About Carl Franklin

History: Software Development

Carl Franklin was writing professional applications in QuickBASIC before Visual Basic, and ever since VB 1.0 he has been writing books, developing, and teaching. He was hired by Ethan Winer's company, Crescent Software, in West Redding, CT before they released their first VB product, QuickPak Pro for Windows. Crescent and MicroHelp were thefirst companies to offer tools for VB programmers, and Carl was there, learning from the masters and writing good code. 

Carl started writing for BasicPro magazine, and speaking at VBITS (now VSLIVE). Later on, BasicPro became Visual Basic Programmer's Journal, for which he wrote several feature articles, and was also the editor of their Q&A column for three years. 

In 1994, Carl started dabbling with Internet Programming. In fact, Carl was the first author to use the words "Visual Basic" and "Internet" in the same sentence (are you noticing a trend of being first?). He went on to write a best selling book, Visual Basic 4.0 Internet Programming with John Wiley and Sons, and then updated it to Visual Basic 6.0 Internet Programming in 1999. Carl continued to write software with a focus on audio, MIDI, sockets, and other geeky stuff. Lately he is focused on programming Kinect for Windows (for which he is a Microsoft MVP) and getting kids interested in programming and technology.

First Website for Visual Basic Programmers

Also in 1994, Carl and the president of Apex Software, Gary Wisniewski started Carl & Gary's Visual Basic Home Page, which became the first popular website for Visual Basic programmers on the Internet. The site is ancient history now, but it ruled the Internet in its day. 

Consulting and WorldTRAIN

After developing client/server systems for several companies Carl decided to venture out on his own developing web sites that rely heavily on Visual Basic, ASP, and SQL Server. He started a company in 1997 called WorldTRAIN, Inc. with Dan Appleman , another noted VB guru. He developed software for hosting live internet-based training seminars, ironically enough. WorldTRAIN was written in VB, of course.

WorldTRAIN didn't work out. The product was stable, but the technology of the day just wasn't quite there to make it work. Later products like GoToMeeting turned out to be the best of breed.

Hands-on Training

In 1999 Carl started franklins.net to provide onsite and classroom-led hands-on training in VB 6, and then later built a classroom in New London, CT and started teaching VB.NET 1.0 and ASP.NET 1.0 classes. franklins.net later got into producing training videos on DVD.

Recognition by Microsoft

In July, 2000 Carl was asked by Microsoft to be the MSDN Regional Director for Hartford, CT. The RDs are a liason between local development communities and Microsoft. At one time, responsibilities included hosting Microsoft DevDays (an annual event that occured simultaneously in over 120 major cities around the world) and delivering the Keynote Presentation. He received the highest score on the Devdays Keynote in 2002 of all the RDs in the world! Carl was selected as Regional Director of the year in 2003! 

In 2004 Carl became a Microsoft Most Valuable Professional for Visual Basic, although his expertise goes way beyond the language of VB. In 2012 he became an MVP for Kinect for Windows.

Kinect Gesture Recognition Software

In 2012 Carl wrote a gesture recording and recognition toolkit for developers called GesturePak, an innovation which got him noticed enough by the Kinect for Windows team for them to make him an MVP. There were only a handful of Kinect for Windows MVPs in 2012. They could all fit around one table. The Kinect device and SDK continues to evolve and GesturePak is evolving right along with it.

Podcasting

In August, 2002, Carl started recording and publishing .NET Rocks!, an Internet audio talk show for .NET Developers. In November, 2003 MSDN Online started mirroring the show on their site to help out with bandwidth issues that were causing a real problem. The show has millions of downloads. Carl and co-host Richard Campbell continue to tour the world recording .NET Rocks! in front of eager audiences.

In February, 2005 Carl saw the need to provide audio and podcasting production services to the wider business community, so he created Pwop Productions, taking the name from "the sound of a forehead slap", one of those "ah-ha!" moments where the solution seems so simple. Pwop has produced podcasts for Google, Nintendo, Microsoft, Eastern Mountain SportsFileMaker and others.

In January, 2006 Carl started producing two new weekly shows, dnrTV, a screencast video interview/demo show in which the .NET experts actually show you how to write the code of which they speak, and Hanselminutes, a weekly discussion with noted technologist and web developer Scott Hanselman. In 2007, Carl started producing RunAs Radio, a Microsoft-centric IT show starring Richard Campbell and Greg Hughes. In 2011, Carl and Richard started The Tablet Show, a developer podcast focusing on tablet and phone development.

Conferences and Speaking 

Carl is now and will always be a developer, and never stops writing software that interests him. He is currently the co-Chair of the Visual Studio  track for Visual Studio Connections, a major international developer conference. He speaks at conferences worldwide, including OreDev (Sweden), NDC (Norway), DevTeach (Canada), DevReach (Bulgaria), and SDC (Amsterdam).

 

Music 

As if a career in the high-tech industry isn't enough, Carl is also a talented songwriter, singer, guitarist, composer, arranger, audio engineer, and producer. He produced an as-yet-unrecognized first album for Ray Lamontagne which very few people have ever heard. He and his brother, Jay (an expert Java Developer and also a talented musician) produced their first CD, Strange Communication, in 1999. In 2011 Franklin Brothers released their second CD, Lifeboat To Nowhere. In September, 2013 Carl released his first solo album, Been a While. Special guest John Scofield appears on the album. Been a while charted on college radio and continues to be a hit worldwide. Carl is always working as a producer for local artists.

Sound Blaster

Another claim to fame is that Carl authored 2 of the MIDI files that came in the box with the Sound Blaster - JAZZ.MID and REGGAE.MID - while working for Voyetra Technologies as a tech-support engineer in the late 80s and early 90s.

Carl is married with 4 beautiful children, and lives in the New London, Connecticut area. You can reach him by email at carl@pwop.com