Monday, October 24, 2016

Jeremy on Developer On Fire (Again)

I had the chance to talk to Dave Rael again for the Developer On Fire podcast. This time, I got to talk about "Becoming a Social Developer". Listen to it here: Episode 175.

"Becoming a Social Developer" is a bit of an accidental movement that I started last year based on my experiences. I had a great conversation with Dave, and we talked about 3 aspects of talking to other developers:

o How I got started talking to other developers.
o The response from attendees at developer events.
o Some great outcomes from people who have joined the movement.

I'm hoping to have lots more stories in the future. If you've had a great experience (or even a challenging one), I'd love to hear your stories so I can pass the along. We all get better together.

Listen Now

Developer On Fire Episode 175: Jeremy Clark - Not Who I Am But How I Behave

Last year, I had a great chat with Dave Rael on Episode 012. It's interesting to look back at the tips I gave for delivering more value:
1. Understand your users.
2. Keep learning
3. Get involved in developer communities
As I look back, I see that I've really focused on these things over the last year. I gave a keynote at AIM hdc that was all about understanding your users (I'll also be giving this talk at NDC London in January).

In addition, I keep talking about learning and getting better with practice. This includes a lot of articles, including Don't Be Afraid to Show What You Don't Know.

And it's hard to turn around without hearing me talk about getting involved in developer communities -- which involves talking to other developers.

A big thank you to Dave Rael for giving me the opportunity to share some of the things that I'm really excited about. If you want to hear more great stories and advice from a variety of developers, be sure to subscribe to Developer On Fire.

Happy Coding!

Thursday, October 20, 2016

Preview of Visual Studio LIVE! Orlando (coming December 2016)

I had a great opportunity to give a preview of my talks for Visual Studio LIVE! coming up in Orlando December 5 - 9, 2016. Visual Studio LIVE! is part of the larger LIVE! 360 event which consists of 6 co-located conferences. That's 6 events for the price of 1!

If you missed the live webcast (or just want to watch it again), take a look at the recording. It's free, you just need to give your name and email address: VSLive Orlando Preview.

In this webcast, I show how the syntax magic works for lambda expressions in C# and also give a preview of the power of LINQ (Language Integrated Query) -- we can easily sort, filter, and aggregate our data once we understand this. Session information: Learn to Love Lambdas (and LINQ, Too!)

Then we take a look at asynchronous methods with Task and await. These are both very powerful tools in C#. We see the basics of using a continuation (when we use Task directly) and the magic of "await" (where Task is hidden from us). In the full session, we take a look at cancellation, exception handling, and a few other useful things. Session information: I'll Get Back to You: Task, Await, and Asynchronous Methods.

Finally, I show how unit testing has made me a faster developer. This is just a brief overview of how unit tests help me confirm functionality, check regression, pinpoint bugs, and document the code. In the full presentation, look forward to code examples, videos, and other good stuff. Session information: Unit Testing Makes Me Faster: Convincing Your Boss, Your Co-Workers, and Yourself.

I'm really looking forward to heading back to Orlando to speak at Visual Studio LIVE! I had a really great time last year. I met a lot of great folks, and I'll have more great conversations in December.

If you'd to go and save a bit of money, use the code "LSPK17" when registering:

Hope to see you there!

Happy Coding!

Monday, October 17, 2016

2016 Microsoft MVP Award

I was honored to be awarded with a Microsoft MVP (Most Valuable Professional) for the 5th time. This is in recognition of my contributions to the developer community including my speaking, blogging, and videos.

This is a great opportunity for me because it opens up access to some of the inside information in the Microsoft world -- including the ability to give feedback and influence future releases of Visual Studio, C#, and other products.

In addition, I get to spend time with the other folks who have been awarded the Microsoft MVP. I've developed a ton of friends in this area. Next month is the annual summit where I get to spend time with lots of these folks (many of whom I haven't seen for a year).

I'm also excited to see some of my speaker friends get awarded for the first time this year including Spencer Schneidenbach (@schneidenbach) and Matthew Renze (@MatthewRenze) - and I know that there are others that I'll be happy to see at the summit.

If you'd like some more information, you can check out my Microsoft MVP profile page.

Happy Coding!

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

October 2016 Speaking Engagements

October started out a bit busy, and things are going strong through the end of the month. Don't miss your chance to join me for a full-day workshop in Des Moines, IA. And feel free to contact me if you'd like me to bring a presentation or workshop to your company.

