Tag Archives: CodeMash

2010 New Year’s Resolutions for Software Developers

@jeffblankenburg wrote a good post for MSDN about opportunities for Software Developers in 2010.  The full article can be found here: http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/ee913537.aspx, highlights include:

  • Learn a new programming language
  • Attend [monthly] local user group meetings – (or support local community events, check out: iDetroit)
  • Attend a regional developer conference – gotta luv codeMash
  • Become an agent of change (within your organization)
  • Use your skills to change the world (for the better) – giveCamp
  • Give Twitter a real try!
  • Create an online presence
  • Added: Stay current with technology via pod/video casts – visit Twit.TV, Tech PodCasts or iTunes for more..
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CodeMash 2009 – underway..

I just arrived at Kalahari – driving like a mad man out of Detroit to beat the “ice storm” – i felt like those guys you see on tv chasing storms, only I was trying to outrun one, and effectively did.  I made it in record time < 2 hours (again).  That said, i did nearly slide thru the intersection trying to turn in, so roads are getting bad out there.

After checking in, I made my way down to the registration area to see some familiar faces, Brian and Jim helping distribute badges and programs, just before 10pm.  Bumped into a few others, like Patrick of Pillar on my way to the room – everyone seems excited to be here, including me.  A quick glance of the program and a personal challenge on the back of my mind.  Lots of great content here, unlike my fact-finding mission around Agile last year, this time around I’m looking to roll up my sleeves and get back to coding!  Am most excited about iPhone development, starting with Chris Adamson’s iPhone development 101 session in the morning at the “precompiler” (day before the actual conference.)

Currently, I’m a total newbie to mac (*nix) development, so this should be interesting. I downloaded the iPhone SDK last night and started combing over the help docs, have yet to even fire up xCode, Apples development IDE, and I’m starting to feel like a non-techie, overwhelmed by a new wave of acronyms, completely outside of my domain expertise – but what the hell, that’s what codeMash is all about!   With any luck, or if I follow along properly, I should have a “useful, running iPhone application” by this time tomorrow.  Sounds too good to be true! 🙂

Other topics of interest include RIAs, (rich internet applications) including silverlight, and flex.  Ruby folks always have something interesting to say, but I’m not sure how much time I’m going to devote to it this time around, as I’m hoping to get up to speed on a few other subjects, such as  TDD (test driven development),  functional programming, Azure, VS 2010, and .net 4; oh, and I’m always looking to dive deeper into Agile and want to check out lean guru Mary Poppendieck.  Keynotes and Panel discussion tomorrow night also sound good.

So much content, so little time..  CodeMash does a good job balancing session tracks with break out rooms, “un-conference” formats and lots of social opportunities, movie night (dark knight @ 9:30) and even stuff for the kids (kidz mash) – and as always, it will be great to catchup with others, learning about the new and exciting things they’re working on and what challenges they may have around the corner.  Going to be an exhaustive couple of days..

Visual Studio 2010 and .NET Framework 4.0

The news out of Microsoft includes a taste of what’s cooking with Visual Studio 2010 and the .NET Framework 4.0, plus a look at Visual Studio Team System (VSTS) 2010 (previously code named Rosario).Here’s what senior vice president of the Developer Division, S. “Soma” Somasegar says about these upcoming releases, “With Visual Studio 2010 and the .NET Framework 4.0, we are focused on the core pillars of developer experience, support for the latest platforms spanning client, server, services and devices, targeted experiences for specific application types, and core architecture improvements. These pillars are designed specifically to meet the needs of developers, the teams that drive the application life cycle from idea to delivery, and the customers that demand the highest quality applications across multiple platforms. You can expect to hear a lot more about Visual Studio 2010 and the .NET Framework 4.0 in the coming months.”

Jim Holmes of CodeMash also recently announced, Microsoft’s Software + Services (S+S) and Development Platform Evangelism (DPE) teams have joined forces and will be using CodeMash 2009 to showcase some upcoming technology releases! CodeMash attendees will have a chance to learn about the just-announced Azure cloud computing platform, Visual Studio 2010, and the .NET 4.0 framework and languages.

If you’re in the MidWest you owe it to yourself to attend CodeMash (Jan 7-9)

CodeMash Bloggy Goodness

Catherine Devlin, a python and Oracle connoisseur, published Planet CodeMash using Yahoo Pipes!  Lots of attendees of codeMash are bloggers, as published at: http://groups.google.com/group/codemash/web/2008-codemash-bloggers and instead of clicking into each link to keep up, you can use pipes to aggregate feeds together into one master list, pretty cool!  You can check out here design notes here: http://catherinedevlin.blogspot.com/2008/12/planet-codemash-yahoo-pipes.html

Brief background on Pipes [source: Yahoo] – Pipes is a powerful composition tool to aggregate, manipulate, and mashup content from around the web.  Like Unix pipes, simple commands can be combined together to create output that meets your needs:

  • combine many feeds into one, then sort, filter and translate it.
  • geocode your favorite feeds and browse the items on an interactive map.
  • power widgets/badges on your web site.
  • grab the output of any Pipes as RSS, JSON, KML, and other formats.

