December – Get into AutoMapper!

For our December meeting, Nate Adams returns to share information on the great tool, Automapper! This is an expanded version of the talk he did at Iowa Code Camp in October, which was well attended and reviewed.

Topic: Automapper – There’s a Map for that

Abstract: Transforming objects to a new form (projection) is coding that we’ve all written hundreds of times. Automapper is an object to object mapping framework that provides some great conventions to make this kind of operation much more simple. This talk will show how to use Automapper in your code. We’ll cover basic mapping and projection, flattening objects, overriding default mapping, overriding naming conventions and building customer type conversions and resolvers.

Speaker: Nate has been developing business applications for over 12 years. The last 9 years have been spent working primarily with C#. In addition to being incredibly dashing and ruggedly handsome, Nate is also very, VERY lazy. Because of this, he’s always looking for ways to leverage existing code and frameworks to increase productivity in his work. Some other things of note about Nate: 1) Nate has been known to do some amazing coding that he does not remember the next morning. 2) Nate is the “Coolness Czar” at his current company and flogs coworkers for not meeting his rigid coolness standards. 3) Nate always blames the Rules Engine. 4) Nate is known in three countries for his “luscious beard” and won last year’s beard/mustache growing contest at work with his version of the “monkey tail.”

If you plan on attending our meeting on December 3rd, please RSVP.

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Book Club Starting Domain-Specific Languages

Domain-Specific LanguagesThe votes are in and our next book has been selected: Domain-Specific Languages by Marin Fowler. From the publisher:

When carefully selected and used, Domain-Specific Languages (DSLs) may simplify complex code, promote effective communication with customers, improve productivity, and unclog development bottlenecks. In Domain-Specific Languages, noted software development expert Martin Fowler first provides the information software professionals need to decide if and when to utilize DSLs. Then, where DSLs prove suitable, Fowler presents effective techniques for building them, and guides software engineers in choosing the right approaches for their applications.

This book’s techniques may be utilized with most modern object-oriented languages; the author provides numerous examples in Java and C#, as well as selected examples in Ruby. Wherever possible, chapters are organized to be self-standing, and most reference topics are presented in a familiar patterns format.

Armed with this wide-ranging book, developers will have the knowledge they need to make important decisions about DSLs—and, where appropriate, gain the significant technical and business benefits they offer.

The topics covered include:

  • How DSLs compare to frameworks and libraries, and when those alternatives are sufficient
  • Using parsers and parser generators, and parsing external DSLs
  • Understanding, comparing, and choosing DSL language constructs
  • Determining whether to use code generation, and comparing code generation strategies
  • Previewing new language workbench tools for creating DSLs

With the new book comes a new night — we will now meet on the third Thursday of every month, starting this Thursday, November 15th at 7pm. Due to the tight schedule of this announcement, at this first meeting we will gather to discuss what we (think we) know about DSLs, why we want to learn about them, and how we want to tackle the book.

Book club is held at Roasters Coffee House in Hiawatha.

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What’s New in Windows Azure – Nov 5th

For our Nov. meeting, it’s “To the Cloud!”. That’s right, Microsoft’s huge move to the cloud continues to evolve, as evidenced by all the announcements at Build last week. To help us stay up on it, Clint Edmonson will join us to explain all the latest in Windows Azure.

Topic: What’s New in Windows Azure

Abstract: Windows Azure enables you to quickly build, deploy and manage applications across a global network of Microsoft-managed datacenters. With this past summer’s new feature release, you can build applications using any operating system, language or tooling. In this session, we’ll bring you up to speed on all the amazing services available to developers in Windows Azure including web sites, cloud services, and virtual machines.

Speaker: Clint Edmonson is a Developer Evangelist for Microsoft focused on Windows Azure. His home base is St. Louis, Missouri but on any given day you can find him touring the US Central Region talking about cloud computing and cloudy architectures. Although educated as a Mechanical Engineer, he’s spent his entire 20 year career building software. His development experiences span a variety of industries including electric utilities, education, calls centers, construction, and beer brewing. He loves seeing technology applied to solve real world problems.

If you plan on attending our meeting on November 5th, please RSVP.

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October 8th Meeting

For our Oct. gathering, we’ll dive into a oft requested topic, a bit outside of our core .NET roots. Nate Buwalda and Brandon Carlson will be talking about Agile software development and how to get started with it in your organization. Join us!

Topic: Introducing Agile to Your Organization

Abstract: Software development can be a difficult and daunting thing to manage. Agile was introduced to try to help make development easier to control and manage in the face of constant change. Many of the ideas that encompass Agile are quite different from how enterprises manage projects and require both technical and cultural changes in order to be utilized effectively. This talk will introduce some of the concepts and will cover how to introduce them to an organization. Also, this talk will cover some of the hurdles that are commonly encountered in the transition to Agile methodologies and how to best mitigate them.

If you plan on attending our meeting on October 8th, please RSVP.

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September 10th Meeting

Our September meeting will touch on something that most of us deal with on a regular basis – SQL Server. Robert Davis will join us to talk about those things that will help developers work better with DBAs and by association, vise versa. See the abstract of the talk and Robert’s bio below.

Please note that the meeting is the 2nd Monday of the month due to the holiday.