Saturday, October 8, 2016
Desert Code Camp
Chandler, AZ
o I'll Get Back to You: Task, Await, and Asynchronous Methods
o Clean Code: Homicidal Maniacs Read Code, Too!
o Unit Testing Makes Me Faster: Convincing Your Boss, Your Co-Workers, and Yourself

I'm really looking forward to heading back to the Desert Code Camp. It's been on hiatus for a couple years. I've had a great time there in the past, and it looks like it's coming back with a bang: lots of great sessions and speakers. It should be a lot of fun.

Thu-Sat, Oct 20-22, 2016
Dev Up
St. Charles, MO
o DI Why? Getting a Grip on Dependency Injection
o Learn the Lingo: Design Patterns

This will be my first time at Dev Up. I've heard some great things about this conference, and I'm looking forward to being a part of it this year. It will be my first time speaking in the St. Louis area, so I'm looking forward to meeting a lot of new people, too.

Wed-Fri, Oct 26-28, 2016
Des Moines, IA
o Getting Better at C#: Interfaces and Dependency Injection - Full-Day Workshop
o Clean Code: Homicidal Maniacs Read Code, Too!
o Design Patterns: Not Just For Architects

This is a brand new conference in Des Moines. The good news is that it's being put on by the same organizers of the great Nebraska.Code(), so I'm looking forward to a great time. I'm happy to be part of the inaugural event, and it's sure to get better each year.

A Look Back
I've had a busy September, and it's been a great experience. I had a great time in Omaha at AIM hdc (you can read some more about the keynote I gave: "User Driven Development" at AIM hdc).

Keynote at AIM hdc
In addition, I went to the Silicon Valley for several events. First, I spoke at the SouthBay.NET user group in Mountain View:

Jeremy at SouthBay.NET
There was a good crowd, and there was quite a bit of interaction. I got to talk about asynchronous programming, and that always stimulates conversation as we try to better understand the hurdles we need to get over.

Then I did a full-day workshop as part of the Code Stars Summit:

Jeremy at Code Stars Summit
We had a small group, and that was really good for conversation. We were able to talk through problems and look at specific examples that related to situations that folks had faced in their own development.

Finally, I gave two presentations at the Silicon Valley Code Camp:

Jeremy talks Interfaces at Silicon Valley Code Camp

Jeremy chatting before starting a presentation on Asynchronous Programming
This is my 5th year at the Silicon Valley Code Camp. It's always a fun event with tons of people, tons of sessions (usually 20 choices during each time slot), and tons of interesting conversations. I was happy to be a part of it for another year.

I'm looking for more great events. It's a lot of time on the road, but it's been totally worth it.

Happy Coding!

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Asking Questions Shows Strength, Not Weakness

Our development culture has an element that I would like to eliminate: a fear of showing weakness. (There are other things I would like to eliminate as well, but this is the one I'm going to talk about today.)
Asking Questions Shows Strength, Not Weakness
There are some environments where people are afraid to ask questions from other members of their team. The reason for this fear is the response. Either the question is treated as a "stupid question", or the response is condescending ("I can't believe you don't know this"), or the person answering the question takes it as an opportunity to show off ("Let me demonstrate how much smarter I am than you").

I was extremely fortunate that the team I "grew up" with was not like this. But I have seen these teams personally, and I have talked to many developers who have been in these environments.

Why Now?
This is a topic that has been on my mind quite a bit. But it really came to the front of my mind this past week. I did several talks, including a user group, a workshop, and 2 code camp sessions. At least two times, when someone asked a question, they prefaced it with "This is probably a stupid question, but..."

The reason to preface a question like this is because we're really saying, "I'm not normally this weak, but..."

Before answering, I always say, "There are no stupid questions." We are trying to learn something new. New things don't always make sense the first time. We often need some clarification to really grasp the topic.

On top of that, we all have different histories, different experiences, different backgrounds. That means that we will have questions that are based on our own experiences. My questions will be different from your questions just because we have different experiences.

You're Not the Only One
Unfortunately, we have a fear of asking questions built in. When we look around, we see a lot of other people who are *not* asking questions. So they all must understand things, and I'm the only who who doesn't get it.

But in reality, we don't know what other people are thinking. We are comparing our insides (what I'm thinking and understanding / not understanding) with everyone else's outsides. We don't actually know if they understand it or not; we're making assumptions based on an invalid comparison. (BTW, This is exactly the same problem that leads to Impostor Syndrome. Scott Hanselman has a good article for devs: I'm a phony. Are you?)

