Monthly Archives: November 2008

Upcoming events in the Ann Arbor area

I missed posting about a lot of events in the past few weeks. It's unfortunate, because there were some great events, including Kirsten Schwark's talk on "Why Groovy" at the Detroit JUG this past Wednesday.

But, it's time to look forward. Today, SRT is hosting lightning talks from 3:30-5.  Held at our office at 206 S. Fifth, Suite 200, this event is open to the public and free.  We love it when other geeks come in and talk for 5 minutes about things that they're doing.  It keeps us all up to date!

Next week is a slow week, but there are some things coming up in December that look interesting and useful:

December 3: Eclipse DemoCamp, Compuware, 6 pm.  Free. There will be a presentation about building applications on top of the Eclipse OSGi framework, demos of products / plug-ins built on the framework and after the presentations, people will head over to the Detroit HardRock Cafe. The Detroit HardRock Cafe is located on the first floor of the Compuware building.  There will be plenty of free parking and security at Compuware.

The Ann Arbor Computer Society also meets on December 3 at 6 pm.  Topic is still TBD, but I hear rumors that people may try out parts of their CodeMash talks, to get input from the AACS audience.  That will probably be quite fun and interesting.  And of course, this is also free (pizza supplied by AACS). Meeting will be held at SRT Solutions, 206 S. Fifth Ave., Suite 200.

On Thursday, December 4, the Michigan Python User Group meets at 7 pm. The MichiPUG group negotiates its meeting topics in the week prior to the event on its google group, and they never disappoint.  Join them at SRT Solutions, 206 S. Fifth Ave, Suite 200. Their meeting is free as well.

On Thursday, December 18, ArbCamp resurfaces … as a BarCamp! You can read more about this event in detail at This article is not only about the ArbCamp event, but it's a great look at building and growing the tech community in Ann Arbor.  I think that this is going to be a fabulous event, and people will not want to leave.  It starts at 6 pm on the 18th (I'm trying to figure out how I can get there … have to figure out how to break it to my very understanding husband).

On Wednesday, December 10, the Ann Arbor .NET Development Group will host Jason Follas, speaking on Spatial Data 2008. The meeting will be at SRT Solutions, 206 S. Fifth Ave, Suite 200 at 6 pm.  Donations taken for pizza.  More details at

On Wednesday, December 17,  the Great Lakes Area .NET user group meets at 6 pm at Microsoft's office in Southfield, 1000 Town Center Drive, Suite 1930, Southfield, MI.  I'm not sure what the topic is, but keep an eye on

 And, don't forget to sign up for CodeMash (January 7-9 in Sandusky, OH). The early bird deadline is November 29! We have an amazing group of speakers lined up, including Mads Torgerson, Venkat Subramaniam, Jesse Liberty, Bill Wagner, David Laribee, Chris Adamson, Jim Weirich, Joe O'Brien, Andrew Glover, Ed Vielmetti and many many more. Whether you're looking for a talk on Ruby or Python, Silverlight or Multithreaded programming, User Experience or Continuous Integration, CodeMash has something for you. Wondering about Erlang? We have talks. IPhone development?  I'm VERY excited about this event.  

CodeMash 2009 Information and Session List

The CodeMash organizing committee has been hard at work for weeks, reviewing the 300+ proposals for CodeMash talks. We had so much great content that we added a 7th concurrent track this year, and STILL turned down amazing talks. I am just blown over by the quality of speakers that submit for CodeMash, the vast majority of whom are from Michigan and Ohio.

The early bird deadline, originally set as Friday, November 15, has been extended to Friday, November 29. We wanted to give people some breathing room after the talks were announced, before having to register.  

I wish we could have accepted twice as many talks – we had the content!

CodeMash 2009 will be held January 7-9, 2009, once again at the Kalahari Resort, which is an indoor water park in Sandusky, OH.  We've added an optional 3rd day (Day 0: Precompiler Session), which will have some amazing tutorials and hands-on activities, including:

FULL DAY Language Tutorials 

.NET 101 with Josh Holmes and Jeff Blankenburg (and maybe others). 
Figure out how to get your feet wet in the .NET framework, C#, Visual 
Basic, WPF, Silverlight and more. 

Java, Groovy, and Grails 101 with Chris Judd and Jim Shingler. Two 
Java experts walk you through the basics of Java, it's newest dynamic 
language (Groovy), and the shiniest web framework (Grails.) 

Ruby 101 with Jim Weirich and Joe O'Brien.  Yeah, does it get any 
better? Go learn Ruby from two masters of it. 

HALF DAY Methodologies Tutorials 

Turning The Ship with Dave Donaldson. (HALF DAY) Spend time in a highly interactive session with Dave as he discusses practical lessons learned on changing processes, mindsets, and culture to steer a company onto a more agile, productive path. 

Kanban 101 with Dave Laribee. (HALF DAY) What's Kanban? How's it different from other Agile implementations? Learn about a not-so-new approach to managing projects that will help you boost your team's productivity and speed to delivery. 

