Wednesday, August 27, 2008

devLink 2008 (Slight Return): Part 3

It seems at most events I am too busy running around keeping things going that I really never get to enjoy the company of my peers. This time around I made sure to get some time with people in the community who make our event so great:

  • Ted Neward bought me a beer right off the bat. Then lost all his poker chips to me. Awesome. I also hear is a pretty smart guy!
  • Brian Prince is a great DE and is always dedicated to growing the community as well as its individuals. Plus he was at devLink on his birthday.
  • Kevin Kline is a SQL genius. Plus he came to devLink on his wedding day!
  • Bill Vaughn is also a SQL genius, plus someone told me he wrote a book or two. But he is terrible at bluffing in Texas Hold 'em.
  • Cory Haines has some edgy ideas but who can argue with those manly mutton chops! Plus he plays a mean harmonica.
  • Rob Foster is always fun to be around and if I am going to slink past hotel security at midnight, he is my wing man.
  • Steve Andrews graced my TFS talk and made me nervous. He did not throw anything or laugh out loud so I thank him for that.
  • Tim Rayburn and I came up with the one true method call to end all method calls. He could also become a poker tournament announcer if he ever quits his day job.
  • Jennifer Marsman's passion and excitement for developing is so contagious that the World Health Organization ranks her right below the Asian bird flu. She is also the bastard daughter of Dutch royalty. God save the Queen!
  • Drew Robbins also did a great job with the event and the pre-conference poker tourney. Oh wait, that was Jeff Blakenburg. He is a great guy too!
  • I did not get to spend much time with Leon Gersing but he tends to break out into spontaneous dance routines fairly often which is bonus for any event.
  • Sirena Benefield was a new attendee from ITT tech who won everyone over the second she showed up. She codes, she plays Diablo II (old skool!), rocks on Guitar Hero, and was genuinely excited to be a part of all the activities. We will hear more from her in the near future.

There were so many more people, but I cannot come up with clever (or not so clever) lines for all of them. Thanks to everyone who participated in every capacity and I hope to see you again soon!

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

devLink 2008 (Slight Return): Part 2

One of the thing that keeps devLink at such a high level of quality is the great group of organizers and volunteers. No one is paid for the work they do on the conference, yet we see a level of commitment that is very inspiring. I wanted to tip my hat to the people that made it happen:

  • John Kellar is the backbone of devLink. His attention to detail makes sure the event runs as smooth as possible and his involvement in the developer community ensures a great line up of speakers every year.
  • Leanna Baker does a fantastic job with the logistics of the conference which are considerable. Where most of us work in the industry and gain a little notoriety from being a part of it, Leanna is not a developer and just simply wants the conference to be the best it can be. Her husband John Baker was a big part of keeping things running smoothly although he is a donut thief.
  • Rachel Twyford has been a dedicated part of all three devLinks while being very pregnant for two of them. She was constantly on the move and when I saw her doing stretches at the final keynote I swore she was having the baby!
  • Alan Stevens brought a very cool, new vibe this year with his excellent Open Spaces. Plus he throws a heck of an after party.
  • Keith Elder was always on hand to help out and is a great M.C. Plus he does a great Frank Sinatra impression.
  • Randy Walker was constantly lending a hand and was usually one of the first volunteers onsite and one of the last to leave.
  • We had a great group of volunteers who really did a terrific job of helping run the conference: Jason Clark (who I am glad did not pass out in the sun), Bryan Meyer, Cliff Jacobson, and Evan Hoff. These guys were either constantly moving or stuck in one place (and sometimes outside) for long periods of time.

Without these people devLink would never be the greatest regional conference in the known universe.


Comfortably Scrum: Series Introduction

I have been presenting on Scrum and how I have implemented it processes using Team Foundation Server for the last year and almost every time I talk about it I run out of time. Both Scrum and TFS are complex entities and it is hard to talk about them both in one hour.

I am starting a new series of blog postings entitled "Comfortably Scrum" as a way to spend a little more time on a specific topic and do it justice. I eventually plan to accompany each blog post with a companion video.

I am currently working on the first post on gauging if your company is ready to adopt an agile process like Scrum.

More to come!

Monday, August 25, 2008

devLink 2008 (Slight Return): Part 1

The devLink 2008 Technical Conference is now in the books and I am happy to say it went very well. Despite a few bumps and bruises most everything went off without a hitch. I'm now fully recovered and wanted to post about what a great experience it was this year. First I wanted to post this video montage from the event. I plan to post more the next few days about the people who made devLink happen, the interesting people I met this year, and some of the content.

Monday, August 18, 2008

devLink 2008

This week is the third devLink Technical Conference here in Tennessee. After helping John Kellar start this in 2006, I took a break in 2007 to have a baby, but I am back as Vice Chairman again this year. For 2007 we are located at Middle Tennessee State University (MTSU) in Murfreesboro, TN. We thought the change in venue and the extra distance from Nashville may cause some roll off in attendance, but we have been sold out for a month. There are some great speakers coming this year and I am excited about the addition of Open Spaces which are being run by .NET Jesus himself, Alan Stevens. I took time off from presenting the last few months after my 5th child was born, but last week presented for the local AITP chapter and I am doing my Scrum and TFS presentation on the last day of devLink. Hope to see everyone there!