When someone asks a question, I know that they aren't the only one with that question. How do I know? Because I do the exact same talks over and over again. And I will get the same questions over and over again. (As a side note, I'll add material to my talks to try to clarify and eliminate these questions where I can, but sometimes it's difficult.)

When someone asks me a question during a talk (or later in an email), it will often turn into a blog article. First because I don't always have time (or the knowledge) to go into detail during the talk. And second because I know that there are other people who have the same question.

Eliminating Fear
It's important that we eliminate this fear in our environment. Developers should be free to ask questions about things they don't know. It does not show weakness, it shows strength.
Without Questions, No Learning Takes Place
Our biggest assets in a team environment are the other team members. If the team members are afraid to ask questions, then no knowledge gets shared. This leads to a stagnant team. And in that situation, no one wins.

I have seen teams where the team members were afraid. Developers were afraid to ask questions because they didn't want to look weak. Developers were afraid to give answers because if they shared what they knew, they would be less vital to the team. These teams never succeeded. The team members were frustrated, discontent, and without hope. I really wish that I could have done something to change their environment, but it was built in to their entire political culture at the management level.

Breaking the Cycle
There are two things we can do to break this cycle.

1. Ask questions when you need help.
I would suggest doing some due diligence first. I spend some time researching the topic to see what I can find in documentation or forums. But I'll eventually get to the point where I can't get the answer on my own. At that point, I ask a question.

Some teams have a rule: If you spend more than 15 minutes trying to figure something out, you *must* ask for help. (There's usually a corollary that you must spend 15 minutes trying to figure something out for yourself *before* you ask for help. This is to encourage people to be an active part of learning rather than simply letting someone else do the work for them.)

2. Answer questions, and be supportive when you do.
When someone comes to you with a question, answer it. If you don't know the answer, help them find it or refer them to someone who might know. During this process, be supportive. Never act like the question is a stupid question. Don't take the opportunity to show off how smart you are. Make sure you answer the question in such a way that the person would be comfortable asking again in the future.

You Don't Know Everything
Here's a reminder: You don't know everything. And here's another reminder: No one else does, either.

It's okay to ask for help. It's okay to ask when you don't understand something. It's okay to ask for other resources that you can look at. This doesn't show weakness; it shows strength.
When we ask a question...
We are saying that we are interested in learning something new.
We are saying that we are not content with what we already know.
We are saying that we want to move forward.
Change the Culture
I'd really like to see a change of culture in our industry. I would love it if no one was afraid to ask for help. I'm not quite sure what needs to be done to change that. I'm going to encourage people to ask for help when they need it (Don't Be Afraid to Show What You Don't Know) and to help people who do ask for help (Help Those Behind You).

If you're stuck in an environment that doesn't encourage this, you have two options: Change your job or change your job.

If you can change the culture where you work, that's awesome. And all of your other team members will benefit from that. But if you can't change the culture, you need to make sure that you take care of yourself. In those instances, it might be best to leave and find a more productive environment.

Above all else, move forward. When we ask questions, we have the opportunity to learn something new. We can't control the response. But we can find the people who are happy to help us. There are lots of them out there.

Happy Coding!

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Recording Live Presentations

I've had a few people ask me about recording live presentations recently, so now's a good time to talk about how I do it.

I've been recording my presentations for about a year and a half now. There are a couple of reasons why I've wanted to record myself speaking:
  1. By watching myself, I can learn my quirks that I don't notice. This helps me improve my speaking technique.
  2. I can put together clips of me speaking to create a promo video to help get me more speaking opportunities. (I never did this because I had some great professionally recorded videos to showcase before I got around to completing it.)
  3. I can post recordings that come out well to my YouTube channel.
I have fully-produced two talks so far. This is from April 2016 (Central California .NET User Group, Fresno CA):

And this is from March 2015 (Nebraska.Code(), Lincoln NE):

So here's what I've done. It's not professional quality, but it gets the job done for what I was looking for.

Sound Quality is King
One of the most important things about recording live presentations is making sure that you have good audio. If there is echo-y sound that's hard to understand, no one will watch the video. I've passed up watching videos of people I really wanted to hear just because the audio was so distracting. This problem actually kept me from recording my presentations for quite a while.

For a previous discussion on the importance of audio quality, check out my article on screencasting: Jeremy's Screencast Production.

