Posts By tmgirvin

Speaking at Devscovery Houston

DevscoveryLogoNext week is Wintellect’s Devscovery in Houston at the Microsoft offices.  It’s a 3-day conference/training session where speakers cover 3 tracks of content all about .NET development.

Chris Weldon and I are giving a lunch-time presentation to everyone on Tuesday about test-driven development (TDD) and playing the pair-programming game to show how well TDD can work. 

When: Monday, October 1st thru Wednesday October 3rd

Where: Microsoft Corporation – 2000 W Sam Houston Pkwy, S Ste 350, Houston, TX

Wintellect has a great reputation for providing quality developer training.  And they’ve been delivering this conference for years all around the US.  I’m sure the Houston event will be a great one, too! 

Hope to see you there!

Improvers at Mobile Hackathon

Amir Rajan and Venkat Palivela, two of Improving’s many brilliant developers, recently contributed to the Hackathon at the ATT Foundary this past weekend.  This looks like a lot of fun and some great experience for high school students preparing to take on the next wave of innovation challenges. 

Check out the article and video on WFAA’s website.

These two guys also contribute to open source, speak at public user groups, and do other cool stuff in the technology community.  Amir even has a personal budget app in the Windows Phone Marketplace.

Scott Guthrie coming to Dallas for Windows Azure

On July 10th, come join the Microsoft Cloud Summit 2012 at Microsoft’s Las Colinas facilities.  Scott Guthrie will be there to deliver the keynote presentation and you’ll get to see in person the demonstration of all the newly announced Infrastructure as a Service capabilities, plus the Platform as a Service features that have just been added.  The newly minted Microsoft Cloud DE (but long-time MS Developer Evangelist), Chris Koenig, will be there.  Hopefully many of Improving’s devs will be there, too, since Improving is a member of the elite group of Microsoft partners in the Azure Circle.  We might even showcase some of our customer experiences with Azure.  Unfortunately, I won’t be there since I’ll be in Toronto for WPC

Register now before it fills up.

User Group Presentation: Agile End-to-End

I recently gave a talk (twice) on end-to-end agile development with Visual Studio 2012.  I covered the base concepts of agile development and what makes it different from traditional software projects, then move on to the mechanics of scrum with a little demo of using Visual Studio 2012 tools to handle the roles of Scrum Master, Developer, and Tester.  Thanks to Shawn Weisfield for recording and posting to his awesome community support site. 

– Dallas ASP.NET User Group on Tuesday, May 22, 2012:

– Dallas C# SIG on Thursday, Jun3 7, 2012: 

If you get value from these recorded sessions (or any others on UserGroup TV), please Donate to help Shawn with his equipment costs.

Links for Today

After re-installing Windows 8 to fix some broken IE10 beta behavior, I had a Windows.old directory that wouldn’t let me delete it.  Here’s a tutorial on cleaning it up.

Remote Server Admin Tools

Where have you been all my life?!?!?  You can tell I’m not a real IT Pro because I’m just discovering the RAST package.

Here is RSAT for Windows 7 and RSAT for Windows 8 Preview.  Now I can manage Hyper-V from my desktop instead of logging into the server or even a dedicated admin console machine.

AgileDotNet Houston 2012

ADN Houston 2012We just got confirmation on the final slots for AgileDotNet Houston.  Chris Tullier, the region’s Microsoft Developer Technical Specialist and Improving alumnus will be delivering the opening keynote on agile development with Dev 11.  And, Markus Egger of EPS Software, a prolific writer, speaker, and Microsoft Regional Director, will be delivering the closing keynote.  AgileDotNet is April 20th, so if you’re in the Houston area, register now and come see the industry’s best and brightest!

Just finished reading Steve Jobs

Steve JobsSteve Jobs by Walter Isaacson
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Hugely insightful, entertaining, and inspiring. It’s not often that you get to read an authorized biography of such an accomplished person, let alone so open and honest.

View all my reviews

Links for the Day

A new SQL Server 2012 overview eBook is available for free:


Today my Outlook got stuck on top of all other windows.  It looks like a problem with a plug-in.  Here’s how to fix that:

WinRAR–Do the developers use their own product?

I’m starting a recurring topic here called “Do the developers use their own product?” because I keep seeing “features” of products that make me think that those who develop a product don’t use it.  They can’t or they would fix this crap.  Here’s a feature that’s been frustrating me for years.

The WinRAR progress bar is wrong.  It’s status doesn’t make any sense if you have a multi-segment RAR file.  It often only shows status of the first segment.  Here’s an example of a file being reconstructed from 10 segments.


See how the progress bar says it should be finished?  Well, it should show about 30% because it’s on the 5th out of 16 segments.  Why has it been like this for years and many versions?  Don’t the developers and product owners of this product use it themselves?