Personal

PuppetConf 2013

I recently attended PuppetConf 2013 (the 3rd annual event) and all I can say coming away from that is wow. It was an amazing event with quite a few amazing speakers and sessions out there. There were over 100 speakers and more than 1200 attendees. And we had live streaming for quite a few sessions and keynotes that had a huge attendance (I don’t remember the number off the top of my head). With seven tracks going at a time, not including demos or hands on labs, it was quite an event. Disclaimer: ......

Career-Defining Moments

Fear holds us back from many things. A little fear is healthy, but don’t let it overwhelm you into missing opportunities. In every career there is a moment when you can either step forward and define yourself, or sit down and regret it later. Why do we hold back: is it fear, constraints, family concerns, or that we simply can't do it? I think in many cases it comes to the unknown, and we are good at fearing the unknown. Some people hold back because they are fearful of what they don’t know. Some ......

Chocolatey featured on LifeHacker!

Chocolatey was just featured on LifeHacker! http://lifehacker.com/59424... I was ecstatic to hear about this, of course now I need to write an actual comparison between chocolatey and other windows package managers. Comments on Reddit: http://www.reddit.com/r/com... ......

Kansas City Developers Conference (KCDC)

Yesterday I attended KCDC in Kansas City. It was a great time and I had the opportunity to spend time with people much smarter than me. Even with all of the people I already know, I met quite a few new people during the day long conference. I gave a talk on RoundhousE. If you attended that presentation, the slide deck is here: RoundhousE presentation (right click and save target as...and download or rename the extension to .PPTX). The presentation went really well despite starting off a little slow. ......

Chicago Alt.NET Presentation Aftermath

Right now I’m on the train on my way back from Chicago. It’s interesting to be drinking a Corona and hanging out in the lounge while I’m watching the miles go by. Chicago was a nice time. I had never been so we decided to vacation in Chicago and see the sites – posts coming at the other blog. My presentation was on UppercuT. It was a small group that came to the presentation which makes for an more engaging audience. Overall it was a pretty good presentation and I enjoyed it. We got a little comfortable ......

Microsoft C# Most Valuable Professional

Recently I was awarded the Microsoft Most Valuable Professional (MVP) for Visual C#. For those that don’t know it’s an annual award based on nominations from peers and Microsoft. Although there are just over 4,000 MVPs worldwide from all kinds of specializations, there are less than 100 C# MVPs in the US. There is more information at the site: https://mvp.support.microso... The Microsoft MVP Award is an annual award that recognizes exceptional technology community leaders worldwide who actively ......

Remote Work: Placeshift and Stay Highly Collaborative Part 2–Focus on YOU

Companies want to hire the type of person that is cut out to be a remote worker. The type of person that can be a remote worker is the type of person that excels at their work and that is what companies are always looking for. In the first part of this series we talked about what remote work is and how a business benefits from remote workers. In this article we are going to focus on you. What does it take to be a remote worker? Is remote work possible in your job? How do you work from home when there ......

Software Release Management - Why You Can’t And Shouldn’t Force People to Use the Latest Version

As software creators we don't get to decide what version of our tools / libraries that people use. If we try to force them, our users will go somewhere else. Update: What Type of Software This Applies To This post talks of tools, applications and libraries. Things that end up in the users hands. This does not apply to SaaS or websites. These do not end up in the hands of the users in the same sense. For those of you who immediately think of Chrome or Firefox, which are applications that end up in ......

Iowa Code Camp Presentations

Last weekend I went up to Iowa Code Camp in Cedar Rapids and had the opportunity to do two presentations, one on NuGet and one known as the Automation Tools Roundup. ICC is one of my favorite conferences every year. It is twice a year and I try to make it to at least one of them. The people that attend this conference really make it worth the money you spend in travel expenses. Definitely recommended. Automation Tools Roundup This is my favorite session to give because it requires crowd participation ......