Record Audio Separately
Don't rely on the camera or your computer to pick up the audio. Record the audio separately. I use a Zoom H1 digital recorder (Amazon link) that I'm very happy with:

This has a built-in microphone array which would be good for recording interviews or something where you don't move around a lot. For my presentations, I pair this with a Sony ECMSC3 lapel microphone (Amazon link):

This is an inexpensive microphone, but the quality is surprisingly good. I can clip the microphone to my collar and stick the Zoom recorder in my pocket.

Note: If you take this approach, make sure the microphone is plugged in all the way to the recorder. I have a couple presentations that are nothing but a recording of the inside of my pocket.

What I Like
I am happy with the results of the Zoom recorder. It runs on AA batteries and records to a micro-SD card. Battery life is very good, and 2-1/2 hours of audio takes about 1-1/2 gigs of space (which isn't much when you can buy 64 gig cards really cheaply).

I use the "Auto Level" feature of the Zoom recorder (you can see the switches on the back). This has a few quirks, but it's easy to fix in editing (more on that below).

You'll also notice that there is a "Hold" switch. This will save you from accidental button presses, particularly if you put the recorder in your pocket.

Repeat the Question
A general piece of speaker advice is to always repeat the question so that other members of the audience can hear it. This is especially important when recording because you will not pick up the audience at all on the lapel microphone. So you want to repeat the question for the recording as well.

Screen Capture
I use Camtasia Recorder (from TechSmith) for screen capture. I've spent a bit of time talking about Camtasia in my screencasting article, so I won't repeat it here. I'll have a bit more to say about it when we get to editing.

One thing to be aware of is that the Camtasia Recorder will capture some keystrokes for its own use. So be prepared to re-map some keys in Camtasia or be ready to use alternate methods in your demo. The most prominent one that I run into is that F10 is "pause" for Camtasia, so in Visual Studio, I'll use the toolbar buttons for debugging instead of F10 to step through code.

High-quality video was not really important to me. I primarily wanted to be able to see myself in action (and again, potentially put together a promo video). Rather than spend a lot of money on a video camera, I spent a couple hundred dollars on a little Sony HDR-AS100V (Amazon link):

This is the Sony version of a GoPro. It's really designed as an action camera, so the lens is a bit fish-eyed. I got this a while back, so I'm sure there's an improved version of this now.

The recording quality is good: 1080p. And if you crop the video (like is shown in the first video in this article), then you don't see the fish-eye. Note: the second video in the article was actually recorded first, and I learned some things about editing that I was able to use in the other video. But more on editing later.

I have the camera mounted on a small tripod (this was included with the Zoom kit that is linked above):

It's nice and small to stick in a bag with the other gear. But the legs expand to give it a decent height when placed on a table. Here's the rig with the camera attached:

I usually put the camera on a table in the front row (which gives a bit of a side-angle). I've put it in the back of the room a few times, and the image was a bit small. When it's closer, it's easier to see my movement and mannerisms.

What to Watch Out For
There are a couple things about this camera to watch out for. First, it can only be charged by the USB port (there's a removable battery, but you would have to buy a separate charger for that). It cannot be plugged in and record at the same time, so you're limited by battery life.

In my experience, battery will go about 1 hour 45 minutes. This can usually accommodate one of my presentations at a user group, but I make sure to start it just before I start, and I'll even pause it at breaks to save a bit of battery.

This also uses micro-SD for storage. And it runs about 4 gigs for 35 minutes of video. I use those weird increments because it actually splits up video files into 35 minute chunks. Again, with a 64 gig card, I've never had any problems with space. The limiting factor has always been battery life.

Audio Everywhere
Record audio in all three places: digital recorder, screen capture, and video camera. Even though the final audio will be from the digital recorder, it's easy to use the sound waves to line up the various tracks when editing the video.

And here's a tip I picked up from my friend and fellow speaker Justin James (@digitaldrummerj):
After starting all 3 recorders, clap your hands.
This will create a very visible audio spike that you can use to line up the various tracks. (Just like movies use the clappers to start a take.)

Lots of Files
The result of the recordings are lots of files:

The ".mp4" files come from the video camera. As mentioned, this records in 35 minute chunks, so these need to be put together in editing. The ".trec" file is the screen capture from Camtasia. And the ".wav" file comes from the Zoom audio recorder.

The ".camproj" file is the Camtasia project. We're headed there next.

Putting Everything Together
Now that we've got all of the sources, we need to put everything together in Camtasia Studio. First job is laying down the tracks and lining them up. This is where the audio helps A LOT.

