Agile in 160 Billion Gallons: When Agile Principles Occur During A Disaster - Drew ShefmanAre you new to Agile? While the agile concepts may sometimes be easy, the why's and how's are a little trickier to wrap your head around. The most interesting way I've found to talk about these why's and how's of Agile, is in the context of a natural disaster that Houston is very familiar with -- flooding. I've unfortunately participated in two recent rising flood water events and employing my agile skills has had a profound impact on the "success of the project".

Agile vs Release Dates - Marcus EricksonDoes being agile mean you cant have planned release dates? How do you combine creating large product releases and roadmaps with being agile and changing as the market changes? The importance of creating a strong vision for where you are going and making it flexible enough to allow success without a constant battle between Product Owners, Product Management and Development.

An overview of Knowledge Mining and data enrichments with AI on Microsoft Azure - Binu KuruvillaThis session will provided a demo and overview of how to perform knowledge mining and content enrichment through the use of artificial intelligence on Microsoft Azure, using the newly released AI Knowledge Mining accelerator by Neudesic/Microsoft.

Azure DevOps for Container based Deployments - John C EldridgeA demo rich session highlighting the options available in the Azure Dev Ops tool set for deploying container based solutions into the cloud. this will cover options to deploy solutions into all the major cloud providers, security controls, and reporting options.

Being social in the digital age - Christina LilesSocial media marketing (SMM) is the use of social media websites and social networks to market a company's products and services. Social media marketing provides companies with a way to reach new customers, engage with existing customers and promote its desired culture, mission or tone. Also known as "digital marketing" and "e-marketing," social media marketing has purpose-built data analytics tools that allow marketers to track how successful their efforts are. We will discuss how to best use SMM to build and utilize their personal platforms to grow your personal brand.

Better Estimates - Jane PrusakovaEstimates is the Holy Grail upon which projects thrive or perish. It is also high-risk, low-reward work that doesn't get us any closer to DONE, can (and often does) gets us into trouble with the business, causes a big rush that leads to overtime, cutting corners and even team death marsh. So we all want to know: can we estimate better? In this talk I want to consider what causes our estimates go terribly wrong. We will talk about what we can improve, what we may just have to accept, and discuss ideas from other industries regarding working with estimates.

Blazor - Mark ReynoldsBlazor lets you build interactive web UIs using C# instead of JavaScript. Blazor apps are composed of reusable web UI components implemented using C#, HTML, and CSS. Both client and server code is written in C#, allowing you to share code and libraries.

Developers with experience in Web Forms or MVC will find Blazer to provide an integrated full-stack solution to mobile development. Blazer is the next generation moving away from frameworks such as JavaScript, Angular, or React.

Booting into Spring with MongoDB (or Building Spring Boot Applications with MongoDB) - Dan SlineLuckily while building applications we have choices between relational and NoSQL databases. This presentation will show the transition between a traditional SQL database and a Mongo implementation. I will also discuss additional considerations when moving to MongoDB from a traditional SQL environment.

Build Embedded and IoT Solutions with Microsoft Windows IoT Core - Harold PulcherWindows IoT is a family of products that enables rich edge devices and applications that can take full advantage of Azure IoT capabilities. We'll explore the latest capabilities for Windows IoT, and then show how you can use all of your existing Windows development skills to create solutions ranging from fun hobby projects all the way through to critical Intelligent Edge solutions.

Celery Architecture Because Onions Make you Cry - Garo YeriazarianYou're so proud that your team is knocking this agile thing out of the park: work items are being sized properly, product owners are engaged, and your feedback loops are cranked up to 11. Your architecture, however, is not quite as agile as you'd like it to be. Celery architecture is the shift to true vertical slicing of your features, allowing team members to work in parallel, reduce project context switching, and focus on building a usable code package from top to bottom. In this talk, you'll see how a celery architecture web application works and how to put one together on your own for fun AND profit!

