webcasts

AlignIT Webcast Series in March and April

by Joey deVilla on February 26, 2010

Microsoft TechNet Align IT 2010 Tour -- Consolidation. Exploration. Optimization.

Dave Remmer and Adam Gallant, two of my colleagues from Microsoft Canada’s Developer and Platform Evangelism team, are hosting a series of webcasts aimed at enterprise application developers, architects and managers on Tuesdays from March 23 through April 27th.

Here’s what the series is all about:

With IT being an increasingly vital strategic asset and business enabler in organizations today, we all need to strive for excellence in execution in the IT projects we’re leading. There are a number of different ways to help create this excellence; so they’ve put together six, one-hour webcasts to give you our perspective on how to help make it happen. Starting with the ALM [that’s short for Application Lifecycle Management – Joey]  foundation of successful project delivery, they’ll look at architectural patterns for the web, for building secure solutions, for leveraging the cloud and client devices, for IT governance and operations, and finish up with real life stories from experts who’ve done it before. At the end of the series, they hope that you will gain new insights how to help increase business value and agility through IT by having a better understanding of how to leverage the Microsoft platform and toolset.

Here are the individual webcast episodes and their dates and times. To register for a webcast (and yes, registration is free), click on its title:

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Ignite Your CodingIt all starts next week on Thursday, March 4th: Ignite Your Coding, the live webcast where we interview some of the biggest brains in the industry, and then hand over the interview to you!

In Ignite Your Coding, my fellow Developer Evangelist John Bristowe and I will talk to developers who’ve made their mark on the industry and ask them how they got started, what sorts of projects they’re working on, what interests them, where they see the industry heading, all with an eye towards helping you make sense of the changes happening in the world of software development. We’ll ask the questions for the first part, but then it’ll be your turn to ask them. The webcast will take place on Thursdays in March and April, and it won’t cost you a thing to catch them.

Our First Guest: Andy Hunt

Andy HuntAre you into agile programming? Andy Hunt co-authored the Manifesto. Does The Pragmatic Programmer occupy a special place on your bookshelf? (And really, it should.) Andy co-wrote that too. Have you ever coded using Ruby on Rails or ASP.NET MVC? Chances are you picked up some knowledge, either directly or indirectly, from a book published by Andy’s book publishing company, The Pragmatic Bookshelf.

We’re quite fortunate to have Andy as our first guest, and we’re looking forward to the interview! Our live webcast with Andy will take place on Thursday, March 4th at 2:00 p.m. Eastern (11:00 a.m. Pacific) and run for an hour. To catch the webcast, all you have to do is register – it’s free!

Pragmatic Thinking and Learning

There are all sorts of books out there that talk about how to get the most of your programming tools, from IDEs to utilities to languages to frameworks to methodologies. But of all these tools, the most important tool is the one that’s largely ignored: your brain. Enter Andy’s latest book, Pragmatic Thinking and Learning, which I declared “My Favourite Geek Book of 2008”. There are many books and tools for refactoring your code; this one’s about refactoring your brain. First, it presents the brain in a way that a programmer can grasp:

Diagram showing a "Dual core" model of the brain

…and then talks about the many ways you can refactor it:

  • Cover of "Pragmatic Thinking and Learning"Taking advantage of R-mode (often called the “right brain” in pop psychology), which often gets ignored because of its non-linear, non-linguistic, unpredictable and even “artsy” nature. It’s actually an amazing problem-solver, so much that PT&L suggests that you should “lead with R-mode and follow with L-mode”, or more colloquially, “write drunk; revise sober”.
  • Working around the bugs in your brain. And there are many, from the primitive “lizard brain” that likes to override our higher cognitive functions to cognitive biases to generational affinity.
  • Learning deliberately: what learning is and isn’t, how to plan to learn, figuring out what your learning style is and how to best take advantage of it, and harnessing mind maps, documentation and teaching in order to learn.
  • Gaining experience, which includes understanding the importance of fun and how pressure kills cognition, learning the “inner game” and why your mantra shouldn’t be “learn to build”, but “build to learn”.
  • Managing focus, a very important topic since there are so many things vying for it, from office interruptions to the siren song of the internet, with email, IM, Twitter, Digg, Reddit and LOLcats. One of my favourite bits in this section was some research whose results indicated that constantly checking your email lowers your effective IQ more than smoking a joint.

