Tag Archives: Eckel

Rich Internet Application Jam at SRT January 14-16

SRT Solutions will be hosting an RIA Jam, with Bruce Eckel, James Ward (Adobe) and Josh Holmes (Microsoft).  This self-paced exploration of rich internet options will give participants the ability to learn about Flex and Silverlight and to talk about JavaFX, which doesn't seem to be quite ready for prime time just yet.

I've done several of the jams that Bruce has organized, and I have found them to be great learning experiences. I'm thrilled that we will be hosting this at our new office in Ann Arbor.  We've been getting inquiries about it already, and since enrollment is limited to 30 participants, it seems prudent to register early (plus, early bird pricing of $400 by Jan 2 versus $500 after that makes registering early wise as well).  Sure, you could learn these technologies on your own, but I've found that learning in a jam session like this helps me stay focused when I get frustrated, and that's proved to be really helpful.

Oh, and Adobe is throwing in a free FlexBuilder license with your paid registration fee.  Nice!

Registration and more information are available on Bruce's site

 

Microsoft Technology Summit 2007

No, you didn't stumble on Bill's blog accidentally. Really, I'm going to Redmond!

I’m heading off to Redmond on Sunday. Yes, Redmond. No, I do not typically develop on the Microsoft platform (at least not recently), but that’s the point of this conference. This is a conference targeted at community leaders not currently developing on the Microsoft platform. It’s an honor to be included (which is a response in large part, I’m sure, to the many hours I put in to help organize CodeMash). Only about 50 people have been invited and we will be meeting with the product and research teams. It sounds like we will have an opportunity to provide feedback to those teams as well as be exposed to the latest cool things that Microsoft has available. I’m looking forward to not only learning about the latest in what Microsoft has to offer, but I’m also interested in meeting the other participants and helping to build that community as well.

My involvement with CodeMash and my participation at the various Open Spaces events that Bruce Eckel has been hosting (including Programming the New Web, Web Frameworks Jam, TurboGears Jam, and most recently, the Java Posse Roundup) has given me the opportunity to realize that I really enjoy building community. I have been involved with this in the past (Ann Arbor Computer Society, and the Ann Arbor ITZone). I’m trying to work with the Ann Arbor Java User group, and I’ve been going to Python User Group meetings as well. A large part of being an entrepreneur in software is networking. I really dislike some aspects of that. I dislike going to meetings and shaking hands, and delivering elevator pitches. What I do like is getting to know people at conferences or user group meetings, learning what they do, who they work with, who they interact with in the community and what technologies they use. I LOVE meeting new people and talking geek stuff with them. I don’t like meeting business people and giving spiels. I know that this business requires a bit of both, but I would really rather spend time with the fun, cool, technical people when I can!

About a week before CodeMash, we created a google group for people to communicate with one another prior to the event. In addition to helping plan logistics, like carpooling, room sharing and such, it gave us an opportunity to build some community in advance of the event. Face it — geeks can be shy. If this helps to bring us out of our shells so that the face-to-face meeting is a little easier, then that’s great. It gives us all some context about the rest of the group, so that when we finally do meet, it’s a bit more relaxed (I think, at least).

Anyhow, I offered to create a group for the MTS2007 and the Microsoft staff took me up on the offer. People have been signing up all week and I’m looking forward to meeting all of them in person.

I’ll blog more from the event (Microsoft is OK with us blogging about it).

Swag at the Java Posse Roundup


Cool swag

Is it rude to brag about the swag at a conference? Ah, well, I’m gonna do it anyhow. Next year, I’m convinced that the Java Posse Roundup 2008 will sell out during the early bird registration period, and it won’t be just for the swag.

But it was cool swag.

Cenqua and Google and O’Reilly sent t-shirts. There was a serious lack of shirts in small sizes. Kathy Sierra would NOT be pleased. She’s right … it DOES matter. Even the guys were amused at the number of XL and XXL. Not a small or medium in the bunch of Google or O’Reilly shirts. I didn’t check out the Cenqua shirts (I like their product, though).

