e-mail on Windows Mobile – RIM -> RIP

Wow. Now this is a major boost to the Windows Mobile platform.

On the go: Microsoft will give away software upgrades to provide Outlook users access to wireless corporate e-mail on mobile devices, in a move that could unseat the mobile e-mail leader, Research in Motion's BlackBerry.

The free upgrades for Microsoft Exchange Server 2003 and Windows Mobile 5.0 will lift business e-mail and other Outlook data from corporate computers, and automatically send it to mobile phones running on Microsoft Windows software.

It took Research in Motion seven years to win over 2 million customers, and with one swoop Microsoft will give more than 130 million Outlook users the option to access their business e-mail on the go. Microsoft hopes the move will convince corporations to buy mobile devices running on Windows. [Source: Wired News]

New Passport Features

Has anyone noticed the newest features in the latest Microsoft Passport upgrade? My MSN account had somehow gotten locked so I was taken to this page to reset my password. Guess what there is now an audio option to read out the text so you can listen and type in the value instead of using the scrambled image.

The second cool thing that I think will be used by a lot of developers is the password strength bar. As you type in your new password a progress bar below it shows how strong (unbreakable) the password is. While typing my password it started with Weak then went on to Medium and finally to Strong. This is a really good way of making your users pick and use more secure passwords.

Passport with Audio



Trixie – Greasemonkey for Internet Explorer

If you’ve heard about GreaseMonkey and always wanted to use it but didn’t like FireFox then Trixe is for you. I can now happily run GreaseMonkey scripts on IE using Trixie. Thanks to Dare for the link.

What is a Trixie script?

Any Greasemonkey script is a Trixie script. Though, due to differences between Firefox and Internet Explorer, not all Greasemonkey scripts can be executed within IE. Trixie makes no attempt to allow Greasemonkey scripts to run unaltered, since it is best to have the script author account for the differences and have the script run on both browsers if he/she so chooses.

Refer to the excellent Greasemonkey documentationto learn how to write Greasemonkey/Trixie scripts. Note that some of the information there won't be applicable to Internet Explorer and Trixie.

Installing Trixie

Trixie requires the Microsoft .NET framework to be installed.

To install Trixie, download and run TrixieSetup (latest version: 0.2.0). You should ideally close all instances of Internet Explorer before doing this. By default, TrixieSetup installs Trixie to your Program Files\Bhelpuri\Trixie directory (you can of course change this location). It also installs a few scripts to the Program Files\Bhelpuri\Trixie\Scripts directory.

Restart IE after installing Trixie. Once you have restarted, go to the Tools menu. You should see a menu item called "Trixie Options". Selecting that will show you the list of scripts installed and which one's are enabled or disabled.

Once you have installed Trixie, you browse the Web just like you always do. Trixie works in the background executing the scripts on the designated pages and customizing them to your needs.

How to become an early riser

I personally have always been an early riser and consider my morning hours to be the peak time during which my productive is the best.

If you’ve always wanted to be an early riser but were having problems getting up early in the morning then this post is for you. Happy sleeping.

The Admiral’s Pipe

Brad Adams posted this piece. I hope none of *my* management is reading this!

I was recently reminded of a story one of our development managers told me.  Before he started his career in software he was a sailor aboard a Russian sub.  Inspections by the admiral were a regular occurrence and involved a huge investment of time to clean the entire sub… As you might expect Russian admirals were fairly demanding and always expected to find problems.  In fact they kept looking until they found the problem however unimportant they were.  Apparently the sailors came up with a creative way address placate the admiral.  They would leave one, fairly obvious, pipe un-cleaned. The admiral would find this pipe, insist that it be cleaned and feel satisfied that he found a problem and not dig any deeper.  This practice became known as using “the Admiral’s pipe”. 

I will leave it to you to apply this to your work with your own management whether a Russian admiral or IT manager… 

BTA is hiring!

