Archive for the ‘Speaking’ Category

Michigan Google Developers DevFest 2014

I will again be speaking a the Michigan Google Developers DevFest this year. I enjoyed myself last year and made contacts that have affected my career.

This year I am talking about dependency injection in Android. Unit testing is important, and dependency injection is vital for designing testable classes. Come see me and learn about it.

Google Developers Logo

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Michigan Google Developers DevFest 2013

I will be speaking at this event on Saturday, March 23rd. I will be talking about how to consume web services using Android, covering two different patterns for doing this. This is a hands-on event, so I’ll have starter code ready for participants and even web services ready for consumption. I’m looking forward to another round of public speaking. You can register here.

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Staying with the Fire Hose

At the recent Ann Arbor Day of .Net, my colleague David Giard arranged an excellent panel discussion with Jim Holmes, Mike Eaton, Jay Harris, Patrick Steele, and Jason Follas, about keeping current with the stream of constantly evolving technology with which we work (aka the Fire Hose). I felt this was one of the best sessions of the day, the audience was very engaged with the panel. It definitely ended too soon. *Update* David Giard posted a video of the discussion on his Technology and Friends webcast.

One of the discussion points revolved around training. I think a couple points were pretty clear from the discussion:

  1. Companies don’t provide enough or the right training
  2. You own your career, it’s up to you to get the training you need.

One of the discussion points that I wanted to contribute, was that the existence of Day of .Net is partly driven as a reaction by the community to the two points above. We attend these conferences to learn (among other things) just enough about new technologies so we can effectively evaluate them and see if they fit into our day-to-day jobs or personal interests. Traditional training methods (books, classroom training, CTBs) seem to be falling further and further behind as the fire hose continues to flow faster and faster. We are at the conference to get some of the training we need, because it’s not available any other way.

Technical Books

For me, books have always been part of my learning, but more and more they are falling short. Technology is changing faster than publishers can respond. More often than not the book I need isn’t going to be published for a while. Even today (May 2010), look at the number of new developer technologies that are hot in my circles:

  • Silverlight 4
  • Windows Azure
  • Windows Phone 7
  • Android
  • SharePoint 2010
  • .Net 4.0

These are by no means niche technologies. You would be hard pressed to find many books published on them (maybe some around beta releases, those get stale fast and are often of dubious quality due to the rushed nature of the title). I completely understand the lag time, but I think the publishers need to step up and start paying authors as full-time employees so they can commit full time to a book and get it released sooner. Typically book authors are doing this on the side, I am sure that slows down time to market. There are some Microsoft technologies, like Commerce Server, that haven’t seen a new book since 2002. Arguably that’s a much more niche technology (and certainly not as popular as SharePoint for instance), but if a company as large as Microsoft is investing money to develop the product, they have users of the software so there must be some kind of market for those books.

I know lots of folks don’t work on the cutting edge (I spoke to a group of VB6 developers yesterday that didn’t even have Visual Studio installed), so this is less of a problem for them. As a consultant, this is a constant problem for me. Maybe I am am the minority and there isn’t as much market for these books so early? That’s hard for me to say. Either way, I know the publishers are losing my money, because I end up digging up blog posts and finding online articles to meet my need long before the book hits the shelves for me to purchase it.

Day of .Net Slides

I posted my slide deck from my talk (The Demise of Xcopy Deployment) at the terrific Ann Arbor Day of .Net 2010 on SlideShare. Thanks to everyone who attended both my talk and the event. A special thanks to the event organizers for doing a great job.

Creating VPC Networks using Windows 7 as Host

I just want to track these two great posts on how to set up a virtual private network for hosting one or more virtual machines where you may not have an actual network connection. This happens to me when I’m giving presentations (like my upcoming one at Day of .Net!) and the host and guest machines need to be able to talk to one another, even if the host machine is not on any network.

Windows Virtual PC: Network Between Host and VM Using Loopback Adapter

Windows 7 & Network Loopback Adapter Settings

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Ann Arbor Day of .Net 2010

I’ll be speaking at the Ann Arbor Day of .Net on Saturday, May 1st, 2010. It’s being held at Washtenaw Community College. Register for the event at 

Here’s the abstract for my talk:

The Demise of Xcopy Deployment

One of the great features of .Net when it first released was Xcopy deployment. No more .dll registrations, just copy the files to the web server. While this was a great feature for Microsoft developers, new problems emerged, specifically around managing web.config. Sections like connection strings and custom errors need to be managed between environments, which meant many copies of the files or scripts to change them. Other necessary steps, like managing permissions and IIS configuration were still outside the Xcopy process. A recent tool, MSDeploy, is now integrated into Visual Studio 2010 and makes managing these issues easier. Besides web.config, MSDeploy also manages file deployments and synchronization, ACLs, and IIS settings. If your deployments have multiple steps, need ReadMe files, or can’t be done by someone outside your team, you need to learn MSDeploy!

Interview on Debugging

David Giard posted his interview with me for his show, Technology and Friends, talking about debugging and WinDBG.

Debugging with WinDBG

Last week I had the opportunity to talk about debugging and WinDBG at Sogeti. We recorded the session as a Live Meeting and my colleague David Giard was kind enough post the video for me. I have a previous blog post linking to the tools I mentioned during the talk.

Out of the blue….

I posted my Day of .Net presentation (PowerPoint slides) on SlideShare. Apparently they have an editorial board that picks presentations to highlight on their home page, and they picked mine! I had no idea they even did this. I tried a new presentation format (thanks to Josh Holmes), and apparently it’s working out well.

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Day of .Net Presentation Resources

Thanks to everyone who attended my talk! Here’s some links related to the talk:

My PowerPoint Presentation hosted on SlideShare

Debugging Tools for Windows web site / download WinDBG

IIS Resource Kit (TinyGet)

LogParser for querying IIS log files



John Robbins’ book on .Net 2.0 Debugging


Good blog posts on WinDBG

A Big List of Debugging Resources

Getting Started with WinDBG Part I

Getting Started with WinDBG Part II

Debugging Demos


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