First, here's a look at the Camtasia interface:

The order of the tracks are important, the track that is "on top" (in this case, Track 4) appears over any other tracks.

Track 1: Audio track (not visible). This comes from the Zoom digital recorder and it will be the audio that we ultimately use.

Track 2: Screen capture (left side of screen). This comes from the Camtasia Recorder.

Track 3: Video capture (right side of screen). This is from the Sony video camera.

Track 4: Overlays (text at top of screen). We'll take a closer look at this a bit later.

Lining Things Up
After getting the media in the right slots, we have to line everything up. For this, we can look at the audio for each track:

We can use the audio tracks to line everything up. Notice that the peaks line up across the media. And as noted earlier, a "clap" at the start can create a spike to make it easy to see where the start point is.

In this case, I've already trimmed down the video and audio, so we can't see that part. Once everything is lined up, you can trim the excess at the beginning and end of the tracks.

You'll see different intensities when looking at the audio, this is because the computer is one side of the room, the camera is on the opposite side, and I'm walking around with the voice recorder in the middle.

Audio Processing
After getting all of the tracks lined up, we can use the Audio tab in Camtasia to simply mute the 2 video tracks. This will leave the audio just from the Zoom recorder.

When I'm doing screencasting, I don't normally use the audio leveling tool (as mentioned previously). This is because screencast recording is in a much more controlled environment where I'm sitting still. Things are a bit different when I'm doing things live and don't get a "second take".

So I use the volume leveling tool in Camtasia:

Just select the audio track and click "Enable volume leveling". This smooths out the peaks, and the audio track now looks more like this:

This is a bit different from the audio track we saw above.

I do this to smooth out some of the "Auto Level" from the Zoom recorder (remember I mentioned that above?). The auto-leveling of the Zoom recorder generally works well, but if you cough, tap the microphone, or cause some other "spike", the recorder will lower the sound levels, and it takes a few seconds to re-adjust.

The "Auto Level" in Camtasia will correct this. It's not ideal. But I also don't have a professional audio technician doing these recordings for me. The audio still comes out a lot better than many of the "live recordings" that I come across.

Video Processing
There are a couple different approaches to take when trying to show both the screen and the person at the same time. For the April 2016 video, things were pretty easy:

This projector was had a 4x3 aspect ratio, so my screen capture had that same ratio. This made it really easy to put the screen and video side-by-side (although it does look a little strange in the beginning when I'm showing my wide-screen slides).

In contrast, in the March 2015 video, I put in a lot of edits to show the live video when that was important and to show the screen when that was important. This was *a lot* of work. It is much easier to do side-by-side or an overlay if you can get away with it.

Since the videos were side-by-side, the order of the tracks wasn't as important (since they don't overlap). But if you're overlaying or doing other interesting things, you want to make sure that the right video is "on top".

Stitching Video
As mentioned above, the Sony video camera records in 35 minute chunks, and these end up as separate files. The good news is that if you put the two media files right next to each other in Camtasia (on the same track and touching each other), there is no gap or stutter at all.

Cropping and Panning
It's possible to crop and pan inside Camtasia to show just parts of the video. Some of these features are really hard to find. For example, the "crop" button is in the top right corner of the preview window:

This is entirely non-obvious, and I haven't found the "crop" feature on another screen or menu (maybe I'm missing it).

Here's what the video looks like un-cropped:

So you can see that I cropped out quite a bit of the frame. Cropping also can make the "fish-eye" of the camera a bit less obvious. This is why having the 1080p recording is nice. Even if you don't show the video full screen, you can crop and zoom into different areas and still have decent quality output.

This video was shot at the Central California .NET User Group in Fresno, CA. It's a small group; there were 10 people there that night. But it's not always the size of the room that makes a good presentation. Sometimes the smaller groups are better because you get more questions and interaction. (And remember to "repeat the question" even in a small room. Otherwise, you'll have an audio gap in your recording.)

The last step in the editing process is to add callouts to the video. I've talking about adding callouts in screencasts, but it's also important when showing live presentations.

Here's a good example of why:

You'll notice in the video that I'm pointing at the screen. This is pretty common for me (especially when I'm talking in a training room). But it's impossible to tell what I'm pointing at.

This is where the "Callouts" feature in Camtasia comes in handy. I can highlight the area on the screen that I'm talking about. In this case, I'm pointing to a method signature and using a red rectangle to highlight it. This is on the "top track" (Track 4 here) so that it shows up over everything else. I've added similar callouts throughout the presentation.

