Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Atlanta Code Camp Feedback


I got my feedback from the Atlanta Code Camp today.  I admit, I am terrible about providing feedback at events such as this.  Not until today, did I realize how useful those little forms are to the presenter.  So, as a sign of thanks to the people who took the time to provide this data, I want to share it with the world along with my responses.

Score Comments My Response
3 more evangelist than teacher This is possibly accurate, but I could use some examples to back it up.  I'm sorry you didn't get more benefit from your time.
5 (5 lines of comments were blacked out) Pity, those five lines may have been very helpful.
5 very passionate, however demo unorganized, started slowly.  Took 15 minutes to introduce - could have done it in 1. Accurate. I blew the demo despite my rehearsal. I get excited, then I rush, then I make mistakes. Unfortunately, what the commenter calls the intro was intended to be half the material.
6 A little disappointed because the presenter didn't touch the team system from Architecture point of view.  I think the introduction could have been smaller Fair. I intentionally ignored the system architecture, and focused on the development process.
7 1.  very knowledgeable  2.  as individual programmer/consultant, was not aimed at me Useful. I work in a team environment, and intended to focus my comments on development teams.
7 needed to scroll some of the scripts being shown to the top of the screen so we could see over the heads of those in front Very helpful. I will definitely keep these comments in mind at my next presentation.
7 well prepared, new insite [sic] on new technology.  Really helpful Thanks.
7 lots of good information, very applicable Thank you.
7 wandered a bit. Demo could have been planned better Useful.  There is a theme here about focus and precise demos.
7 too much generalization Hmmm… My intent was to back up from the tool, and focus on how it fits into a developer’s work life.
8 good speaker and good intro to the "team" aspects of the team system Thanks, that’s what I was going for.
9 very good, detail Much appreciated
9 great speaker, good overview and content Wow, thank you.
9 excellent combination of VS team systems and GTD.  Very informative Glad you enjoyed it.

My reading of this table is that I need to make sure my demos are bulletproof, and insure visibility for the back rows when showing code.  The most important trend I see here is a need to set clear expectations.

What is fascinating to me, is that I spent a good deal of time at the beginning setting the tone of the presentation, and multiple commenters felt I was wasting time.  My intention was to clearly separate this discussion from a purely technical overview of the tool.  I will be more explicit about this point at my next presentation of this material.

If you attended my session in Atlanta, I would love to hear your comments and suggestions in the comments to this post.  I would also like to hear if anyone thinks I am misreading this data.

This was my first presentation "in the wild."  I've given two talks at the local user group, and many inside my corporate mother ship.  I'm sure that my next presentation will be better as a result of these comments.  I'm equally sure that I will take the time to offer feedback to the speakers at Tech Ed next month.


 Saturday, May 20, 2006

It's a Good Life


Nothing unique happening today. It's a kid weekend, and if you live your life according to a parenting plan, you know what I mean. For the rest of you, it means the kids are staying at my house this weekend, and I'm loving it.

We live in a terrific neighborhood with a park across the street and lots of playmates as neighbors.  I guess I'm feeling grateful that I can provide this environment for these amazing little humans.  They're doing great, and I'm doing better than I ever have in every aspect of my life.


 Thursday, May 18, 2006

Real Hosting for Cave Markings


I finally gave in and purchased hosting.  I hosted this site myself up until yesterday.  I have been intending to secure hosting for months.  This week, I sent a link for one of my posts to a Microsoft employee, and he couldn't access the site.  That was the motivation I needed.

Yesterday, I migrated everything to BoundGrid Technologies and turned off my web server.  This morning DNS appears to be sorted out.  I didn't move the DNS hosting, but just updated the A records. 

BoundGrid was recommended as being dasBlog friendly, and they certainly are.  I used their web file management tool to move my directories to their server, renamed index.html, and et voila!  Cave Markings was live.  I'll post some pictures of my previous "hosting" configuration soon.


 Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Requirements Authoring Starter Kit


Last November, I attended the Visual Studio 2005 launch event in Atlanta.  At the event, I spent some quality time discussing issues I was having with Team Foundation Server with Bindia Hallauer, a Senior Product Manager for Visual Studio Team System.  When I expressed my frustration with the limited requirements management in TFS, she counseled patience.  Bindia said that Microsoft would be releasing a starter kit very soon, that would allow me to manage requirements linked to workitems.

Yesterday, 167 days after my conversation with Ms. Hallauer, Microsoft announced the release of the Visual Studio Tools for Office 2005 Starter Kit: Requirements Authoring Starter Kit.  This looks like an interesting solution.  I like the architecture of the solution, and  I'm sure Softagon did an excellent job developing this tool. 

My problems began with step 2 of the download instructions:

Double-click the RASK.msi program file on your hard disk to start the setup program.