Building software for Special Olympics - 3

by Van 23. January 2011 15:04

My first task for Prince William Special Olympics (PWSO) is to create a Silverlight application to manage their Class A volunteers. Class A volunteers in Special Olympics Virginia (SOVA) are persons who have access to the athletes and have passed a background check. They can be coaches, chaperones, etc. Because the term of the Class A volunteer expires every 3 years, the first concern for PWSO is to determine which volunteers need a current background check.

This will be the first task of this new application. A couple of months ago I did some work with SketchFlow to determine some of the requirements. For the remainder of this project (still in search of a code name), I will try to use a Scrum Methodology and Test Driven Development (TDD).

The technologies I will be using are C#, Ado.Net Entity Framework 4.0, Silverlight and WCF RIA Services. I will also be using MVVM pattern and maybe the repository pattern. Keep following my blog to see how this project progresses.




MIX10 – Day One

by Van 16. March 2010 15:10

This is my fourth MIX conference, missing the first one. This is the first sold out MIX. The excitement is all due to the Window Phone announcement.  

The day started out as all MIX conferences (actually all conferences) does with the keynote. Scott Gu gave the first day keynote as he has done in all of the MIX conferences I have been at. His first bit of news was SilverLight 4 RC is now available. The best part of this announcement was that we can build SilverLight 4 applications with Visual Studio 2010 RC. This was not a surprise but what I had expected and would have been disappoint if not been release today.

But the star of the keynote was Windows Phone. They demonstrated the new platform; the ease of building compelling applications. This platform uses silverLight and/or the XNA framework. They showed how you can build an application that runs on the PC, Zune, Xbox and the new Windows Phone platform. The real beauty of this is that any .Net developer can start doing this today. Of course the tools for Windows Phone development are available now.

My session of the day was “Beyond File | New Company: From Cheesy Sample to Social Platform”. In the session they took the “NerdDinner” ASP.Net MVC sample and changed it to a more compelling application using iCal, Open Auth, Odata, bolg flairs, etc. Look at the code at

My last session of the day was “Understanding the Model-View-ViewModel Pattern”. This session did give me a better understanding of the MVVM pattern. The speaker had created a framework to help with creating MVVM applications. He talks about how this pattern is good for SilverLight applications. His focus was building the view part of the application in Blend.

Preparing for MIX10

by Van 9. March 2010 02:49

It has been a while since I blogged. My life has been such a whirlwind since PDC09. I took 2 family vacations, one to Disney World and another to Vero Beach, and of course, there was Thanksgiving and Christmas.  To top it off, we had a lot of snow in Northern Virginia. For now,  I am trying to blog regularly again.


This week, I will be preparing for MIX10 in Vegas. This is the 5th MIX conference (I missed the first one). At my first MIX conference, MIX07, they introduced Silverlight 1.0. At MIX08 they introduced Silverlight 2.0. At MIX09 they introduced Silverlight 3.0. Last year after MIX09, I would have thought that at MIX10 they would introduce Silverlight 4.0; however they did that at PDC09 (which I consider the highlight of PDC).


This year, there seems to be a lot more buzz on twitter about MIX than last year, which I believe has to do with Windows Phone. My focus this year will be Silverlight 4, WCF RIA services, OData, MVVM, and of course, Windows Phone. The Windows Phone sessions include programing with Silverlight and the XNA framework which should be interesting (The XNA framework is used for programing games on the Xbox). To prepare myself for the conference I have been following “Countdown to MIX10” on channel 9 along with Silverlight TV and getting up to speed on WCF RIA Services.


While I am at MIX10, I will be tweeting from the keynotes and blogging my day like I did at PDC09. You can follow me on twitter at . MIX10 should be very exciting.

About Van

Van, a Senior Web Developer for Innervisions Software, Inc. since 1996, started programming Mainframes using COBOL, JCL for AT&T in 1979. While at AT&T, Van was part of many development teams that produced enterprise level applications and systems using CICS, IMS and other mainframe technologies. 

Van bought his first personal computer in 1982, an Apple II+, and started to write programs for home use in Applesoft (Basic Microsoft created for the Apple II) . 

Van first started working with Microsoft technologies using Access 1.0 and Visual Basic 3.0. In 2000, Van attended VS Live in Orlando where he was first exposed to .Net. He started programming .Net with Visual Studio .Net Beta 2. He became an Independent Consultant in 1996 and started Innervisions Software, Inc. 

In 2003 he wrote his first professional ASP.Net app. Since 2004 Van has been subcontracting on an IRS project using ASP.Net, VB.Net, and SQL Server.

He spends his spare time working on the web site for Prince William Special Olympics which was created using Dot Net Nuke.   Van is currently working on a Silverlight app for Prince William Special Olympics to manage their volunteers.

Van has a BA in Mathematics from Lehman College in New York City and a MS in Computer Science from George Washington University. Van holds MCP certifications in Visual Basic, Access, ASP.Net and SQL Server.

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