Where I’ve been…

Some of you may have noticed that it's been a bit quiet around here lately.

Shortly after the MVP Summit back in April, fellow Excel MVP Robert Martin invited me to co-author a book on customizing the Ribbon in Excel, Access and Word. Since that time, I've been spending virtually all of my free time working on this project, which means that I haven't been seen too much in the forums or on my own site. I'm happy to report that we're very close to the end of this project now, and that the book should be out early in December 2007/January 2008. You can find it at Wiley's site, among others. I've also noticed that pre-sales are being accepted at Amazon now. πŸ™‚

It's an All MVP team that's been involved with the project, which is kind of cool too. The team consists of:

I'm hoping that this makes a useful read for (more than) a few people. It's geared at fairly wide target audience; from beginners who know no code at all through experienced developers who have not been exposed to the Ribbon. We've packed it full of tables and practical examples, and discuss the full development cycle from creation through to deployment of the created tools in Excel, Access and Word.

One thing that was important to me is that Office developers like myself, those who migrated into code after learning their program, had a book geared towards them. Therefore this book is PURELY Office and VBA. There is no VB.Net/VSTO here. I'm certainly not saying that there is no need for a book like this geared towards the VB.Net/VSTO crowd. There is, but I'm leaving that for someone else at this stage, as I'm not experienced enough with .Net to be able to write it. I will probably get back into fooling with .Net again once this is done, though.
So that was the first thing that's been keeping me busy... but there is more!

On September 18th, I received at promotion at work. Our General Manager stepped down, my boss accepted the role of Acting GM and I became Controller of Fairwinds. (For those who don't know, a Controller is the person responsible for all of the accounting, financial statements, and generally making sure that the company is being run in a financially sound manner.) I have hired someone to take over some of my old tasks, and she started this past week. And then, as only Murphy could predict, one of my other staff was offered a great job at another company, so tendered her resignation Friday morning. Thankfully it is October, and our business cycle is slowing down at the moment!

All in all, the Controllership is a huge opportunity for me, and is already involving a lot of learning, which I am very happy about. I've been with the company for over 8 years now, and am looking forward to being part of the team that really pushes the company forward to some solid success. What this means to my posting abilities remains to be seen, of course. I am working longer hours than I used to, so that cuts in a bit already. My community contributions are an important part of my life though, and one that I miss greatly. I do have intentions of getting back to form in the next few weeks, as soon as the book is finally put to bed for good.

One funny thing about the promotion is that I celebrated by teaching a Beginning Excel course to a forestry company in the area the very next day. (Okay, it had been planned for a while, and some of you contributed to the ideas for it.) The course went very well, and I really enjoyed doing it.

Now, just because that isn't enough to talk about, this article was published about me in the August/September issue of CMA Magazine. The magazine is the bi-monthly magazine that goes out to about 44,000 CMA's and students in Canada. The interview was back in July, which is why it bears my old title at work, but still pretty darn cool. πŸ™‚

And finally, I should also mention that I was re-awarded my MVP award for the 2007-2008 year. I'm very excited about that, as I really felt shy on public contributions from the summit forward. So a big thanks to Microsoft for that.

It's been a busy fall for me so far... πŸ˜‰

11 thoughts on “Where I’ve been…

  1. Hi Jon,

    It is and it isn't. He actually goes by Martin and Martim depending on the situation. There's a whole long story behind that one. πŸ˜‰

    It is the same Robert though. πŸ™‚

  2. Ken,

    Congratulations for the "birth" of this top secret project πŸ™‚

    (As usual I will ask for an evaluation copy in order to make an independed review of the book).

    Could you have the kindness to get back to the beta test work now πŸ˜‰

    Anyway, good luck with the new job and with the sales of the book.

    Kind regards,
    Dennis

  3. Hey guys,

    Jon, I know what you're saying. His MVP profile is Martim, the book is under Martin. There's a long reason behind it all, but its his story to tell. On the book, it will be Martin though. πŸ™‚

    Dennis, I'll get back on that beta now. LOL! Actually, I need to do some more coding, so it will come in useful. πŸ™‚

  4. Congrats on the Controller position as well as the book! You've been very busy, I was wondering why there were no updates (I thought my last comment broke the blog.. :))

  5. Well you have been busy Ken!
    Well done on the book thing - Kinda amazing that we need a whole book on how to work with the ribbon!
    Congrats on the job too, and glad to see the course went well, just hope you have a understanding wife!!!

  6. Thanks Ross!

    Re the book... as you know, it's due to the fact that we now need to learn two languages in order to be able to modify the UI. It pretty much means that we need to teach programmings skills before we even start into customization. It is definitely not as easy as it used to be!

    Oh, and my wife is super-understanding. I'm pretty fortunate in that regard.

  7. Jon

    It is indeed "Robert Martim" (with 2 m´s)! Ken now knows all the background to my "real name" and my "legal name"... πŸ™‚

    But I guess the cover could have been "Martim" as it has no legal implications (I guess)...

    But if you´re too curious to know, I´ll explain at the next summit in April... πŸ™‚

  8. Way to go Ken!!!!!!

    Having authored a few courses and a community college book a few years back, I can to appreciate the amount of time, sweat, and sacrifice required to put something out there for others.
    To be published to the consuming public...that's just outstanding!!
    Major kudos to you and you co-authors!!
    Can't wait to get my hands on a copy.

    Best Regards
    Derek Mang
    (PODA)

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