Title: What DBAs Wished Developers Knew About Working with SQL Server

SQL Server is a complex platform that is often contradictory and counter-intuitive. You have probably heard your DBA say “it depends” so often that you have wondered if the DBA even knows the answers. There are some fundamental truths in SQL Server that when understood make working with SQL Server a lot easier or at least more logical.

Here are the things DBAs wished developers understood about working with SQL Server. These concepts will help you understand why good queries sometimes go bad … and why the cause it’s not always what it seems.

Robert is a Sr. Product Consultant and Chief SQL Server Evangelist for Idera Software. Previously, he was the Program Manager for the SQL Server Certified Master Program in Microsoft Learning. He was also a Sr. Production DBA at Microsoft with more than 12 years’ experience with SQL Server — author of Pro SQL Server 2008 Mirroring — writer for SQL Server Magazine — Microsoft Certified Master: SQL Server 2008 — Speaker/trainer.

If you plan on attending our meeting on September 10th, please RSVP.

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August 6th – Dynamic .NET with Keith Dahlby

After a month off in July, it will be good to get everyone back together in August and get up to speed on Dynamic .NET. We’ll also welcome Keith Dahlby back to our podium, which is always both a good time and informative. Hope to see you all there!

It’s been a few years since dynamic .NET went mainstream with the promotion of the Dynamic Language Runtime into .NET 4, but it’s still largely viewed as a fringe technology. This session aims to change that by reviewing what the DLR is, diving into how it works with C# 4 and Visual Basic 10, and looking at some interesting applications of dynamic typing in static languages. In particular we’ll discuss C# interop with IronPython and IronRuby; simplified data access through micro-ORMs like Simple.Data and Massive; and static duck typing with ImpromptuInterface.

Some info about Keith
Keith Dahlby is a new father, web developer, Git enthusiast, language geek and C# MVP from Cedar Rapids, IA. He leads the E–Commerce team at J&P Cycles and blogs about various software development topics with Los Techies. His open source efforts include posh–git, a Git environment for PowerShell, and FSRazor, F# support for the Razor view engine. Keith has spoken at community events around the Midwest and he studied Human-Computer Interaction at Iowa State University. His talks have been described as “terrific!”, “very interactive!”, and “the best I’ve seen all hour!”.

If you plan on attending our meeting on August 6th, please RSVP.

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July 2nd – Meeting Canceled

Our July meeting has been canceled. Watch your email for August!

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June 4th – Listen & Be Led: Better Usability Through User Data

We are happy to welcome Jessica Bertling as our speaker for June. Be sure to RSVP and join us to learn more about some of the creative and user side to web site creation.

As people in the development world, it’s easy to take for granted our knowledge of software and how it works. We’re comfortable in our world of drop downs, pop ups, sign up forms and check out processes. The problem is we’re building software for people who aren’t like us, and we’re starting to realize it and the impact it has on people, products and brands as a whole.

One of the best aspects of usability is that it transcends all interfaces. Whether you create web sites, software, internal applications, mobile apps, etc. the experience the user has is a direct representation of your product or brand. We’re going to discuss methods to enhance this experience by gathering behavioral data using various applications and techniques. We’ll talk about how to use this data and insight to dictate design and layout decisions, and how to guide and delight users using techniques easily applied with HTML5, CSS3 and JQuery.

Jessica Bertling is a Web Designer, Front End Developer and Usability Lover who works for J&P Cycles. When she’s not working in her office or tending to her growing orchid collection, you’ll find her on the beaches of Central Florida soaking up the sun and chasing the next wave.

If you plan on attending our meeting on June 4th, please RSVP.

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May 7th CRineta meeting cancelled

Due to the spring Iowa Code Camp on Saturday, May 5th, we will not be having a CRineta meeting for the month of May. We do encourage you to check out (and register) for the Iowa Code Camp as it will be jam packed full of great topics and very talented speakers.

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April 2nd – Repository Pattern with NHibernate in ASP.NET

We are looking forward to a visit from Mike Cole of Far Reach Technologies in Cedar Falls on April 2nd. Mike will be talking about the Repository Pattern with NHibernate in ASP.NET. Hope you can make it!

How do you do data access in your ASP.NET web applications? The number of choices can be staggering: ADO.NET, Entity Framework, Massive, Dapper, etc. etc. etc. Even when you chose a technology, what kind of architecture pattern will you use for the highest flexibility and lowest amount of friction?

In this presentation, Mike will show you a tried-and-true data access strategy. He’ll focus on using the NHibernate ORM with the Repository Pattern to create a powerful data access layer. He’ll use an Inversion of Control tool to decouple our data access from the rest of our application. He’ll show tips and tricks on how to create highly optimized database queries.

When we’re done, you should be able to set up a simple Repository Pattern on your own, and you’ll have an example ASP.NET MVC project that you can use to try to become a data access guru!

Mike Cole is a .NET Developer and aspiring software craftsman working at Far Reach Technologies in Cedar Falls. He is the president of the local CVINETA user group and is actively involved in the community. He is a diehard Hawks fan and a fairweather Vikings fan (at least he’s honest). He enjoys hunting, video games, technology, and chasing his toddler around trying to get out what he just stuck in his mouth.

If you plan on attending our meeting on April 2nd, please RSVP.

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