Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Microsoft Chopsticks

As I've promised I’ll tell about one of the projects I have been working on during the past few months.

Microsoft has built a new platform to distribute tutorials, workshops and other information about future and current technology. Chopstick (named after the tools Chinese people use to eat) is a website with webcasts. Actually two websites, one for MSDN and one for Technet. The video player is built using Silverlight, Microsoft’s brand new web technology.
A few videos are already available, including one I’ve made about combining WPF and Aero Glass (although most webcasts on Chopsticks will be in English, mine is in Dutch).

MSDN Chopsticks (developers): Click here
Technet Chopsticks (IT professionals): Click here
My first webcast (MSDN Chopsticks): Click here

Any feedback is welcome here.

Friday, November 23, 2007

Short update

In my last post, back in August, I wrote about several things I planned to do this year. It’s time for a short update.

The first thing I talked about was the article I was writing for .Net Magazine; well I can tell you this: it will be about combining WPF and Aero Glass and (probably) it will be published in March.

The second thing was about my participation in the ImagineCup 2008. Things have changed, I’m working on a few other projects (some of which you will be able to read about on this blog soon). So, I probably won’t be participating in the ImagineCup 2008 at all. This is still subject to change.

Back in August I also told about my trip to Italy a few weeks ago and about my trip to The Gambia in February. Italy was exhausting, but very beautiful. I’ve been in Venice, Pisa, Siena, Rome, Naples, Sorrento and Pompeii. Some pictures of this journey are available here (update: a friend has posted some of his pictures here and here) and in the slideshow below this post. The preparations for our expedition to Banjul have already started and of course I’m really looking forward to it.

That’s all for now, but I hope to post some more small updates during the coming months.

Friday, August 17, 2007

Looking back (and a little forward too)

From now on, all posts on my blog will be in English.

The past year

The past year has been quite an experience for a sixteen-year-old boy like me (btw, almost 17!).

It all started last June (2006). I had read in the letter that came with the 13th issue of Microsoft .Net Magazine that they were still looking for Belgian authors. For those who don’t know this: .Net Magazine is a magazine that is distributed for free, by Microsoft, every three months in Belgium and in The Netherlands.
So I simply wrote an article about a hot subject (wpf) and I sent it to Tom Mertens at the beginning of August. I asked if it was good enough to be published in the magazine (my plan b was to translate and publish it on the code project). After two weeks, Tom replied that he had been out of the office for a few weeks and he said that he would take a look at it.
After all, it still took another three weeks before the head editor contacted me. My article would be published in the December 2006 issue.

But Tom hadn’t only sent my article to the editor of .Net Magazine. In November Walter Stiers contacted me, he told me he was an Academic Relations Manager at Microsoft and he wanted to meet me. We arranged a meeting at my place and he told me about the Microsoft student partners program (MSP).
Soon it turned out that Walter is a very pleasant man who supports students by really making time for them. He’s awesome!!

In December I decided to participate in the Imagine Cup, a huge contest, organized by Microsoft allover the world. Together with a friend I made DigitalVerbs (a project we had been working on together before) look a little more futuristic and we submitted it in the Software Design Invitational (the toughest one of the nine categories in the Imagine Cup). Thanks to the brilliant support of Walter Stiers, we made it to the Belgian finals. We became third and we've won 800 euros. (more about this on and

In the meanwhile I was invited as a VIP community member on the Developer and IT Pro Days in March. Over there I learned a lot and I met great people. It was another fantastic experience!

This year

So I had a great year, but what’s next?

Well I’m working on a new article and I guess I’ll simply do the same as last year… So maybe it will appear soon in .Net Magazine or on the code project.

The theme of the Imagine Cup 2008 is: “Imagine a world where technology enables a sustainable environment” and the finals will be in Paris, France. There’s a big chance that I will be participating in one or more categories (maybe Interface Design); but probably I won’t participate in the Software Design Invitational. As I said SDI is the toughest invitational and it takes a lot of time and effort to create a good entry from scratch. The lack of a great idea and the lack of a great team are as important reasons as the lack of time. There’s at least one thing I’ve learned about the Imagine Cup itself: a really good working team (a leader, a developer, a designer, a mentor …) is indispensable to stand any chance in Software Design.

Next year is my last year in high school; and it seems that it will be a busy year. I’ve got to write an end work, some sort of (small) thesis. I’m also going to Italy in November and in February I will be a member of our schools delegation in our sister school in Banjul, The Gambia, Africa. Not much time left for big projects, but hopefully more spare moments for small projects (for example posting on this blog from time to time).


Last, but not least, I want to thank Walter Stiers, Tom Mertens, Robert Fransen and all other guys at Microsoft for supporting me and for making all of this possible.

Saturday, April 28, 2007

ImagineCup 2007

Het is nu ook officieel, DigitalVerbs gaat naar de Belgische finale van de ImagineCup. In die finale nemen we het op tegen twee teams uit Luik en één team uit Antwerpen. De finale gaat door in Brussel op 14 mei en de winnaar mag naar de grote finale in Korea.

Meer info op

Friday, March 2, 2007

Developer & IT Pro Days

Wil je me ook eens echt ontmoeten? Dat kan op de Dev&It Pro Days in Gent!

Op deze door Microsoft georganiseerde conferentie kun je een aantal sessies volgen die gegeven worden door grote namen van over de hele wereld.

Date: 27 & 28 & 29 March 2007
Location: ICC, Ghent
Target Audience: Developers, IT Professionals & Architects
More information & registration:

Friday, January 5, 2007

Tijd voor een nieuwe uitdaging

Na zes drukke maanden -waarin ik niet alleen verschillende websites (onder meer deze website) gemaakt heb, maar ook een artikel voor het tijdschrift .NET Magazine van Microsoft geschreven heb- werd het tijd om een nieuwe uitdaging te zoeken.
Na lang twijfelen heb ik besloten om deel te nemen aan de ImagineCup van Microsoft, dit is de grootse technologiewedstrijd voor studenten ter wereld. Deelnemers aan de ImagineCup moeten kiezen uit 9 categorieën:

Technology Solutions
  • Software Design
  • Embedded Development
  • Web Development
Skills Challenges
  • Project Hoshimi
  • IT Challenge
  • Algorithm
Digital Arts
  • Photography
  • Short Film
  • Interface Design
Ik neem deel aan de categorie "Software Design", dit schijnt de hardste wedstrijd te zijn. In feite komt het er op neer dat je een programma moet ontwikkelen dat iets met het thema (dit jaar onderwijs) te maken heeft. Het is ook de categorie met de grootste inzet ($25.000). Niet dat ik denk dat ik hoog kan eindigen in de wereldwijde rankschikking, maar een plaatsje in de Belgische top 10 moet wel haalbaar zijn (België is dan ook een gigantisch land met gigantisch veel deelnemers)

Omdat in de inzendingen in deze categorie meestal door een volledig team gemaakt zijn, sleep ik een vriend mee in het avontuur. Deze vriend zal een stuk van het programma in WPF maken en wat achterliggende code schrijven.

Wat onze inzending juist geworden is lees je hier later!