Agile in 160 Billion Gallons: When Agile Principles Occur During A DisasterWhile the Agile concepts may sometimes be easy, the why's and how's are a little trickier to wrap your head around. I’ve unfortunately participated in three recent rising flood water events in Houston over the last three years. Employing my agile skills has had a profound impact on the "success of the project". I will be mapping common Agile ideas to dealing with rising water encroaching on your home. I start with an interactive exercise where we talk about flooding, with the outcome being the question: “What do you do when you know that your house might flood?” The answer to this question is the “backlog” in agile terms. From there we introduce the “prioritized backlog”, like do you save things ranked by emotional value, functional value, or financial value? Other concepts like “iterations”, “definition of done”, and “retrospectives” follow suit. Newcomers and experts alike, will leave with a palpable, even visceral, connection to some frequent Agile concepts. An additional side benefit might even be for the attendees to begin to envision Agile applications outside of software development.

All Your Media Are Belong to Us: Organizing your Media Library with PlexHow would you like to have all of your media - your movies, pictures, music and now even TV Shows - in one convenient location where you can access it anywhere, anytime and from any device (with Internet connectivity)? Well, you can and it's easy with Plex Media Server. Join J Sawyer as we go through setting up and running Plex Media Server.

Beautify your codeAutomation has become an integral part of any successful team in software industry. A team which can master the concept of doing more with less, can achieve rapid product development with consistent higher standards. Applications team in Student Affairs IT has been researching / implementing and mastering different ways to automate custom application development process to minimize human factor and maximize consistency. With growing number in custom PHP applications, frequently changing php versions and with limited resources it had become almost impossible to upgrade versions of each PHP application and test them for deprecated functions. That’s when we came across this amazing tool: PHP Code Sniffer which analysis your code directory against a set of rules / coding standards and reports violations. Result of which we were quickly able to scan our PHP 5.3 code base against PHP 5.6 coding standards to identify and fix violations and upgrade PHP version on production environment. Having fully developed CI & CD process implemented is a huge advantage for the software team. This ensures proper workflow of code within different environments, as well as helps run automated tests and CodeSniffer, to ensure all the checks are met.

Beyond Monoliths and MicroservicesWhat if the secret to building good distributed applications wasn't in the latest container management technology? What if you had to connect the dots between a 1950's era fighter pilot, the social history of late medieval Europe, double entry bookkeeping, and a vast empire with no written language? No, this isn't the world weirdest conspiracy theory. Rather, humans have been building complex systems since we became human. Distributed applications are just a specialized case of complex human technology. Come find out how to apply the hard-earned knowledge of those who have gone before us and stop reinventing the wheel.

Beyond the Daily Stand-up: An Intro to ScrumCountless companies believe they’re doing Scrum because they have 30-minute daily stand-ups (with people sitting and staring at their laptops) every morning. But Scrum is really a lot more than that. In this session, we see all of the main parts of Scrum (roles, artifacts, and events), and we also talk about some real world collaborations in teams who adopted Scrum.

Blockchain Programming in iOS Using SwiftBlockchain is a revolutionary technology, which powers the cryptocurrencies including Bitcoin, Litecoin, Ether etc. Apart from the cryptocurrencies, Blockchain can be applied to many other fields including retail, finance, medial, media etc. In this session you are going to learn the principles behind the Blockchain technology including proof of work, consensus, blocks, transactions and more. Next, we are going to implement a simple Blockchain using Swift language. Finally, we will take our Blockchain to the cloud using server side Swift framework. By the end of this session you will have a better understanding of the concepts behind Blockchain and how you can implement it using any programming language.

Bringing the SOLID back to MobileSOLID coding, although championed in enterprise architectures can still work in smaller, shorter time-framed mobile apps, and I'll demonstrate this in Swift for iOS.

