Tag Archives: Ruby

In Philadelphia, at Emerging Technologies for the Enterprise

I'm in Philadelphia, at the Philly ETE conference, for the second year in a row.  I took a break from working on my slides (my talk is tomorrow afternoon) to carefully consider which talks I want to attend while I'm here.  So, for anyone interested, here's the lineup:

On Friday, I'm looking forward to:

And then, I'll be taking off, so that I can get back to Michigan in time to tuck the kids into bed, but if I were staying through the end of the day, I would have hard choices between James Ward's Architecting Flex RIAs, Clojure and the Robot Apocalypse: Needfuls for Newbies, Introduction to Groovy, and the Agile Round Table: Scrum in the Real World.  Looking forward to both days!  I'm thrilled with the content here, and the organizers do a fantastic job.

Upcoming technical events

In addition to a user group meeting this week, there are some weekend conferences/camps going on.  

Ann Arbor .NET developer group (Wednesday August 13 at 6 pm) features Jeff McWherter who will be speaking on applying automated testing to an existing application. AADND meets at SRT Solutions (206 S. Fifth Ave, Suite 200, Ann Arbor). Visit http://www.aadnd.org for more information.

eRubyCon is a conference geared toward the use of the Ruby programming language in the enterprise. The conference will be held August 15, 16, 17th in Polaris (near Columbus). The conference boasts speakers who have had success getting Ruby into some of the largest organizations, speaking on data warehousing, JRuby, testing legacy JEE code with JRuby, Ruby code generation, enterprise workflows and more. For more information, see http://eRubyCon.com.

BarCamp Grand Rapids is being held on Friday August 15 through Saturday August 16. BarCamp is an ad-hoc gathering born from the desire for people to share and learn in an open environment. It is an intense event with discussions, demos, and interaction from attendees, usually centered around technology topics. For more information, see http://barcampgr.org.

 And, of course, don't forget about SRT's hosted Lightning Talks on Friday August 15, from 3:30-5 pm.  Last time (on August 1), we had topics like Subversion 1.5 (Rick Harding). Phone Calling over Twitter (Ed Vielmetti), Selenium (Charlie Sears),  Cube Permissions (Phil Huhn), Generic Functions with Python (Mark Ramm), Subsonic (Phil Huhn), Blogging to Community Server from Microsoft Word (Charlie Sears), Musical Topology (Ed Vielmetti), and Blogging with Microsoft LiveWriter (Bill Wagner).

Plan ahead for next week too!  The Detroit Java User Group doesn't meet every month, but they're meeting on Wednesday, August 20, and the topic is Java Scripting Languages, with Kirsten Henderson.  And while it's called the Detroit Java User Group, it's really in Farmington Hills, so quite driveable from Ann Arbor.

[DMM: correction … there was an error in the post on the Detroit JUG.  Kirsten emailed me that they made a mistake in the year of the post and that was the talk she did LAST August.  Sigh, too bad.  I'm sorry I missed it last year and was looking forward to an update!]

I also thought that I would mention the Agile Summer Camp, coming up September 5-7 at Brighton Recreation Area. This is an interactive, participants-driven open spaces event that will be held over a weekend, and will attract professionals interested in improving software development through agile techniques. Some people will be camping (there are 2 cabins available, and a separate campground), while others will commute from their homes. 

AACS meeting tonight: still on

Joe O'Brien is braving the weather, en route from Columbus up to Ann Arbor for tonight's Ann Arbor Computer Society meeting.  Ann Arbor is getting some ice, but evidently the rest of the area seems to be getting snow.

If you're already in Ann Arbor, definitely stop by. I'm, sadly, not going to be able to make it since we got hit pretty hard with snow and ice at my house and I'm pretty much iced in.  Having heard Joe speak several times, I'm very disappointed to be missing his talk, and I hope that someone will blog about it!

The meeting is at 6 pm, at 206 S. Fifth, Suite 200, Ann Arbor.  AACS provides pizza, free of charge, to all attendees.  Meetings are free and open to the public, but only members ($20/year) qualify for door prizes.

Joe O’Brien at AACS on Wednesday

Joe O'Brien, of the Columbus Ruby Brigade and EdgeCase, will be in Ann Arbor this week.  He's presenting a talk at the Ann Arbor Computer Society – "Domain Specific Languages: Molding Ruby".  A summary appears below.

"Ever wondered what all the fuss is about when it comes to DSL's and Ruby? It seems to be all we hear about. This talk will peel away the onion and look at what it is about Ruby that makes it the perfect candidate for creating your own languages. I will show you, through examples, how you can create your own languages without the need for compilers and parsers. We will also cover some real world examples in areas of Banking and Medicine where DSL's have been applied."

Joe spoke at AACS about a year ago, and I was lucky enough to attend.  His talks are always interesting.  If you can attend, I definitely recommend it.

Location: SRT Solutions, 206 S. Fifth Avenue, Suite 200, Ann Arbor, MI 4810-4

Time: 6:00 pm

Date: Wednesday, February 6

AACS members are free and open to the public.  Supporting memberships are available ($20/year), but not required.


