Sunday, March 22, 2009

Southern Ohio User Group Tour

This week, I'll be traveling around Southern/Central Ohio giving talks at User Groups and at least one corporate office. The schedule is:

Here's the abstract to my talk. I'll elaborate on the content more below:

Come learn about the idea of deliberate practice as applied to the craft of software development. Alan Stevens will perform (less than) amazing feats of coding and he will do it for your enjoyment in real time.

OK, I admit, that's a pretty lame abstract. The explanation of the lameness is that I didn't really know what my talk was about until a few days ago. I've had a lot of ideas in my head that I've been trying to put together into a consistent theme. It was only after explaining to my wife recently what I wanted to talk about, that I saw the unifying theme.

And so, dear readers, I present you with the unifying theme of my talk this week:

In order to get better, you must be willing get worse.

This means that if you want to constantly get better, you have to be willing to suck, at least for a while.

So, come to my talk if you want to learn how to suck with gusto, and as a result become a better developer. If enough of us take this approach, we might just improve the industry, at least a little.

See ya' in the Buckeye State,


Wednesday, March 25, 2009 8:38:47 AM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)
Your presentation was very good last night at CINNUG. Being a pretty devout Christian man I've heard a LOT of messages and presentations over the years and your presentation was top tier as far as practicals.

Is your PPT publicly available? Any audio or video of a similar presentation available?
Thursday, March 26, 2009 9:47:25 AM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)
I attended your presentation last night at the Dayton .NET Developers Group meeting. (BTW, I'm pretty sure the meeting notice had the room wrong ... but even when it's not, I always end up wandering around the student union for a few minutes -- and my brother went to WSU ;-)

Ditto to previous request(s) for the PPT deck. Unfortunately, none of my co-workers was able to attend (there's usually at least three or four of us), but I'd like for them to at least be able to view the presentation.
Friday, March 27, 2009 7:26:27 AM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)
I was at the CONDG meeting - I don't attend very regularly, but was really glad I made it last night. I was listening (not speaking) during the discussion about "good" code, and I only heard one person say "happy customers". Presumably, when you write code it is because someone is going to use it, and in my way of thinking, the only real measure of whether software is good or not must come from the end user, however they define "good" (e.g. speed, ability to accomplish task, lack of frustration, etc.). Don't get me wrong: I appreciate well written code, and feel almost physically ill when I see "bad" code (true story: I am working in a piece of code, not my own, with properties named "AgergageLabel", "Poisition" and "Lable"). But if you can write code that will completely satisfy the client and is 100% bug free, no one is likely to ever look at that code again. Of course, since that is nearly impossible to do, the next best thing is to write code that is readable and easily maintained.
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