Remove the Close Button from a WPF Window.

Recently for a bit of fun I thought I would play around with Windows Presentation Foundation. I come from a Winforms background, but I never really got into WPF development as my programming career steered more towards WCF Services development.

For my simple project I thought I would write a simple little game. The game is a board game where the game resides in the main application window. What I wanted to have was another window that pops up and contains the games main menu, with options like ‘New Game’, ‘Exit’ etc.

WPF Window With Close Button
WPF Window With Close Button

When I added the code and Xaml to define the window, I noticed that the window still had a close icon on it. I wanted to get rid of this because I wanted access out of the menu to be controlled by the menu items in the centre of the screen. This was easy to do in Winforms as there was an option for it in the Visual Studio designer. Unfortunately this is not easily supported in WPF, but after a little digging I found the solution which required a little interop into user32.dll.

3 Ways Applicants Botch Their Employment Chances in a Job Interview

There are a number of accepted ways to succeed in a job interview. Dressing in a nice, presentable fashion, being friendly, keeping eye contact with your interviewers, and providing concise and thoughtful answers to interview questions are all on the list. Unfortunately for all job searchers out there, for every tip toward a successful interview, there are probably a hundred different ways to fail. Some sure-fire interview blunders are common knowledge: showing up late, being rude to receptionists, or looking like a total slob are just a few behaviours that just about everyone knows will kill their employment chances.

3 Ways Applicants Botch Their Employment Chances in a Job Interview
3 Ways Applicants Botch Their Employment Chances in a Job Interview

However, there are also a few interview-killing behaviours that are a bit more subtle than arriving 10 minutes late, behavioural trends that are all too easy to fall into during an interview, and that can snap your employment chances before you even realize what you’ve done. Read on to learn about three of these interview missteps, as well as for tips on how you can avoid them.

Pluralsight Course Progress

It has been a while since I wrote anything about my new Pluralsight course that I am authoring, and someone asked me the other day how it was getting on, so I thought I would post an update. Things have been a little slow since I signed my authoring agreement. I signed the contract the day before I went on holiday for 2 weeks. Then when I got back I wrote my course proposal and got it signed off by a Content VP at Pluralsight. After that, I was away for another week before I properly met my new editor.

Pluralsight Course Microphone Setup
Pluralsight Course Microphone Setup

I have now met my Editor, done my training and have started producing the slides and material for the first module. Tonight I recorded the intro module for the course, edited it in Camtasia, and rendered a version ready to submit for my AV inspection. I am now full flow in producing the slides for the first course module.

Pluralsight Course Being Edited in Camtasia
Pluralsight Course Being Edited in Camtasia

As you can see from the picture above, my first course is called “Developer to Manager” and it is a course that helps developers choose whether going into a leadership role is right for them. The course also presents a 90 day transition plan to help people that have decided to make the move into management. This course is loosely based off of an article I wrote on the same subject earlier in the year, which has been a very popular article on this blog.

This is the start of the production journey for this course. It will be a lot of work, but I am looking forward to getting stuck in. I am aiming to try and get the course completed and submitted for the end of October.

8 Leadership Traits for Software Development Leaders

I was reading a good article the other day in INC magazine by Aaron Skonnard, who is the CEO of Pluralsight, who I have recently started Freelancing for. The article is called How to Build a Kick-Ass Exec Team, and talks about 8 leadership traits company heads / CEOs can use to create a good working culture within their organisations.

The article is aimed at people who run their own companies, but I thought the leadership traits Aaron talks about also apply to other leaders and managers lower in an organisation. From my point of view I am thinking as a Development Manager running a software team in a healthcare organisation.

8 Leadership Traits for Software Development Leaders
8 Leadership Traits for Software Development Leaders

In this article I want to covers the original 8 leadership traits and say how they apply to managers and leaders of a software team in an organisation, as I feel there is a direct correlation. I recommend reading Aaron’s original article first.

Leaders Help Their Teams

The team I leade, I try to run agile using Scrum. I say, try, because the project I am currently running is part of a larger program of work that is very much waterfall. We are one of the donor projects in a larger agile transformation plan. As part of the running of this team I want to avoid being the guy at the top dishing out orders or even worse, Micro Managing. I believe a team should be self organising in their workload with inputs from the product owners and business who guide our direction. My role is very much about removing barriers and blockers that get in their way so they can concentrate on doing what they do best, developing software. I feel it is much better to be a servant leader as opposed to a more traditional autocratic leader who controls a strict hierarchy whilst leading from the top.

Training : AngularJS

In this article I have collated a few training links about Googles AngularJS Javascript Library. I will keep adding to this page as I find other useful free resources. If you have any videos or articles that you feel would be useful here then please let me know in the comments and I will add them to the post. I would like it to be an archive of good material.

Googles AngularJS
Googles AngularJS

AngularJS Tutorials

AngularJS Tutorials at W3C Schools

A Step-by-Step Guide to Your First AngularJS App

Building a Web App in 5 Minutes

AngularJS Tutorial – Basics, tips and tricks for the premier MVC Javascript framework

Learn AngularJS in 30 minutes

Training : SignalR

In this article I have collated a few training links about ASP.NET SignalR. I will keep adding to this page as I find other useful free resources. If you have any videos or articles that you feel would be useful here then please let me know in the comments and I will add them to the post. I would like it to be an archive of good material.


ASP.NET SignalR Main Site

Tutorial : Getting Started with SignalR 2

Tutorial: High-Frequency Realtime with SignalR 2

Tutorial : Your First SignalR Chat Application

How to Push Data from Server to Client Using SignalR

Getting Started with SignalR : Not a Chat Room In Sight

– Getting Started with SignalR

– Reporting Server-Side Progress to Web Pages with SignalR

– Better Together – SignalR and the Rx Framework

Real-time Communications with SignalR Video at Channel 9

What Makes Candy Crush so Much fun

Last year at Christmas time, I was invited to play Candy Crush Saga (King Entertainment) by a family member. So was my wife. We would normally ignore such requests, but as we had a bit of down time and it kinda looked fun, we thought we would give it ago. It is a very addictive game and fun, but I have heard many people refer to games like candy crush being as addictive as crack cocaine. Nearly a year on, I dip into the game every now and again. I am on about level 90. My wife plays it a lot more than me and is around level 450.

Candy Crush Saga is a match-three puzzle video game released by the developer King on April 12, 2012 for Facebook, and on November 14, 2012 as a mobile app from smartphones. As of March 2013, Candy Crush Saga surpassed FarmVille 2 as the most popular game on Facebook, with 46 million average monthly users.Candy Crush currently makes King over $700,000 a day from in-app purchases like extra lives, moves and special bonus features.

Candy Crush Saga by King Entertainment
Candy Crush Saga by King Entertainment

This got me thinking recently about why is it so addictive? I decided to do a little digging. I came across an interesting article in Time Magazine. In this article, the writer talks to one of the games designers and 9 are specified.

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