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Time Flies

What a fast start to the year. It's Feburary already!

Started off the year with a presentation at the Cinci/Dayton Code Camp. That went pretty well. Jim and James did a great job putting it together. I did a session on BizTalk 101. Very entry level stuff. I just thought a session like that was needed since most of the questions I got at the launch event were of the 'What is BizTalk?' variety. It wasn't the most fascinating topic, but I think it helped alot of people figure it out.

It was also the first presentation I have ever done with the Takahashi(sp?) method. I read about that on Guy's blog. Few words, big font, little actual content on the slide. Although this matches how I like to speak, I wasn't sure it would work for a training session. I think it went well though. I did add some visuals, like a graph of how basic message flow works in BTS.

The code camp was on a Saturday. The following Wednesday I presented HOAP at the Dayton .NET users group. HOAP is the acronym for the talk's title "Hands On Agile Practices." So many speakers cover the values of agile, or the pillars, or the theory. But they never cover the HOW!

This talk walks through the real deliverables and tasks that are used in planning and executing. Such as the planning game, estimating game, the big wall, BVC's, and so on. I use real examples, and bring actual feature cards, and worksheets, to go through mock sessions. The group really enjoyed the session, and there were a ton of great questions afterwards. Two collegues came with me to help out, and they really helped make it seems real and doable.

My message was 'don't just take all of this and start tomorrow'. Take one piece, and use it. Even if there is some process Nazi at your company with a full close full of shelfware you have to follow, you can still use some of this stuff within your own tasks and cube. It will spread like a virus to other people in your org. I am tempted to write a series of posts that follow the topic. We shall see.

After Dayton, I attended the monthly meeting for Central Ohio .NET Dev Group. Drew did a good presentation on Windows Workflow Foundation. I got to butt in with the BizTalk perspective from time to time, so that was fun. There was a surprising amount of negative perspective from some people in the crowd. Almost like they saw WWF as a threat. Granted Drew presented a very high level, level 100 type material, but some people just didn't get it. Every app has some workflow aspect in it. Wether it is state of a business process, or actual flow, it's in there. Guarenteed.

The following Wednesday I had a demo with a Microsoft customer in Dayton. I had days to throw together some basic demos for the session. The problem was, the VPC image I use for BTS demos was acting very slow. It took me hours to do a demo that should of taken only 30 minutes. Then a collegue told me about VMWare's free player. It won't let you create images, but it will let you execute (or play) VPC or VMWare images. This was awesome. And it is totally free. It worked like a charm, and the virtual system ran very fast and smoothly. Apparently they now have a free server product as well. VPC is very nice, but it has some catching up to do.

Anyway, I got the demos done, and they went smoothly. The customer wants to do a Proof of Concept now. That should go nicely, and I will get to use the new HIPPA accelerator. We have more and more projects with BTS, so if you know anyone in the Columbus region that is looking to be a consultant, please let me know.

Then I had to start putting together a day of .NET/clinic/code camp for state agencies. We had some clients of ours that are agencies approach us to put one together, so I am gathering speakers, and agenda's to see what we can do.



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