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CodeMash Speaker Announcements : Round 2


Ding Ding!

The content group for CodeMash has released another set of speaker confirmations. We have some rocking content this year. I know the content team is working hard to have a diverse set of talks, that really spans across all of the platforms we are targeting. They even have a special view in their database to monitor the distribution of talks across platforms.

So, without further ado:

Leah Culver: "Getting Started with Django"
Leah Culver founded Pownce with her friends Kevin Rose and Daniel Burka as a way of sending messages, links, files and events to each other. Leah is the lead developer for the site, which has become one of the largest sites using the Django framework Leah loves the challenge of developing a web application from scratch and writes about her experiences as a software developer at leahculver.com.

Kevin Dangoor: "Overview of the Dojo JavaScript Toolkit"
Kevin is the product manager at SitePen and the founder of the TurboGears open source web application framework. He has held positions in software development, management and sales engineering. He has previously spoken at CodeMash, PyCon, EuroPython and GLSEC and is the co-author of the book "Rapid Web Applications with TurboGears".

Catherine Devlin: "Crash, Smash, Kaboom Course in Python"
After a wasted youth studying chemical engineering, Catherine accidentally became a database administrator in 1999 and began tying web applications to her databases almost immediately. She works for IntelliTech Systems at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, programming and maintaining small-scale, database-centered web applications.

Keith Elder: "Introduction to WFF" and "Building Custom Workflow Activities"
Keith Elder is a Team Leader / Sr. Software Engineer for Quicken Loans, the nation's largest online mortgage lender based in Livonia, MI. At Quicken Loans he is the team leader, lead developer and architect for a custom built in-house Smart Client CRM (client relationship management) application. As a Microsoft MVP he speaks throughout the South and Midwestern parts of the United States at various Code Camps, .Net User Groups, technical conferences and schools.

Joe O'Brien: "Ruby - Testing Mandatory"
Before helping found EdgeCase, LLC, Joe O'Brien was a developer with
ThoughtWorks and spent much of his time working with large J2EE and .NET systems for Fortune 500 companies. He has spent his career as a developer, project manager, and everything in between. Joe is a passionate member of the open source community. He co-founded the Columbus Ruby Brigade and helped organize the Chicago Area Ruby Users Group. His passions are Agile Development in the Enterprise, Ruby, and demonstrating to the Fortune 500 the elegance and power of this incredible language.

Jay Pipes: "Performance Coding Techniques for MySQL"
Jay is the North American Community Relations Manager at MySQL. Author of Pro MySQL, Jay has also written articles for Linux Magazine and regularly assists software developers in identifying how to make the most effective use of MySQL. He has given sessions on performance tuning at the MySQL Users Conference, RedHat Summit, NY PHP Conference, OSCON and Ohio LinuxFest, among others. In his abundant free time, when not being pestered by his two needy cats and two noisy dogs, he daydreams in PHP code and ponders the ramifications of __clone().

Brian Sam-Bodden: "Rails: A Peek Under the Covers" and "Bitter Java? Sweeten with JRuby!"
Brian Sam-Bodden is the author of two Java titles; a frequent speaker at
national and international conferences, a professional trainer and a
full-time member of the NoFluffJustStuff symposiums. Brian is passionate
about clean, concise and understandable software and enjoys hacking away with Java and Ruby.

Chris Judd: "Agile Development with Groovy and Grails"
Christopher Judd is the president and primary consultant for Judd Solutions, LLC. (www.juddsolutions.com), international speaker, open source evangelist, Central Ohio Java Users Group (www.cojug.org) coordinator and co-author of "Enterprise Java Development on a Budget" and "Pro Eclipse JST". He has spent ten years developing software in the insurance, retail, government, manufacturing, service, and transportation industries. His current focus is consulting, mentoring and training with Java, J2EE, J2ME, web services and related technologies.

James Ward: "RIAs - Beyond the Buzz"
James Ward is a Technical Evangelist for Flex at Adobe and Adobe's JCP
representative to JSR 286, 299, and 301. Much like his love for climbing mountains he enjoys programming because it provides endless new  discoveries, elegant workarounds, summits and valleys. His adventures in climbing have taken him many places. Likewise, technology has brought him many adventures, including: Pascal and Assembly back in the early 90's; Perl, HTML, and JavaScript in the mid 90's; then Java and many of its frameworks beginning in the late 90's. Today he primarily uses Flex to build beautiful front-ends for Java based back-ends. Prior to Adobe, James built a rich marketing and customer service portal for Pillar Data Systems.

