New Blog

I am still blogging and I have just started a new blog called Marshall On Ruby.

In my new blog I’ll document my journey as I morph myself into a Ruby on Rails and WordPress developer. You will be able to read about the training and tools I use along with my thoughts on things that I like and dislike along the journey.

Have you changed careers before? I would love to hear your story.

Enjoy. off-line for good.

I know I said I would leave online but a SQL injection issue that popped up over the weekend has changed that.

My provider ORCSWeb took it down because some SQL injection attacks and its just not worth fixing all the old Community Server code to prevent future attacks. I don’t have the time to do that or the interest so I have told them to take the site down permanently.

I would like to take this time to thanks ORCSWeb for providing me hosting and excellent tech support all these years. I think their tech support is the best in the business and I highly recommend them for anyone seeking a hosting provider.

My marshall at got speech dot net email account will stay active as will this blog.

The GotSpeechGuy is Dead.

First off I (Marshall) am alive and doing well. But I am embarking on a new adventure so I have decided to kill off he GotSpeechGuy persona. I’ll leave this site up for historical purposes but within the year I may let the domain name go. I’ll also leave up for the same reasons

I have grown tired of all the hassles involved with being a Lync developer and I’ve decided to change career paths. Once my current Lync contract finishes up this week I won’t be taking on any new Lync development contracts. I’m done. Fini. Finished. Moving On.

I am also abandoning a Microsoft centric approach to my development  and joining the open source crowd. With that in mind I will be taking some time off to retrain as a full stack web developer. This is kind of like getting back to my roots as I did a lot of web development in the mid to late ’90s. I realize things have changed drastically so that is why I’m taking the time to immerse myself in this new venture. To paraphrase an old Buick commercial…Javascript ain’t your daddy’s Javascript. I’m amazed at how much it has matured since I was using it on a daily basis. I’m excited about using one language across the whole process from server side applications to the user interface. HTML5 and CSS are technologies that I am familiar with but need to master. With that in mind I have several classes lined up on these subjects as well as other topics. I’ll also be building my GitHub portfolio and contributing to some existing open source projects

I’ve registered the domain for my new business and I can now be reached via My goal is to focus on using the MEAN stack for my development work and eventually develop a local users group or training around MEAN to give back to the community.

I last switched career goals back in 2003 when I created the GotSpeechGuy so this isn’t an entirely new venture on my part. I am really excited about this and look forward to getting the ball rolling.

If you have done something similar in your career I would love to hear from you on what obstacles you encountered as well as your successes.

Note: I haven’t  built the website for yet but its on my todo list for as soon as I get the logo details worked out and finish my current Lync contract. I’ll also start blogging on the new site once it is up and running.

New Development Box

I have previously blogged about making a foray into mobile an cross platform development. But when I left  Workspace I had to return my laptop so I have been looking around and researching laptops. I still want to do Lync development along with presenting on various topics at local user groups. So my needs are varied and somewhat complicated.

I need to develop using UCMA 3.0, UCMA 4.0 for my main occupation but I also want to develop cross platform apps using HTML5, JavaScript and CSS3. I’m using Telerik’s AppBuilder for the JavaScript work along with Xamarin to do C# cross platform applications for Android and iPhone. Xamarin requires access to Xcode to do iPhone  app compiles so that means there must be a Mac of some kind on my local network. I also wanted to install Android Studio to do native Android development. So many requirements and there seemed there was no way to avoid getting an Apple.

So with that in mind I read everything that I could find on the web about using Macs for Windows development. What I found is that there are a lot of big name Windows guys using Macbook Pros for development. I read blog posts by Andrew Connell, Sahil Malik and and what seemed like 100 other developers. I read threads on popular developer forums and watched countless Youtube videos on the subject. After all this I decided to jump on the Mac band wagon again. One common thread I found among devleopers that have switched to Macs from Windows is that lots of them made unsuccessful forays into the Mac world and gave up then came back later and succeeded.

So with all that in mind last Monday (05/19) I ordered a fully decked out 15” MAcbook Pro with Retina display. It comes with 16 gigs of memory in the base line unit.  I upgraded to the 2.6GHz Quad-core Intel Core i7, with Turbo Boost up to 3.8GHz. I also upgraded to the 1TB PCIe-based Flash Storage.  This configuration can’t be picked up at an Apple store and it is a special order item that was assembled to my specs in China and then shipped to my door arriving at my front door at 12:24 PM on Friday. 4 days to order, build and  ship via FedEX. Pretty good service in my book.

