Friday, 25 May 2012

Premier Tech Briefing 2012


Premier Tech Briefing 2012 – Friday 15th June

Come and join us for the Mid-Year Premier Tech Briefing 2012. Learn from the best as Microsoft Premier Field Engineer’s (PFE) show you their tips and tricks learnt from the field.

Arrival/Registration and Breakfast – 08:00am to 09:00am

Please arrive at the venue with enough time for registration.

Session 1 – 09:00am to 10:30am

Option 1 - Windows 8 Dynamic Access Control

Presented by a Microsoft Premier Field Engineer. A first look into Windows 8 Dynamic Access Control – Everything you thought you knew about securing a file system is about to change!

Option 2 – Deploying Lync 2010!

Presented by a Microsoft Premier Field Engineer. A deep dive into how to get the most out of a Lync 2010 deployment.

Session 2 – 10:40am to 12:10pm

Option 1 – SCCM 2012 – Introduction to SCCM 2012

Presented by a Microsoft Premier Field Engineer (PFE) A deep dive into the new features of SCCM 2012 – All your questions answered!

Option 2 - Agile Development with Visual Studio and Team Foundation Server 11

Presented by a Microsoft Premier Field Engineer. We will take a ride through an example project and show you how an agile team can efficiently prioritise, plan, and deliver high quality software. We will also take a look at the valuable set of new features and capabilities that Visual Studio 11 and Team Foundation Server 11 bring to agile teams.


Venue: Microsoft Canberra - Level 2, 44 Sydney Avenue, Barton

Registration


To register, please emails damadden@microsoft.com

For any questions please contact me. I hope to see you there!

Thursday, 24 May 2012

A Specialising Generalist





Firstly, what is a generalist? The dictionary says: "A person competent in several different fields or activities."

I've called myself many things in my career, from polyglot to geek diva but one thing I know I have always been is a generalist.

Don't get me wrong, I know many things well and with great depth and understanding but there is not one thing that holds my attention over all other... ooooh, sparkly lights!

My talent is the ability to learn very fast and articulate and implement concepts in any technology.The good developers that I know are very much the same. They understand concepts and ideas and learn fast by putting those building blocks together.

Of course, there are those who can recite APIs to you. There are those who champion their language over all other lesser languages. There are the ones that dive in to every new shiny technical topic with vigour and a dizzying sense of intoxication. I say... to each, their own.

My job is an interesting one. A Premier Field Engineer (PFE) possesses amazing depth of knowledge in an area. They are the go-to girl for Item X. It is impressive.

What I've realised is that the developer space is massive and as a Developer PFE, I'm expected to know something very well. That worried me earlier this week as I sat and wondered what I knew really well.Then I stopped.

I am great at being a developer. Any language. Any concept. Any layer of detail or abstraction, I can understand with little effort. I've built big things and small things. I have watched the software development world mature from cranky tots to pimply teens to a kinda cute 20 something and now a talented 30ish year old.

I'm not supposed to learn a single product. I am supposed to keep being able to build great software. From inception to deployment and on to extension and deprecation.My specialisation is knowing what to build and how to build it, the right way. I see pain points and know instantly how to treat them. I make processes leaner and developers more rigorous and thorough in their craft.

So, the generalist stops and realises that she hasn't wasted her time learning a lot of things about a lot of things. She is more than just competent. She is agile and has aptitude and attitude.

I have specialised. I just didn't realise it because I hadn't attached myself to a trademarked tool.

Friday, 18 May 2012

.NET Versions

I've been setting up a new machine to do a code review of 1.3 million lines of code. I had installed every version of Visual Studio available to woman and hit a point where I had to know what version of .NET that I had.

I have the memory of a goldfish (ooh, a castle) so I Bing'd the command I needed to run in my Visual Studio command console and found that people wanted me to run regedit and check a key somewhere in some place over some rainbow.

No! Stop now!

Just run the Visual Studio command prompt and type: clrver

That gives you all versions of the CLR running on your machine.

If you have to go to regedit, assume something is wrong. It is an anti-pattern.

Wednesday, 16 May 2012

Think Pink



I have been working at Microsoft for a month now. People talk about starting here and taking it all in as "drinking from the fire hose" and at first I laughed but now I know it is the case. There is nothing as overwhelming as starting a job at Microsoft. It is also overwhelmingly enjoyable.

One thing that made me take the job was this amazing female manager who interviewed me. She was inspiring and had presence, from the second she entered the room.
I never believe that an interview is about them. Do not think that the people interviewing you are there to choose you. You have to choose them back.

Being interviewed by a woman, in a company who has a woman running their Australian arm and had that before, counted a lot towards my positive view of this  company. My friend who recommended me is a female evangelist. My male friends who work there have supported me through my career.

It is true that I didn't post on International Women's Day so I'll make today my IWD. As I sit here blogging today, knowing that so  many women helped me get to where I am.

Thank you, girls. Thank you.