BizTalk Patch for Time Change


If you are running 2004 or 2006, then you need to apply this patch to deal with the upcoming time change as a result of the recent legislation.


Ted answers hard questions about what an architect is....


I read Ted Newards blog, because he is smarter than I am. You should read his blog too. Here is one of his recent posts.

Before you change the channel thinking "Oh, I hate link posts.", consider that I don't really like posts that are just links that say "hey, I just read this." I do like link posts that link to a post, and then discuss the topic. I am linking because I want to add to the conversation.

This conversation extends the first ArcReady meeting we had about six or nine months ago with Josh Homes (MS Architect Evangelist). That first event was about what an architect is, and what they do. It was a great talk, and dovetails into Ted's post.

To summarize Ted's post: Ted is responding to a reader who had a HORRIFYING interview and sent in an email about his experience. This experience drives the reader to have a crisis of faith when it comes to being an architect. Ted then answers some of the reader's questions.

The first thing this architect did was stick to his guns on HIS answers to  interview questions, and not roll over easy and say what he knew the interviewer was asking for. This is awesome. Want to move to Ohio?

When I am interviewing someone, I always make it a conversation, and make it clear that not only am I trying to see if that person is a fit for us, but that we are a fit for them. I want to be brutally up front about who and what we are so the candidate can determine if we are a fit for them. Because if our vectors don't line up, no one will be happy, and that's a waste of time and value to our clients.

If you are looking for a job, and interviewing, you have the responsibility to be who you are in the interview. If you pose, then you are falsely representing yourself. That's not good.

Ted's reader then goes on about three questions. I am pasting them here verbatim to make it easier for me to respond:

  1. How could their idea of an architect (being the policemen of corporate best practice) be so far removed from someone like myself, who aims to make case by case judgements based on pragmatism and experience?
  2. Is architecture supposed to be facilitative or restrictive?
  3. What relevance do architects have today? Are they just overpaid, out of touch developers?

1. Ted's reader says he was a consultant for years, and as such learned a skill that native architects don't usually learn. That skill is 'providing business value'. This problem has many forms. IT isn't aligned with business (if someone says business isn't aligned with IT you should run, run, run), IT isn't agile, no trust with IT, IT is a cost center, etc.

The policeman mentality (and please, I don't mean any disrespect to law enforcement) is when a control freak gets promoted, someone who is narrow minded (they know better than everyone else), they don't have the wisdom to understand context, and don't trust/value the developers and other staff.

If you treat 'best practices' like a rule book, solid walls to constrain you, then you probably don't GROK what you are doing. If you see best practices as dashed lines, guiding you, then you are doing well. You have to understand the experience and reasoning behind a best practice to use it well, and to avoid becoming a mindless zombie to it. Zombies eat brains, and no one wants that.


2. Both. It must facilitate the delivery of business value, while restricting the risks of putting prior and future value at risk by being too divergent. One thing that native guys have learned, that consultants don't too often, is that they must try to stabilize and normalize the entire enterprise environment. They must have vision beyond the one system that is being built. Ten systems with ten wildly divergent environments does raise development and maintenance costs. Architects, in this role, try to avoid the 'spaghetti problem', and using foresight, plan out how best to deliver that value, all while maximizing ROI on prior investments, if possible. In a sense, they sit between development, business, and IT ops. All of which have different needs and goals.


3. I think, by my definition of architect, an architect is super critical today. I think an architect, as defined by the reader's interviewee, is not only worthless, but an anti-architect. An anti-architect slows IT, siphons value from the business, and inhibits conversation.

I don't think there is much room on an XP project for an architect, if that architect's job is to draw out UML diagrams, and tell the developers what to build. The architects role on a software project (versus an enterprise architect, or another type), is to draw the general approach and direction of architecture on the system, and to help the developers flesh that out in an appropriate manner. The developer should run through their detail technical design with the architect on the team. In this way the architect trusts the developer is helping to provide an architecturally cohesive system. The developer also learns a lot from the architect as well.

