Visual Studio 2015 RTM July 20th

Visual Studio 2015 RTM (release to Manufacturing) set for July 20th. 2015

I am a little late on this but S. Somasegar Visual Studio 2015 Announcement the vice president of Microsoft’s Developer Division announced on June 29th that Visual Studio 2015 RTM is going to be released.

Visual Studio 2015 is a big release.  We are opening up Visual Studio to developers targeting new platforms – from cross-platform mobile development targeting iOS, Android and Windows, to game development targeting Unity, Unreal, Cocos and more.  At the same time, Visual Studio 2015 redefines developer productivity with proactive diagnostics tooling and the new Roslyn language services for C# and VB.  And together, Visual Studio 2015, Team Foundation Server 2015 and Visual Studio Online help teams to embrace DevOps with great agile backlog management, Azure cloud tooling, hosted continuous integration, and Application Insights across all the components of your application.

To celebrate the release, we invite you to join us online on July 20th to learn about the new features and technologies. You will be able to engage in live, interactive Q&A sessions with the engineering team, as well as deep-dive into technical details covered in over 60 on-demand video sessions.

For me this is bigger then the release of Windows 10 because Visual Studio is where I live for most of my day. I have been using the Release Candidate for production(ish) since it came out and have not had any major problems with it at all. And although I use Code Rush from Developer Express I like that Microsoft is adding some more “hinting” of their own.  The diagnostics tools have some new visuals the kick in automatically during debugging.

Diagnostic Tool Window


I haven’t experienced all the new features that are included out of the box but am looking forward to the announcement to learn about what I’m not using that I should be.

I mostly do WPF I am very happy with the updates there because they seem to have fixed many of the quirks that I found in the previous IDE like for instance, not being able to access fields in the Properties Windows at what seemed like very random times.  I have never used Blend beyond some limited experimentation but I plan to take advantage of the features and improvements that Microsoft has done to it on my current project in hopes that it helps me transition from traditional development to MVVM.

Compare Windows 10 Editions

Windows 10 Desktop
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Microsoft has released a Windows 10 Edition Comparison guide to help businesses (and other consumers) decide which version of Windows 10 is the right version for them.

Windows 10 Comarison Snippet
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For me the most exciting thing is that it appears based on the snipped image above they are going to allow line of business application side loading right out of the box. Please. Please. Let that be the case. I have two projects that have been held back by this limitation in the Windows 8 eco system that would benefit greatly from this change in features.

In other Windows 10 news Microsoft has put up a page to help you upgrade to Windows 10 for free assuming that you have a valid copy of Window 7, 8 or 8.1. And lastly if you are not seeing the Reserve Windows Icon in your task bar you can find out how to get it here at the Windows 10 Upgrade FAQ.

I have been running the Preview release for as long as it has been available and really like what I have seen so far. However I have run into a lot of issues using it as my default setup and cannot see how they are going to get all of them resolved before the release, which is now less then a month away.

Any developers in the Three Rivers, MI area?

One of the hardest things about being a self taught developer in a small town like Three Rivers, MI is that there isn’t a well known group of developers that I can work with when I need help on a project or when I have a client that needs work on a technology that I don’t work with.   Three Rivers, MI logoI am currently looking for some technology people from the Three Rivers area to network with as well as possibly throw some work your way. So if you are a developer anywhere in Southwest Michigan please leave a comment and I will provide a link back to your site.

Also if you are just getting started and looking for clients or a job contact me because I know of someone who is looking for a entry level developer to build and maintain several C# WPF applications as well as a support person to do over the phone support. You can send me an email for more information about either of those positions at buck at buck hicks dot net.

My Purpose Here

To answer a question that no one has asked me. I want to explain what my purpose is here. Mainly I want to accomplish the following four things:

  1. Practice my writing and communications skills.
  2. Keep an (online) archive of interesting links and code samples that I can search and find later.
  3. Expand the brand that is me – for whatever that means.
  4. Publish things publicly so that I can create some accountability to myself even if I am the only one that ever takes account of the things I say. In others words the artificial pressure of posting things publicly and “pretending” I have an audience will help me keep moving forward. – And To be completely honest this is the one that is the most important to me and the rest are just icing on the cake.

My Purpose So in the early stages of this blog some of my topics may seem random. However my intention is that I focus on consistency, right now, and not on any specific topic. In that way I can, at least, practice my writing and communication skills. The side benefit of this I can use the practice to cover the brand that is me.

At some point down the road I want to add some code samples and short tutorials but for now I am going to avoid them so I can keep the flow going. And lastly I am starting to loath the word brand when talking about myself so I am going stop using it immediately.

Searching Buck Hicks

Buck Hicks SearchAs of today (June 29th 2015) if you search google for Buck Hicks you will not find this blog. You may see some indirect links from Face Book where you could find me among some other Buck Hicks’ and eventually make it back to this site. But I don’t want to rely on Face Book for my success. You may also find me indirectly from links to other websites I have posted to or been involved with over the years but again I don’t want to rely on links from other sites for my success. I want this site to be the number one returned result for any search containing my name.


So this post is to mark this day and to serve as a reference for when I make it to number one. I should also say that I am not doing this for any sense of vanity. I am doing this so when someone looks for Buck Hicks as a potential technology consultant they will find me and not one of the other Buck Hicks listed on the first couple of result pages from Google.

The Simple Programmer

The Soft Skills book mentioned in the last post was written by John Sonmez who also maintains the Simple Programmer’s website. If you are interested in personal branding or learning how to maximize your soft skills his site is an excellent place to start. As I mentioned in my last post this book and its author is what inspired me to start blogging again under the domain. The author, John Sonmez, posts frequently and the content is top notch. There is also a free 3 week course on how to get started blogging in the Simple Programmer’s Resource Section, which I am on day 3.

On a side note:

One of the early lessons for a successful blog from John is that you need to pick your niche. And the more specific the niche the better your blog will stand out from all the noise on the internet. And while I totally buy into that I am going to hold off on revealing my niche until I have better established a record of consistent posting. For now I am going to focus on getting to know the “Buck Hicks Brand”.



Hello My Name Is Buck Hicks

Hello. My name is Buck Hicks and I am from Three Rivers, MI. This is my fifth attempt at blogging. For me starting is always the easy part and I can even post on a consistent basis for a while but after some time, usually a week or two, I always drop off. Consistently.

My Name is Buck Name Bage
Hi My Name Is Buck

So why I am starting blog number six? Especially at a time when blogging is becoming the second class citizen to podcasting. I am starting number six because of a book I recently started reading. The name of the book is Soft Skills: The software developer’s life manual (if you decide to buy this book please click the affiliate link in the right side bar) and it is a very different book then most technical books I have read.

Simple Programmer Book Cover
Simple Programmer Book

The best way for me to describe it is to say that it is a book about developing the self or maybe more accurately refactoring the self. Anyway a big part of this book is about developers working on their personal brands so that they can maintain more control over their career and where it is headed.

I am about half way through the book and so far there is nothing that I have never heard before but there is something about this book that made the idea of building my personal brand just click. It was almost like – Why didn’t I think of this before? So I have been thinking a lot about why haven’t I already established my brand? Why are there people live in the same neighborhood that I do that don’t even know what it is I do for a living?

Every answer that I came up with sounded like an excuse. Well more accurately every answer I came up with WAS AN EXCUSE. There is no good reason for not putting effort into our future both personal and professional (talk more about that later) so this is my line in the sand. This is where I start to build the brand that is Buck Hicks.