Crawling out of the mud (from monolyth to microservice) - David William LewisMoving from the big ball of mud to a horizontally scaleabble microservice doesn't have to be painful. I'll walk you through the development of a microservice based system from first principles to protocol development. We'll cover the pain points and gotchas along with the process of engineering our way out of them.

Cross Platform Mobile Development Using Flutter - Mohammad AzamFlutter allows you to create cross platform mobile applications using Dart language. In this session Mohammad Azam will introduce you to the Flutter framework and how quickly you can start building cross platform applications. This session includes live coding so sit back and enjoy!

Effective Code Reviews - Jane PrusakovaCode reviews often become the Hunger Games of software development process. Long hours of code shaming and humiliation, never-ending dogma wars, temperature-raising tension on the team. Yet, code reviews can be productive, fun, and a powerful tool to improve the developer community. Regularly reviewing other people's code is a great way to increase code ownership, develop a common code style, and share coding knowledge across the team. In this session we'll learn how to set up effective and kind code reviews. Talk about preparation and follow up that would allow us to capture the most benefits. We will also consider how to ensure that the code review is helping to build and empower the team, not destroy it.

Electronics for programmers - Harold PulcherDeveloping programs for IoT devices, embedded computers, and other "smart" devices connecting the "real" world has become a commonplace activity. Some of the concepts, language, and tools may seem entirely foreign to even the most skilled programmers/developers. I will be explaining terms, defining components, and demonstrating principles and techniques, as well as answering burning questions like:

  • Do I have enough Amps?
  • Do I need a Pull-Up/Pull-Down Resistor?
  • What in the world is an I2C bus and how do I use it?
  • How do I read a schematic?
  • What is this "Magic Smoke" that I have heard so much about?
  • Why is it bad for it to escape?!
  • Why do I need a DMM?
  • Why can't I just test live voltages with my tongue the way I do 9volt batteries?
  • Why do LEDs need a current limiting resistor?
  • Do I still need transistors in this digital age?
If these burning questions do not quite make sense to you, come to my talk! You will gain knowledge of all of these questions and more. Be sure to bring any electronics questions (burning or not), and I will get you an answer!

Functional Programming for Normal People - John Cavnar-JohnsonNot sure what the difference between an endofunctor and an endoscopy is? Don't know how to pronounce monad? Fear not, functional programming isn't really that complicated. Learn how to use the basics concepts of functional programming to build boring line of business apps. No prior functional programming experience required. No category theory. No calculus (lambda or otherwise).

Giving Feedback: How to Effectively Communicate to your Employees - Christine AssafAs 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.

Good Lawd, Am I a Fraud? - John Paul CookMany people in IT feel like they are an impostor likely to exposed as a fraud at any moment causing their house of cards to come tumbling down. Popular media refers to this as the impostor syndrome which is actually not a syndrome. It is the impostor phenomenon, first written about by PhDs Pauline R. Clance and Suzanne A. Imes in 1978. It is not something to be feared. It is something to be embraced and recognized for the great benefits it brings that are overlooked. In this presentation, you will learn not only how to cope with it but have it become a source of strength.

How Most People get Kanban Wrong - Gene Lege & Dan ReedKanban Systems are a powerful tool to manage work and workflows, and to evolve improvement in how work is managed over time. Many people utilize kanban systems as a simple visual work management system. But by fully utilizing the concepts of optimizing flow and providing a pragmatic framework for analyzing and improving delivery of knowledge work, these systems can provide much broader insight into improving service delivery capability and evolving more mature organizational behaviors.

We will look at that broader context of kanban systems and the can be leveraged far beyond visual work management.

How to break into Public Speaking - Claudio Lassala / Daniel ScheuflerDo you have an opinion? Are you passionate about that topic? You can do Public Speaking! Does that thought terrify you? Perhaps you'd thought of this before. Are you interested in speaking to your Community , but just don't know where to start? Don't worry! Getting started is easy. Come learn how to find that topic you care about, and develop your idea into a talk!

