Topic:XAML: So easy a web developer can do it
I have delivered this as a 1-hour session as well as a 4 or 8-hour workshop.

You’re a web developer with years of experience creating amazing web applications, but you’ve just been assigned to a *gasp* WPF project! Because you’re an expert developer, you’re expected to love this new technology and be productive from day 1. You click File | New | WPF project and feel completely lost as you open the XAML files. Not only that, but you have to contend with new patterns like MVVM! Trust me, it’s not as bad as it appears and XAML is NOT as hard as you think. This session will cover the things you need to know to be successful on your first XAML-based project.

Topic:Windows Desktop Development from WinForms to the Windows Store
I have delivered this as an 8-hour workshop.

Some people say the desktop is dead, but in reality, it is alive and well. In this full-day workshop, we will discuss desktop application development on the Windows platform. Starting with an overview of existing tools, frameworks, and technologies, we’ll discuss the pros and cons of each, examining their strengths and weaknesses, and then will dive into the details of XAML-based development. Key topics will include application architecture, deployment issues, updates, caching, and performance.

Topic: XAML Styles and Templates: Make your apps shine!

You’re a developer, not a designer, but with no designer on the team, it’s your job to make your XAML-based application look good. With a little effort and an understanding of styles and templates, you can impress your users with a compelling, easy-to-use application. You’ll learn the ins and outs of styles, understand when and where to use templates and much more from a developer experienced in not only writing XAML-based apps, but in making them look good too!

Topic: Simplify your XAML Applications with Caliburn.Micro

You’re an application developer, not a plumber (or carpenter), so why are you writing your own MVVM framework? Worse yet, maybe you’re jamming all sorts of code in the code-behind! Put down the pipe wrench (or hammer) and pick up one of the best MVVM frameworks for WPF/Windows 8/WP. Caliburn.Micro makes it extremely simple to create solid, testable applications, while also reducing the amount of code you have to write.

Topic: Going Independent 101 – Lessons learned from over a decade of independence
I’ve delivered this as a 1-hour session and as a workshop (anywhere between 2-8 hours). In longer forms, I like to bring in a co-presenter or two so the audience hears other perspectives.

Lessons learned from a decade of independence Breaking free from the confines of the cubicle farm and going out on your own can be one of the most satisfying things you do for your career. It can also be one of the most terrifying. This session will answer the most common questions I’ve been asked over the years such as “How do I get started?”, “Where do I find clients?”, “How much do I charge?” and many others. Come find out if the grass really is greener on the other side.

Topic: Working Effectively as a Team of One

Whether you work in a cube or the comfort of your home office, there are many challenges facing the lone developer. Everything, from estimation to project management to coding, changes when you are a single developer instead of a team. What are some things you can do to make life easier as a lone(ly) developer? In this session, I will discuss many of the lessons learned and practices I’ve developed working almost exclusively as a single developer for the past ten years.

Topic: 3 Simple Things for Increased Productivity

You want to be more productive, but in the world of cellphones, instant messaging, social networks and cube life,
it can be tough. In this session, you’ll learn how to get more than 15 minutes of actual work done in a week by doing 3 simple things. Be more productive and have more time to do the fun things you really want to do.

Topic: Vim for Visual Studio Developers

While Visual Studio is an amazing IDE, it clearly lacks the power of the world’s best text editor! Whether as a stand-alone editor or as a plugin to your favorite IDE (Visual Studio included), learning how to use Vim will change how you work. You’ll learn how to install, configure and use this amazing text editor. You’ll understand the difference between Insert, Ex and Command modes and how to stop the incessant beeping you’re sure to encounter when you first try this amazing editor. :wq

2 Responses to Speaking

  1. Larry Obisesan

    Hello Michael,

    I have been having a mid life crisis lately, really wishing that I could get into software design. I don’t know if going for a degree in software design makes sense, plus I can’t afford it anyhow. Could you give me advice on how to get started? What language would you suggest? How would you advice me to get started on my way to become a competent programmer? Any advice is appreciated. Thank you. Larry.

    • mjeaton

      Larry, sorry for the delay in getting your comment approved. Between vacation and work, it’s been kinda crazy.

      I’m 100% self-taught. I would suggest starting with C#. Pick up “Head First C#” and “Head First Software Development”. Both are great books. Another alternative is to go the Ruby route. I’d suggest googling for Ruby koans. That’s a good starting point.

      When I started, almost 20 years ago, I started out by writing the simple “hello, world” programs, then progressed to little programs that helped make my life easier.

      Find and attend local user groups as well.

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