After getting all the bits together, it's time to render and upload. I try to render at the highest resolution I can (which is generally 1080p). Then when I upload to YouTube, they'll process it down to lower-quality versions.

Rendering projects with live video take significantly longer than rendering screencasts. So be prepared for that. This is compounded because my screencasts are generally in 20 minute chunks and will render in about 20 minutes. But a live presentation is over an hour long, so it's both more material and also a slower render.

Make sure that your computer is well ventilated during this process.

Wrap Up
This is a lot of work. But it's not that hard to do. The equipment cost me around $500 (which isn't cheap), but I've gotten quite a bit of use out of it. The Zoom recorder in particular has been a great little tool. I'm surprised at the quality that I can get from this little plastic device. This is the recorder that I also used to record bits of my banjo playing.

I have recorded about 20 of my presentations. And I've gone through the process of laying down the tracks, lining up the audio, and rendering each of them. Most of them have just been for my personal use (so you don't see all of the work behind those). But a couple have made it out into the wild, and when I come across a good presentation, I'll be sure to post it.

If you decide to start recording and producing your own presentations, I hope that my experience will make the path a bit easier for you.

Happy Speaking!

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

"User Driven Development" at AIM hdc

Last week, I had the great opportunity to give the Thursday evening keynote at AIM hdc in Omaha NE. I was honored to be invited to talk, and I had a great time.

The topic was "User Driven Development", but I probably should have called it "Making the World a Better Place". Since this talk was me telling stories (with no code, gasp), I figured that I would take the same approach as I did previously with "Becoming a Social Developer" at NDC Oslo.

This meant that I hand-drew my slides:

I picked this up from David Neal, and it has been quite useful for these types of talks. I'm not quite as practiced as David at this point, so I've got simple stick figures:

And rather crude drawings (this is an application that is on fire):

The talk itself is based on a number of stories from my past which have made it into several articles over the years. You can check out the articles (and also the presentation slides) here: User Driven Development.

I ended up with a total of 109 slides. This sounds like a whole lot of slides for a 50 minute talk, but they tend to go by pretty quickly.

The presentation itself went very smoothly. I was fortunate enough to have a group of friends sitting at a table near the front. (And they were nice enough not to heckle me during the talk.) They took some great pictures. Here's the view from the front (thanks to Heather Downing (@quorralyne) for this one):

And Cory House (@housecor) took a great panoramic shot from the back of the room:

The room held 650 people, so I figure that I had close to 500 in the audience.

The timing came out *almost* perfectly. Since I was telling stories, the timing for each part wasn't exactly metered out. About halfway through my talk I had this slide:

This related to a story about an application that would give the current time in whatever city you selected. I was *really* hoping that this would be the actual time in Omaha, but I looked at the time just before I got to this slide and found that it was 4:39 p.m. (Missed it by "that much".) But it gave me a chance to crack a joke about how close I was.

The response was very positive. My Twitter notifications went pretty crazy that evening (and my definition of crazy is probably quite a bit different from other people -- it was 20 times more than I normally get.)

A couple of points from the talk stuck out for the audience. This one was tweeted out by Heather Downing, and a couple other people picked up on this point as well:

Our job as developers is not to type code.
Our job is to solve problems.
I was also happy to see Paul Oliver (@ItsPaultastic) pick up on this:

I am not "just" a corporate developer.
I am a corporate developer.
I've hated it when I have been referred to as "just" a corporate developer. This belittles the awesome work that we do. *All* developers can make the world a better place. Making someone else's job easier doesn't seem like it's world-changing, but it makes things better for that user. And that makes a difference.

Christian Peters (@TDDdev) wrote a review of the Thursday keynotes, and I was happy to see some of the key points that he picked up, including:


In addition, I had several people talk to me about the presentation that evening and the next day. And I even received some email after the event was over.

Wrap Up
Of course, I also found time to talk about "Becoming a Social Developer" (this was requested by the event organizer). And it was great to be talked about by Cory House:

This is the first full-length keynote that I have given. Previously, I'd had 10 minutes on stage (sharing someone else's keynote). The best compliment that I got was from Cory (who has given keynotes at several events). He said that he couldn't believe that was the first time I'd given a keynote. So I guess I looked like I knew what I was doing. 😉

I don't know if I impacted everyone in the room (probably not), but I did make an impact on some people. And that means that I did succeed in making the world a better place.

Happy Coding!