Monday, June 14, 2010

.Net User Group Meeting June 14, 2010

The topic was ".Net Build Tools", but the theme was "Diversity".

John Teague talked about using Nant. He said it's a really mature product and it's so successful support is on simmer since most things have already been done. XML is the downside. He showed how to use the tag "Xmlpoke" to inject into config files and Mkiisdir to create virtual directories.
John demo visual studio on a Macintosh which caused quite a buzz; he is using VMWare's Unity setting to have VS act like another Mac window. About half of the laptops at the meeting were Macs.

Derick Bailey talked about using Rake for building and deploying. Since XML is a declarative language, we have to shoehorn in programming. He has an article about Albacore, a series of Rake tasks for building .Net projects here.

Jorge Matos talked about the Psake project, a PowerShell dsl to help build .Net projects. It is based in Github. A few notes:
PowerShell has remoting so you can easily execute commands on other machines
Psake just a script.
Exec shows errors.
Jorge showed a suite of tests functioning just like NUnit
You have to modify the Executionppolicy to get Psake to run. Enable-PSremoting on remote servers

Eric Hexter presented Pstrami, a PowerShell module for deploying projects.

For future meeting topics everyone was encouraged to go and vote for their favorite topics.

Some projects were hosted by Google, some by GitHub, some laptops were Windows and others Macs, build systems were presented based on Ruby, PowerShell, and C#.

Fears of a Microsoft monoculture are overblown. Diversity is the word.

Monday, June 07, 2010

Sumatra PDF Reader is Fast, Free Alternative to Adobe

I just upgraded to Sumatra 1.1, a free PDF reader. Sumatra is very fast compared to the glacial Adobe PDF reader. I've only had one PDF file that Sumatra did not handle correctly. Sumatra is definitely worth using on a windows machine.

Friday, June 04, 2010

RSA Animate - A Great Way to Reinforce Speaking

Jeremy Miller had a link to the following video. I loved the way the cartoon artist reinforces the speaker via quick drawings.
(I'm not sure if what the speaker is saying is true, but it's a marvelous medium.)

Thursday, June 03, 2010

Agile Austin Celebrates 501C6 Non-profit Tax Status

This last Tuesday's Agile Austin meeting was kicked off by Matt Roberts talking about Agile and Leadership. Matt's extensive experience in the industry gave extra weight to his talk.
He started off by talking about Self Leadership and knowing how to motivate yourself before motivating others. Sprinkled throughout the talk were good boating analogies.

Matt recommended these three books:

book book book

Random bits which caught my attention:
Seek first to understand then to be understood
Leadership for dummies
Stop doing stupid stuff like annual reviews and collecting crazy metrics
Pragmatic agilist
Do fun crazy stuff like Karoke on bus
To take pride in their work people need control
Talk to Teddy bear
Leaders must get rid of "Virus", people who preventing work getting done.
Responding to change is good, but too much can be crazy
Every team needs a dragon to slay otherwise it will slay itself
Listers law: People under time pressure don't think faster
Leaders must clearly articulation the short-term pain of new processes
Leaders must followup,followup,followup on projects
Change is hard. Some people will not like it. Be prepared.

Alan Bickerstaff talked about mistakes startups often make. He had practical solutions like founders should get vesting common shares and use the corporation not a llc.

At the end of the meeting we had a party replete with sparkling wine and cheeses.