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Register now for the Software Engineering 101 Conference

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Jim Holmes has announced that his latest brain child conference is open for registration. Of course, registration is free.

So what is it? You don’t need to ask. If Jim is doing it, then it’s worth your time. Ok, if you don’t buy that, then how about a whole dedicated to learning how to better engineer software. All software, not just .NET stuff.

The event will be at the Microsoft office, near Polaris, in Columbus, Ohio.

Event Date:Wednesday, September 23, 2009
Time: 8:00 AM - 5:30 PM

Welcome Time:07:30 AM Eastern Time


Microsoft Corporation
8800 Lyra Dr.
Polaris Center, Suite 400
Columbus, OH 43240
Location Website



Time Session Speaker
8:15 – 8:20 Intro  
8:20 – 9:30 Principles of Object Oriented Programming  
9:35 – 10:45 SOLID Jon Kruger
11:00 – 11:15 Understanding Code Metrics Jim Holmes
11:20 – 12:30 Production Debugging Scott Walker
12:30 – 1:30 Lunch  
1:30 – 5:00 Hands on Test Driven Development Leon Gersing and others
5:00 – 5:15 Closing remarks  

Get all of the details over at Jim’s blog (which is where I stole the agenda table from), and register at http://is.gd/2wruN.

Presentation: 5 Frameworks you can’t live without

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While I was at devLink I presented a talk called "5 frameworks you can’t live without.” I wanted to talk to people about how to not be a plumber, and how to reduce the code you write to only what only someone like you can write. I also wanted to share some frameworks that I know a lot of people are using and having success with.

This deck is very unsophisticated, and it has a very interesting origination story. I will be happy to share it with anyone who buys me a drink. Big thanks to Mike Wood for helping me with it.

As a whole, devLink was a blast. It is always fun to attend it. If you didn’t get to go you should mark it on your calendar for next year.


Need some Azure training?


My good friend Wes Brock just let me know that Wintellect will be offering a 2 day training course on how to build applications for Azure for $499. The course will be delivered by Paul Mehner, online. This is great news, so you don’t have to travel to sit in on the class. The training will be on October 21-22, 2009.

The course will cover:

Section 1 - Introduction and Overview of the Azure Services Platform

· Intro to the Azure Services Platform

· Intro to Windows Azure Services

· Intro to .NET Services

· Intro to SQL Azure (future)

· Service Registration and setup

Section 2 - Windows Azure Services

· Visual Studio “Cloud Service” Projects

· Configuration of your Windows Azure application

· Deployment of your Windows Azure application

· Load Balancing Infrastructure

· Use of Azure with non-Microsoft technologies (future)

Lab 1a: Setup of your Windows Azure Account

Lab 1b: Develop and deploy your first Windows Azure Application

Section 3 - Microsoft .NET Azure Services and Windows Communication Foundation

· WCF Service Contracts

· WCF Bindings for Microsoft .NET Azure Services

· WCF Security for Microsoft .NET Azure Services

· Introduction to the Service Bus Environment

· Deployment of your Azure .NET Services

Lab 2a: Setup of your Azure .NET Services Account

Lab 2b: Develop and deploy your first Azure .NET Service

Section 4 - Microsoft .NET Service Bus

· Architecture

· Relay Service

· Integration with Access and Orchestration Services

· Service Name Resolution

· Service Registry and Discoverability

· Supported Protocols and Ports

· Support for QOS using WS-ReliableMessaging (*currently unsupported)

· Message Queuing

· Message Routing

Lab 3a: Develop and deploy your second Azure .NET Service

Lab 3b: Add queuing functionality

Lab 3c: Add routing functionality

Section 5 - Microsoft .NET Relay Service (part of .NET Services)

· Architecture

· WCF Relay Bindings

Section 6 - Understanding Identity and Claims-based Security

· Claims Based Security Intro

· Identity Providers

o Integrated

o Live

o Card Spaces

o X.509 Certificates

o Others

· Claims & Claim Transformations

Lab 6a: Modify your service application to make it “claims aware”