Building Augmented Reality Apps Using ARKitAugmented Reality allows users to place virtual objects into the real world. Apple disrupted the AR world by introducing ARKit at WWDC 2017. In this session we are going to learn how to use ARKit to build augmented reality iOS applications. We will start by understanding the concepts and building blocks behind ARKit. Next, we will learn how to add physical forces and collisions on AR objects so they fit nicely into our real world. We will also learn how to load third party models into our AR world and interact with them. This is a very hands-on session and consist of live coding and lots of practical demos. By the end of the session you will have enough knowledge to implement your next augmented reality app using ARKit.

Building Cross Device Experiences with Project RomeToday's users want more from their apps. They want a single experience that follows them no matter what device they are on. As a developer, providing this experience can be quite daunting. Microsoft's Project Rome enables developers to extend their apps' experiences across devices and platforms. In this session we will explore how Project Rome's remote system APIs can help you drive user engagement with your apps.

Can We Talk? Finding the Single Source of Truth"This isn’t what we were really looking for." The sentence that stops development in its tracks. As software developers and technologists, this is a painful phrase to hear. You think to yourself, "How is this possible? I knew exactly what the business wanted! I wrote it down and drew a design on the dry erase board!" It often feels as if there is a gap between "the business" and the IT/Software Development team. They may be at odds, a constant battle of pointing fingers, bewilderment, and frustration. This talk will guide software development professionals on how to communicate at the same wavelength as the business to understand how to better capture business needs, requirements, and empathize with the business regarding their current pain-points and struggles. This presentation will highlight best communication practices, tools, and tips on how software developers work with the business as a single team to unfold nebulous, ambiguous requirements, and transform them into clear and concise features, user stories, and eventually testable acceptance criteria. You'll learn how to develop requirements that can serve as a single source of truth that everyone agrees upon.

Code Reading - The Most Important Skill We Never PracticeWe spend much more time reading code than writing it. We study and practice to improve our coding skills. Why don't we improve our code reading skills? Let's discuss some ways to do just that.

Code Review: I mean no harm!As part of the work I’ve been doing for many years, I get to do a lot of code review. I usually document things that come up doing a code review so I can share it with other developers in the teams. In this session, I share some of the code I’ve looked at, the reasons why the code raised yellow or red flags in my head, and possible solutions I’ve proposed.

Conquer Your Fear of Public Speaking and Become a Confident, Compelling, and Captivating Speaker.This interactive training will focus on the most common reasons behind public speaking anxiety and effective ways to overcome it. We will go over practical, actionable steps to prepare for a presentation, connect with the audience in the most authentic way, and deliver an impactful, captivating speech.

Cross Platform Mobile Development With Xamarin FormsLearn about how to get started with Xamarin Forms to develop true cross-platform apps utilizing the C# and .NET skills that you already have.

Defensive ProgrammingWill your application be rock solid and maintainable? Common principals are share by most rock solid and maintainable applications.

Deliver More! From Website to Experience ASP.NET and ASP.NET CoreIn this session you will learn what it takes to turn your website into a first class User Experience. Provide your web site owners the ability to manage their content and even personalize it in ways that you could have never imagined using ASP.NET or ASP.NET Core. You will learn: How to Deliver a Personalized User Experience, learn how to build key components of enterprise experience and content management systems into your own ASP.NET and ASP.NET Core Web Applications

Demystifying the Whiteboard InterviewWhite-boarding is often cited as the most difficult part of an interview. The Industry discusses this practice constantly. But with a change in perspective this part of the interview can be a synch. This talk will introduce a set of tools, and a mindset which will make your future white-boarding sessions less stressful.
Main take-aways:

  1. White-boarding is an exercise in Visual Communication.
  2. You can learn tools/idioms for visual communication, just like any other language.
  3. Do not panic. Simply explain your thoughts.
This talk will include a live white-boarding demonstration.

Dimensions and Facts - How to think about themWe will take a look at a real life example of transactional data and how to determine with the dimension and facts should be for a strict star schema data warehouse/data mart. The example and end results will be available for download from the Techfest Houston site? after the session.

