Working with the XAML AppBar in Blend and VS 2012

AppBars provide the user with easy access to commands when required. The user can swipe up from the bottom edge of the screen to make app bars appear and can interact with their content to make app bars disappear. App bars can also be used to show commands or options that are specific to the user’s context.


Editing GroupStyles in Blend and VS 2012

A number of Metro style apps use a hierarchical system of navigation. This is an intuitive and common pattern used by app developers.  In this video tutorial, I’ll show you how to style and customize GroupStyles using Blend and VS.

Get information about navigation design for Metro style apps and other design guidance in the Design Center on the Windows Developer center.

Apps that have a large amount of content organized into categories or groups benefit from using the hierarchical navigation pattern. The entry point for the user in this pattern is the hub page. The content here is displayed in a rich horizontally panning view with different categories of content

In XAML the GridView and ListView controls are primarily used to display data in the Hub page owing to their rich set of built in features and behaviors that make them a perfect fit for this scenario. These controls contain GroupStyles which define the look and feel of each category\group in these controls.

 Here is the complete Blog post + Video Link at the Expression Blend Team Blog


Developer to Program Manager : The Interview

Any Developer, who loves to burn the midnight oil just whacking away at the
keyboard and staring at what would seem to be THE MATRIX to a layman, would be
scandalized if not apoplectic to think about a move to a Program Manager

This post is for
all those developers out there who | –  (managed || managing || planning) – |
to brave the public ridicule at the hands of their developer

I had in the summer of 2011, applied to couple of Program Manager Positions
in and outside Microsoft after close to 4 years as a Dev .My experience allowed
me to draw stark contrasts and at the same time appreciate stunning similarities
in how Top Tech companies like Amazon and Microsoft Interview Program

Post my interviews , i just wanted to jot down a couple of things i felt any
SDE\SDET looking for a role change to Program Management should definitely look
into and be prepared for before applying for the job within or outside your

Be REALLY clear about why you want to be a Program Manager

–  is one sure shot question you can

If you are making the transition for all the right reasons, you are not going
to have any trouble with this question 🙂

Irrespective of your clarity about the Program Manager Role it would be a
good idea to go through the below resources

Zen of PM

PM at Microsoft

Apply ONLY to teams that work on stuff that you are passionate about

The above statement is simple common sense, but it’s surprising how many
people move for the sake of changing the role , location or the company. My
advice , wait out whatever frustration or need that is driving you and apply to
something that you are passionate and excited about . Something that you are
going to enjoy working day in and day out .

Believe me the passion that you feel is evidently going to come out during
the interview , and that will go a long way in helping the team decide whether
you are good fit or not.


Things to Research

  • Competitive Landscape
  • Technological Trends
  • Authoritative Material and Text books on the domain
  • Publications

Questions like

“Where do you see this product in 10 years”,

“Look into a crystal ball and tell me what you see”

“Compare our product \ technology against a successful competitive product”

“If you are the Product Owner what would you do”

These are great open ended questions that you can use to have an awesome
discussion with you interviewer, provided you have researched exhaustively .
This helps you describe your vision for the technology\ product as well as helps
the interviewers to gauge your strategic insight.

Get some PM Experience beforehand

Try shadowing a PM in your team and experience first hand the role and
responsibility of a PM before deciding on the Transition . Or ask your manager
to give you a technical lead role for a release , to build up important PM
competencies like collaboration and communication

Showcase your Side Projects

If your passionate about a particular product line or technology , you would
have at some point written some extensions or applications that enhance the
functionality or showcase the capabilities of the product or technology . Make
sure you mention that in your resume as well as create opportunities during the
interview to talk about it.