Agile.NET Conference…

April 8, 2010

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On April 30th, Improving Enterprises and Microsoft are hosting the Agile.NET conference at Microsoft’s Irving office. It’s a conference that will showcase agile principles and practices as well as tools in the .NET ecosystem. I’m excited to be doing a talk on git as it’s become a big point of evangelism for me personally but I’m also interested to hear some of the other tracks of great speakers.

Regardless of whether you’re new to agile concepts or already moving towards adoption, you will have an informative and good time. Space is limited so be sure to go sign up while there are still spaces available.


David O’Hara is a Principal with Improving Enterprises in Dallas, Texas.


AgileDotNet Conference…

November 11, 2008

AgileDotNet Conference 2008
This Friday, Improving Enterprises and Microsoft are putting on a 1-day FREE (as in beer) conference to showcase agile methods in a .NET ecosystem. I will be giving my “Refactoring To Patterns” talk on the development track but there will also be two other tracks (Biz/PM related & Requirements/QA related) and number of knowledgeable speakers. I’m really looking forward to hanging out with folks and sharing ideas on how we can better promote and utilize the systems we work with to adopt agile practices and principles.

Regardless of whether you’re new to agile concepts or already moving towards adoption, you will have an informative and good time. If you’re interested, go sign up while there are still spaces available.


David O’Hara is a Principal with Improving Enterprises in Dallas, Texas.


Honored…

October 7, 2008

MVPLogo.gifHaving only thrown myself into the community relatively recently, I was honored (and a bit surprised) to have been given this award. I look forward to the opportunity to continue sharing the things that I’ve learned and spreading the motivation to become a better developer. I want to thank my family for putting up with my extracurricular activities and being supportive of me following my passions. Also, a thank you to Microsoft – I take back like 3 of those things I said about you last week.

Next on my list of awards to achieve, an honorable hair mention from Justice Gray


Spreading The Good Word…

October 14, 2007

I find discussions like this one between Ayende and Casey typical of my experience in the .NET community. This archetype (I refuse to use the “M” word) is held up as the standard to which we must aim since it represents a typical, MS developer but then any discussion degrades into a “that’s too complex for this guy” argument. This is oxymoronic – these developers are NOT stupid. They’re intelligent, they get the job done, and they are able to handle things like complex business processes, recursion, debugging, etc. These developmental practices are not harder than whatever they currently are doing, they’re just different. These developers usually fall into one of two camps – they’re either unaware of the concepts or apathetic. We need to speak to the former and just hope that the latter comes around eventually.

I gave a presentation earlier this year to our local .NET user group on unit testing, mocking and dependency injection. In talking with folks afterwards about the topics, I found a very disturbing trend. Most of them knew about unit testing. At a minimum they’d heard about it but quite a few were trying to use it and several mentioned that they’d even explored NUnit and/or MbUnit. You know why there was awareness?? MSTest. Because Microsoft had created their own unit testing framework and tools and threw their marketing muscle behind it, awareness of unit testing concepts spiked. But that’s where things went south. With mocking, there was a lot of misconception around mocking and dependency injection was a totally new concept to a large majority. I find these to be fundamental to testing in the real world since rarely do we work on systems that don’t have numerous dependencies. Since we have dependencies and we have to account for them for successful testing, they are either not testing or doing integration tests instead and just calling them the wrong thing. I honestly believe that this misunderstanding, this misuse is simply due to a lack of knowledge and visibility.

I believe MSDN Events are part of the solution. While at Alt.Net, I was talking with Chris Koenig about the marketing nature of these events. He was quick to point something that eluded me previously – these are 100 & 200 level events. They’re aimed at the lowest common denominator and an entry point for developers. These are the perfect vehicles for us to introduce these practices to folks. Now, I understand Microsoft is not a non-profit organization and they shouldn’t do something unless it makes business sense so I’m asking that we come up with a good BUSINESS reason to make these more of an outreach. Like the old E.F. Hutton commercials; “When Microsoft talks, people listen.” and we need to help them tailor that message so that we can expose these people to these concepts as early as possible.

Another part of the solution is our user groups. Microsoft spends a LOT of money every year to facilitate and fund these meetings so we need to leverage these to promote good development practices. Volunteer to give a presentation or a lightning talk or just start asking questions and get a dialog going. If you’re nervous, try teaming up for a presentation. Rather than arguing who is or isn’t capable of learning something, let’s start trying to figure out how to get the material out there and nurture those who do come along.


Announcement: Silverlight DevCamp

October 13, 2007

Silverlight

I’ve (mostly) enjoyed the stuff that I’ve done in WPF but I haven’t had a chance to dig into Silverlight quite yet so I’m really excited that we’re hosting a FREE Silverlight DevCamp on November 10th. Given the recent announcements and the fact that it’s cross-browser and cross-platform, I really believe there are some things coming out of Redmond that show they’re listening. Now it’s up to us to figure out the best ways to use them. In case you’ve not heard about Silverlight, here’s the standard pitch:

Microsoft Silverlight is a cross-browser, cross-platform plug-in for delivering the next generation of .NET-based media experiences and rich interactive applications for the web. It offers a flexible programming model that supports AJAX, VB, C#, Python, and Ruby and integrates with existing web applications. Even more, Silverlight supports fast, cost-effective delivery of high-quality and rich multimedia to all major browsers running on Mac OS, Windows and soon to be on Linux as well.

So join us for an all day event on Saturday, November 10th and get your learn on. We’ll have experienced developers to help answer any questions you might have and to show off a few of the cooler bits of the technology. We’re even going to build our own applications to compete for prizes. Bring your laptop, bring your ideas and let’s see what shakes out.

Details:
Event ID: 1032353469
November 10, 2007 from 8am to 8pm
Improving Enterprises
15950 Dallas Parkway
Suite 500
Dallas, TX 75248
Register on Microsoft World Wide Events


Microsoft Marketing Has Lost It…

November 29, 2006

You have to watch this new marketing strategy from Microsoft.

Then check out their “limited time” offer.

UPDATE: Looks like they “sold out” of the offers – sorry. As a side note, I was SERIOUSLY disappointed in the site as a whole; it was almost unusable with the constant script timeouts and poorly rendering pages. I nearly missed out on the offer myself out of pure frustration.

UPDATE: Looks like they’ve pulled the video now – viral marketing has a short lifespan apparently.


DDNUG: Scott Hanselman…

May 12, 2006

I've been attending Dallas .NET User Group (DDNUG) since the beginning of the year. It's been great to be around folks with similar (mostly) interests/goals plus it's pizza and giveaways. 🙂 (The "luck of the Irish" seems to be favoring me as I've come home with a book, software (VS2005 Pro w/SQL 2005 standard), or a gift card pretty much every meeting. Can't beat that!) In general, the presentations have been good, with few exceptions, and usually quite timely – thank you Chris Menegay. However, last night's talk was a absolute stand-out.

I've been keeping up with Scott Hanselman via his blog for quite some time now. He's a great writer and has a real passion for what he does. On top of which, he's always got the latest/greatest in tools and isn't afraid to tell you what he REALLY thinks about something. Since he began his podcasts, Hanselminutes, I've been able to "see" a little more of his personality and am glad to report that he's every bit as cool and fun(ny) as he appears. Unfortunately, he had to catch a plane RIGHT after the meeting so I was unable to chat with him but, hopefully, they'll have him back at some point in the future.