Fundamentals of Test Driven Development. (HALF DAY.  REPEATS MORNING AND AFTERNOON.) Sit down and walk through the basics of TDD with Leon Gersing and another presenter yet to be announced.  This hits the basics of TDD and is hands on with two of the most passionate advocates of TDD around.  Learn TDD, evolve your critical thinking.

 iPhone with Chris Adamson.  Join the author of the upcoming Pragmatic Programmers book "iPhone SDK Development" for a hands-on introduction to the iPhone SDK. In just a few minutes, attendees will have a useful, running application. From here, we'll go into a further exploration of the iPhone SDK's most commonly used APIs, frequently-encountered design patterns, and useful tips and tricks for getting the most out of the SDK environment, including debugging/performance tools and documentation. The iPhone SDK requires use of an Intel-based Mac computer, so if you want to do some hands-on work, show up with one! 


As for the "regular" 2-day conference, here's the lineup:

* Ruby Isn't Just About Rails (Adam Wiggins) 
* Actor Concurrency (Alex Miller) 
* Rich Apps with Groovy's SwingBuilder (Andres Almiray) 
* MS Robotics Studio vs. The Antique Robot (Andrew Craze) 
* Executable documentation with easyb (Andrew Glover) 
* Microsoft Virtual Earth, Now in 3D (Aydin Akcasu) 
* deep LINQ: C# query expression pattern (Bill Wagner) 
* Modeling types with extension methods (Bill Wagner) 
* Soft Skillz (Brian Prince) 
* Refactoring Java with JRuby (Brian Sam-Bodden) 

* Ruby Web Components with Trellis (Brian Sam-Bodden) 
* Functional Concepts for OOP Developers (Bryan Weber) 
* Re-thinking UI – WPF DataTemplates (Carey Payette) 
* Introducing the iPhone SDK (Chris Adamson) 
* Introducing Drupal: A Look Inside Zattoo's Drupal Implementation 
(Chris Cassell) 
* iPhone Web Development with Grails (Christopher M. Judd) 
* JRuby and the Infinite Toolbox (Clinton R. Nixon) 
* Silverlight 2 Architectural Best Practices (David J Kelley) 
* Language Oriented DDD (David Laribee) 
* Practical Scala (Dianne Marsh) 

* Managed Extensibility Framework (Drew Robbins) 
* Modern Web Applications with .NET (Drew Robbins) 
* Multi-threading Mojo with F# (Dustin Campbell) 
* Grease, a parallel systems architecture (Edward Vielmetti) 
* Introducing Agile for Real World Developers (Greg Huber) 
* Well, Isn't that Spatial… (SQL Server 2008 Spatial Data) (Jason Follas) 
* CI: More than just a toolset (Jay Harris) 
* A Look Inside Microsoft Labs: Photosynth, Deep Zoom, Live Mesh, and 
More (Jeff Blankenburg) 
* Introducing the LiveMesh SDK (Jeff Blankenburg) 
* Developing for Microsoft Surface (Jennifer Marsman) 

* Dev Guide: Skinning Silverlight Controls (Jesse Liberty) 
* Dynamic Hyper-Video in Silverlight (Jesse Liberty) 
* Three Tips to Improve Your Dev Process (Jim Holmes) 
* Griffon in front, Grails in back (Jim Shingler) 
* What? Threads Are Hard? (Jim Weirich) 
* Reverse Engineering Applications (Joe Kuemerle) 
* Developing JoeMetric for the iPhone (Joe O'Brien) 
* Testing Rails (Joe O'Brien) 
* A Programmers Guide to User Experience (Josh Walsh) 
* Guerilla SOA for WCF (Joshua Graham) 

* Demystifying Windows Communication Foundation (Keith Elder) 
* Spring 2.5 MVC (Ken Sipe) 
* Erlang: The Basics (Kevin Smith) 
* Ruby Desktop Application Framework (Lance Carlson) 
* Introducing Prototype and Scriptaculous (Leon Gersing) 
* JVM scripting with Jython (Mark Ramm) 
* Thrashing (Mary Poppendieck) 
* Groovy/Grails for non-Java developers (Michael Kimsal) 
* IronRuby In The Real World (Michael Letterle) 
* Test Infecting the Legacy Organization (Nathaniel Schutta) 

* Dynamic Languages and the JVM (Nathaniel Schutta) 
* Scaling Habits of ASP.NET Applications (Richard Campbell) 
* Adobe Flex with MVC Frameworks (Robert A. O'Malley) 
* Clean Code Ruby (Robert C. Martin) 
* Pumping Iron into Python: Intro to FePy (Sarah Dutkiewicz) 
* Cool Stuff With Computer Vision (Scott Preston) 
* Improving Web Application Performance and Scalability (Steve Smith) 
* Practices of an Agile Developer (Venkat Subramaniam) 
* Programming in Scala (Venkat Subramaniam) 
* Cloud Computing with .Net (Wesley Faler) 
* Python Data Visualization and Imaging (Zach Steindler)