I remember a conversation with a client about certain coding practices.  We were discussing things like code reviews, paired programming and similar concepts.  These were concepts that we both believed in but yet at certain times in the project we scrapped these ideas.  Why?  Why else, we were behind schedule and we didn’t have time.  Thinking about it, I said to him that this was precisely the time we should NOT ignore these practices.  Why is this?  Because when you are close to a deadline and running out of time, you don’t have time for mistakes.  And paired programming is a great way to minimize mistakes.  I’m not trying to say here that Pairing is the only way to prevent issues.  The point is that we shouldn’t rush our work when we have limited time.  I know that while we were in our frantic pace to the finish we made some mistakes.  We then had to fix those mistakes before we released anyway.  If we had taken our time a bit more, we would have saved resources in the long run because it is faster to write better code than fix bugs. 

I thought of this conversation today.  I was listening to Studio 360 on NPR and heard a great quote.  The show had guest host Alec Baldwin interviewing actress Laura Linney. Laura Linney was recalling a quote by some other woman, I don’t recall her name, who was a Broadway director, if I recall correctly.  In any case, this woman used a phrase all the time that really expresses my thoughts from above.  She used to say “Ok people, we are almost out of time, we better slow down”.  Isn’t that perfect?  I’m not positive that I’m quoting it correctly, word for word, but I am close enough and the point is clear.

I hope to remember this quote and repeat it a lot.

Tomorrow I’m presenting “Introduction to LINQ” at the Microsoft Event: Data Access Firestarter.  I’m trying to be proactive and actually post my samples and slides in advance!  This way, they’ll be there if anyone wants to take a look.  I’ll be doing the same demo at Philly.Net Code Camp on April 10 too.

Click here to download the samples: Demo and Slides 

If you attended the Firestarter, I hope you enjoyed my talk.  If not, I hope to see you at Code Camp.  And if you just happened along and are interested in learning LINQ, enjoy the samples.  Email me if you have any questions.

I’m pretty excited about two upcoming events coming to our community and I have an active role in both of them. 

First, I’ll be presenting at the .Net Data Access Firestarter on March 17, 2010.  This event, hosted at the Microsoft Office in Malvern, PA covers a variety of .Net data access strategies including LINQ to SQL, WCF Data Services and OData, Entity Framework, and even Azure Data Storage.  It’s a pretty good variety of information.  I’ll be doing one of the earliest sessions on the day, my topic is “Introduction To LINQ”.  I’m excited about this because LINQ is such an important part of the .Net Framework now.  While it isn’t really a data access technology, most of the data access technologies use LINQ!  It should be a lot of fun and I am honored to be a part of the event.  Also, if you can’t make it out to the event, you can watch it online too!

Here is a link to more information.

Second is of course, Philly.Net Code Camp.  Our next Code Camp is April 10, 2010.  Once again we are back at DeVry University.  These Code Camps just continue to get better and better.  Once again, we 60 sessions in a variety of technologies.  In addition, we are broadcasting a portion of the content via Live Meeting and they’ll also be available for download later.  That alone makes this an exciting event.  This year, we’ve also invited some folks from Alex’s Lemonade Stand to come by.  At the end of the day, we’ll be presenting them with a donation to their worthwhile organization.  How are we raising the money?  This year we are offering two kinds of tickets to Code Camp.  The first is the standard, free ticket.  Anyone is welcome to come to Code Camp for free and enjoy the day (and breakfast and lunch are included as always).  But we have added a Booster ticket this year for $25.  If attendees choose to donate this small amount, they get a few benefits:

  • $5 of the each Booster ticket goes to Alex’s Lemonade Stand
  • Boosters are included in some premium raffles
  • Boosters are included in the post Code Camp party
  • Booster money will help sustain Philly.Net throughout the year.
  • Other benefits are included as well.

This is sort of an experiment.  The leadership, of which I am a member, doesn’t know how this will turn out.  It seems to me that $25 is a small price to pay for a ton of content at Code Camp, not to mention the fact that we provide breakfast and lunch.  And we hope that people won’t mind donating to our efforts, it takes a lot of money to run the organization and all of the events year round.  Plus, we are donating a portion to charity.  On the other hand, I always liked these events being free.  People donate their time so that others can come and learn for free.  It’s a great concept!  But times are changing and we need money to run our organization year round.

In any case, whether you choose to donate or attend for free, I hope to see you at Code Camp.