Jeff Schoolcraft and I will be presenting sessions at Code Camp in Reston, VA on May 7th 2005. The event is a free all day event hosted at the Microsoft Reston office. The session list looks awesome!
Jeff will be talking about Regular Expressions - one of his favorite topics.
I will be presenting best practices using NUnitAsp. This session will also present a new tool from Thycotic - the Thycotic.TddStarterKit which provides lots of useful extensions to NUnit and NUnitAsp along with database initialization and database scripting functionality. The easy way to start or extend your next TDD project!
Steve Eichert points to "Consulting vs. Contracting" which has a nice discussion on the difference between the two. Having been on both sides of the fence, I agree that consulting is the favorable option. At Thycotic, we have the support of our team, the reputation of the company and the strength of our accomplishments in the form of successful projects, products, training and speaking engagements.
Contractors are a commodity that can be brought in to solve a known problem that requires specific skills or just raw manpower often for extended periods. Consultants are involved in problem solving - usually with a broad set of skills and experiences - all designed to bring the highest expertise to provide the solution and then leave the client till the next occasion.
As a consulting shop, another distinction we commonly encounter is competing with recruiters. Do clients understand the real difference between a placement company and a true consultancy? In the past, companies have had close ties to recruiters for finding permanent hires but with the increase in contractors in past years this relationship has taken a different form. Are recruiters the best people to solve the client's problems? How many client's know about their local consulting shops?
For the client - highly skilled problem solvers with the experience and support infrastructure to succeed.
For the consultant - valued input, team support - challenging problems!
What are your experiences? Which do you prefer?
(Humor) And for the cynics amongst us ... Consulting.
TechEd is a great conference with loads of buzz, technology and people that make such events the place to be. Last year, I was able to give a presentation in the Development Cabanas on Test Driven Development with ASP.NET and helped out fielding technical questions in the same cabanas which gave me complimentary access to the conference!
This year, my efforts have been:
- 3 speaking proposals to TechEd USA - declined.
- 3 speaking proposals to TechEd Europe - declined.
- Offered to work as a Technical Expert in the Development Cabanas - declined.
Apparently the response from speakers and technical experts has been HUGE this year and I am sure it will be an even bigger event than last year.
Are you going to TechEd this year?
Why do you think it is even more popular than last year's event?
David Patton gave a presentation at the Washington DC XP User Group on Monday night. It was different to the typical XP/TDD presentation due to the audience (who needed no introduction to TDD!) and also David's experiences. It was interesting to hear the audience's surprise at the maturity of the tools for Agile development on the Microsoft platform and also to hear the comparisons to tools on other development platforms.
Some of the things that drew gasps from the audience:
- Using NUnit attributes to label test fixtures and test cases freeing you from naming conventions or inheritance to define tests. (Example: jUnit requires TestFixtures to derive from TestCase and test cases to be prefixed with "test")
- [Ignore] attribute to ignore a currently failing test while giving some legitimate reason to explain, then seeing NUnit show this as an ignored test. (Example: Many developers on other platforms would just prefix the test case with an underscore to have it ignored and then might forget about the test)
- [TestFixtureSetUp] attribute enabling setup code to be executed once for a whole fixture. Apparently this is an often desired feature missing from other platforms.
What do you like or dislike about the agile tools on the .NET platform versus other development platforms?
Jeff Schoolcraft, a Senior Consultant with Thycotic Software Ltd, will be speaking on "Regular Expressions - Theory and Practice" at the WinProTeam Rockville .NET User Group meeting tonight.
Jeff has recently caused some debate in the community with industry personalities such as Randall L. Schwartz, Darren Neimke and Steven Smith weighing in on when not to use regex.
My opinion is that every tool in our toolbox is wonderful and has a purpose (regex perhaps being a little more wonderful than most!) - just don't try to use it for crazy things that could be done better with something else. By all means, validate that something looks like an email address with a regex but don't take it to new heights, rather send a confirmation email and be sure the email address is valid.
I received an email on Saturday reawarding my MVP status for another year which is just wonderful!
The past year as a new MVP has been remarkable. The access to information and the opportunities for involvement from Microsoft are simply amazing. I have been able to communicate with well known leaders in the community and have been involved in some really exciting events such as DevDays 2004 and TechEd 2004.
I look forward to this coming year, Code Camp Mid-Atlantic, TechEd 2005, the MVP Summit (which I missed last year) and making contributions to the community. This has also been a wonderful stepping stone for our Washington DC-based consultancy, Thycotic Software Ltd with regard to notoriety and further access to personalities in the development world to promote our products such as myclockwatcher.com.
Thanks to everyone involved!
UPDATE: Darrell Norton got his MVP in this batch too. Awesome!