MVP Renewal and News

It appears that my work in the community and the nominations received from others has secured my status as an MVP for a second year. Thank you all for the award and thank you everyone (including Microsoft) for valuing my contributions to the community. I noticed last year I did quite a bit of travelling and talks. I’m going to need to work hard to keep that up this year. I’m also hoping to gear up for the v1 release of RoundhousE and DropkicK as well as something new I’ve been working on known as ......

The Evolution of Package Management for .NET

The thing to realize is that the destination is never the most important part of the journey. It’s the journey itself. When you start a journey, you are never fully sure where it is going to end up. We started the journey down package management for .NET three times with Nu[bular] (we in this context means the nu team, not me in particular, I was only involved in the last reboot) before we decided to try an existing infrastructure with Ruby Gems. I have always said that I would use the best tool ......

Heartland Developer Conference 2010

Recently I was able to attend and speak at Heartland Developer Conference (HDC). This was my first time at the conference and it went smoothly for me. I was able to attend most of the sessions and had a great time! I had a session on Database Change Management w/RoundhousE! It went really well, I was very relaxed although I only had 45 minutes to talk. One item of feedback I got was that I didn’t seem interested in what I was talking about. It was just that I was very relaxed having practiced and ......

Deciding On Features For Open Source

Open source feature selection is subjective. An interesting question was posed to me recently at a presentation - “How do you decide what features to include in the [open source] projects you manage?” Is It Objective? I’d like to say that it’s really objective and that we vote on features and look at what carries the most interest of the populace. Actually no I wouldn’t. I don’t think I would enjoy working on open source (OSS) as much if it someone else decided on what features I should include. ......

Coders For Charities

Last weekend I had the opportunity to give back to the community doing what I love. As geeks we don’t usually have this opportunity. The event is called Coders 4 Charities (C4C) and it’s a grueling weekend of coding for nearly 30 hours over the weekend. When you finish you get to present to the charity and all of the other groups what you have completed. From the site: Coders For Charities is a 3-day charity event that pairs charities and local software developers. Charities often do not have the ......

Windows Mobile Phone Bug: Text/SMS messages coming in from 2016 – Need a fix?

If you are seeing text messages coming in from the year 2016 and thinking this is a total WTF (mate?!), put down the phone. There is no need to break the phone. It’s fine. Nearly all WM phones are experiencing this right now. I repeat, there is no need to break the phone! There is a fix for this that requires maybe five minutes of your time. DISCLAIMER: You do this on your own terms. I am in no way liable if you follow these instructions and damage or render useless anything at all including but ......

A Team Room / War Room

Russell is ahead of me in posting the war room that I set up last night after work. Coming back from Military Leave in February, I was given some "gifts" from members of different teams. This team gave me some user stories including one to assemble the army guys daily with the army guys that they gave me. I waited for the appropriate moment to "declare war" and it was on. http://geekswithblogs.net/c... ......

2010 and Forevah

Today marks the beginning of a new year. For many of us that means new resolutions like losing weight or quitting smoking. I tend not to focus on resolutions because I am horrible about keeping them. I usually set goals instead of making resolutions. And when I do set goals I intend for them to be SMART (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, Timed). I’ve found that having goals that are measurable and realistic within a given time frame help me focus on how I want to get there from where I ......

Turning a New Leaf

public class DevliciousBlog { IBlogger _blogger; public Devlicious(IBlogger blogger) { _blogger = blogger; } } public class Program { private static void Main(string[] args) { IBlogger rob = new FerventCoder(); DevliciousBlog devlicious = new DevliciousBlog(rob); //awesome follows } } This is not goodbye by any means. Just another opening in my life. I was recently accepted to blog at Devlicio.us. Devlicio.us is a great community and is full of some top notch folks and I look forward to the opportunity ......

Blogging about Blogging: Most popular topic on GWB!

Right now my post on Sproc Executing Slow is the most popular topic on GWB ......

