Open Guelph Hackathon 2015

Open Data Guelph Logo Two weeks ago I participated in the Open Guelph Hackathon 2015. This was the second year in a row that the City of Guelph sponsored a hackathon in conjunction with Open Data Day. However, this year, instead of doing a 24 hour session they did a seven day online hack which was open to all Canadians.


For this year’s hackathon there were four themes – or data sets – that could be used. For my project I chose the Solid Waste Sorting Tool dataset.

Since I was working by myself I focused on building something using the Lean Startup approach. That is, get something working and then iterating on it. So, I used Visual Studio 2013, ASP.NET, C# 4.5, SQL Server 2014 Express, and Bootstrap to create a functional app in the time that I had. For this theme it was also requested that anyone who searched for items in the waste stream that were not listed, that those searches be tracked so the items could be listed in future.

After the projects were submitted, all the participants were invited to appear before the judges either by Skype or in person at Guelph City Hall. I presented my app to Mayor Cam Guthrie and various other stakeholders from the departments who would benefit from the software.

[tweet ]


After several anxious days I was notified I did not win. However, I was glad that I participated and was able to demo my app to the judges. To find out who did win, see this article in The Guelph Mercury.

So, a big thanks goes out to the City of Guelph for hosting this event and to Blair Labelle (@Blair_Labelle), GM of Technology and Innovation for the city, for spearheading the open data initiative in Guelph. I encourage everyone to follow Open Guelph (@OpenGuelph) on Twitter and to participate in next year’s event!

My Pluralsight video is now live

For those of you who have been following my most recent posts (My adventures with Pluralsight, My adventures with Pluralsight – UPDATE) related to my Pluralsight experiences, I am happy to say that my AngularJS video with John Papa has now been published!

The video is entitled Play by Play: Learning AngularJS With Ken Cenerelli and John Papa.

The description reads: “2014 brought Pluralsight’s 10th Anniversary, and to celebrate, we gave one of our fans a trip to film a Play by Play with one of our top authors for a pair programming session. This session is an excellent beginner-level introduction to AngularJS hosted by John Papa.

The video was announced with this tweet on October 8, 2014:

Another tweet on October 17, 2014 resulted in a plethora of favorites and re-tweets:

The 90-minute tutorial currently sits at number 12 in the top 100 most popular courses over the last 10 days. It has a rating of 4.5/5 which translates to a “Very Good.”

The video seems to be helping people as this tweet attests:

You will need a Pluralsight subscription to view the entire video. However, Pluralsight does offer a free 10-day trial.

If you wish to view the introduction you can see it here on YouTube: Play by Play: AngularJS tutorial for beginners.

I encourage everyone to check it out. Hopefully you will see the fun I had in making it and learn something about AngularJS along the way!

My adventures with Pluralsight – UPDATE

After my post last week entitled My adventures with Pluralsight, where I detailed my work with John Papa, I received lots of congratulations and re-tweets.

The story was viewed dozens of times and many people started following me through Twitter. The article was also re-tweeted by Pluralsight.

They also posted the story on their Facebook page:

So all in all a pretty fantastic week. Now I just have to be patient and wait for the video come out.

My adventures with Pluralsight

Last weekend, Saturday September 13, 2014 to be exact, @Pluralsight tweeted out a teaser for the upcoming Play By Play video I did with John Papa.

I got a lot of congratulations, profile views and Twitter follows from this tweet. But the biggest question was “How did this happen?”.

So, here is the story of how I got to work with John Papa.

Back in the spring of 2014 Pluralsight was running a contest to celebrate their 10th Anniversary. The rules were you had to state what your favorite Pluralsight course was and why through a tweet. I chose one of John Papa’s courses as my entry.

After all the entries were cast my name got pulled from the pile. Needless to say I was ecstatic.

The next step was to choose which author I wanted to meet and where. I naturally went for John Papa in his hometown of Orlando, Florida. The final step in the puzzle was to choose the topic to discuss. After much discussion we decided to do an Intro to AngularJS talk modeled on the excellent introductory Pluralsight course AngularJS: Get Started by Scott Allen.

We then decided to meet in Orlando in August. We filmed the video in a hotel room at the Swan and Dolphin Resort in Walt Disney World. There was a lot of activity that day but Pluralsight arranged for everything to go smoothly. We had three cameras and two lights for our taping. As you can see in the behind the scenes photo below we had a blast making the video.

