Ask Iris


Got this on twitter the other day:

Since you like learning as much as I do and you’re asking a question every day, can we ask questions back? 🙂 Pop quiz!

And I think that is a great idea! So go ahead, ask me anything you like – and I’ll do my best to answer. Now, please be aware that if I don’t know the answer, and it is not something that I do or within my interests, then I’ll probably pass on the question and let somebody more qualified ask 🙂

Disclaimer [I don’t know everything, I am never 100% sure about something and I might change my mind at any time 😉 . I just like questions and answers, and enjoy good discussions and questions that make me think twice. Please DO question my answers and opinions! And please interact!]

Ask as a ‘comment’ on this page, I’ll figure it out later how to present the Q n A 🙂

  137 Responses to “Ask Iris”

  1. whats the answer to life, the universe and everything else ?

  2. i don’t know if this question qualifies but i am gonna ask anyway

    class Problem
    public void Func(Object a)

    public void Func(String a)

    class Program
    static void Main(string[] args)
    new Problem().Func(null);

    What would this print and more importantly why? (i know what it would print and figured out a general rule but still don’t know why it chooses one over another.)

    • It’s because the compiler always try to use the most specific overload. And since String can also be null it picks that one. You could for instance try to add another method which could take null:

      class Problem
      public void Func(Object a)

      public void Func(String a)

      public void Func(Problem p)

      And you’ll get an error (in the “Program” class) since the compiler can’t determine if it should use Problem or String overload.

  3. How long and how in general have you been preparing for those Microsoft Certified Developer exams? Have you just ran through available questions, or have you prepared really thoroughly? Any hints for other devs thinking about these certifications?

  4. 42 of course .. so long and thanks for all the fish!

  5. What are the disadvantages of the Singleton Pattern?

    • The singleton pattern prevents one of the fundamental OOP principles “inheritance”. Hence any could who uses a singleton is coupled to that specific class.

      That means that if you can’t use another implementation for instance during tests or extend that class (without modifying it).

      Singleton do have it’s uses though. Typically in frameworks/libraries to allow users to extend functionality.

  6. How to authenticate in Win8 against Twitter without using a browser?

  7. How much time per week do you typically work on hobby project? I mean, watching dev training videos at least two hours a day, doing sports, running a blog and not least going to work… Do you still find enough time to work on hobby projects?

  8. Which editors or other tools can I safely use to view the content of log-files, without risking that this blocks the writing to the log-file.

  9. Request More Information

    . Have a product (NOT A SERVICE) based company that is an
    emotional consumable product that people will take no
    matter if they make money promoting it or not.

    So if reading you are thinking to yourself “you know, I
    don’t have all of these elements in place”

    question>>if i use a CSE HTML Validator V11.0,
    why am i having so much trouble Validating my Webpages?

  10. I would also like to know more about your training for the Microsoft certifications – did you buy books, how much time did you spend learning, etc.

  11. What are the benefits of functional programming and how can this be leveraged in c#?

  12. I simply love the Red hair! It really accentuates your face! What lead you to such an extreme color choice!

  13. Hi Iris,
    Just wondering, for a beginner like myself (I took a small course in C basics, loops, arrays, etc…But that is all I know at this point) would you recommend hitting the MS Certification books straight away or completing some other reading material first? What would you recommend?


    PS: I am also interested in .NET development.

  14. How do you face the cross side scripting?

  15. Love your blog posts but have you got an RSS feed link? 🙂

  16. @Furkan, this only works because string is inherited from object. If you added another method, let’s say public void Func(int? a), trying to call Func(null) will result to a compile time error “Ambiguous invocation”.

  17. How do I add your datepicker to my project?

  18. Hi Iris

    First let me say that I am very impressed with your many achievements in such a short space of time. Keep up the good work.

    I really like the look and feel of you blog. Can I ask what you used to develop it with? WordPress, Drupal, Blogger etc? Or was it hand spun (php/mysql, sever)?

  19. hi..i want to develop a c# windows form app which will retrieve images from flickr..this part is done…but i want to download a particular image which i got in my form….can u help me with downloading section…plz

  20. Hi Iris,

    Which is the best UI for Date/Time picker for Windows 8 platform?

    Will MS provide a frameowrk date picker. If yes, what would be the UI?

  21. What do you suggest if we need to keep user generated data in sync between different devices with Windows 8, desktop and mobile devices?

    I know the Roaming Folder is restricted to 100kb and some of the files will be larger than that.

    Thank you for a great site.

  22. Hi Iris,

    I am a junior web dev and into .net world. I would like to know the importance of certifications in our industry.
    I have often heard that its not that much valued now and to be true never had someone who can guide me as a mentor! Could you please reply back with the possible certifications I should go for?