Elegant SwiftYou're not just coding, you're writing and you should be telling a story.

Enhancing UWP Experiences with Fluent DesignCreating apps that user's love to engage with goes beyond building an app that works well. The app must be intuitive and enjoyable to use as well. To enable app creators to provide these types of experiences for their users, Microsoft developed the Fluent Design system. In this session we will look at fluent design and how to implement it in UWP apps. Whether building consumer or line of business UWP apps, this session is a must see.

Ethics in Software DevelopmentSoftware has a lot of power to influence people’s lives and to encourage social change. With great power comes great responsibility. It is up to individuals involved in building software to decide what is right, ethical and moral, and these are not easy decisions. This presentation considers the Code of Conduct adopted by Association for Computing Machinery, and of raises a number of ethical questions related to the fields of IT and software development. We will discuss real-world cases of software producers facing ethical dilemmas, and how these dilemmas can be approached.

Get that Data! Custom Connectors in Power BIThe data is out there, but if you can't easily get to it, you -- and your clients or colleagues -- won't use it. Custom Connectors allow you to get data from disparate and currently unsupported sources. They allow for a branded experience to the data that your colleagues use most, without troubling them with creating queries. We will look at the steps needed to create your own custom connector, from setting up a development environment and planning; continuing to implementing and debugging; and finally deploying it company-wide.

Git for NORMAL DevelopersAre you a developer who recently started using Git in VSTS? Maybe you've been using it for a while, but your team needs some help with branching and merging? Or maybe you just want to see some of the tools out there that make Git easier to use? This is the class for you! We're going to focus on what most of us do 75% of the time in Git, and how to use that to make your life easier.

Giving Feedback: How to Effectively Communicate to your EmployeesAs a manager or team leader giving effective feedback is vital to the success of projects. In this session we will discuss soft skills and best practices to give feedback, performance improvement, and even disciplinary actions. Learn how to handle confrontation tactfully.

Hitchhiker's Guide to Chrome DevToolsChrome DevTools is an amazing tool for the web developer. In this session, we'll walk through the Chrome DevTools and learn to inspect your webpage, debug errors, and improve your development skills. Don't panic! After this session, you, too, will be a frood who really knows where his towel is.

HyperV for DevelopersWhen you think of virtualization, you usually think of the infrastructure team. But virtualization isn't just about servers and server farms ... it's also tremendously useful for developers as well. This session will take a look at using HyperV in Windows10 and how developers can use this to create their own private test environment.

Integrating social identities into your appThe session will walk through how to integrate Azure AD B2C into your applications.

Interview Tips for Hiring ManagersIf you are a Manager needing some interviewing education - this is your course! This session focuses on basic interviewing guidelines, including: preliminary interviews, types of testing, secondary or follow-up interviews, while keeping in mind EEO guidelines and best practices. Learn tips and tricks of the trade from an HR guru who is "in the trenches."

Introducing SignalR for the Two-Way WebWouldn't it be nice if we could have full RPC-type functionality in our web apps, allowing us to call javascript code that's running on a page without require a round trip to the server? Or to feed frequently updated data to clients without polling? How about pushing status of long-running operations down to the client? Oh ... yeah ... and we'd like to do all of this across multiple browsers and clients in a way that scales and works through firewalls. Sound impossible? It's not. Sound difficult? With SignalR, it's not. In this presentation, we'll take a run around SignalR and how this can be incorporated into a wide variety of applications, from web apps to services to Windows client apps, all using a single API that make real-time push notifications simple and straightforward.

Leadership by examples from Star TrekToday's engineers and science-types grew up with the stories from the Star Trek franchise. Because of their familiarity, these stories are an effective source of examples to illustrate principles. The interactions of the characters in the Star Trek franchise provide examples of both good and bad leadership. By exploring these stories, leaders can learn how to get the best from their people by providing their team members with what they need to prosper.