Pluralsight taping with Ken Cenerelli and John Papa

After the taping was complete we all went out to a fine French restaurant in Disney’s Epcot Centre to celebrate.

Les Chefs de France

Pluralsight dinner

After touring around Epcot we watched IllumiNations, the nightly fireworks display.


In all John was a gracious host and a fun person to work with. I learned a lot about AngularJS and what makes it a great framework. My wife and I had a great time and we even made it over to Universal Orlando for part of our trip.

Ken Cenerelli and John Papa

So, watch out for my upcoming video from Pluralsight with John Papa with should be available shortly.

Syncfusion Essential Studio license winner

For the past six weeks I ran a contest on my blog where one lucky winner would get a Syncfusion Essential Studio license of their choice.

I have since made the draw and today I am happy to announce the winner. It is:

Jawahar R. of Canada

Congratulations Jawahar!. He has chosen a license for the WinRT (XAML) controls. I hope you enjoy building some awesome Windows 8 apps with your prize Jawahar!

Thanks to everyone who entered and to Syncfusion for sponsoring the contest!

I hope to run more giveaways in the future so keep checking my Twitter feed and keep following this blog through WordPress.

Win a Syncfusion Essential Studio license

I am pleased to announce that I will be running my first giveaway on my blog. Syncfusion has generously donated an Essential Studio license for me to raffle off.

Syncfusion creates components and tools for the Microsoft .NET platform. The selected winner  will be able to choose a set of controls for ASP.NET, ASP.NET MVC, Mobile MVC, Silverlight, Windows Forms, Windows Phone 8, WinRT (XAML) or WPF. The controls also includes one year of support and updates. The Actual Retail Value of the prize is $995 USD.

This Contest is open to legal residents of Canada (excluding Quebec) and the United States who are over the age of majority in their province/state of residence. Please read the rules listed below thoroughly before you enter.

Click Here To Enter

Syncfusion Essential Studio license contest

  1. Contest Period starts on Monday, March 11, 2013 and continues until Monday, April 15, 2013 at 11:59 p.m. the Contest Closing Date. All times are Eastern. No purchase necessary.
  2. This Contest is open to legal residents of Canada (excluding Quebec) and the United States who are over the age of majority in their province/state of residence. The Contest is subject to all applicable federal, provincial, state and municipal laws and regulations.
  3. A total of three (3) entries are allowed per person. One entry will be awarded when the contest form is submitted. One (1) additional entry will be awarded to each entrant who follows Ken Cenerelli’s Twitter feed ( and who follows Ken Cenerelli’s WordPress blog ( using the WordPress Follow button. Entrants must select the appropriate checkbox(es) on the entry form when entering to gain these bonus entries.
  4. Any attempt or suspected attempt to garner more than three (3) entries per person, any use of robotic, automatic, programmed or entry methods not authorized by these rules, shall be deemed as tampering and will void all of your entries. Entries that are late, lost, stolen, illegible, contain false information, damaged, misdirected, mutilated, garbled or incomplete, altered or otherwise irregular or that do not conform with or satisfy any or all of the conditions the Contest Rules will be judged void.
  5. One (1) draw will be made the week of April 15, 2013. The selected entrant will be contacted by Syncfusion Inc. with details on how to claim their prize..
  6. If a selected entrant cannot be reached within three (3) business days following the draw, or declines the prize, the selected entrant will be disqualified and forfeits the prize and another entrant will be selected until the prize is awarded.
  7. Participants are eligible to win one (1) Grand Prize, consisting of a Syncfusion Essential Studio License valued at $995 USD.
  8. The Grand Prize must be accepted as awarded and may not be transferred or exchanged.
  9. By entering this Contest, the winner consents to the sharing of their entry data with Syncfusion Inc.
  10. Odds of winning depend on the number of eligible entries received.

Build your Windows Phone 7 app and win!

I just noticed on the Microsoft App Hub site (the page where you can learn all about developing apps for Windows Phone 7) that there is a contest going on.

Microsoft is giving away tickets to the WorldWide Partner Conference in Los Angeles to apps that are judged to be the best. The winning developer or team (max 2 people) gets a pass to the conference to demonstrate their app. The prize is for conference entry only. Travel and accommodations must be supplied by the winner.

Details can be found here: Windows Phone 7 App Challenge

Hurry – the contest closes on June 6, 2011!