    I like to work with web tech. Html5,css3, jquery, JavaScript, less, .net (C#) web forms and mvc with EF AND LINQ. MS SQL Server.

  23. Hi Iris,
    I don’t usual do this but I was wondering if you could help me or anyone who looks at this forum -can’t get on twitter at work.
    I am currently using vs2012 ulitmate uml designer to create my class diagram so to be able to generate the code, (then use this generated code using ef code-first approach to create the sql db) . However, I noticed that when you create a class that is a collection type, the generated code defaults it to IEmmurable I came across the uml guidelines, and came across on the section of ‘template types’ and uses an example of how to create a ‘dictionary’. However, the steps aren’t very clear, and concise. I was wondering would I need to use this to create my ‘list’ collection type, and how would I set it up; so I can use the ‘template binding’ to assign it to my object type. Or is this just the wrong approach.
    CyberChick (any help much appreciated)

  24. My questions intersect the fields of computer science, cogntive science and psychobiology.

    What data structure would be ideal to use for a neural network? How could one build this data structure in C#? Could you post a solution coupled with a test harness (it could be a standalone .aspx code-behind or console application)? You can choose whatever input you would like to give the neural network.

    For information on neural networks, take a look at I built one in C when I was an undergraduate. I wish I had the code I wrote then.

    Today, I think about building one in C#, but am usually too enveloped by things I should learn/build for Sitecore CMS.

    Mike Reynolds

  25. Hey Iris,

    Hope you are well? As I’m starting on the road of C#/XAML Windows 8 Development, what is the best way of creating Custom Controls for a Windows 8 App. Do I use Expression Blend for this?

    Thanks Iris!


  26. Hej Iris!
    Jag läste om dig i och blev inspirerad av dig. Hur gick du konkret från att vara dietist till programmerare? Gick du någon utbildning? Jag är själv socionom men vill sadla om helt. Jag tycker det här verkar spännande!

  27. Hi Iris,

    Newbie question here. What technology and tutorial/book did you use to develop this beautiful website?


  28. Was asked at an interview if I kept a blog that helped the dev community, of course I said no but why should a new developer have a blog? Since you are new thought since you have one figured u could guide me on this

  29. Dear Iris,

    I am new on Metro App. I want to build a simple photo album. Could you please quote me some example/reference link to tackle the following items?

    1) How to get data from the Internet in XML format (Id, Image, Title)?
    2) How to blinding the data in a Gridview to show the image with the tile?
    3) How to pass the Id to the detail page when I click on the image?



  30. Hi Iris,
    about .net framework 4.5 and specially on use of Task class.
    have you ever faced the problem of performing a task with a very long run by providing a timeout threshold?
    something like:
    await Task.Run(async () =>
    Task.Run(async () =>
    //long time task
    Task t = //Task long time
    await Task.Delay(Timeout);
    if (!t.IsCompleted || t.IsFaulted)
    throw new TimeoutException();
    but in this case I must wait all timeout threshold and isn’t my intension


  31. Do you have any wonderful working examples of using Background Tasks with Toast Notifications or even Live Tile updates and Azure Mobile Services?

    I already have Local Live time and Toasts working and have already incorporated multiple Tile updates through a Web Sservice call. What I’m extremely interested in setting up is sending Toast Notificaitons to the application running in the background and/or sending Tile updates again though the background using Mobile Services.

    I think both of these features really add the professionalism all Win8 applications need.

    I’ve been seaching more on the toast nofiications but I’m going to switch to see how to do it with Tile updates as I think there might be more examples there.

  32. Hello Iris,

    Can you maybe tell me what’s the difference between ‘unchecked’ and ‘checked’ exceptions?
    Recently, I have read the statement saying that for building API ‘unchecked’ exceptions should be used over ‘checked’ exceptions? What are pros/cons of each of them?

    Thank you and best regards,

  33. Hi Iris why don’t updated your site, You have a letal combination brain and beuty. Hangs from Colombia

  34. Hi, I’m trying to make a quiz in my windows 8 app in c# without using a database, just with arrays I wanna save the score as a percentage, save the number of correct, incorrect and unanswered questions. Could someone help me please? Thanks in advance !!

  35. Iris, I love your Marathon Runner app… I am just starting my 3rd week. I am lookin’ for information about it though. Can you tell me what the Type: LSD is?
    Do you have any upgrades planned for the app?

  36. Is Windows Remote Desktop Connection the same as running a virtual machine? I want to be sure I’m using the correct terminology, and I often use “remote desktop,” “virtualization,” and “virtual machine” interchangeably.


  37. Iris,
    In under two years you’ve gone from being unable to write a single line of code to becoming a Microsoft MVP and a speaker at a number of conferences. Can you identify any steps that you’ve made (starting a blog, certifications, etc.) that you consider to be the most important “stepping stones” in your career as a programmer that have lead you to where you are now?

