D'Arcy from Winnipeg
Solution Architecture, Business & Entrepreneurship, Microsoft, and Adoption

Prairie Developer Conference: Post Conference Workshop with Donald Belcham!

Friday, February 5, 2010 12:37 PM

Note: Re-posted from the Prairie Developer Conference blog.

The Prairie Developer Conference is pleased to announce that Microsoft MVP, author, and consultant Donald Belchamwill be leading a one day workshop on Friday, June 4th titled Making the Most of Your Brownfield  Application Development! Pricing will be announced shortly, as will pricing for the conference in general and registration will be opening next week! Below is the abstract for the workshop.

Making the most of Brownfield Application Development

It is a rare developer, development team, or IT department that doesn’t have an application code base actively being worked on.  Some are new initiatives that are being developed but have yet to be released.  Others, which have made it to production, are firmly entrenched in maintenance mode.  Still other projects are operating in production while subsequent releases are actively being developed.  All of these projects have one thing in common: they’re brownfield.

Each and every project that has an active codebase is limited by the technical, architectural, design and environmental decisions that have been made up to this point.  These restrictive decisions often begin to impede the ability for the project to progress with confidence, velocity and high quality.  Signs that you’re in this situation include, but aren’t limited to:

1. Regression defects consistently being created when adding or modifying features

2. Large ripples of change required throughout the codebase when making seemingly simple changes

3. The team and client accept defects as a required component of developing software

4. Developers, management, analysts and clients physically and verbally express fear when change is discussed

5. Releasing the application to testing and/or production environments is wrought with problems

You have almost certainly experienced some, if not all, of these attributes in a project. They are commonplace in the development industry.  The purpose of this one day seminar is to help you remove them from your projects.

The first half of the seminar will cover ecosystem concepts, a topic often ignored or relegated to an afterthought in many discussions. The ecosystem is the environment in which your code resides. The discussions will focus on the tools, practices and cultures that can be used to reduce, and even eliminate, some of the major issues that development teams are faced with.  This will include looking at the capabilities of your version control system, your testing strategy, automated build tools, and how to manage defects. We’ll show how increasing the speed of feedback can decrease defects and increase development velocity and we’ll talk about creating a culture of quality for the whole project.

The afternoon component of the seminar will focus on the technical aspect of working in your existing code base. Topics will include well-structured layering, abstraction where and when necessary, the dangers of highly coupled code and refactoring techniques that you can use on your projects to help improve them.

Brownfield applications are the most common scenario that any developer will encounter in his or her career.  The focus of this seminar is to better equip developers, and other team members, to deal with the issues they will see.

About Donald Belcham

Donald Belcham is a senior software developer, independent contractor, and agile development expert who is a strong supporter of fundamental OO patterns and practices. He is co-author of the book, “Brownfield Application Development in .NET” (Manning Press, 2008), and actively shares his expertise with other technical professionals at user groups, code camps and conferences held throughout the world. Past lectures have covered topics that encompass development practices, quality team leadership, and the intricacies of new and emerging technologies.

Incorporated into each lecture, blog entry and publication is Donald’s strong belief that the industry requires developers who are true craftsman; individuals who demonstrate a superior level of quality and are dedicated to producing applicable solutions that will consistently meet the unique needs and objectives of their clients. These types of craftsman show progressive advancement of skill and ability - similar to that which would be seen in an Apprentice/Journeyman/Master model.

In addition to acting as a mentor and keynote speaker, Donald has led a wide range of highly successful projects and developed top-performing teams. He is currently working on a set of .NET 3.5 services that will deliver business functionality to one of the largest public portals in Canada. For the past three consecutive years (2007, 2008, and 2009), Donald has held the prestigious title of Microsoft MVP in C# for his vast technical skill, leadership and community contribution; one of approximately 15 programmers in Canada, and one of approximately 300 in the world to achieve this distinction.

Donald is a founding member and the current president of the Edmonton .NET User Group.


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