Are forums dead?

By James Johnson at August 18, 2007 15:22
Filed Under: Inland Empire .NET UG

In order to generate more of a sense of community in the User Group, I started the Most Valuable Community Participant and Most Valuable Member program for the group. Basically members can get points for posting on the UG forums and participating in the community. The top three winners will win significant prizes.

So, where is everyone? No one goes to the forums, the last post was three weeks ago. Are forums dead for networking and communication? Is it because we're in the Inland Empire? I sure would like to know.


Homegrown Ajax

By James Johnson at August 18, 2007 15:15
Filed Under: Web Development, Ajax and Javascript, Inland Empire .NET UG
I've been doing a lot of Ajax and Javascript development lately. Recently I gave a presentation to the Inland Empire .NET User's Group on how I use my own libraries and JQuery to build my sites. You can download the slides and source code here. Look for ""


By James Johnson at August 18, 2007 15:09
Filed Under: Life in General, Web Development

Ricki, my brother-in-law has been staying with us for a month. He's a good guy, sometimes makes the wrong turn in life, but has a full heart and is pretty smart. He's decided to learn how web development so he can help us out with our sites. I have always felt that if a person can peck their way around a keyboard and has some basic common sense, they can learn to program. I have offered to teach people what I do, most jump at the chance, then fade away after a day or two.

Ricki is different. Like totally different. He is devouring the books I have given him, is always asking questions, building sample sites, soaking up CSS and HTML tags like a sponge and has pretty much mastered getting around in Visual Web Developer Express. He's even jumped feet first into Photoshop and is getting the knack of that.

He has the ambition, the courage to learn something new and confusing, and the same "stick to it until you get it right" attitdue that both Carmina and I have.

I am so damn proud of my cunado (Spanish for brother-in-law). He's gonna make it.

Twenty sites and counting. What I've learned

By James Johnson at August 18, 2007 15:02
Filed Under: Web Development

It's been a fast year. Carmina and I have just finished up our 20th site, and more are in the pipline. The last three weeks we've pumped out 10 sites. What have I learned about all this?

1. CSS is my friend. At first I couldn't get my head wrapped around it, but now I'm a convert.
2. Be as simple as you can, while still putting that "sparkle" on a project
3. Don't let my ego get in the way. Carmina is the one who talks with the clients, knows what they want and like, even if its a mint green background with yellow borders. The customer is king.
4. Use GoDaddy for the brochure sites
5. Pace yourself. Don't try to do it all in an evening, spend time to learn new things, sharpen the saw
6. Most importantly, have a great partner by your side, who appreciates what you're doing.

About the author

James James is a five time and current Microsoft MVP in Client App Development, a Telerik Insider, a past Director on the INETA North America Board, a husband and dad, and has been developing software since the early days of Laser Discs and HyperCard stacks. As the Founder and President of the Inland Empire .NET User's Group, he has fondly watched it grow from a twice-a-month, early Saturday morning group of five in 2003, to a robust and rambunctious gathering of all types and sizes of .NET developers.

James loves to dig deep into the latest cutting edge technologies - sometimes with spectacular disasters - and spread the word about the latest and greatest bits, getting people excited about developing web sites and applications on the .NET platform, and using the best tools for the job. He tries to blog as often as he can, but usually gets distracted by EF, LINQ, MVC, ASP, SQL, XML, and most other types of acronyms. To keep calm James plays a mean Djembe and tries to practice his violin. You can follow him on twitter at @latringo.

And as usual, the comments, suggestions, writings and rants are my own, and really shouldn't reflect the opinions of my employer. That is, unless it really does.

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