability to learn and solve problems side-by-side with industry professionals.  A student strives to learn real-world applications and technologies with an end result of being better prepared for the professional world.    For industry, the ability to directly affect and influence the education and promotion of .Net offers a clear recruiting pool for the most driven and passionate students at a given academic institution.  Effectively the most involved students will show a demonstrated passion directly to industry with an end result of illustrating the best leaders of tomorrow.    "I believe that creating a strong partnership between academia and industry will serve both sectors quite well and strengthen the developer community.  Students often provide new and unique ideas and approaches to solving problems and professionals have real-world experience to share.  When you put those two together, you've got a powerful combination." -Jacob Cynamon, Microsoft Developer Community Champion IAA Certification IAA Certification is an Annual Certification Award presented to user-group communities that share an Alliance between Industry and Academia.  A cross-group collaboration and a genuine interest in each other’s need is a must.    ·         Annual Certification Award – Student leaders graduate every year.  An annual award promotes the continued existence and collaboration of IAA groups even through the loss of student leadership.  IAA essentially provides an effective structure for the continuation of INETA Academic based users-groups through the stability of the professional group. ·         IAA Award Logo: An award logo that is granted to IAA Certified users-groups to display proudly as an elite hybrid community with a passion for collaborative learning. ·         Qualifications: The extent of collaborations between groups is currently being determined by INETA, INETA Academic and a newly forming INETA Academic Student Committee. The broad requirement is proven group collaboration and a strong sense of focus for the two area’s needs. “The IAA makes sense and it’s about time to start close collaboration.” Martin Schray, Microsoft Academic Relations Manager         INETA Academic Student Committee Comprised of some of the top student leaders in the world; these individuals show a demonstrated excellence in the community and a willingness to provide help to their peers and represent the student pulse of INETA.  Each student leader represents a geographic region and is able to interface with INETA professional groups and Academic groups in a way to promote the overall unification necessary to achieve IAA Certification.   IAA Roadmap May 23rd, 2004 is the first public announcement of the Industry-Academia Alliance.  This program has been discussed at length for sometime and the INETA Users-Group Leaders’ Summit was the perfect opportunity to launch it publicly.  Following this date a draft framework, certification criteria,[...]

Welcome Lorraine Wolfe to the Academic Student Committee

Sun, 23 May 2004 13:01:00 GMT

Originally posted on:

I’d like to introduce the new Academic Marketing Manager for the INETA Academic Student Committee.  Her name is Lorraine Wolfe and she is extremely passionate about working with INETA and working with Users-Groups.


Lorraine graduated with honors from Bradley University in May of 2004.  She completed two majors, Advertising and Multimedia, and a minor, Graphic Design, in four years time.  She worked on the University’s yearbook The Anaga for two years shooting photos, writing copy, laying out yearbook spreads, and conducting interviews with professors and students.


To show her passion for the users-group community it’s best to show off her experience.  For the past year and a half, Lorraine has been actively involved supporting Bradley’s INETA group, buFusion.Net, as the all-encompassing marketing/advertising/design coordinator.  She generated ideas for the on-campus wireless access launch event and designed posters, flyers, and newspaper ads to help build up the launch.


In her position as the Academic Marketing Manager, she hopes to help the team accomplish its objectives first by creating a solid, functional logo for the IAA.  Then, by bringing her integrated marketing communications skills to the table, she will organize Alliance activities, design distributable information pieces, and help tie the organization together through the use of consistent, effective, creative communications.


INETA Academic Student Committee Announced

Sun, 23 May 2004 12:58:00 GMT

Originally posted on:

My role as the Academic Student Committee Chair at INETA is to form a committee of top student leaders from around the world to represent the student ‘pulse’ of INETA.  This committee consists of an entire student support structure from web-designers to a marketing manager.  One of the major components of the Student Committee is the Regional Director.  These students manage the universities in their regions and determine the needs of their given region.  Furthermore, these students will help in feeding back to the INETA Professional side how they can better integrate with the student groups. 


Imagine Cup Bug Fix 1.0

Sat, 24 Apr 2004 20:44:00 GMT

Originally posted on: is a critic...  I've posted quite a few gripes myself, but seldom posted any ideas for fixing anything.  Those of you who know me will realize that I believe in plans, outlines, frameworks, or whatever else you want to call it.  So, with that, I'm going to post a very rough draft of an ICF or Imagine Cup Framework.  A lot of this will be fairly abstract ideas that will allow for the program to mold to a fit as necessary.  Also, this will focus solely on the Software Design Competition, no use to have a scatter-shot framework when we all know what the main thing with IC is. Purpose -- The Problem to be solved. This year's Imagine Cup theme was “Smart Makes Every Day Life Easier...”  To incorporate this vision the IC planners placed restrictions such as: the app must include a web-service, perform progressively better over time, and run on a mobile device.  These are way too many restrictions and sort of the wrong way to do things.  End result: the competitions had many mobile device programs that were 'token' apps or applications that would have been better suited for a desktop platform or many had web-services in a place where a web-service didn't make sense.  So, if I were an IC planner what does this tell me?  This tells me that I defined a problem and the solution.  The implementation was defined ahead of time and was entirely too strict.  To emphasize this, here is a call-out to IC judges, how many of you physically checked teams' code to determine if they were really using a web-service?  That’s what I thought. So, if I were to start looking at a theme for the next Imagine Cup what would I, Andrew Flick (a simple, highly in debt, college student) propose?  How about a problem category (built of course using the .Net platform)? Technology Improves the Medical Industry Technology Improves the Transportation Industry Technology Improves the Tech Industry Technology Improves Education Technology Improves Security You're looking at the potential of students solving critical problems while still leaving room for imagination to create unique solutions.  Doing things that even if they don't take the World Prize may still have a huge impact on society.  Now that's not trivial, but eventually you may run out of ideas for categories, so you could do 1 of 2 things.  Narrow each general category down, so fixing Air Transportation or focus on the problems of the time, such as technology helping under-privileged kids get a better educational experience.  So, that's my thoughts on defining a purpose of the competition. Timeframe -- The ever shifting deadline Ok, we know that this year’s time frame for Imagine Cup out-right stunk.  So, I'm not going to elaborate on that.  I will briefly sum up my thoughts on making a successful time frame.   Incremental Deadlines and by Deadlines, I mean final solid deadlines. First and foremost, the academic calendar or an average of one (in case you aren’t in college or forgot about this thing).                             Fall                              Spring Begin               September                    February Mid-Terms        End of October   [...]

