Blog ala Vidar

SQL, AppFrame and other cool technologies

Tag Archives: Mentor

My Vacation

This weekend is the last in my vacation which basically means that I’m coming to Ølen again after 3 weeks of vacation. So, what have I been doing the last weeks? A lot of things! First on the priority list was the World Cup of soccer and Tour de France, but there’s a lot of “free time” from these events, especially after the World Cup was finished. I’ve of course used my vacation to be the perfect uncle, babysitting my soon to be 1 year old nephew, visiting family etc., but I’ve also used A LOT of time in front of the computer. First I reinstalled my server, playing some more with Exchange, but when that was done I had to find something else to keep me busy; Mentor

Mentor is a website that focuses on connecting people who want to learn something with people who want to teach something. We’re first focusing on .NET, SQL and related Microsoft technologies, but it would be cool if oracle and java guys were using this too! Basically what we’re trying to do is to make a site where people can register which topics (“tags”) they’re interested in and then connecting them with other people of these topics. This has been (and will be) a great opportunity for me to learn ASP.NET MVC. WAIT! Did you read wrong? Vidar doing web-development? Has hell frozen over? Not yet. I’ve just found out that MVC actually makes web-development pretty easy. If you’re interested in this topic I really recommend you watching this great session about ASP.NET MVC2 Basics Introduction by Scott Hanselman. Actually all sessions with this guy is worth recommending, because he’s a real code ninja, and he’s hilarious.

I registered Mentor at CodePlex, and got joined by Jan Leon and Arild. But with CodePlex (which is GREAT for open source projects) you don’t have full access to TFS (Team Foundation Server) and you have to publish your project within 30 days. I don’t want to publish this project as an open source project, since I don’t see the big win on this, although if anyone wants the source code I won’t mind sending it. I’ve been participating on several open source projects, and I really like the idea, but I don’t see why I should publish this. Anyhow, this is another discussion. If you REALLY want me to, contact me and we’ll discuss it. Using TFS on CodePlex whet my appetite for it, so I installed it on a server internally in Omega. I would really recommend using this instead of SVN (for the core parts of AppFrame, custom projects etc.). You can also connect to TFS using SVN with the help of SvnBridge.

Other than this I’ve created PowerPoint slides for my sessions at AppEd, and done other AppEd-planning things. I’m currently thinking of a great way of recording each session, without the session being interrupted because of the recording (software failure, people having to talk into a microphone etc.). Thinking of using Camtasia, but not sure yet. Oh, did I mention we’ve got several surprises for those attending AppEd? One clue for one of these surprises is already in this blog post; “Code Ninja”.


A couple of months back I signed up on a Norwegian forum to be a teacher for people who wanted to start learning programming. Last week I got my first “apprentice” which got me to start thinking about what a great idea this actually is. Why isn’t there some site out there where you can find someone to help you start programming? Or maybe get better at something you already know.

I’ve got a lot of spare time, but what we’re talking about here is a couple of mails and/or MSN-chats a week. Everyone got time for that! I’m don’t know everything about SQL Server, but I’m sure I could teach most of you a couple of things. I’ve also got experience with .NET, PHP, MySQL and many other things, but that’s a bit rusty, so I’d love to get better at least with .NET. Having someone you can just shoot questions to would be awesome. I know, there are a lot of Q&A  sites out there. I’ve started being active on StackOverflow and lately, and before I’ve been on MSDN forums.

So, what I’ve been thinking of lately is, what about making a site to connect teachers and students? Maybe integrate it with StackOverflow using their API to do the Q&A-part, but have somewhat of a social site where you can find interesting articles (or videos?) about your favorite subjects, and connect with someone who’s willing to answer a couple of questions a week, to get you started with programming (or maybe a new topic like LINQ, WCF or similar).

Would you be interested in participating on such a site?
As a “teacher” you’d get a profile, adding all your feeds (blogs, youtube videos or similar), where people can vote on your feed-items, and the top articles would show on the front page (maybe just links to the original blog-post, not to “steal” any content). You’d also get to help the community, and of course kill as much time as you wanted by rating articles and being contacted by “students”.
As a “student” you’d browse through teacher’s profiles, articles and of course get in contact with someone willing to help you on your way with either starting programming, a new language or just a new feature.
As a “developer” you’d get to help me build this site

So, bottom line. You got any thoughts about this? Would you use the site? Contact me either you’ve got ideas, comments or you want to participate!