Let the right one in: Securing files on AWS S3If files are the currency of information, then AWS S3 is like the Federal Reserve i.e. the biggest storehouse of files on earth. In this technical talk, you’ll learn practical tips to secure files on S3, so only the right parties are allowed access. The talk will be full of examples and live demonstration so the audience can get a feel for common mistakes in securing files on S3 and how to do it right.

Lets build a PWA showing real time streaming dataWe are going to build a application to display real time sensor data that can be displayed on any device that you own using Capacitor

Level Up Your Developer TestingWe discuss developer-level testing techniques that go beyond the basic TDD-style unit testing scenarios, including: contract tests, property-based testing, mutation testing, and golden master testing. Lots of code examples in C#, Java, Scala, Python, Ruby.

Life Cycle of Data - IoTThe IoT data journey begins at hardware sensors and passes a dozen stack of hardwires and software before it ends up at dashboard on any devices. Then it continues to big-data storage and IA and future predictions. The demo includes electronics, Intel Gateway hardware and MS cloud software. Details at Link 1: Link 2 (Dashboard):

Making AR for the web a realityAR is still cutting edge technology, and while there’s no standard for AR today, we can start experimenting with using web tools to create AR-enhanced web experiences. AR.js is an efficient Augmented Reality solution on the Web. It runs 100% in web browsers, this means no app to install!

Mastering your Resume & Interview: Tips to Get HiredLooking for a job? Learn trade secrets from a Recruiter! Resume blunders and interview tips, this session will focus on ten most important things you can do to get hired.

Non- Functional Requirements – So What?While building applications, non-functional requirements can sometimes be forgotten about until the end of development, or worse when your application is already in production and an issue occurs that could've been addressed earlier. This presentation will go over some non-functional considerations you should think about to help build better applications.

Physical Web, Voice Recognition and Web BluetoothWeb bluetooth enables devices to offer advanced interactions w/o connection to the internet. This session walk us through Javascript Annyang voice recognition library and Mobile Web Bluetooth, use Chrome browser to communicate to bluetooth device

Razor Pages versus .NET Core MVCWhat's the difference? Why is Razor Pages now the new default when creating a new .NET Core Web Application? In this session you will learn all the intricate details and lessons learned I learned the hard way in migrating a .NET Core MVC application to Razor Pages. This session will be valuable to .NET developers of all skill levels, as we will cover the complete life cycle.

React Native, sure why not?Getting to know this quirky but promising framework for making native (not webpages in a view) cross-platform mobile applications.

REFRESH YOUR LEGACYBreath new life into your legacy applications by implementing Continuous Integration and Continuous Delivery using Visual Studio Team System or Amazon Web Services (with Team City and Octopus). Gain confidence in your delivery capabilities while at the same time enabling you to leverage the cloud provider of your choice for optimum scalability.

Retrospective on the AS/400: DEVOPS Made SimpleAn examiination of how IBM's AS/400 provided a completely integrated application development between 1980 and 2000, why it succeeded, why it fell from grace, and lessons that can be applied in the era of cloud based application development.

She ArchitectArchitects have an immense amount of influence not only in application development but also the professional development of software engineers transitioning to technical leaders. An architect is a crucial leadership position which holds its own unique complications making it hard for women to break in to. This panel will introduce women architects and share their experiences with the audience.

Test Driven Development for Those Who Hate TDDNobody is more self-righteous than a reformed alcoholic. After 15 years of ignoring TDD, I decided to rise to the challenge of creating a Monopoly simulator in JavaScript, just to see why Devlin Miles was so gungho about TDD at last year's TechFest. Learn why the "A ha!" moment happened for an old programmer near the end of his career.

Testing in Agile: from Afterthought to an Integral PartTesting cannot be an afterthought; it has to be an integral part of software development. Is it something that QA teams do? Or is it part of a developer’s duties? Do business analysts play any role on it? What is test automation? Unit test, Integration test, Test-Driven Development, Behavior-Driven Development… what do those mean?! This session addresses all of those questions, as we talk through the importance of tests, the collaboration among team members, the techniques, and practices around different kinds of automated testing.

