Tuesday, February 07, 2012

The Future of Telerik Watch


This post is long overdue. For some time now, many of you have probably noticed that the volume of my blogging on Telerik Watch has started to diminish. In all of 2011, I published only 45 posts, compared to more than 200 in 2007 and 2008.

What's going on? Have I lost interest in the topic? Does the change spell trouble?

It's actually a number of different things that have lead to reduced blogging on this venue, so let me explain.

History of Telerik Watch

In the fall of 2006, I was busy working full-time at a Fortune 200 Enterprise IT shop, pecking away at Unix, Perl, and other forms of "enterprise development." While it paid the bills, it did little to capture my attention. Outside of work, I was pounding away on a small SaaS (though at the time we just called it a website) product for managing job fairs. I had started a company with college friends in 2005 to do this, and we were plugging away, evolving the product and business.

To build this product, we needed tools. We were bootstrapping, so anything that could save time helped us do more for our customers. That's where my relationship with Telerik began.

I became an active and passionate Telerik customer, eventually earning Telerik MVP status. I would spend hours pouring through the Telerik forums helping people use Telerik's tools, and in turn I became deeply familiar with Telerik's product (only one) and operations.

At this time (2006), Telerik did a poor job of communicating around a release. In fact, it was not uncommon for a "release date" to come and pass with no update and no release. As a customer, this was confusing to say the least. Plugged-in customers, those using the forums like myself, could get the back story and updated release date estimates, but the broad mass of Telerik customers had no idea what was happening.

So I figured I would do the Telerik community a service and carve-out my own niche in the blogging world, much in the same way Paul Thurott was at the time the go-to Microsoft blogger.

Born was Telerik Watch, a blog focused on Telerik news (like release dates) and reviewing new Telerik tools.

It wasn't more than 5 months after I started Telerik Watch, though, that I became an employee! I put my SaaS project and business on a shelf and decided to join a team of professionals I'd become very passionate about over the previous 2 years.

The rest is history. I was the first American employee, first (and only) evangelist, and now paid full-time to do things like Telerik Watch.

Five Years Later

I officially received my Telerik "badge" in February 2007, which means this month is my 5-year anniversary at Telerik. I could have never imagined the things that would happen between then and now:

  • Telerik grew from roughly 50 people to nearly 500
  • Our portfolio expanded from 1 product to more than 15
  • I've travelled the globe and met amazing people form Bulgaria to India
  • I've served as Chief Evangelist for years, building a team of amazing evangelists
  • I opened and run a small Telerik office in Houston
  • I gained and lost 40 pounds (that killed my blogging in 2010)
  • My wife gave birth to our first kid (Lindsay, born last year)

It's been nothing short of an adventure. And while I didn't plan on 5-years being some kind of transitional milestone, that's the way it has worked.

At the beginning of this year, I moved from Chief Evangelist to VP HTML5 Web & Mobile Tools at Telerik.

The new role is full of new challenges, and it will represent a shift in my focus at Telerik. Does it mean the end of my blogging, though? Nope. Just some changes.

Blogging In To The Future

As VP HTML5 Web & Mobile Tools, my primary focus at Telerik is Kendo UI. I continue to be a primary voice in the community and industry for Telerik, but more and more of my time is flowing towards HTML5, JavaScript, and Kendo UI.

As a result, Telerik Watch is no longer the most appropriate place for many of my posts. I've started to blog most frequently on the Kendo UI blogs, with some occasional blogging on my other site, htmlui.com.

My plan is to blog most frequently on those two sites, still using Telerik Watch for occasional Telerik and Microsoft specific posts (like my very popular BUILD posts last year). In that sense, Telerik Watch is not dead, just less active, only used for my significant thoughts on Telerik, Microsoft, and .NET.

My hope is to eventually unify all of my various blogging efforts in to single, filterable stream you can subscribe to. Something like "toddanglin.com/blogs," from which you can find my HTML5 blogging, Telerik blogging, and maybe even more general topic blogging. But that's a pipe dream for now, "spare" time being what it is.

So that's it. The full (abridged) story. Of course, adding more daily exercise to my routine, having a baby, and being responsible for more people at Telerik all play a role in reducing my blogging time, but I want you to know I'm not gone or abandoning Telerik Watch.

I hope you'll keep your RSS readers connected and keep-up with my updates in the future. Who knows, my focus may one day shift back and Telerik Watch may once again see more than 200 posts in a year! Until then, standby for my next great thought on the world of Microsoft and Telerik, and join me for frequent postings on KendoUI.

Thursday, February 02, 2012

Q1 2012 Webinar Week, Prizes

I know it seems like I just blogged about the Q3 2011 Webinar Week, and in some ways you're right. The Q1 2012 release is coming a bit earlier this year, so that means it is time for another week of info-packed webinars and prizes.

Following the success of the Q3 2011 format change, we will once again be hosting multiple events each day during the Webinar Week. This helps us get as much information as we can distributed to you so you can jump-in to the release bits. The week of web events will kick-off on Monday, February 20th.

Here's the overall schedule:

Date Time Topic
Monday, Feb 20 9:30 AM XAML (Silverlight & WPF)
  11:00 AM Test Studio
  12:30 PM Data Tools
  2:00 PM WinForms & Reporting
Tuesday, Feb 21 9:30 AM AJAX & MVC
  11:00 AM Tools for Better Code
  12:30 PM Windows Phone
Wednesday, Feb 22 9:30 AM Kendo UI (HTML5)
  11:00 AM Sitefinity 5.0
  12:30 PM TeamPulse (Agile Project Mgmt)

That's a lot of content! As usual, you can easily sign-up for one or all of these events using the Telerik simplified webinar registration form. Just check the boxes next to the events you want to attend, fill-out the simple form, and sign-up.

For most events, we will raffle one Telerik Ultimate Collection ($1999 value) to the live attendees. The more events you attend, the more chances you have to win. Bribery? Sure. In the name of having fun with another loaded Telerik release.

The Sitefinity, TeamPulse, and Test Studio events will separately raffle licenses for those products. Same rules apply, though. Must be present to win.

That's about it. Register today! We're only two week away from the Webinar Week, so register now before you forget.

Register Now for the Q1 2012 Release Webinar Week

Wednesday, February 01, 2012

Shift in 2012 Telerik Release Schedule


That's the sound of me blowing the dust off of my old friend, Telerik Watch. For my loyal audience, many of whom joined me in 2006 before I joined Telerik, thanks for sticking around! I'm preparing another blog post that will go live soon explaining what's happening with my blogging, but many of you may be able to connect the dots if you're astute Telerik watchers. Until then, we have some business to address.

Telerik will be delivering all DevTools releases 1 month earlier in 2012, a permanent shift in our 3-release schedule.

In 2011 (and 2010, 2009), Telerik delivered its major releases with precision cadence in March, July, and November. This worked well, but we found that our summer and winter releases were hitting at less than ideal times of the year. July is peak of summer vacations, which hurts your ability to keep-up with our release news. And November is right-up against holiday vacations and end-of-year project freezes.

To fix this, we'll be shifting all releases back a month in 2012.

In 2012, the release cadence will be February, June, and October. Same interval, same great releases, just a month earlier. Of course, that means Q1 2012 will be shipping this month, just 3 months after our Q3 2011 release. But our teams have been busy adding new functionality and features, so this will still be value packed update (don't forget, we used to do 4 releases every year!).

So, update your calendars and start planning on new bits arriving from Telerik a bit earlier this year. We can't wait to deliver our 2012 roadmap, the first part which will ship in a few short weeks!