I’ll blog more about my experience using a Macbook for development at a later day. But for now I’ll just say I chose Parallels as my VM manager and I have installed separate Win7 VMs for all of my Widows development. I am running the Win7 VMs full screen on my existing 27” monitor which I attached to the MacBook Pro via a Thunderbolt to VGA adaptor. The speed of the VMs and Visual Studio compiles have been as fast as anything I have experienced running Windows natively. I need to purchase a Windows 8.1 license and then I create a VM for that but I’ve spent enough money l=on this setup so I am holding off on Winn8 for a while. I also still have to setup my Lync development VMs in the next few days before I begin my next contract.

This is my second attempt and so far (3 days) I have been very happy with the move…

Buy any of #Packt’s 2000 eBooks for only $10!! Offer valid for 24hrs only on May 6th

Yes, that’s right: $10.

In-order to mark the International Day Against DRM, Packt Publishing is offering all its DRM-free content at $10 for 24 hours only on May 6th – that’s all 2000+ eBooks and Videos at

I am a big fan of Packt Publishing and have probably 15 of their books in my library. But that will change tomorrow as I plan to add several new ones that I have been wanting to read.


IBM Worklight Mobile Application Development Essentials

First let me say that the authors seem to really know their stuff. I enjoyed the book but it didn’t go deep enough for my tasted. As another reviewer pointed out you could get a lot of the info from the documents or manuals. But you would have spent a lot of time digging for it. I for one don’t like most documentation I find on software companies’ websites. I would rather someone else do the digging and just give me in one document the info I need and that is what this book does for me. My main goal in reading the book was to determine how the Worklight interface worked and how the framework is used to develop mobile apps and the book was a good read in that respect. While I wish it went deeper into the code, I wish that of most developer focused books so that is not really a knock on the book. I’ll end up going deeper on my own by writing code and using the debugger to figure out the parts that I need.
There were places where you could tell that English was a second language for these guys but their writing style was still informative and it didn’t detract from the book.

If interested in the book you can get it from Packt Publishing

Mobile Dev Diary: part 1

In the past I have mentioned that I want to do more mobile and cross platform  development. I really believe that cross platform is the wave of the future. We are seeing the PC, tablet and phone markets merge in a big way. Sometimes that merging involves the user interface such as we see with Windows 8.1, the Surface, and Windows phones running a interface that looks and feels similar to the user across all of the devices. We also see corporations and end users that want to run the same software o their mobile devices as they run on the corporate or home desktop. Microsoft announced their universal apps at their Build Developers Conference last week along with a supporting Visual Studio 2013 RC update

As I move deeper into mobile and cross platform development I thought I would keep a diary of my progress and blog about some of the tools I try out. Some I end up discarding for numerous reasons and some become permanent additions to my developer’s toolbox.

The greatest issue facing developers looking to create apps for IOS, Android and Windows platforms is how to avoid multiple code bases (and multiple expensive development platforms etc.) yet still get the performance and access to the hardware such as the GPS or camera etc. There is some code that can be common between the platforms but your UI and your hardware interactions will differ for each platform and require you to maintain separate code for each platform.

But enough of the issues. If you are reading tis then you probably know  hurdles that a cross platform developer must overcome.

I have spent lots of time investigating PhoneGapSencha Touch, and Xamarin but for several reasons I have left those out of my toolbox, though PhoneGap still plays a support role and Xamarin may yet be added.

I hadn’t messed with HTML, JavaScript and CSS for 10 years or so yet I am convinced that it is the best approach for developing apps for multiple platforms. You can architect your website to work well in a mobile browser (think Bootstrap) by using a mobile first design approach. But that approach wont give you’re the hardware access or performance that you may need.

Another approach is to create a hybrid or a native app that runs on the phone or tablet using a framework like the ones I mentioned above. This is the approach I decided to take and downloading lots of 30-day trials, looking at video n Youtube and PluralSight I settled on the Telerk Platform. I’ll go more into which of their products I am using and why in Part 2 of this series. My goal is post an update  about once a week describing my progress as I become proficient with the tools.