The Independent Developer - Lessons Learned from 3+ Years of Self EmploymentIn October 2013 I left my full time job with benefits and a regular paycheck. Over three years later, I’ve managed to keep my family fed and a roof over their heads. Here’s what I’ve learned along the way about the plusses (many) and minuses (a few) and challenges (many) of life as an independent software developer.

The Software Does Not Work? Rewrite it!Outdated technology? Unmaintainable codebase? Politics? Those are just some of the reasons that cause software rewrites. Whether a rewrite is really what is needed or not, chances are we all work in such projects. Do we rewrite the entire software? Can we rewrite just parts of it? Where do we start? Can we automate the process? In the last 15 years, I've worked in a variety of such projects. I'd like to share the most important lessons I've learned in these projects. In this talk, I'll share the different types of rewrites and techniques, what I learned from it, and how it changed my way of approaching both software rewrites as well as greenfield projects.

Think Like a Certification ExamDo you want insight into how certification exams are written, how questions are designed, and how to follow a logical process of elimination? We'll go through the process of item creation, what rules writers must follow, and together review some sample questions together. We'll leave time for Q&A with a veteran of the Microsoft certification exam writing process.

Twilight TimeZone: Handling Time in Your App ArchitectureJoin two experts in their fields of SQL and .NET architecture for an informative and thought-provoking talk about handling timezones in your application architecture. You might walk away unsettled by your past date/time storage choices, but you'll be more confident than ever that dealing with Time Zones is disconcerting, rarely straightforward, and often complicated! We'll deep dive into the storage and serialization of date/time information from the worlds of both SQL Server and web/mobile application development, in a joint presentation by Sparkhound principal consultants William Assaf and Steve Schaneville.

Utilizing Immigrant STEM Talent to InnovateHave you ever been in a cab and wondered why your cab driver has a STEM degree but is working as a taxi driver? We were wondering the same thing so that's why we have started a company which focuses on connecting work-authorized, English-speaking, talented tech immigrant & refugee talent to fulfilling jobs. Learn how to tap into immigrant & refugee talent, decrease employee turnover, gain tax credits (Work Opportunity Tax Credit of up to $2,400 to be used towards federal tax liability) & do well by doing good!

What and why: Software ArchitectureSoftware architecture often comes in complicated charts and indecipherable UML drawings, involves cryptically named patterns, and requires both developers and users jump through multiple hoops to achieve desired results. Agile tries to get rid of software architecture thoughtfulness altogether, by advocating “emerging architecture” on the fly, in the course of writing code. This talk considers the goals of software architecture, the thought patterns used to arrive to architectural decisions, and ways to test architectural decisions. We will also look at the architectural pattern library that can make the work of an architect easier, more testable, and less mess-prone.

What's in a Name?It has often been said that there are only two hard problems in computer science: cache invalidation, naming things, and off-by-one errors. This presentation addresses the problem in the middle … For every minute you spend writing code in your career, you will spend at least 10 minutes reading somebody else’s code. Names matter. Spending time on naming things well is time well spent. Any developer, no matter what their skill and experience level, can become a better developer by learning how to be more effective at naming. Naming is more of a craft than a science, and yet there are a solid set of principles you can use to name things better. Come find out why we, as a profession, are generally bad at naming, how naming in software development has evolved over the years, and learn specific techniques to become a better namer.

What's New In SQL Server 2017From the lead author of SQL Server 2017 Administration Inside Out by Microsoft Press, come learn in technical detail what’s new for developers, admins, and users of Microsoft SQL Server 2017, including labs and demos. We'll discuss the new features for the platform, high availability, maintenance, and TSQL syntax.

Why Do We Want C#7?Just when you though it couldn't get any better, C# v7 bring 10 key new features to Visual Studio 2017. Each of these will be demonstrated in a practical example.