Sounds good? Learn more….

Pipes sounds interesting, I’ve read about it, but haven’t yet had a chance to get my hands dirty with it yet.  I myself aggregate a TON of RSS feeds using NetVibes; I highly recommend them, not only can you organize content cleanly with tabs, it’s highly extensible with widgets – moving ever so closer to the elusive web desktop!  I myself use it as a glorifed RSS aggregation tool, and it works better than great!

CodeMash 2009 Sessions Announced

Jim Holmes of CodeMash just published the 2009 Session list for next year’s CodeMash.  You can view it online at: http://codemash.org/SessionList.aspx or download it here:  http://codemash.org/includes/CM-2009-Schedule.pdf

If you want to keep up on all the CodeMash news, you can follow it via RSS here: http://feeds.feedburner.com/CodemashNews or Twitter here: http://twitter.com/codemash.

And lastly, you can view the public Google calendar of sessions as well.  Just search for “codeMash” in public calendars to add to your Google Calendar.  ICal users can use this URL: http://www.google.com/calendar/ical/954d6r7rhri27sq5kacc88i2a0%40group.calendar.google.com/public/basic.ics 

Looks like another great event – hope to see you there!

Hope to see you there!

How to talk technology to humans

My first session at CodeMash was the pre-conference Weds night – a panel about promoting tech to “others” (being clients, business associates, managers, etc.)  The converstation started off initially from a consultant perspective, touching on the challenges in promoting newer “edge” technologies to decision makers/execs who aren’t yet familiar and/or vested in their current offerings.  One story referenced how clients would specifically seek out java or .net applications – before even discussing the business requirements.  The panel agreed this was the wrong approach.  Understanding the requirement should come first, then align the most appropriate technology to solve the specific need.  It shouldnt be technology first, problem second. Seems to make sense. 

Next came a comment about devs not being “consultants” – however, the panel disagreed.  Devs are constantly “selling”, albeit internally, they are still speaking to, persuading or recommending improvements – and this is nothing different.  Joe went on to add, he believed Thought Works to be doing it right – hire the smartest most capable people and the technology will follow, in other words, if a company must standardize on a platform, leave it up to the dev to implement the most appropriate language.

Agile also found its way into the converstion, as agile adoption has been mixed, especially in bigger organizations, and in some cases its actually being done wrong.  Agile is about feedback. how you deliver it is as important as what you deliver.  One recommendation was to be a “virus” start small, independatly, write unit tests, techniques will get noticed in productivty, quality, etc – others (worthy) will notice, ask questions, experiment.  After unit testing, implement version control/automated builds and eventually continuous integration (CI).  Use index cards/stickies in your area to define work (“stories”) – keep tasks small, focused, you’ll get more done faster.  Evaluate pair-programming..

Techniques included selling your ideas is easier than selling yourself.  lead by example (even if quietly).  Interested, passionate devs will follow.  they took a survey and asked people with cool jobs to raise their hand – 80% went up.  They went on to add, (i believe according to a piece from Dave Thomas) – attendees were in the top 10% of their field.  which makes sense, those seeking out to better themselves do tend to advance more often. 

When promoting a new technology, never under-estimate how boring you can be.  You may have already sold them, let others absorb the info and ask questions.  Other “sales” tips included: match body language, replicate verbal buoyancy, match speech speed and get to know people and what motivates them.

Lastly, they ended with how to drive change when consistently facing deadlines.  First off, (per agile) nothing should take more than 6 months to put into produciton.  Ala SOA, de-couple, break things into smaller tasks, this also enables adopotion of multiple technologies by isolating functional units, which helped to clarify how/when you choose to change technologies (from current to latest/greatest).  There is no single answer, sometimes what you doing makes sense.  if the technology you are using is still effective, there may be no need to change?  Try to find the right technology for the task, emphasis simplicity – to do so you obviously need to stay abreast of the latest flavors.  Start with a little at a time.  Play with things in your spare time, make time if need be.  A 2 hour window can even yield productivity with newer edge technologies.  Lastly, get help from the community, read blogs, ask questions.

Not bad. So far, we’re off to a good start.

CodeMash here I come!

I was recently turned on to a local conference called codeMash – taking place in Ohio which I’m actually pretty excited about.  I met a couple of Agile guys (Nayan & Patrick) through our product manager, doug – whom told me about the conference.  I do my best to stay abreast of tech conferences, especially the latest “mash” formats, including attending several of the past mashup Camps

At most of the “mashup” conferences I’ve attended to date have been very open-source friendly, with almost no representation by the microsoft or sun/java communities, so this will be a first for me with actual sessions covering each of the respective offerings.  Plus, as per usual lots of ruby and am sure php/my sql.  Needless to say, I’m pumped to attend.  Am really interested to take away some AGILE knowledge, sounds like a great group of guys attending and aptly timed with some inhouse Agile-inroads we intend to be making with our development team.  More on that later. 

If you happen to be making the trip, be sure to stop by and say hi.

Site: http://codemash.org
Google Group: http://groups.google.com/group/codemash �
CodeMash – I&apos;ll be there!