O’Reilly sent some books and notepads. But they made the mistake of labeling the box “Dark Chocolate”. OK, the notebooks were great, but the expectation of chocolate kinda set the bar!

Google also sent some really cool flashy pins. Bruce’s company (Mindview) has great floaty pens.

Adobe sent a training video for Flex and a nice travel mug too.

Sun sent developer tools. I hope that I didn’t forget anyone. The swag table was quite laden with goodies. We have some cool notebooks that I could have taken, but the thought didn’t occur to me.

But next year, someone better send chocolate. I definitely know what SRT will take to its next event. Hmm, we’re sponsors of the Michigan Celebration of Women in Computing in a few weeks. Maybe I should see if we still have time to get chocolate!

My Reading List


My Reading List

I thought I would share what I’m reading now, and what I’ve been reading recently. And I added some podcasts, for good measure, and even a link to a cool development tool that I learned about at the Java Posse Roundup.

Online

Read today: article on JavaScript libraries

http://www.sitepoint.com/article/javascript-library/2

Blogs:

Blogs that I read regularly:

Bruce Eckel: http://www.artima.com/weblogs/index.jsp?blogger=beckel

Kathy Sierra: http://headrush.typepad.com/creating_passionate_users/

Joel Spolsky: http://www.joelonsoftware.com/

Bill Wagner: http://www.srtsolutions.com/blogs/BillWagner/default.aspx

And, of course my own: http://www.srtsolutions.com/blogs/DianneMarsh/default.aspx

Here are some blogs from the Java Posse Roundup, which are sure to become regulars for me:

Josh Marinacci’s blog: http://weblogs.java.net/blog/joshy/

Michael Levin: Swampcast and also Michael Levin's Weblog

James Ward: www.jamesward.org

Others that I used to read have become somewhat inactive. You know who you are …

Books

In progress:

Implementing Lean Software Development, Mary and Tom Poppendieck, 2007.

Comments: good source for lean software, but also draws a lot from lean manufacturing. Recommending to people in other disciplines as well. I’ll post a more complete review when I finish the book.

On my desk, in hopes of reading soon:

Software Estimation: Demystifying the Black Art, by Steve McConnell, 2006.

Podcasts

Most recent podcasts:

  • DotNetRocks, from 2/19.  Guest: Steve McConnell
  • Java Posse #107, Special from Crested Butte
  • Java Posse #106, News from 3/7
  • Ruby on Rails: Camping, Episode II
  • Several episodes of “60 Second Science”, from Scientific American

 

Podcasts I follow regularly:

  • JavaPosse – great podcast for keeping current on Java
  • DotNetNukes – entertaining podcast for .NET world

 

Podcasts in my queue:

  • TedTalks podcasts

Development tool that I’m going to try next

http://www.cenqua.com/

The “It” Thing …

Some kind of event in Crested Butte, CO, July 18-21

Bruce Eckel was going to do a “Thinking in Java” Open Spaces conference in Crested Butte, CO in July, but interest (or at least enrollment) didn’t seem to be there. After a flurry of email between several of the people that were at his Programming the New Web Open Spaces conference (held in March), he is re-working it as potentially an even cooler event. Check out the link for more details at:

http://mindview.net/Conferences/ThinkingInJava

I really trust Bruce when he says, “We'll find something interesting to do even if we don't know exactly what it is yet. It's in the same vein as an Open Space — where you have a basic topic but you don't know what sessions will appear until people start putting sticky notes in time slots — but taken up a notch. Here, we're not sure what the topic will be, but we assume that something will appear by the time we actually convene.”

I hope that I can be a part of it. My attendance, right now, is only limited by family obligations. If I can work out those details, I will be there. If I can’t make it, I will be really bummed and anxiously awaiting news on how it all turned out.

To be able to go and build something for the fun of it (and for the educational experience)! It would be like summer camp!

BTW, there’s a hostel in Crested Butte. I hear it’s pretty nice and you sure can’t beat the price!

Conference Information
Summary of Potential Topics
Open Spaces
Discussion of Open Spaces Technology
Crested Butte Hostel
Best Value in Crested Butte
Other Lodging/Travel Info
Where to stay and how to get there