Get the book, then meet the author! Register for Andy’s Ignite Your Coding session!

This article also appears in Canadian Developer Connection.

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oscon_language_roundtable

O’Reilly’s conference on Open Source, OSCON, takes place this week in San Jose, California. One of the events taking place at OSCON is the Open Source Language Roundtable, the abstract for which appears below:

We all have our favorite languages in our tool-belt, but is there a ‘best’ overall language? If anyone can hash that out, it will be the members of this roundtable discussion, some of the stars of the open source language space. This wide-ranging session, hosted and moderated by the O’Reilly Media editorial staff, and broadcast live on the web, will try to identify the best and worst features of each language, and which are best for various types of application development.

The roundtable will me moderated by O’Reilly Media’s James Turner and will cover the following languages, listed below with the corresponding panelist:

  • Java: Rod Johnson (SpringSource)
  • Perl: Jim Brandt (Perl Foundation)
  • PHP: Laura Thomason (Mozilla)
  • Python: Alex Martelli (Google)
  • Ruby: Brian Ford (Engine Yard)

You can catch this roundtable even if you’re not going to be at OSCON because O’Reilly is webcasting the event. It takes place this Wednesday, July 22nd at 10pm EDT (7 pm Pacific) and is expected to run 90 minutes. It costs nothing to catch the webcast and you’ll even be able to ask the panelists questions via chat, but you’ll need to register.

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Ignite Your Career: Women in IT Panel Discussion

by Joey deVilla on April 6, 2009

This article originally appeared in Canadian Developer Connection.

This Week’s Webcast: Women in IT

Ignite Your CareerAnd at long last, we’ve arrived at the sixth of the six-episode Ignite Your Career webcast series. This webcast, which takes place this Tuesday, April 7th at 12:00 noon Eastern, has the title Women in IT Panel Discussion.

Here’s the abstract:

Come and join your peers and a panel of leaders from across the country to discuss issues relating to women in the Canadian ICT industry. This panel discussion will help answer your questions and provide you with insight on the challenges and opportunities faced by women in the ICT industry.

The panelists are:

elisabeth_vanderveldt Elisabeth Vanderveldt
Elisabeth is co-founder of multi-award winning Conamex International, a Microsoft Gold Certified Excellence partner. An international board member of IAMCP Elisabeth is also the global chair Community and Corporate Citizenship and is the founder of the international Women in Leadership and Technology group.

betty_johnson Betty Johnson
Betty has been working in technical support for 10 years and is a Microsoft certified professional. She works at Métis Nation of Alberta as their Desktop Support Analyst with responsibilities in managing networks and servers. She started off as a nutritionist but proved a point that women in any age group can make a great impact in IT.

caterina_sanders Caterina Sanders
As Director, User Experience, Caterina acts on behalf of end-users to make certain that Habañero solutions exceed their needs and expectations. Drawing on her wide variety of business and technical experience, Caterina manages the user experience team, provides UE leadership for all projects, and conducts project business analysis and project management.

shann_mcgrail Shann McGrail
Shann McGrail is a Business Director reporting to the President of Microsoft Canada. In this role, she is responsible for readiness, communication and business execution for the Canadian subsidiary. Shann has worked in the technology industry for the past 18 years.

As with all the other Ignite Your Career webcasts, this one isn’t tied to any particular vendor or technology, Yes, this webcast is presented by Microsoft and CIPS, but whether you never touch Microsoft tech or tools or use the entire Microsoft stack, we think you’ll find a lot of useful career-building information in Ignite Your Career.

Don’t forget: it costs nothing to catch an Ignite Your Career webcast. It’s free of charge; all you have to do is register to listen to the Women in IT Panel Discussion with your Windows Live ID (which you can also get for free).

