Category Archives: News

MSDN Mag Data Points Column Archives in Microsoft Docs

With MSDN Magazine shutting down, all of the content has been archived on the Microsoft docs site.

You can get to a listing of magazines by issue at

And if you are looking specifically for my Data Points column archives, here is a link to the list of those articles:

Sad News: MSDN Mag & (Data Points) Coming to an End

From MSDN Mag

Perhaps I live in a world of rose-colored glasses but this was a surprise to me when Michael Desmond, the Editor-in-Chief, called to let me know in advance of the public announcement.

I’ve loved the magazine long before I was blessed with the opportunity to write for it. But as a columnist for the past 10 years, I’m somewhat heartbroken. The Data Points column (I hope this link will continue to work) that I inherited from John Papa in early 2010 has been a font of inspiration for me. I’ve used it as an excuse to dig into data related technologies that I was curious about.

As long as there was some data angle, the topic was fair game. This allowed me to take my first successful adventure even into Git (2014: Git, It’s Just Data), serverless computing (2018: Creating Azure Functions to Interact with Cosmos DB) and even front end development (2015: Revisiting JavaScript Data Binding — Now with Aurelia). And on the true data front, I had a great reason to start learning about document databases (2011: What the Heck Are Document Databases?) which led to a lot of articles involving Azure Cosmos DB. Thanks to SQL Server for Linux, I finally had the courage to dive into Docker and have gotten to write a slew of articles on different aspects of that.

Many of you have also followed my journey as I gained more and more expertise in Domain Driven Design and continually checked in to see how well EF and then EF Core helped as a mapper between DDD-focus designed classes and a relational database. The first article I wrote connecting the two was in 2013: Shrink EF Models with DDD Bounded Contexts.

And of course there have been a few articles on or using Entity Framework! Over 50 of them!

In all, if you count the final two articles I have in the works, I’ve written (if I’m counting correctly) 82 columns. And there were a few articles in there as well that weren’t for the column such as one on Visual Studio Live Share and Azure Data Studio for special issues.

But what I will never forget is the very first article I wrote for the magazine. It was a gift of an opportunity thanks to the amazing Sara Spalding who was at the time in charge of the entire MSDN operation (at an impressively young age). That was the April 2005 issue and I wrote an article on ADO.NET 2.0. I still have the magazine!

People have suggested that with the demise of the magazine, I should just continue the column on my blog. But admittedly, in addition to the incredible opportunity to share my learnings with an interested audience, having deadlines, a copy editor, tech reviewers and equally important: a paycheck, really drove me to produce this column so diligently for almost 10 years. But I’ll never stop researching and sharing! That’s for sure.

With the evolution of MSDN docs, an entire team to create those and the still growing developer advocacy teams at Microsoft, you will certainly continue to get great content from them as MSDN Magazine yields to this fantastic resource.

Grateful for the 16th MVP Award from Microsoft


15 years ago, July 1, 2003, I got a surprise in the mail. An envelope with this sheet of paper welcoming me to the Microsoft MVP program for the things I had done in the community in the past year. Believe it or not, this first award was triggered via Microsoft Academics because one of the things I’d been doing with INETA was working with college students.

With that piece of paper fresh out of the envelope, I jumped in my car and drove 15 miles to the job site where my husband was working on a roof, made him come down from the roof so I could show him. I was that excited and surprised. Even if the letter had not been completely out of the blue, had someone contacted me to fill out a form as the MVPs do these days, I am confident I would have been just as surprised and excited.

I’ve been honored to be awarded every July 1 since then for various things I do to try to shorten the learning curve for other programmers by sharing what I’ve learned. I don’t take the award for granted. I just follow my heart and do what I want to do and if it happens to be what they are looking for when the assessments are being done, then I’m grateful for that particular recognition.

I know it was a hard week for a lot of long term MVPs who were not being re-awarded this year and for the MVP leads (aka Community Program Managers (aka CMPs)) who made personal calls to each and every one of those MVPs to try to let them know as gently as possible. Given that, I’m extra grateful to continue to be part of the program for the July 2018 – June 2019 period.

My First Newsletter: New Course, Pluralsight Discount, Workshops & More

I recently decided it was time to start a newsletter to be sure people who are interested don’t miss out on things like new Pluralsight courses or articles that I’ve published, conferences I’m speaking at and even workshops that I’m teaching. I figure with 26K twitter followers, there might be a few people interested.

Read the June newsletter

Subscribe to my newsletter

I just sent out the first newsletter yesterday. Here are some highlights: