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I'm way late on posting this... frankly trying to slam out a bunch of work before TechEd, TechEd itself, and now trying to catch up on a bunch of work before I head for a relaxing vacation on a mountain in western North Carolina just kept me so damn busy I couldn't get this post crafted until now.

On June 7th, Tom Fuller (recent MVP Solutions Architect awardee) came and spoke to the Jacksonville Developer User Group about Software Factories and Domain Specific Languages (DSLs). These are two things that I had filed away as "ok, I kinda know what they are, but I don't have time, so I'll wait for a local presentation at a user group/code camp or a session at a conference, or some webcast, or...". I have to be honest, with what was on my plate, I almost balked on going... but I'm glad I didn't. Tom did a fantastic job explaining what Software Factories are and gave some great examples of DSLs, not just from a content perspective but also from a delivery perspective. An early curve ball was thrown on his talk when no projector showed up for our meeting, but it didn't seem to derail him a bit. Thanks and great work Tom (sorry I couldn't join ya for post-meeting dinner & drinks... too much on my plate, but I'll pick up the tab at the Tampa Code Camp)!

I also met another local Jacksonville blogger Marshall Harrison. Marshall is into Microsoft Speech Server big time... in fact, he's up for an MVP nomination! Talk about a small world, my MVP Lead also "owns" Speech Server! He also runs a community site dedicated to Speech Server: www.gotspeech.net... YACSS (Yet Another Community Server Site).

July 2006 JAXDUG Meeting

I'll be speaking at next month's JAXDUG meeting (which was moved from the traditional first Wednesday of the month to July 12th due to the proximity of the July 4th holiday). In the past, I've talked only about MCMS and blogging in general at local events. Instead of my traditional Office Server focus, I'm going to go with something that's more close to every developer's heart: productivity & efficiency tools. I'll show off some of the tools that have made me a more productive and efficient developer, as well as demonstrate some of my personal best practices with virtualization (specifically Microsoft's VirtualPC and Virtual Server).

Here's the title and abstract of my talk:

Don't be a Tool, Be a Better Developer Through Tools & Virtualization! (JAXDUG, July 12, 2006) As developers we are all looking for tools that help us with our daily jobs. Sometimes these tools perform tasks that we can't easily do, sometimes they automate steps we currently do by hand, and other times they are simply shortcuts. All in all, the goal is the same: tools should make you more productive and help you slam out more code faster with fewer defects and at a lower level of maintainability. In this talk I'll demo over 20 tools and shortcuts, most of which are free, that I've found to help me be the most efficient and productive developer I can be. I'll also talk about virtualization. Virtualization provides the ability to rapidly create new virtual machines very easily making situational & isolated development & testing much easier. However, it's more of a science on how you can best setup and configure your virtual machines to perform as well as management of these massive images. Some types of development essentially require you work in a virtual environment I'll discuss best practices and demonstrate how you can create a complete virtual environment in very little time. Further, I'll show you how you can squeeze the most performance out of your virtual machines.

Keep an eye on the JAXDUG Events blog for more info: http://cs.jaxdug.com/blogs/events/default.aspx

[Updated 6/21/2006] Fixed Marshall's blog link... getting used to a new blogging editor.

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