Listen to Previous Ignite Your Career Webcasts on Demand

If you missed any of our earlier Ignite Your Career webcasts or want to hear any of them again, you’re in luck. We’ve got them archived, and you can listen to them – free of charge, of course – with your Windows Live ID. The previous webcasts are:

  • Industry Insights and Trends
    The nature of technology is one of continual change; a fact of life for professionals in the ICT industry. As a result, you need to be on top of what is happening in the industry in order to position yourself and your organization to benefit from these trends. This panel discussion will arm you with the information you need from experts in the ICT industry in order to stay on top of your game.
    Speakers: Joel Semeniuk, Jeff Kempiners, Jay Payette and Paul Swinwood.
  • Discovering Your Trusted Resources
    Building a set of information sources and connecting with the community at-large are critical to your success in the ICT industry. This session brings successful community, technology, and information leaders together to share their experiences in discovering these resources. Our experts will help you learn how to identify credible sources and find the right tools, links and techniques to keep you up to date in a world of constant change.
    Speakers: Michael J. Sikorsky, Richard Campbell, and John Bristowe.
  • How to Establish and Maintain a Healthy Work/Life Balance
    With mobile technologies and our always-on culture, it’s imperative to establish and maintain a balance between work and life. If your only time to manage change in your environment is after hours, how can you maintain a healthy balance without burning out? How do you manage change so that you can develop your career and spend time with loved ones? This panel discussion will connect you to individuals who strive to establish and maintain this balance.
    Speakers: Mack Male, Cameron McKay, Paul Gossen, Mark Blevis.
  • How to Become a Great Leader
    Being a great manager does not by default also mean you are a great leader. For some people, being a leader comes intuitively, for others it is something that requires both self awareness and leading by example. This session will focus on what a panel of Managers/Leaders has done in order to further their development of leader qualities. Topics in this area are wide ranging and based on webcast participation will include such as goal setting, importance of goal alignment, motivation techniques, nurturing trust, developing listening skills and coaching team members. Be sure to listen in and join the conversation with this panel of experts for what should be a very interesting wrap up to the Manager series.
    Speakers: Stuart Crawford, Dana Epp, Barry Gervin, Greg Lane.
  • Building, Managing and Strengthening Your Team
    One measure of success for a Manager is the result your team is capable of achieving. How to build a productive team while working with the resources at your disposal can be a challenge at times. Amongst other things, you need to overcome previous history, identify team dynamics and foster a productive work environment. This session will bring together real world managers who have found the right balance for their teams and share their insight on what worked for them. Listen in and ask them questions about what they have done to create a healthy and productive team environment.
    Speakers: Kevin Brice, Steven “Doc” List, Vicki Mains, Peter John McFarlane, Shaun Walker.

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Inspirational poster: "Captain James T. Kirk: I'm sorry, I can't hear you over the sound of how awesome I am."

This Week’s Webcast

How to Become a Great Leader is the topic of this week’s Ignite Your Career, Microsoft Canada’s and CIPS’ webcast series aimed at helping you further develop your career with opinions and advice from experts in Canada’s tech industry. Here’s the abstract for the webcast:

Being a great manager does not by default also mean you are a great leader. For some people, being a leader comes intuitively, for others it is something that requires both self awareness and leading by example. This session will focus on what a panel of Managers/Leaders has done in order to further their development of leader qualities. Topics in this area are wide ranging and based on webcast participation will include such as goal setting, importance of goal alignment, motivation techniques, nurturing trust, developing listening skills and coaching team members. Be sure to listen in and join the conversation with this panel of experts for what should be a very interesting wrap up to the Manager series.

