Welcome to the Monday Interview with a Wiki Ninja! As the title directly implies, this week we’re interviewing a Senior Programming Writer who has been writing very deeply on the topic of Entity Framework…
From Rick’s bio: “Senior programmer writer: Entity Framework. Previously I worked on the Oslo M language, and before that on WCF. I’ve also written an internal documentation automation tool. Prior to becoming a Microsoft employee, I was a contractor, designing SQL Server databases, and web applications. Prior to that I did many other things for many years.”
Who are you, where are you, and what do you do? What are your specialty technologies?
I’m a senior programmer/writer in Redmond, and prior to that I was a developer for a long time. I write about SQL Azure, and Entity Framework. I also got to develop an internal automation tool, so between that and writing code samples, I’m somewhat split between the writer and developer roles.
What are your big projects right now?
I’ve been contributing to the Windows Azure Prescriptive Guidance section on MSDN (Developing SQL Azure Applications) in collaboration with folks from Microsoft’s Customer Advisory Teams. Currently I’m working on a paper about Windows Azure Performance.
Besides your work on TechNet Wiki, where do you contribute?
I have a blog at http://blogs.msdn.com/b/rickatmicrosoft, MSDN Library of course, as well as less active blogs, and Twitter.
What do you do with TechNet Wiki, and how does that fit into the rest of your job?
I moved the Entity Framework FAQs over to the Wiki in order to make it easier for community folks to update them.
- Conceptual Model (EDM)
- Mapping and Modeling
- Entity Classes
- Customizing Objects
- Sprocs and Functions
- Code Generation
- Architecture and Patterns
- Connections and Transactions
- Serialization and Web Services
- Unit Testing
- Data Providers
- Error Messages
- LINQ to SQL
I experimented with translating some of the questions into Spanish, using the automated translation widget, and then finalizing it by hand.
Lately, I’ve been experimenting with publishing things first on the Wiki, and then later on the MSDN Library, in order to show folks an “early release” of an article and in order to collect feedback. This obviously only works on released products, and not those under NDA.
What is it about TechNet Wiki that interests you?
I think it’s a great experiment in getting the community involved in creating “semi-official” information about Microsoft products. We try to design products (and write documentation) based on how we think customers will use our products (and documentation). We do our best to figure that out, but the real test is what customers themselves come up with. Customers know their businesses in much more detail than we do, and the way they use our products reflects that. So we entirely expect that customers will come up with problems and answers to them that we could not have anticipated. I see the Technet wiki as a great way for the community to share these kinds of insights.
Special thanks to Rick Saling for his work on TechNet Wiki, in Entity Framework, and in the Spanish community efforts on TNWiki. You can check out Rick’s MSDN blog here.
If you have any questions or thoughts for Rick, leave them below!
When the going gets tough, the tough gets Wiki.