Speaking in Bloomington

A new .NET User Group has formed at Indiana University and I have the honor of being their first speaker.  Join us on Thursday, April 19 from 2:00 – 4:00 PM in room CG 2061 at the Kelley School of Business in Bloomington.  For this event I’ll be covering Parallel Programming in .NET 4. We may even look at a few examples of the upcoming async and await keywords – time permitting, of course.

Be sure to check the IU .NET User Group page for logistics information including a remote viewing location and streaming information.

I hope you can attend!

IndyNDA – Testing Code From The Pit Of Despair

It’s the second week of February so if you read this blog with any frequency you know what that means.  That’s right, IndyNDA is this Thursday (9 February)!  This month we’re fortunate to have Phil Japikse returning to discuss testing legacy code.

Michael Feathers defines Legacy Code as any code that doesn’t have automated tests, and you agree that automated tests are an important facet of successful software development. Then it happens – you get your next assignment, and it’s your worst nightmare! You have to maintain and enhance a large application that has no tests in place, and there are parts that are just plain scary. Where do you start? Traditional Test Driven Development techniques don’t typically work, since they focus on an inside-out development paradigm.

I will show you the patterns and practices that will help you turn the scary big ball of mud into a tested code base.

I’m excited to have Phil back.  I’ve heard him speak many times and have always found his talks both informative and entertaining.

This month we’re meeting in the 2nd floor conference room at 900 E. 96th Street.  Registration begins at 5:30 and the main event kicks off at 6:00.  Snacks and soft drinks will be provided.

I hope to see you there!

IndyNDA – Panel Discussion on Technical Screening

The January IndyNDA meeting is this Thursday!  Join us for a panel discussion on technical screening.  Mark Huebner will moderate the discussion with our panelists including Ed Herceg (Robert Half Technology), Dale Brubaker (Interactive Intelligence), and yours truly.  Audience participation is encouraged.

Some say companies and recruiting firms are using tests based on incorrect assumptions on how developers do their work. C# and jQuery and JavaScript and VB and the .NET framework continue to offer new capabilities. The complexity has generally not been a problem for you because you make liberal use of IntelliSense, online help, books online, reference books, Google searches, and technical online forums. You know how to quickly find information when you can’t remember specific syntax. So, can you pass that technical screening test? Should you need to be tested? Let’s find out

Don’t forget about the C# and JavaScript SIGs after the main event either.  I’m not sure what the JavaScript group is covering but for the C# group Alex Gheith and I will be leading a discussion over a few of the items in chapter 1 of Effective C# by Bill Wagner.

As always registration begins at 5:30 with the main event starting at 6:00.  Thanks to our sponsors food and drink will be provided before the meeting.

Please be aware that our meeting location has changed.  For January and February we’ll be meeting in the 2nd floor conference room in Parkwood 9.  For those that remember when we had meetings in the 5th floor conference room in the same building rest assured, the 2nd floor conference room is better suited to our needs.

I hope to see you there!

I Survived My First GiveCamp!

I did it!  I made it through my first GiveCamp!  For the benefit of those not familiar with GiveCamp it’s a weekend-long event where technologists donate their time to provide software solutions to non-profit organizations that otherwise could not afford them.

When we say “weekend-long” we mean it.  This was a caffeine-fueled 48 hour marathon of requirements gathering, design, code, CSS, collaboration, and stand-ups.  The only thing missing was sleep!  The lack of sleep was a small price to pay though to see how our work was going to breathe new life into these organizations.


Giving Back

This post marks a milestone for me.  When I started this site nearly seven years ago I had no idea what I was doing.  Before I got serious about blogging in about a year and a half ago I had only posted 29 times!  Since then I’ve stepped it up a bit.  I’ve written 70 articles and watched my traffic steadily rise.

Back in March of 2010 I had a whopping 151 visitors.  Last month finished with 2,300 visitors and some of them were even human!  I realize that my traffic is still virtually nothing in the grand scheme of things but it’s a bit humbling when I think about how people from around the world are finding and reading my articles.  With that in mind I’m dedicating this 100th post to a good cause and hoping that it will reach a few people.

Across the United States GiveCamp events are being planned.  If you’re not familiar with GiveCamp this paragraph from the national site’s About page sums it up nicely:

GiveCamp is a weekend-long event where software developers, designers, and database administrators donate their time to create custom software for non-profit organizations. This custom software could be a new website for the nonprofit organization, a small data-collection application to keep track of members, or an application for the Red Cross that automatically emails a blood donor three months after they’ve donated blood to remind them that they are now eligible to donate again. The only limitation is that the project should be scoped to be able to be completed in a weekend.

If you’re a developer looking for a way to give back to your community I highly encourage you to find an event near you and volunteer.  If there aren’t any events near you, organize one.

There are events all over the country.  Here are some for my region:

Ann Arbor, Michigan: Sept. 16 – 18
Indianapolis, Indiana: Oct. 14 – 16
Grand Rapids, Michigan: Oct. 21 – 23
Southwest Ohio: Oct 21 – 23

I understand that a full weekend is quite a time commitment but if you can spare the time please join me and support this worthy cause.