Lab 6b: Create Card Space cards for your application

Lab 6c: Create X509 certificate for your application

Section 7 – Securing Your Service with Microsoft Access Control Services

· Architecture of ACS

· Registration of Identity Providers

· Claim Transformations

Lab 7a: Establish an Identity Provider for your service application

Lab 7b: Create claim transformations to support your service application

Section 8 – Error Handling and Diagnostics

· Exceptions and Faults

· Impact of Exceptions on your service application

· Soap Faults

· Creating and throwing Faults

· Fault Declarations

· Unhandled exceptions and the Dispatcher

· Message Logging

· Event Logging

· Tracing

· Performance Counters

Lab 8a: Adding custom faults to your service application / processing service faults

Lab 8b: Add and interpret message logging and diagnostics from your service and sender applications

Community Leadership Summit Results


I want to thank everyone that came out to the Community Leadership Summit in Nashville. If you missed it, don’t worry. There will be another one around CodeMash time.

After the opening comments and lunch, we brain stormed a series of interesting conversations, and then scheduled them in a grid. Whomever came up with the session idea had to act as the proctor, and take notes. Each session lasted about 30 minutes. At the end of all of the sessions, each moderator presented the results of their session. Matt Hester recorded these summaries, and they should be available shortly. Until then, here are the notes. Unfortunately, I don’t have time to enter them into the local community wiki, so if someone wants to do handle that, that would be fabulous. Otherwise, I will try to get to in in October.

At this point I am just transcribing the notes. They are not complete. Many times I don’t know what the intention of the note is. If you know, please leave a comment here, or update the wiki (when that is working.)


Session One: Alternative Meeting Formats

  • Hands on meetings with the topic
  • Geek Dinner : meet out after the event for dinner. Everyone eats Dutch. Great way to socialize and network.
  • Fishbowl style: I know a lot of groups that meet this way. It is a great way to have a discussion about a topic and keep the conversation flowing.
  • Give tickets out for participation for the meeting prizes.
  • Code + Coffee : About 10 people show up before work at a local coffee shop to pair on some code they are interested in. No set topic. Bring some real code, a pet project, or just something you want to look at.
  • Virtual Meetings : Can’t find enough people in your area that are passionate about what you want to talk about? Start a virtual meeting. Using Facebook, Linked In, and services like Live Meeting or Oovoo, you can have your meeting no matter where people live.
  • Lightening Talks : A series of very short and targeted talks by a series of speakers. This is a great way to help new speakers get their foot in the door without a lot of stress and prep work.
  • Open Spaces / Community Courtyard : These are very popular, and most people are now familiar with the approach.

Session Two: Engaging the Open Source Community

  • The project needs a strong leader
  • A good project is easy to patch
  • Have your team adopt a project
  • Tool availability can be an issue
  • Popularity of a project
    • Presence
    • Need
    • Caretaking
    • Ease
    • Source included on install

Session Three: Growing user group membership

  • Membership drive
    • Have a minimum amount of new members for the big prize
  • Appropriate Venue
    • Size
    • Location
    • Perhaps multiple locations on different days
  • Meet the needs of the community
    • job
    • network
    • learn
  • Greet and include new members
  • Paid membership (need corp buy in)
  • Consistency
  • Use email to announce meetings
    • corporate
    • public service announcements
    • collect email of attendees
  • Flyers handed out about next months meeting
  • Golden rule: always have the next three meetings planned out
  • Bring a buddy, get first pick @ prizes

Session Four: Conquering the Digital Divide

  • CAP in Cleveland
  • How to bridge
  • Library free classes
    • use local community centers
  • How to find passion around cause
    • community events
    • after events
  • Work local individuals
    • work with Wal-mart
  • Use the tech community as a resource

Session Five: Providing value for event/UG attendees

  • Networking and relationships
  • People appreciate whenever they can contribute
  • Topic Variety

Session Six: Non Profit Status. When. Why. How.