The panelists for this webcast are:

stuart_crawford Stuart Crawford shares his experiences and serves the Calgary Small Business community in his role as the Vice President of Business Development for Bulletproof InfoTech, a leading Microsoft Small Business Partner with offices in Red Deer and Calgary.

barry_gervin Barry Gervin is a founding Partner of ObjectSharp. As a Principal Consultant, Barry provides technical leadership to his valued clients, staff, and the development community. Barry currently serves as a Microsoft Regional Director in Southern Ontario and has received the Microsoft MVP Award for Solutions Architecture for the past 3 years.

dana_epp Dana Epp researches software security and focuses on strong authentication and identity assurance solutions at Scorpion Software Corp. As a computer security software architect, Dana has spent the last 15 years focusing on software development with a particular emphasis on security engineering.

greg_lane Greg Lane is the current Chair of the Canadian Council of Information Technology Professionals (CCITP) of the Canadian Information Processing Society (CIPS). Greg is currently employed with Avanade as the Director Business Development Public Service for Canada.

The webcast will take place this Tuesday, March 24th, from 12:00 noon (Eastern) to 1:00 p.m.. Ignite Your Career webcasts are free of charge – all you have to do is register to listen using your Windows Live ID (which is also free).

Ignite Your Career isn’t about any specific technology or vendor; it’s about maximizing your potential at work and helping you come up with a career plan. No matter what platform or tools you work with, we’re sure that you’ll find this webcast series informative and helpful.

Previous Webcasts

All Ignite Your Career webcasts are recorded and archived so you can listen to them on demand. As with the live webcasts, there’s no charge to listen to them; you just have to register with a Windows Live ID.

The webcasts we’ve had so far in this series are:

  • Industry Insights and Trends
    The nature of technology is one of continual change; a fact of life for professionals in the ICT industry. As a result, you need to be on top of what is happening in the industry in order to position yourself and your organization to benefit from these trends. This panel discussion will arm you with the information you need from experts in the ICT industry in order to stay on top of your game.
    Speakers: Joel Semeniuk, Jeff Kempiners, Jay Payette and Paul Swinwood.
  • Discovering Your Trusted Resources
    Building a set of information sources and connecting with the community at-large are critical to your success in the ICT industry. This session brings successful community, technology, and information leaders together to share their experiences in discovering these resources. Our experts will help you learn how to identify credible sources and find the right tools, links and techniques to keep you up to date in a world of constant change.
    Speakers: Michael J. Sikorsky, Richard Campbell, and John Bristowe.
  • How to Establish and Maintain a Healthy Work/Life Balance
    With mobile technologies and our always-on culture, it’s imperative to establish and maintain a balance between work and life. If your only time to manage change in your environment is after hours, how can you maintain a healthy balance without burning out? How do you manage change so that you can develop your career and spend time with loved ones? This panel discussion will connect you to individuals who strive to establish and maintain this balance.
    Speakers: Mack Male, Cameron McKay, Paul Gossen, Mark Blevis

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This article originally appeared in Canadian Developer Connection.

A balancing rock in the desert

This Week’s Topic

This week’s topic for Ignite Your Career – our webcast series featuring experts from the Canadian tech industry and aimed at supporting your career development – is one that’s on a lot of people’s minds: How to Establish and Maintain a Healthy Work/Life Balance. Here’s the abstract:

With mobile technologies and our always-on culture, it’s imperative to establish and maintain a balance between work and life. If your only time to manage change in your environment is after hours, how can you maintain a healthy balance without burning out? How do you manage change so that you can develop your career and spend time with loved ones? This panel discussion will connect you to individuals who strive to establish and maintain this balance.

This webcast’s panelists are:

Mack Male

Mack Male
Mack is a software developer, entrepreneur, and social media guy. During the day he works for Questionmark Computing. Most of the rest of the time, he’s keeping up-to-date on the latest trends and technologies, and loves sharing what he learns with others. Mack is particularly passionate about his hometown, Edmonton, and does his best to expose everything it has to offer.

Cameron McKay

Cameron McKay
Cameron works for McKesson Canada, one of the largest Healthcare companies in the world as the Team Leader of the Infrastructure and Support Services Group in Toronto. An expert in Virtualization and Green IT, Cameron enjoys sharing his knowledge with the IT community through speaking engagements, blogs, and webcasts.

