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Personal Branding for Software Developers

I recently gave a talk on branding for software developers at TriJS.  While I didn’t get a chance to record it, I did upload the slides for your viewing please.  The slides are readable without listening to the talk and have a few protips and specific actionable things that you can do to boost your personal brand as a developer.  It’s one of those things where you don’t really need it until you want to change jobs or you need to promote something, then you wish you did.  If you don’t know how to get started, take a look at the slides and let me know some of the things that you’ve done to increase your visibility as a software developer!

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TDD 0 to 60: How to Introduce TDD to Your Team With No Unit Testing Experience

Does your team use Test Driven Development or even unit test at all?  If you’re like a lot of teams I’ve come in contact with, that answer would be a resounding “no”.   I’m not sure what the biggest barrier is for most people, though I think it’s a combination of the following:

  • “There’s barely enough time to write the application code, let alone test code!”
  • “I’m not even sure what kind of test to write.”
  • “We already have QA guys for that!”

There are a lot of things that hold back many teams from it.  Where do you get started?  Let’s address these common questions and show how easy it is to get started with testing and TDD.

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Automating the Web with Selenium and WebDriver

I recently gave a talk on browser automation and using Selenium with WebDriver.  Not only that, I gave a demo of using Selenium, WebDriver, xUnit, and creating a fluent API to create a framework that makes tests easy to compose.  Check them out and let me know what you think!  Selenium is a fantastic way to get a ton of value from automated front-end tests.

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Building a Fluent API in TypeScript

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What I’m Doing /now

This year I’ve decided to focus on a few things to become a better developer, and do things that make more of a difference in my life, my family’s life, others’ lives, and my career, but with less work.

There is no shortage of project ideas that I could explore, places to visit, meetups to attend, or emails to reply to, and that’s kind of the problem.  

Recently, I ran across someone who had a /now page on their website.  It’s a movement started by Derek Sivers.  It’s similar to an /about page, but answers the question “What are you focusing on right now?”.  It’s the elevator pitch to what you would tell a friend that you hadn’t talked to in a year, which is really great to know, but that’s now why it’s great.

It’s great because it forces you to put down into writing your priorities.

It forces you to look at the short list of the things that matter to you, and it gives you really, really fast feedback if you’re “focusing” on way too many different things.  So, from now on, I’m going to keep a section of my site up to date on the /now page.

I’m always interested in ways to help automate my “0-60” introduction and help people better understand where I’m at, so that we can both help each other out better.  

How do you keep acquaintances and random internet passer-bys up to date on where you currently are in life? Is there something better?

Check out my /now page to see what I’m up to…right now!

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JavaScript is Crazy! Code This, Not That!

Below are the slides from my recent talk at TriJS titled “Code this, not that”, on JavaScript and replacements for some of the ways we solve problems in JavaScript, and alternatives that are better and less error-prone. It’s also got a few interesting bits of knowledge that’ll definitely surprise you, like the truth table…let’s just say JS gets a little crazy.

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Moving from iOS to Windows 10 Phone on the Lumia 950 XL

I’ve been using an iPhone with a Windows PC for about the last 4 years.  Before that it was an Android Phone and a MacBook Pro.  Admittedly, I’m an early adopter and generally like to play with new technology and see how it can improve my life.  I love Windows 10 and the beautiful balance it strikes between touch and desktop – and with Cortana, I truly feel like Windows 10 as an OS has made me more productive than ever before.  When Microsoft announced the Lumia 950 and 950 XL, it came right at the end of my Verizon contract, so I decided to make the jump.  So far, I’ve had the phone for about 2 full days, and this blog post series will cover my journey from iOS and the iPhone to Windows 10 Mobile, the pros and cons, what you’ll love and what you’ll miss.

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Announcing Ember.JS and Broccoli.JS Task Runner Extension for Visual Studio

Visual Studio has an amazing task runner that lets you integrate run task-based command-line tools into VS’s build system.  This means you can list commands and even set them to run with builds right inside Visual Studio without even touching the command line!  This is great for getting your team using these command-line tools while taking baby steps if your team isn’t comfortable with the command line yet.  The Broccoli Task Runner adds support for both Broccoli files as well as EmberCLI files, which means all your Ember.JS apps now have full support in Visual Studio!

You can download the tools in the Visual Studio Gallery or contribute to it (since it’s open source) on Github.

Broccoli task runner example
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How To Set Up an EmberJS App Inside of an ASP.NET MVC App

I love Ember. It helps me build fantastic UIs, but security isn’t super straightforward and I suck at it. I love ASP.NET MVC. It help me build secure applications and solid APIs, but for some apps I need a great responsive UI with great interaction.

Together, these two technologies can be used together to create really amazing apps (and really quickly, too). So this guide is to show you how to set them up together.

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NServiceBus: Could not enumerate all types

I’ve recently started using NServiceBus for the first time in a long time.  The initial setup was great, but once I started integrating it into a really large, complex, existing app, it took a bit of re-working.  One of the errors I ran into was a HUGE string of errors all centering around not being able to enumerate all types.  In this case, the root cause turned out to be NServiceBus scanning every single .dll of your app looking for handlers.  By default, it searches everything, and when that happens it can run into situations where it can break.  The out of the box, greenfield developer experience works great, but if you’re adding NServiceBus to an existing app, then you need to add the line below to fix the error.

Basically in an existing app where you’ve added NServiceBus code to handle/send messages, then you know exactly the assembly where it lives.  Again, by default, NServiceBus scans everything, so in NServiceBus 5.0 and above, when you create the actual Bus object, you need to specify in the configuration the assemblies you want to scan.  Generally, the code is going to be in right int he webapp/console app that you are adding it to, so in that case just add:

[syntax type=”html|php|js|css”]

var config = new BusConfiguration();

// config.AllYourOtherConfigurationGoesHere

config.AssembliesToScan(Assembly.GetExecutingAssembly());

var bus = Bus.Create(config);

[/syntax]

This tells NServiceBus to only scan the assembly that is currently in use (This will fix things 95% of the time, unless your comsumer/sender code is in a different project and pulled in).  Once this is configured, NServiceBus will not scan every single assembly in hopes of finding a handler somewhere, which helps a ton if you have really old assemblies that are fragile and busted.  🙂