CodeMash speakers announced

I'm really looking forward to CodeMash 2008.  There is an amazing list of speakers. 

Here's a subset of the talks that interest me (not in any particular order)

Testing with Guice, by Dick Wall

Dick is a cohost of the Java Posse podcast, which is invaluable for keeping up to date on Java.  He's also a software developer at Google.

Getting Started with Django, by Leah Culver

Leah is the cofounder/lead developer for Pownce.  Don't know Pownce?  It's a social networking platform that has been compared to twitter, jaiku, and tumblr.  Perhaps it's more than all of those.  Hopefully we'll get Leah to tell us more!

LinqTo<T>:Implementing IQueryProvider, by Bill Wagner

Bill is the author of Effective C# and the upcoming More Effective C#.  He's also my business partner at SRT Solutions.

Engineering and Polyglot Programming, by Neal Ford

Neal works for Thoughtworks and travels extensively, speaking at many different conferences.  He spoke at CodeMash last year and gave an awesome keynote as well.

Crash, Smash, Kaboom Crash Course in Python, by Catherine Devlin

Catherine did this talk at PyCon, to rave reviews.

Bitter Java? Sweeten with JRuby, by Brian Sam-Bodden

Brian is the author of Beginning POJOS and Enterprise Java Development on a Budget.  I'm interested in learning more about JRuby and this looks like an interesting talk.

Why I Love Python, by Bruce Eckel

Bruce is a longtime author and active in the development community.  He was a founding member of the ANSI/ISO C++ committee.  He has spoken at many different conferences, including CodeMash 2007, where he did a fascinating keynote which brought together elements from many different aspects of life about progress toward a solution.

Coding in Silverlight, by Jesse Liberty

Jesse is the Senior Program Manager of Microsoft's Silverlight team. 


And there are so many more (but I should get back to work, so check it out yourself on the online session list).

The early bird deadline is tomorrow.  Conference registration is $125 today, but will go up to $175 on Friday.


CodeMash – I'll be there!

CodeMash early bird deadline is fast approaching

CodeMash is a conference that I'm involved with, as an organizer. Next year's event will be held Jan 9-11 (panel discussion the evening of the 9th, with full days on the 10th and 11th), at the same location as the 2007 event: the Kalahari Resort and Indoor Water Park in Sandusky, OH.

CodeMash a cool event, that brings together developers from all different languages, platforms, and technologies, to learn from one another.  And, it's priced so that anyone can afford to attend.  We know that many companies do not allocate money for training, so we priced CodeMash at the "self-pay" level (it's just $125 for the event, if you sign up by November 15).  The registration fee includes meals (2 breakfasts, 2 lunches, and 1 dinner).  HOW can we do this at such a low price, when other conferences charge in the thousands?  First, we have an amazing list of sponsors, from small companies to very large ones. Every dollar helps us to put this event together, and we seriously could not do it without our sponsors.  And, it's an all volunteer organizational team, and we have worked pretty hard to put this together because we all feel strongly that this benefits the community.  We couldn't even REACH our sponsors without our volunteer team, since volunteers even take on the responsibility for contacting and soliciting sponsors.  And no, none of us are in sales.  We are all developers.  We're lucky that our sponsors have been so responsive!

You can see a partial session list at http://codemash.org/SessionList.aspx.  We were absolutely overwhelmed by cool talks this time around and we had to turn down some really interesting talks.  I am confident that the schedule that we've come up with will be of great interest to our attendees. There will be Java, Python, Ruby, .NET, and many talks on technology in a non-language specific type of way.  There will be open spaces where you can propose your own session, and have an interactive conversation with the other attendees rather than listening to a prepared lecture.  It's going to be a great event … again.

The family-friendly location (bring the kids! hang out in the water park!) is intentional, and we have introduced "CodeMash Families" for the 2008 event.  A volunteer organizer will help families to meet one another and perhaps even have some scheduled activities, if that suits them.  This was borne out of last year's experience, where the families who had come along sort of "discovered" one another throughout their time at the Kalahari and eventually introduced themselves.

So anyhow, get in on the early bird pricing.  The $125 entry fee expires November 15.   I'll certainly blog more about this in the upcoming weeks, as we release the rest of the talks and nail down more information.

New Month, New User Group Meetings

It's the first of the month, do you know which user group meetings you're going to yet?  Here are some to choose from.

I believe that tonight is the Ruby MI user group meeting, but their website doesn't seem to be responding, so I can't check for sure.

You may recall that the Java User Group is moving its meeting to later in the month to avoid the first week, when so many meetings get our attention.  Keep an eye on their website for an announcement (and here, too).  Instead, hit High Tech Tuesday at SPARK, where Scott Johnston (product manager for JotSpot) will talk about the future of Google apps.  That event costs $25 for non-members and is held at Ann Arbor SPARK, 330 E. Liberty (lower level).  More information and registration at http://annarboritzone.org/eventlist.asp?EventID=1227.