Afterthoughts From Iowa Code Camp and UppercuT Talk

Iowa Code Camp was a great time! I really enjoyed the conference itself. It was probably one of the best conferences I have ever been to. There are a lot of talented people surrounding Iowa and I had the pleasure of hanging out with some very intelligent people that are doing some really awesome things. The talk went well as well. Hopefully there were a few more people that got out there and tried UppercuT. Here are the slides from my talk ......

Speaking At IowaCodeCamp

If you are in Des Moines, IA, tomorrow for Iowa Code Camp, I’m speaking on “Automated Builds: How to UppercuT your Code” at 3:45. If you are going to be there and we’ve only met on Twitter before, I’m looking forward to meeting you ......

Launchy - My Productivity is Through the Roof!

Launchy is the best application launcher/productivity program I have ever used. Basically when I want to open something, I no longer open the start menu. I hit {Ctrl}+{Space} and a little window pops up. I start typing and Launchy starts matching to items in my start menu, my quick launch, my Internet favorites/bookmarks, and a special folder where I store Launchy specific commands and shortcuts. Above is a screenshot of the index that I point Launchy to. These are places I normally tuck away programs ......

ALT.NET Conference Seattle Filling Up Fast

81 spots have been filled since 4PM CST when registration opened (about 3:30 hours ago). There is still time if you want a spot! Hurry though, at this rate registration will close off soon. There are only 150 spots total. http://altdotnet.org/events... ......

Firefox Tip: Open A Closed Tab

I bet you didn't know that you can reopen a Firefox tab you have closed. Let's say for instance you closed a Firefox tab, but remembered you needed information from it immediately after closing it, or possibly you closed it by accident. 1. Click the Red "X" or type Ctrl+W to close this tab. 2. Right click on one of the other tabs and select [Undo Close Tab]. 3. And Yes! It's back ......

Letter of Thanks to Walmart

Dear Wal-Mart (on Wanamaker in Topeka, KS); Thank you for employing someone in Hardware department that actually knows about the department he represents. It has been so long since I have seen an employee in your stores that actually know the department they are in. Bill was very helpful and had many recommendations when it came to paint. As we started painting, we found many of his recommendations were accurate and not just "fluff" like we find in other departments (i.e. the electronics department). ......

The Tenth Dimension

http://www.tenthdimension.c... The tenth dimension is an interesting concept that is being put together by author Rob Bryanton. This video below is an interesting representation of the concept of dimensions. We are in the third dimension. If you follow and believe the concepts presented below, a Data Warehouse would be in the concept of the 4th dimension (time as points). We would be at the 5th dimension (a branch of any possible moment) when we look at the Data Warehouse. You can see ......

Another January Baby

Today is my 29th birthday. I would like to say that means I am old, but there are some things in life I have yet to experience: Children Visiting a country where English is not the first language Owning a boat Selling a home for a newer, bigger one Having a successful business (or the alternative - having a business that fails) Many other things I can't think of now So here I am, a little older, mayhap a little wiser, and definitely ready for everything new life may throw at me over the coming year. ......

Real Life Examples of Agile Development

I just saw this challenge to find real life examples of agile development by Tom Perry. He was hanging Christmas lights and found a way to incorporate test driven development (TDD) and continuous integration (CI) into putting up the lights. He put up his lights, then turned them on and found he had a problem. I had broken the first rule of agile development - Test First! Of course, any reasonably competent handyman would have known to try plugging in each strand of lights before beginning the life ......

Problem Solver or Developer?

My friend Raymond just posted a great perspective on development. I have come to the conclusion that I am a problem solver. That’s my business. Whether its process management, software architecture, personal growth for my development team or trying to keep my daughter from stealing my son’s toys, I solve problems. I totally agree with Raymond about being a problem solver. I have been saying that for years, so it's nice to see someone else come to this conclusion as well. One thing I have learned ......

Windows Live Writer Portable And A Glimpse Into the Future With Portable Applications

Imagine if you will one future for applications. You walk up to any computer and plug in your 128GB Flash Drive (USB3 or USB4). You always have your applications with you and suddenly you have access to them through the flash drive. Your documents and files are on the flash drive as well. You don't have to have an Internet connection and you don't bog down the Operating System (if you use Windows) because you don't have anything but the base install on it. Your applications are very responsive because ......