Immutable All the Way Down - Michael L PerryReact is a front-end Web framework based on immutable state. If you are used to thinking in React, then immutability and functional programming are a way of life. The spread operator is your favorite tool. Reducers are second-nature. It's immutable all the way…

Until you get to the API.

Then you find yourself in the land of updates. You read objects from the database, transform them, and write them back. The database is designed for mutability. The data transfer objects are *almost* like your beautiful Redux store, but just different enough to force you to stop and think. The mental shift is jarring.

So what do you do? Let someone else take care of the back end? No! You are a full-stack developer, by gosh! You want to take your love of immutable state all the way down-¦

To the database!

Jinaga is an application framework based on immutability. It works beautifully with React to help you create gloriously collaborative web applications. Use the same set of patterns on both sides of the client/server divide. Build the full application without ever leaving the realm of immutable, reactive, functional programming.

Implementing Microsoft Azure - Rafael de la CruzGive the audience an introduction to azure and how to implement its infrastructure services.

Interview tips and techniques that produce offers - James Del MonteHow do you stand out from the competition? In this interactive work shop you will learn how to package your skills, selling 101, answering the hard questions for various types of interviews, negotiate total compensation for new and existing positions, and moving the interview forward. These strategies and techniques have been used by executives to staff level and produces results.

Leverage the Power of Machine Learning on Windows - Ron DagdagAI and ML are not just for data scientists! They are tools that you can leverage to add intelligence to your applications. This session will show to quickly add Machine Learning to your applications through the lens of 3 ML solutions: Azure Cognitive Services, ML.NET, and Windows AI platform. Come and learn how others have unlocked potential with AI/ML and subsequently, how any developer like you can make Machine Learning a reality.

Make your Augmented Reality "Speak" with Video & 3D Characters - Robbie AdairWe will start with a intro to Augmented Reality, both the uses and how to create. Next, we will discuss assets and the power of Videos as assets. Then, using NAWMAL, we'll take a look at using 3D Characters as instructional assets in AR.

Mastering your Resume & Interview: Tips to Get Hired - Christine AssafLooking 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.

Migrating SharePoint On Premise to Online best practices - Rafael de la CruzExplain the steps and tools that we can use to migrate on Premise to Online.

MS SQL Server Security Principals and Permissions 101 - William AssafPreparing for Microsoft certification? Do 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 from an item writer's viewpoint, what rules item writers must follow, and why questions sometimes have strange phrasing. For any technical skillset pursuing certification, we'll review non-technical sample questions and walk through the process of using information at your disposal. You'll better understand how to deconstruct the problem statement. We'll leave time for Q&A with a veteran of the Microsoft certification exam writing process.

Multidimensional Cube for Transactional Data - Robert StewartIn this session, I would like to demonstrate building a multidimensional data cube using data that is specific to debit card transactions. Once we have the cube built and data loaded, we will see how to use SQL Server Reporting Services and Power BI against the data. If time permits, we will build out a data mining model using the data mining tool in SQL Server.

Organizational Behavior Voodoo! Learn how to get more effort out of your team. - Christine AssafFeel like your team has a gris-gris (curse)? Motivating employee's to care about their work and put effort into their jobs is hard. How do managers and team leads effectively guide employees in a way that makes them more engaged and productive? Learn some organizational behavior theory voodoo that can help ignite your team and maybe even yourself!

PC Hardware Update - J SawyerAs developers, we look at the software side of things but often overlook the hardware part of the equation. This session will dive into all of the latest and greatest hardware, what all those mysterious acronyms mean, and where things are going.