    I am absolutely amazed that it’s possible to start from nothing and become so great at what they do in such a short time. Maybe it’s because you ask so many stupid questions 🙂

  38. I am new to software development. I keep hearing the word Virtual Machine. What is it. When my colleague says, “We can set up a virtual machine and you can install your web application on that”, what does he mean. Where would this virtual machine point to? Would it be a physical server somewhere.

    • Juliana,

      I’m not Iris but I think I can point you in the right direction. A virtual machine is a way to run an operating system within _another_ operating system. Rather than running directly on the hardware, an application emulates some generic hardware with a fake disk that you can install a new operating system on. More advanced VM software has tricks that enable direct access to the hardware (for efficiency’s sake), but in general it works like a software video game emulator.

      If you want to take a peek, VirtualBox is a free, open source virtual machine software that you can install on your own computer.

      Download a disk image (.iso file) for your favorite operating system (or a free Linux like Ubuntu if you don’t have one), then open up VirtualBox. You’ll first need to create a “virtual” disk to hold your operating system within the application and then “mount” the .iso onto the disk (it’s one of the options in Settings). Once that’s done, if you “start” the disk it should open a new window that looks just like you’re booting a computer and if the .iso is properly mounted you should be prompted to install the OS to the virtual disk. After that, you’re all set!

  39. Hello Iris,
    I see that you took the exam 70-483, I’m considering taking that exam but I can’t find resources to study. The recommended book hasn’t been released and classes are quite expensive. How did you prepare for that one? Did you take training or did you study on your own?

  40. Can you please elaborate the below question?

    how it is benificial to use javascript as “Use Strict” mode. Please explain it in simple way

    -Amit Negi

  41. How to store collection of objects to windows storage.
    As i am creating objects dynamically . i want to store them in windows storage and after storing i want to retrieve it. but i am not getting any solution for this can u help me out.

  42. Hello!
    What tool did you use to build this website?

  43. Why do your MVP link give Error 404 – Not Found ??

  44. 1. Favourite plurasight courses?
    2. Which are your favourite blogs!?

  45. Wow!
    How did you get the LEAP device to act as a motion input device with Windows 8/Google earth without running another (in-between program) , with Leap-provided .dlls?

    In other words:
    Did you have to have an example C# program running in order to use Google Earth with LEAP?

    I have signed up with Leap, have the SDK, am running Windows 8 Pro, but cannot seem to get the device to act as a true input device… “out of the box”, before I even get to programming the sucker with C#. (I am a .net developer too)

    thanks for looking/reading!
    Tack Tack!
    Dustin Blair

  46. Hi Iris,

    Have been having a look at some of the experience you’ve had on your website… very impressive! I’m still fairly new to coding, I was first bought into but have since moved over to c# which is what I am learning at the moment.

    What I was wondering was if you could give me some suggestions for applications I can try and build in C# to test my knowledge. I’m using Pluralsight to teach myself the basics and then trying to teach myself anything else I need to know.

    Are there any basic programs that people who are new to developing can make to help with their learning and use as a test? What was the first app that you tried to build once you’d learnt how to code?

    Loving your work and the Get Up and Code stuff you do is fantastic!


  47. Are you married?
    Where have you been all my life?
    I feel like i’ve found my twin…
    …I scuba, gym and lead an international team of 20+ developers.

    oh yeah… and I’m married. Damn.


    Aah well, the q is moot, thought i’d ask anyhow.

  48. Why Windows 7 is version 6.1 and Windows 8 is version 6.2 (considering that it’s such a massive change from Win7, would that justify a new major version number?)

  49. Hello Iris,
    I am going to be an up and coming senior in high school this August and software developing, mobile applications to be specific, has become increasingly interesting. It’s time to buckle down and get things in order. I was just wondering where do I start?? I’m doing so much research but becoming disappointed. I decided to ask an inspiring person like yourself for real time answers. College? Majors? Not all schools straight up offer majors in mobile apps development. Would there be any other majors I should take instead? Would I be better off just getting certificates like yourself? Any beginner online classes cost or not will be very helpful. Please respond! (sorry for all the questions)
    Thanks so much. 🙂

  50. I downloaded the sample code provided by you for Leap Motion.I added the all api required to run application but it is showing error in below line:

    var screen = _controller.CalibratedScreens.ClosestScreenHit(fingers[0]);
    Error Details :
    ‘Leap controller could not contain a definition for ‘CalibratedScreens’ and no extension method ‘CalibratedScreens’ accepting a first argument of type ‘LeapController’ could be found (are your missing a using directive or an assembly reference?)

    Can you help me out ?


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