Troyisms

The Troyism is a comment that is zany, off the wall, and completely unexpected! It makes you think and entertains you at the same time. Sometimes it only makes sense in the context that it is presented in. Many times these are comparisons or analogies. Sometimes they are a new word. Today the Troyism that you will see is the comparison. I have a friend at work that comes up with some great comparisons that we have come to know as Troyisms. As you can guess, his name is Troy. Troy is a great guy and ......

DevConnections in Vegas

So here I find myself at DevConnections again. I came because I had such an enjoyable experience in Orlando last year. This year I am hoping for the same. This is my first time at the Vegas DevConnections and it looks like many more people come out here than go to Orlando. They also have more co-conferences at the same time. I am looking forward to the WCF presentations and the first one I will be headed to is a pre-conference workshop on SOA with Michele Leroux Bustamante. The post-conference session ......

Overheard at a .NET UG meeting...

...you can even run it on your LEEnux machine.

Happy Halloween...

Here is what kept me busy tonight. We are getting ready for tomorrow. My pumpkin is below. I don't know why I chose crosses, I just thought it might come out pretty cool. Designing your own pumpkin and then cutting it out takes a long time. The wife's pumpkin. She was done in 25 minutes. She watched me work on mine for another hour after she finished ......

Rotate!

For the two of you who are subscribed to my RSS feeds, please update your feed to http://feeds.feedburner.com/robz.  That is all, thank you.

Cheeseburgers at Tyson Fresh Meats (formerly IBP)??!

I have to agree that I am application-centric for some things and data-centric for other things.  That is not the point of this post, it's the analogy that Troy has brought forth from the article.

http://geekswithblogs.net/dsellers/archive/2007/09/06/115183.aspx#143132

BlogSeries - Define Your Work Environment: The People With Which You Work

One of the things I have been thinking about is the caliber of the people I would work with. I think there are several types I would like to work with (or probably already do and like it!). As I mentioned at the start of this series, this is my definition of my perfect work environment. This almost definitely is not what you would see as the perfect environment and that is okay. I invite you to come up with your own ideas and put them together. Technical PM - While I have had the type of PM I really ......

Topeka Dot Net User Group (DNUG) Meeting – September 24, 2009

Topeka DNUG is free for anyone to attend! Mark your calendars now! SPEAKER: Rob Reynolds has been programming in .NET since the early days of 1.0. He is a .NET Developer at FHLBank Topeka, a bank where the doors are always locked and there’s no money inside. He holds a bachelor’s degree in MIS from Kansas State University (don’t hate!) and enjoys spending time with his wife and kid when his wife hasn’t locked him in the basement to work on any of the OSS projects he manages. TOPIC: Automated Builds: ......

Response to A Deleted Response to a TFS Blog Post

<rant> Recently a friend of mine wrote a post about having his comments deleted from a post. It has caused a bit of a controversy because both of them are MVPs. http://flux88.com/blog/a-de... Go ahead and read it, I’ll wait here. Seriously. Some people have said it was a bad thing that he wrote the post. I personally think he did a very good thing. At times it is very important to hold people accountable for something you believe in. While it’s not always the ......

The Tools Do Make a Difference OR How to Justify a New Laptop to Your Wife!

It doesn’t matter how good you are, the tools do make a difference. That is not to discount the skill of the person that is using the tools. That is not to say that the tools are more important than the person. The most important thing is still the abilities of the person. I recently got a new laptop with SSD. I can say this is the nicest thing I have ever had for a laptop. I can also say that I am definitely enjoying what I like to call “instant” Visual Studio. It’s not really instant, but it loads ......