QSI presenting at the .NET Technology Briefing in Columbus


Alexei Govorine and I will be presenting at the .NET Technology Briefing in Columbus, OH. Please register if you want to go.


Date: 11/12/2007

Time: 9:00am – 3:00pm

Location: Microsoft Office
8800 Lyra Dr., Suite 400
Columbus, OH 43240

.NET Technology Briefing

Come join your technology peers to learn about current and future.NET technologies. The focus of this 1 day seminar will be around Microsoft Visual Studio 2005 Team System. You’ll be provided with an overview of each role and the session will wrap up with a preview of Visual Studio 2008 (codenamed Orcas).


 9:00am – 9:45am

Visual Studio Team System (VSTS) / Team Foundation Server Overview

 9:45am - 10:30am

VSTS Project Management and Collaboration Features

10:30am – 10:45am

10:45am - 11:15pm


VSTS Architect and Developer Features

11:15pm -  12:00pm

12:00pm – 12:30pm

Version Control and Build Management

Lunch  (Provided)

12:30pm –  1:15pm

VSTS Tester Features

 1:15pm –   1:30pm

 1:30pm – 2:15pm


VSTS Database Professional Features

2:15pm –  2:45pm

Team System Futures (Visual Studio 2008 – Orcas)

2:45pm –  3:00pm



Turn in evaluation for drawings and fabulous prizes!

Turn in evaluation for drawings and fabulous prizes!

Attendance is limited, so please register early to secure your spot!

Date:   Nov 12, 2007

Time:   9:00am – 3:00pm

Registration Starts: 8:45am

Location:  Microsoft Office
8800 Lyra Dr., Suite 400
Columbus, OH 43240
Phone: (614) 719-5900

Click here to register

You may also access the registration site at: www.microsoft.com/events and reference Event ID 1032357541

This session will be delivered by Microsoft’s valued partners:

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Speaking about BizTalk/WF at the ACM meeting

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I have been invited to speak at the November meeting of the local chapter of the local chapter of the Association For Computing
Machinery (oldwww.acm.org/chapters/cocacm/).  The ACM's home page is www.acm.org.

I will be doing a lap around MS BizTalk Server 2006 R2 and Windows Workflow Foundation (WF), how to pick each tool for your needs, and to discuss their common uses.

I hope to see you there!

First Round of CodeMash Speakers Announced!


CodeMash is proud to announce the first round of speakers selected for this year's event. We have some great sessions lined up this year. So many, I think they content is going to blow away last year.

The content team (led by Jason Gilmore and Dianne Marsch) have been swamped with over one hundred session submissions, with only about 45 slots to fill. I don't envy them at all. I know they are working hard on picking the right topics, with the right mix and blend to really make this year special.

So, here goes...

Bruce Eckel: "Why I Love Python"

Bruce Eckel has given hundreds of presentations throughout the world,
published over 150 articles in numerous magazines, was a founding member of
the ANSI/ISO C++ committee and speaks regularly at conferences. He provides
public and private seminars & design consulting in OO Design, Python, Java
and C++.


Neal Ford: "Engineering and Polyglot Programming" and "DSLs in Static & Dynamic Languages"

Neal Ford is an senior application architect at ThoughtWorks, a global IT
consultancy. His primary consulting focus is the building of large-scale
enterprise applications. He is also an internationally acclaimed speaker,
having spoken at numerous developers conferences worldwide.


Jesse Liberty: "Coding in Silverlight"

Jesse Liberty is a Senior Program Manager for Microsoft's Silverlight
Development Team. He is a former Distinguished Software Engineer at AT&T and
Vice President for technology development at CitiBank, and was an
independent consultant for 12 years.

Dick Wall: "Testing with Guice"

Dick Wall is a software engineer at Google, based in Mountain View. He also
co-hosts the Java Posse podcast-a regular Java-centric news and interviews
show that can be found at http://javaposse.com.

Jim Weirich: "Advanced Ruby Class Design"

Jim Weirich has over twenty-five years of experience in software
development, and is employed with EdgeCase. He has worked with real-time
data systems for testing jet engines, networking software for information
systems, and image processing software for the financial industry. Weirich
is active in the Ruby community and has contributed to several Ruby
projects, including the Rake build system and the RubyGems package software.

We will be announcing more sessions soon!