  • Money
    • 2 board members on the bank account
      • both have to sign each check
      • limits are determined in the bylaws
  • Organization
    • Board of directors
    • Treasurer
    • Code of ethics
    • By Laws
    • Articles of incorporation
  • Submit to the IRS
    • Get temp tax number
    • can be used for sponsorship
    • Temp tax number will become EIN
  • When?
    • If you are taking money
    • Liability

Session Seven: Speaking More Better

  • Role Models
    • Seth Godin
    • Scott Hanselman
  • Dramatic volume and pauses
  • Play a character
  • Slide management (not too many)
  • Should be conversational
  • Reading: Presenting to Win
  • Find self confidence (You are good enough)
  • Audience size shouldn’t matter
  • Join Toastmasters
  • Practice, then practice again
    • Prep time is essential
    • Start with lightening talks
  • define your success factors
  • eval comments are more important than scores
  • Movie: Comedian (Jerry Seinfeld)
    • It is about honing your craft
  • Don’t submit a talk because you want to learn a topic or subject
  • Show the demo, then how to build it

Session Eight: Running a Lean Event

  • Do more with less
  • Prioritize spending with a list of everything at the event. As money comes in, move down the list.
  • Food is the largest variable cost
    • Surveys have shown 85% would prefer a free event with no food over a paid event with lunch
    • Plan for 45-60 minutes for people to go get food. There should be options close. A food court, or bring in a caterer that will take cash on the spot.
    • Do snacks only
  • You can charge a little to cover hard costs
    • $25 is just enough for people to make an easy spend decision, and also big enough to make sure they show up
    • Do a budget, with fixed and variable costs
  • Get T+Cs when people pay for a ticket from creative commons
  • Pizza isn’t required at a user group. You can meet without food.
  • Perhaps dues at a meeting
  • When trying to get a sponsor to renew for a new year, or the next event, send them the info with an invoice to make it easy for them to pay
  • Tshirts are usually a low priority at an event, and can be expensive
    • Have something different. Perhaps tall glasses, $1 each
  • Electronic session guides instead of expensive color printed guides
  • Location: find free space: MS Office, local college, community centers
    • Something free, especially if they don’t require to be the catering provider
  • Beg/borrow projectors and screens so you don’t have to rent them.
  • If using a college, have  student org sponsor you. They tend to have lower fees than an outside organization
  • Tap your network for resources
  • Liberally use the resources available to you at your company (use the photo copier, etc.)

Session Eight: Women in Tech

  • Digi Girls
  • Digital Eve
  • Start young
  • Channel 9
  • Games
  • TV Shows

Session Nine: Sponsorship ROI

  • Cool by association
  • Being elite is more marketable
  • training/brain dump
  • Reduce investment
    • Employee pays for part, or takes time off if the company pays
  • Community events build experience, which improves their marketability as a consultant
  • Networking … Local – people travel
  • Retain top talent
  • Email list
    • sales
    • recruiting
    • marketing

Register for the Windows 7 and R2 online FireStarter event


If you want to learn more about what is new in Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2, you should attend this event. We will get you up to speed on the latest features, and how you can delight your users with some of these new features:

    • DirectAccess, Group Policy and PowerShell, new Internet Explorer 8 features.
    • New BitLocker, AppLocker and User Account Control Features
    • Easy Windows 7 deployment

Direct Access is great. It allows me to VPN into our corporate network without the VPN hoops. It sets up in the background, on demand, based on what resources I want to access. It also allows a remote IT Admin to manage my box (for example, to push a critical patch) at any time, not only when I finally VPN in.

PowerShell is also pretty fantastic, for both IT Pros and developers. It is a very powerful shell that is object oriented, and has full access into the whole platform, so you automate a lot of your work.

The list goes on and on.

You can register here: http://msevents.microsoft.com/CUI/EventDetail.aspx?EventID=1032423124&Culture=en-US

Register for the online FireStart for Silverlight 3 and Expression 3 event


If you are looking for a way to learn more about Silverlight, Expression, RIA Services, and the related toolkits, here is your chance.

On September 17th, we will be hosting an online event, that will be keynoted by Scott Guthrie. But that’s not all. There will also be presentations by Tim Heuer, Brad Abrams, Karl Shifflett and others.

You can register at http://msevents.microsoft.com/CUI/EventDetail.aspx?EventID=1032423163&Culture=en-US.