Imagine Cup Round 2 (The Fall of AMPS)

Fri, 23 Apr 2004 19:41:00 GMT

Originally posted on: Day.  Leave Peoria at 6:30 a.m. and head for the University of Illinois, Champaign-Urbana.  My initial impression, “so this is what a computer science department is supposed to look”  My second impression, (download speeds of 2 MB/sec) “I thought hitting over 100 KB/sec was good.”  Here's the break-down: Format -- Long and Boring Round 1 We have two rooms with approximately 10 teams in each.  We have two judges, one judge short.  Each team gets 20 minutes with a single judge.  That means the first round lasts about 4 hours (adding time for the judges to take a break).  Gripe #1 -- That's a long time to sit there and wait...  If I were running things: coordinate more demonstrations to be at the event besides just the mobility road show.  Invite industry in to check out these sweet apps.  Organize a LAN-Party while you wait.  Finally, schedule anyone?  Judge A will be at your booth at 10:20, you have until them to do what ever you want. Round 2 10 Teams go home.  Their award for traveling from who knows where to have the honor to compete...nothing.  Gripe #2 -- Every team that competed in this competition should have left with something.  Traveling to this event came out of their own pockets (We are college students...).  We have 10 teams left, each team will get 10 minutes with the other judge.  Do the math; we have another long wait with nothing to do, except maybe make enhancements on our project (if we have an implementation).  The judges deliberate and 5 more teams go home, empty handed. Final Round 5 teams give a presentation in front of everyone; the other competing teams get dirty and tear the competition to shreds.  This was pretty interesting, you could see what everyone else did or didn't do.  My thoughts were...hey judges forget the marketing B.S. this is a programming competition at this stage everyone should have a decent proof of concept.  I don't care if half of it doesn't work, just show me the demo! Judges  -- We don't need no stinkin' security. I don't know what to say here.  Gripe #3: Teams lacking an implementation and beating teams with an implementation.  Last time I saw the judging sheet an implementation was 20% or so of the final score...  By far my biggest gripe is this: security/privacy.  A good idea is fine, but there must be ways to make the app implementible in a secure fashion.  So, why in the hell was there no focus on security/privacy that deals directly into the potential of app being used.  Case and Point: a judge’s suggestion to my team.  “You have a web-service that allows a hospital to locate doctors by location, specialty, etc.  What I'm disappointed in with your app is that you didn't implement a mobile client so that I as a potential patient can access this service and locate on my smart phone where the doctors are.”  Earth to Judge: have you ever considered privacy considerations??  That's exactly what the doctors want.  Case Scenario: My heart hurts; hey we have a cardiologist eating dinner down the road. let me go see him.  Wow!  Another app gave the ability to open locked doors by security clearance by voice recognition...notice not voice authentication.  The Fall of AMPS AMPS made it to the final round and we were to give a presentation.  We started writing the presentation right after we found out we made it to this round.  We felt the app spoke for itself, but we jumped on the band-wagon and threw a few slides together.  So after givin[...]

Imagine Cup Round 1 (The Re-Run Post)

Fri, 23 Apr 2004 16:09:00 GMT

Originally posted on:

My team was competing at the round 1 competition for Imagine Cup.  The host location: Bradley University; Peoria, IL; The Student Center Grand Ballroom.  The schools competing in this competition included Bradley University and Bradley's biggest rival Illinois State University

Event Night: The match-up consists of 4 teams from Bradley and ISU chickened out and sent none claiming not enough time to prepare.  So, scratch the earlier comment it was only Bradley fighting Bradley.  The event format consisted of utilizing 3 judges.  Each of the judges was to receive a special token of appreciation, such as Microsoft Office.  This was such a grand phenomenon that a fourth judge showed up to the competition unannounced and uninvited, however, he sure wanted his copy of Office.  (Not sure where he came from.) 

The Competing Teams consisted of: a team that would utilize WiFi hotspots to alert everyone on the network that was running their app of a person in trouble; a team that would use the pocket pc to control a sort of music download center or juke box; a team that would use a pocket pc to control toy trains, and a team that would use a location service to locate doctors and then page them based on their specialty, health-care plan, and proximity to the hospital (my team).

The competition of four teams lasted from 7:00 - 10:00, practically an hour of love per team.  The feedback, I've gotten from the teams was that the event was extremely long, too long.  (Not that it bothered me; it was evening party time at the MVP summit.)

So, my round one experience consisted of socializing with fellow MVP's.  However, the end result sent my team on to Round 2 and made each of my team members about $33.33 richer.  Stay Tuned for the round two post, which will consist of a lot more gripes because I was there.