Nothin But .NET Coming to KC End of August

I attended JP's Nothin But .NET last November in Philadelphia and it was the best course I have ever been to! Sooner than you know it will be in Kansas City this year. It starts Monday, August 31, 2009 at 8:00 AM and goes through Friday, September 04, 2009 at 10:00 PM. I can tell you from experience it will probably be over more like at 4AM on Saturday morning! If the price looks like a lot, keep in mind that this price is REALLY CHEAP for the amount of training and learning that you receive. This ......

Happy 30th Birthday Dru!!

About two weeks ago, somebody else turned OLD, this year besides me. Someone took quite a bit of time to come up with this scheme. It looked pretty awesome though!!! Not everyone remembers math's Order of Operations and thus some calculate that Dru is turning 58. Dru's Desk. Something is happening here... These pictures seem to be from during the setup. Awesome! Here comes the birthday boy and he can kind of see his desk area over cube heaven. Um... The desk...it's in there somewhere. It took a knife ......

A Day in the Life of My 30th Birthday

It's long been known to people around me that I love to wear blue. Lately a coworker has been trying to get me to wear pink. She keeps telling me that real men wear pink. I bring this up because my 30th birthday was today and I walked into to see quite a display. But enough with the words... Most of the handiwork was brought to you by Dru. This could be due to other crazy work birthdays. This definitely raises the bar ......

Interesting Error with .NET Framework 3.5 SP1 Install

Thought you should know. :D Awesome ......

Kansas City Day of Dot Net : Inversion Of Control With Windsor Container

Today I gave a presentation on Windsor Container at KC's Day of Dot Net. The presentation went pretty smoothly, other than accidentally unplugging the projector link. :D I introduced fluent interfaces into my presentation code this time around and it seemed to be somewhat well received. I also added Mass Transit's startable facility to the Windsor configuration and showed how easy it is to use Windsor to leverage production level code. Thanks to all that came! I appreciate the interest and the great ......

Nothin but .NET Developer Boot Camp - Wrap up

Over the past few days I have been honored to be at the Nothin but .NET Developer Boot Camp in Philadelphia, PA. I have also been posting updates every day. A few people have asked me if this course is worth it. I would say if you want to be passionate about what you do (or if you already are), then the answer is a resounding YES!! The sheer amount of benefit you get from knowledge and participation, you may feel like you are a bandit making out with only having had to pay the extremely reasonable ......

Nothin but .NET Developer Boot Camp - Day 5

Friday was the last day of the training course and today we went over a couple of patterns and had a discussion on Domain Driven Design. After the discussion, we were released to continue working on our end to end solution. The team I was on (Go Conquistadors!) got all the way down to the database second out of four teams. We were first to have all parts vertical though. Then we started to refine our design even more. And that is where we left the solution on Friday night. People Bowing Out As the ......

Nothin but .NET Developer Boot Camp - Day 4

So you may notice this post is a little late. The course moved to an open format today and the last people left for the night at 4:30 AM. That's 9 AM to 4:30 AM. Basically today we got direction from JP and then formed groups that we worked with all day to implement an end to end solution from the point that we were already at. One of the things you will push yourself for today is understanding fluent interfaces to whatever extent that you can. The other part is how to build them. They are much harder ......

Nothin but .NET Developer Boot Camp - Day 3

Today the most important thing is Coffee! When you take this course (not if *grin*) you definitely need to get coffee after lunch. Some things of note today: Group Interaction There is a lot more group interaction with tasks and the tasks are getting to a point where they take quite a bit lot longer to complete. Group dynamics has definitely picked up and come into play a lot more because by the third day you are much more comfortable with everyone. I am seeing personalities coming out as we get ......

Nothin but .NET Developer Boot Camp - Day Two

Today has been awesome! More of what we learned yesterday, plus more. We got more in depth into certain patterns and have had a huge helping of BDD all day long. The format has been that JP has written the specs and we get the tests to pass. The format looks like it will start to shift to JP doing less and less code and us doing more and more of it. Three Project Solution So one thing I immediately picked up on is the 3 project solution. One of the projects holds all of the automation and automated ......

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