Wednesday is the Ann Arbor Computer Society, where we will once again here a "non-Microsoft related talk".  For those of you who thought the group was Microsoft-centric, pay attention!  Now that there is a .NET developer group in Ann Arbor, many of the Microsoft talks are featured there and Jay Wren has been working hard to attract speakers from other languages, platforms, technologies.  This month (Wednesday) features "Experiences in  Wireless and Network Access Control @ Oakland University", by Chris Chamberlain of Oakland University.  November's talk is from John Hickey (of Apple) on the Mac OSX 10.5 Leopard release, what is new, what is old, and general mac desktop AND server things.  And December's talk is on Ubuntu Linux, the new release, what is new, what is old and general linux desktop things, presented by Kevin DuBois.  See, no Microsoft in sight!

Thursday's Michigan Python User Group (MichiPUG) meeting brings out Jay Wren, talking about the Boo programming language.  Boo, in case you don't know, is a statically typed language built with Python-like syntax (for .NET). 

The following Wednesday (October 10) is where you will find Microsoft content at the Ann Arbor Dot Net Developer group meeting (AADND).  Martin Shoemaker is going to talk about "Dee Jay: A Voice-Controlled Juke Box for Windows Vista".  Sounds interesting, but that's NEXT week.

The Ann Arbor Computer Society, MichiPUG, and Ann Arbor Dot Net Developer Group meetings are all at SRT's offices.  That's at 206 S. Fifth Avenue, Suite 200.  It's at the corner of Fifth and Washington in downtown Ann Arbor, across the street from the Blue Nile and directly above the Linux Box.  Entrance is from Fifth, take elevator to 2R or stairs to floor 2. 


Ruby, Java, and Castle! Oh my!

It's the first full week of the month, so lots o' user group meetings going on. 

There's a Ruby User Group meeting in Ann Arbor tonight, Monday August 6.  It's from 7:00-8:30 pm on the University of Michigan campus, 1670 CSE. Details at their website: http://rubymi.org

Tomorrow (Tuesday, August 7) is the second Google tech talk in Ann Arbor, this one for the Ann Arbor Java User Group.  It's being held at Google Ann Arbor, 201 S. Division (Floor 5), from 6-9 pm.  Registration (required) and more info at http://www.aajug.org/.  I'll definitely be there, since the talk is on enterprise level clustering solutions. 

Don't burn out before Wednesday (August 8).  Jay Wren (who I'm thrilled to say is the most recent addition to the SRT Solutions consultants!) is talking at the Ann Arbor Dot Net Developer Group, on Inversion of Control and Dependency Injection, using Castle's Windsor IoC.  That meeting is being held at Ann Arbor SPARK, 330 E. Liberty (Lower Level), from 6-8:30 or so.  More info at http://www.aadnd.org.




Ann Arbor, Google, and Why You Should Submit Your Resume

Last night, Google, the Ann Arbor Computer Society and the Michigan Python User Group met at Google Ann Arbor for a Tech Talk.  About 60 people showed up for the talk by Russell Whittaker  Whitaker (Google Software Engineer) on Test Driven Development, and were also treated to appetizers and beer and wine.  Demand was high for the free event, with registration filling up quickly and those who weren't able to sign up ahead of time were active in their attempts to figure out how to get in (showing up at the door didn't work, trying to take someone else's place didn't work either; Google checks photo ids).

I'll write more about the talk itself later, but I have some ideas about what was happening here that I want to express.  I want to talk about what Google's plans are for an engineering office in Ann Arbor. Isn't that really what all of us want to know?  Are they going to do one, and when?

First of all, Google is an engineering-driven company.  In many cases, they have set up satellite sales offices only to follow with engineering offices later. Google Ann Arbor is the AdWords headquarters, so there is a lot of speculation and hope that an engineering office will follow.  But, in order to set up an engineering office, they need to know that they can attract talent in the area and to the area. The first step toward that, in my opinion, is to see who's here. 

Last night's meeting was a good indication that we have a vibrant tech community, full of people who are passionate about software development, people who would make great Google employees.  There's another meeting on Tuesday, August 7 at the Google Ann Arbor office.  That meeting is on end-to-end clustering.  Not only is that an interesting topic, it's also an opportunity for the Ann Arbor tech community to get together and to demonstrate our passion for software, both to one another and to Google.

So, if you want a Google engineering office in Ann Arbor, let Google know that you're here. If the Ann Arbor community sends resumes of highly qualified people, I think that they will come.  Work with Susan Loh (sloh AT google DOT com), who is a UM grad and is in town for the talks all week.  Get her your resume.

In the meantime, see you Tuesday?  Registration for that event is at http://services.google.com/events/annarbor_techtalk07_2.  Seating is limited and preregistration is required.  Don't miss out.

P.S. Even the local community needs to know "who's here".  I know that I met new people last night: people from Zattoo, a tv-to-internet startup here in Ann Arbor, and people from the Ruby user group, as well as some guys starting up a local Ubuntu LoCo team.  I hope that I can encourage everyone in the local community to go to user group meetings and become involved.  Jay Wren, the Ann Arbor Computer Society program chair, has been soliciting talks from the different groups in order to expose the diversity that we have in our user groups.  We need to learn from one another, and we need to know who's here.