Running Containers in the cloud - John C EldridgeContainer based deployments are revolutionizing the way software is hosted and deploy. This session will explore the options, challenges, and opportunities to run containers in the major cloud providers: GCP, AWS, & Azure

Simple_AI_to_AI > Zero-to-AI in 60 mins for Decision Makers - Valentino Moreign, Anthony {Tex} MThis "Artifical Intelligence to Actionable Intelligence" Talk:

  1. is part of my Simple_AI_to_AI series
  2. is carved out from the commercial Hybrid Decisions® Intelligent_Computing Platform
  3. is about cutting through the noise for Decision Makers, both Business & Technical
  4. connects some tangents between AI>ML>DL, specifically TensorFlow & Machine Learning, Data Science, Lift_n_Shift, Hybrid Cloud, and the disconnects between the Buzz and Reality of tech in practice
AUDIENCE: Decision Makers

PRE-REQ: None, no technology required

TAKEAWAYS: For those who want more via community, sign up at's TensorFlow and Applied AI/ML ( ~AND~ for those who want to adopt NOW, welcome to Hybrid Decisions® Corp (

Subversive Agile - John Cavnar-JohnsonForget transformations, shifts, and innovations. It's time to get subversive. Here's the plan:

  1. A fighter pilot, a theologian, and a psychotherapist walk into a bar.
  2. ???*
  3. We radically improve the way software development work works.
* Ok, connecting 1 and 3 will take a little more than a single line, but it will fit in a single TechFest presentation.

Testing in Agile: from Afterthought to an Integral Part - Claudio LassalaTesting 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 Foundation of Agility: Feedback Loops - Todd LittleAt the core to any agile approach is the ability to manage for uncertainty. This is only possible through a process of continuous learning which requires active feedback loops. Linear approaches are doomed to fail in a world of uncertainty. Feedback incorporates new knowledge which enables learning. The key is maintaining healthy feedback loops which will enable success. An iterative approach with broken feedback loops is similarly doomed.

Not only is this the foundation of business agility, empiricism is the foundation of the scientific method, Shewart-Deming process improvement cycles, and the Lean Startup model. Healthy agile approaches incorporate multivariate closed loop process control.

In the original book on Scrum, Ken Schwaber talks about his discovery of empiricism by trying to sell waterfall solutions to Chemical Engineers at DuPont Chemical. Todd's background is as a Chemical and Petroleum engineer, so his journey was different. Empiricism was natural for him, so when people started talking about agility it fit nicely with the model he was already using.

The Good and the Bad - I'm talking about tests! - Nhan NguyenWhat is software testing?

Software testing

Testing verifies that the system meets the different requirements including, functional, performance, reliability, security, usability and so on. This verification is done to ensure that we are building the system right.

Testing validates that the system being developed is what the user needs. Simple enough, why are so many bad tests are written?

In this talk, I will show you what are the characteristics of good tests.

Toward Universal Agility - Brian KameryWhat is it that makes Scrum, Kanban, XP, or any Agile framework work in the software development environment? How can this be extended to the more general business environment? Sometimes the way to make a leap forward is to take a step back. The answer, I believe, rests upon the 4 values and 12 principles of Agile - but requires more than just replacing the word "software" with "product"

Using the OpenAPI Specification in a .NET Core Application - Jake StevensonDo you know about the OpenAPI specification language? You might have heard about it as "Swagger". In this session we'll discuss what the specification is and the value it provides. Then. we'll go through actually adding the tooling to a .NET Core application.

Working with a Recruiting Firm, Getting the Best Results - James Del MonteAs companies war for the best qualified talent continues, getting that right position has become even more of a challenge. As traditional methods become less effective and social media just makes us busier, and complicates the search process, more hiring companies are turning to staffing, recruiting and search firms for help. Learn how to work with an agency to guide you through the process with a view from a company's perspective and how that helps you in developing your career and producing positive results - quickly.

Xamarin Forms 4.0 - Jason AwbreyThe latest major release of Xamarin Forms includes a bevy of new features and controls. We'll take a look at all of the cool new stuff and how you can use it in your apps.