We’re looking for smart, talented folks to join our core group in Systems Engineering. If you get what Career Calculus is all about and are already practicing it plus:

– You have a bachelor’s degree
– You are smart
– You have good written and spoken English
– You are a developer, not a programmer (ideally even Program Managers would have been a developer at some point in their career)

then you might be the perfect fit for one of our positions below. If you are then drop me a mail with your resume to the following address: merillf@sl.bta.cc


Associate Engineer – Systems Engineering

This position will implement internally developed web based products in an Application Service Provider environment for a growing U.S. company servicing the global financial services market. Understanding client requirements and ensuring that products are correctly installed, configured, and customized will be key responsibilities of this position.  You will be involved in a wide variety of projects and will be working closely with the U.S. staff to implement and configure products for a variety of clients.
- Knowledge of XSL, ASP, T-SQL, XML, VBScript/JavaScript, ASP.NET, C#.NET, and Visual SourceSafe are required.
- Strong writing and communication skills are preferred and a Bachelor's degree (or equivalent) is required (a BS in Computer Science is preferred).
- Travel will be required.


Engineer – Systems Engineering

This position will develop web based products in C#.NET, ASP.NET, C++ and MS SQL Server for a growing U.S. company servicing the global financial services market.  You will be involved in a wide variety of projects and will be working closely with the U.S. staff involved in the full development life cycle.

- 2+ years experience in researching, designing and developing software based on system requirements.
- Visual Studio 2003, Visual SourceSafe, VBScript/JavaScript, XML, and T-SQL skills are required.
- Strong writing and communication skills are preferred and a Bachelor's degree (or equivalent) is required (a BS in Computer Science is preferred).
- Travel will be required.


QA Engineer – Systems Engineering

This position will work with product teams to define, document and execute test plans to ensure the web based products satisfy business requirements for a growing U.S. company servicing the global financial services market.  Specific responsibilities include:

- Designing, developing and implementing manual and/or automated testing procedures for various applications and participating in reviews of application designs and functional requirements.
- Leading QA project planning and strategy sessions.
- Creating test plans and cases based on business requirements and technical specifications.
- Documenting, maintaining and monitoring software problem reports.
- Designing and executing (automated, manual) test scripts.
- Maintaining and distributing quality metrics and contribute to business and technical risk assessment.

- 3+ years SW QA test experience.
- 2+ years experience in test planning.
- Experience with Quality Assurance Methods and Practices (automated test, manual test etc.).
- Experience with running and/or writing Test Scripts and/or Test Plans.
- Proven ability to work cooperatively and effectively with business and systems personnel.
- College degree or applicable work experience.

- Travel will be required.


Program Manager – Systems Engineering

This position will plan and manage all stages of product development and implementation for a growing U.S. company servicing the global financial services market.  You should posses a proven track record of defining, managing and meeting project deadlines, milestones, and critical path on a consistent basis.  Specific responsibilities include:

- Developing and managing project scope.
- Identifying client issues.
- Creating schedules and timelines.
- Communicating with clients and internal teams.
- Managing client deliverables to keep them on schedule and meet project milestones.
- Guiding the team through unexpected issues, quickly analyzing situations and driving the team towards optimal resolution.
- Providing leadership to the team by obtaining clear, realistic goals.
- Motivating cross-functional teams to solve product issues and meet aggressive schedules.
- Working closely with product and client management.
- Communicating frequently with all levels of the organization.

- 4+ years of client-facing, engagement/project management experience is required.
- BS degree or equivalent, Project Management Professional (PMP) certification, MBA preferred.
- Demonstrated leadership ability and excellent written and oral communication skills.
- Familiar with software project management, including resource management, budgeting, and implementation planning.
- Familiarity with MS project preferred.

- Knowledge of database-oriented, web-based applications a plus.
- Strong technical knowledge, systems implementation experience and the ability to interact with clients at peer and senior levels, as well as excellent organizational skills, and ability to effectively prioritize and execute workflow is necessary.

- Travel will be required.

zone24x7 is hiring

Dhammika from zone24x7 just forwarded this ad to me. They’re looking for Software Engineers and Web Developers, click on the thumbnail below to see the full ad.

I personally know a handful of the guys who work here. Starting with Dhammika (a brilliant mind) who worked with me at GBS (now AOT), Kanchana (she started the first QA unit at Virtusa) who also worked at GBS and Shoba one of my M.Sc. batch mates. Definitely a good place to work at.


MVP Summit Day 1

There was one particular event on Day 1 that I can safely say wasn't under NDA so I'm free to blog about it.

What do you think happens when 200 testosterone driven ‘super geeks’ are entertained by some really sexy exotic dancers?

Exotic Dancers Belly Dancer

They go NUTS taking pictures without enjoying the actual show. Now, I wonder what they’ll be doing later with those pictures…

Geeks taking pics

Some more pics