Archives / 2008 / May
  • Tech Ed 2008 Speaker Idol

    Next week (and the week after) at Tech Ed, several experienced speakers will compete with one another in Speaker Idol, held at the Tech Ed Online stage during lunch time and hosted by Carl Franklin and Richard Campbell.  The winner gets a guaranteed speaker slot at next year's Tech Ed.  Each contestant gets to give a 5-minute presentation to a crowd of attendees and several judges, and after each presentation, the judges give their opinion and tips for improvement.  After each heat, one finalist is selected, and all of the finalists compete the last day of the conference for the title.  Last year this was a lot of fun, and it's a great way to learn a little bit about a … more

  • aspNetPRO 2008 Readers Choice Awards Published

    A couple of weeks ago the aspNetPRO magazine's annual Reader's Choice Awards were published in their latest issue.  DevExpress swept the awards, winning nine different categories as well as product of the year.  I've blogged before about DevExpress and how I've been quite impressed with a lot of their tools (CodeRush, XtraReports, controls...).  I've also gotten to know a bunch of members of their team over the last couple of years and enjoy hanging out with them at conferences and other events.  While the Reader's Choice awards are not as rigorous of a standard as, say, a Consumer Reports analysis, it is a strong indicator that a lot of customers are very happy with DX's … more

  • GeekFest Party at TechEd 2008 June 3rd

    Doug Seven of Microsoft is hosting a party at Howl at the Moon during TechEd on June 3rd.  He has some details on his blog and the party will include (and require for admission) a rubber duck competition.  You'll need to pick up your duck for admission at the Teched Technical Learning Center at the Developer Tools & Languages information desk.  One duck will admit two people so bring a friend! more

  • Book: Freakonomics

    Freakonomics [Revised and Expanded]: A Rogue Economist Explores the Hidden Side of Everything: Steven D. Levitt, Stephen J. Dubner: Books I've been a bit behind on blogging but I'm trying to catch up this week.  I wrote earlier that I've just finished an excellent software development book (with a very unfortunate title), Working Effectively With Legacy Code.  Freakonomics is an entirely different kind of book, and one I actually finished reading last year but just haven't gotten around to writing about. Freakonomics is a New York Times bestseller, so I'm hardly the first person to read and discuss it.  If you're one of the three people who haven't read it yet, let … more

  • Visual Studio Team System 2008 White Papers

    Microsoft has published a set of white papers which provide a good technical overview of the features available in Visual Studio Team System 2008.  They're available individually for download: Visual Studio Team System 2008 Capabilities White Papers. The papers cover the following subjects, corresponding to features sets and design goals of VSTS 2008: Communicate and Collaborate Drive Predictability Ensure Quality Early and Often Integrate Work Frequently Making Real-Time Decisions Managing Team Workflow Using Familiar Tools I wrote the Integrate Work Frequently paper, which describes some of the new build system features, including the capability to implement Continuous Integration … more

  • Black Belt ASP.NET Performance Techniques

    Last night I presented at the Cleveland .NET SIG on Black Belt ASP.NET Performance Techniques, which is a talk I'll be giving in a few weeks at Tech:Ed Developers in Orlando.  I was asked a couple of weeks ago if I could give a talk in May and I decided to do it so I could practice for TechEd.  Since this is a new talk for me (though its material is familiar), I had to put together a new set of demos, and having this user group meeting was a good way to keep me from procrastinating until June to get my demos working.  The talk covers performance metrics, load testing, and some performance tips (and shows their relative impact on a realistic application using load … more

  • Book: Working Effectively With Legacy Code

    Working Effectively with Legacy Code (Robert C. Martin Series): Michael Feathers: Books I've just finished the above book, which was recommended to me by Jeffrey Palermo a few months ago.  It is one of the most useful software development books I've read since Code Complete.  I wish I'd read it years ago, and I'm finding myself refactoring and rethinking my approach to current systems I've been working on for some time to make them more testable and easier to work with -- and I'm already seeing improvements.  Seriously, if you're writing software, you should buy this book and move it to the top of your professional reading list.  It's the book that Refactoring … more

  • Speaking in Cleveland May 13th

    I'll be speaking at the Cleveland .NET SIG tomorrow night.  The topic is Black Belt Performance Tips for ASP.NET, which will be a dry run for a session by that same name I'll be giving next month at Tech:Ed Developers in Orlando.  Some of the primary areas covered will be advanced caching techniques and asynchronous programming techniques (for ASP.NET).  The user group meets at the Microsoft office in Independence, Ohio from 5:45pm to 7:30pm and usually is pretty crowded. more

  • Comments in Code Indicate Functions Trying To Escape

    I interviewed a couple of college students earlier this week for internship positions with Lake Quincy Media, and one of them reminded me of my own college days when we were graded in part based on how well commented our code was.  In school, comments are typically there as a "check the block" measure to ensure that the professor doesn't take off points for not having them, but in the real world comments can actually serve a good purpose.  One of the things you learn with experience is the difference between comments as a waste of space that clutters up your code files and comments that are actually meaningful.  However, for the purpose of this post, I'm going to look at a … more