Paul Gossen

Paul Gossen
After 30 years as a successful serial entrepreneur and business leadership innovator Paul Gossen is well known for his credibility and high impact results in corporate coaching, team productivity and organizational transformation

 

Mark Blevis

Mark Blevis
Mark Blevis is an energetic public speaker, social media strategist, community leader, independent media producer and self-proclaimed Content Paleontologist. He is considered a thought-leader on social media and its potential and is regularly interviewed on radio and television.

Catching This Webcast

This webcast will first be broadcast this Tuesday, March 17th at 12:00 p.m. Eastern time (9:00 a.m. Pacific) and will be an hour long. It costs nothing to catch an Ignite Your Career webcast – all you have to do is register online with your Windows Live ID (which is also free).

Ignite Your Career is about maximizing your potential at work and helping you come up with a career plan in these difficult economic times. It’s not tied to any technology or vendor, so no matter what platform or tools you work with, we’re sure that you’ll find this webcast series informative and helpful.

Previous Ignite Your Career Webcasts

In case your missed the other two webcasts in this series, worry not – we’ve got them archived! Once again, they’re free to listen to – all you have to do is register online with your Windows Live ID.

The webcasts we’ve had so far in this series are:

  • Industry Insights and Trends
    The nature of technology is one of continual change; a fact of life for professionals in the ICT industry. As a result, you need to be on top of what is happening in the industry in order to position yourself and your organization to benefit from these trends. This panel discussion will arm you with the information you need from experts in the ICT industry in order to stay on top of your game.
    Speakers: Joel Semeniuk, Jeff Kempiners, Jay Payette and Paul Swinwood.
  • Discovering Your Trusted Resources
    Building a set of information sources and connecting with the community at-large are critical to your success in the ICT industry. This session brings successful community, technology, and information leaders together to share their experiences in discovering these resources. Our experts will help you learn how to identify credible sources and find the right tools, links and techniques to keep you up to date in a world of constant change.
    Speakers: Michael J. Sikorsky, Richard Campbell, and John Bristowe.

[Creative Commons photo by "Cpt. Spock".]

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This article originally appeared in Canadian Developer Connection.

Ignite Your Career Webcast Series, in partnership with CIPS This past Tuesday marked our first Ignite Your Career 2009 webcast, Industry Insights and Trends. In the webcast, our panel of experts shared their opinions of where the opportunities in tech are and what technologies were on the rise. It went quite well, and the folks at the office tell me that it was one of the best-“attended” webcasts that Microsoft Canada has ever had. If you missed it, don’t fret – we’ll be posting a recording of the webcast soon!

This Tuesday, we’ll have the second Ignite Your Career webcast, titled Discovering Your Trusted Resources. By “trusted resource”, we mean something or someone you turn to for information, advice or assistance. No matter what line of work you’re in, it always pays to have some trusted resources handy.

Here’s the abstract for the webcast:

Building a set of information sources and connecting with the community at-large are critical to your success in the ICT industry. This session brings successful community, technology, and information leaders together to share their experiences in discovering these resources. Our experts will help you learn how to identify credible sources and find the right tools, links and techniques to keep you up to date in a world of constant change.

The speakers are:


michael_sikorsky

Michael J. Sikorsky
Michael has been called an "Internet Revolutionary" by Profit magazine, and a "CEO to watch" by CNN Money. In addition to speaking at conferences throughout the world, he has also spoken at Harvard Business School, MIT, and Stanford.
 


richard_campbell

Richard Campbell
Richard Campbell is one of the co-founders of Strangeloop Networks and today serves as product evangelist. Richard has more than 30 years of high-tech experience and is both a Microsoft Regional Director and Microsoft Most Valuable Professional (MVP).

As I’ve said before, Ignite Your Career is about your career and “skills portfolio”. It’s not Microsoft-specific – in fact, it isn’t specific to any kind of technology or vendor. If you work in tech and want to work on a plan for making it through these difficult economic times, Ignite Your Career is here for you!

Best of all, registration is free! Sign up for this Tuesday’s webcast, Discovering Your Trusted Resources, with your Windows Live ID. And remember, after this Tuesday, we’ll still have four more Ignite Your Career webcasts, with a new topic hosted by different experts each week.

To find out more about this series, check out the Ignite Your Career site.

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