Category Archives: Community

XP Day 6 – 27/28 November 2006

Registration for XP Day 6 is now open.

XP Day brings together world-class experts for two days of nothing but agile presentations.

If you want to learn more about agile development, testing and Scrum, delivered by the likes of Clarke Ching, Joshua Kerievsky (author of Refactoring To Patterns), and Joseph Pelrine (to name only a few), this is the two-day conference for you.

Monday 27, Tuesday 28 November

Ironmongers’ Hall, Shaftesbury Place, Barbican, London EC2Y 8AA

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Gig: Queen, a tribute band


Thursday 28th (yes a school night), five of us went to see One Night of Queen, aka Gary Mullens & The Works. Venue: The Edinburgh Playhouse. It seemed appropriate, September 2006 would have seen the Freddie Mercury’s 60th birthday.

The show opened with Tie Your Mother Down (A Day At The Races), which would normally serve to demonstrate the power of the sound system. In this case, it provided an fairly acceptable warm up track. The sound system was a little under-powered, certainly for the first five songs. However, it did prove that this tribute band do actually sound very much like the masters who they are imitating. That said, after a gentle kick from Gary, the audience woke up and stood up…it certainly seemed louder at that point.

Throughout the set, we were subjected to a modicum of Freddie-isms: these boys have studied their subjects well and manage to inject a lot of the real Queen into the performance.

Under Pressure (Hot Space)
Now I’m Here (Sheer Heart Attack)
Keep Yourself Alive (Queen “1”)
One Vision (A Kind Of Magic)
Jailhouse Rock
Crazy Little Thing Called Love (The Game)
Another One Bites The Dust (The Game)
It’s a Kind of Magic (A Kind Of Magic)
Friends Will Be Friends (A Kind Of Magic)
Love Of My Life (A Night at The Opera)
Hammer to Fall (The Works)
Bohemian Rhapsody (A Night at The Opera)
Seven Seas Of Rhye (Queen “1”)
Radio Gaga (The Works)
We Will Rock You (News Of The World)
We Are The Champions (News Of The World)

Given the average age of a regular Queen fan, there was an intermission, a comfort break if you will. This was our cue to get to the bar and throw some [more] lager down our necks.

And no Queen gig would be complete without God Save The Queen. Most folks were standing for this, which was good – very few folks were singing however, which wasn’t so good.

I would certainly recommend that you go see these boys, especially if you enjoyed the original works from Queen themselves. They’re on the touring circuit, so it’s very likely that they’ll be in your neck of the woods.

Anyway, it would appear that my last gig prior to this one was Magnum, some three years ago. It’s time to start going to a few more gigs. Perhaps starting here, in Germany?


Leeds – Security Event with a former FBI agent

I am pleased to confirm that Microsoft’s Chief Security Advisor and former FBI agent, Ed Gibson, will definitely be making a stop in Leeds.

If you are a develop looking to learn more about what Oracle and Microsoft are doing in the security space, then this event is for you!

Leeds, Courtyard By Marriott Leeds/Bradford

12th Oct 2006 (4pm-7.30pm)

Further information can be found here, and if you want to register please click here.

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DDD4 Geek Dinner!

I am pleased to announce that Zi has once again organised a geek dinner for those attending DDD4 on the 2nd December 2006!

If you wish to attend, please sign up here.

Spaces are limited to 40, so sign up is very important! Last time at DDD3, we had a full house and ran a waiting list – book early, that’s my advice!

Whilst we’re on the subject – do you want to speak at DDD4? If so, sign up here (earlier site outages have been fixed!)

Glasgow 26th September 2006 – Re-running Test-Driven Development and Code Coverage

What and When
I will be running my Test-Driven Development and Code Coverage session (for the third time) in Glasgow on the 26th of September 2006. Praise for the session can be found here.

Woodside Hall
36, Glenfarg Street
G20 7QS

Click here

Emma Britton via VBUG.

TDD and Code Coverage in .NET

Testing code can be a laborious process that is repetitive in its nature. Empirical evidence confirms that most repetitive processes enjoy a lot of success, or coverage, during early iterations, but later iterations suffer from lower coverage as the tedium sets in. For that reason, we sought to automate the repetitive testing process, i.e. we wrote some code that could replace the repetitive process. The development community achieved this by the adoption of a testing framework that embraced Test-Driven Development (TDD) and testing tools such as NUnit.

The ethos behind TDD and NUnit is “write once, use often”, i.e. once a test has been written it can be used many times. Naturally, by embodying “tests” in code and by using a tool to run those tests, we find the repetitive nature of testing disappears and the process of testing actually beings to provide confidence boosts.

However, whilst adoption of TDD and NUnit provides major advances in the reduction of repetitive testing tasks, they do not help us ensure that the tests actually cover as much of the code-base as is possible/required. It is possible to write a collection of tests that only exercise 25% of the code-base, yet because the tests are successful (i.e. they pass), the developer’s confidence is so high, s/he fails to spot that there is still a lot of test code still to be written.

Code coverage, is not a new technique, the likes of Boris Bezier discussed it in 1990 and Tom McCabe wrote about it as far back as 1976. Today, we can use graphical tools to determine how much of our code is exercised, or covered during an execution cycle. Such tools help us identify which areas of our code have not been tested and can help us direct our effort. However, they do rely on some manual effort that is repetitive, i.e. a user/developer must walk through the application. Luckily, if we are practicing TDD, we have a set of automated tests that we can tap into thus alleviate this repetition.

Over the course of 90 minutes Craig will demonstrate four .net tools, NUnit, NCover, NCoverExplorer and TestDriven.Net. All of these tools and free and work with .net 1.1 and 2.0. A variety of IDEs are supported, include Visual Studio 2003 and Visual Studio 2005. He will explain the basics of TDD and code coverage and why they are both important skills and processes to include in your development/build process. Examples will be written in C# and Visual Studio 2005.

Craig Murphy is an author, developer, speaker, project manager, Microsoft MVP (Connected Systems) and is a Certified ScrumMaster. Commercially, Craig has been using Borland Delphi since 1998; today, he uses Visual Studio 2005 and C#. He regularly writes articles product/book reviews: The Delphi Magazine, International Developer, ASPToday and Computer Headline have published his work. Craig has written for virtually every Developers Group magazine issue since the year 2000! He specialises in all things related to .NET, C#, Borland Delphi, XML/Web Services, XSLT, Test-Driven Development, Extreme Programming, agile methods and Scrum. In his career to date, Craig has written cost estimating software for the oil and gas industry and asset valuation software for local councils and the Ministry of Defence. He has a day-job, a wife and a son.

Windows Vista Developer Features Beyond .NET – 20 September, Edinburgh

Former MVP, now Microsoft employee, Dan Moth is coming to Edinburgh on the 20th of September to deliver a Vista session.

Registration is essential, follow the link on the left-hand side of this page:

Windows Vista Developer Features Beyond .NET
20 September 2006 09:45 – 20 September 2006 12:30 GMT, London
Welcome Time: 09:00
Language: English
Microsoft Edinburgh

127 George Street
Edinburgh EH2 4JN
United Kingdom

General Event Information
Products: Windows Vista.
Recommended Audience: Developer.

Windows Vista brings with it a fantastic platform for managed development, namely .NET Framework v3.0 (formerly WinFX). However, there are many new native APIs in Windows Vista that aren’t a part of .NET Framework 3.0. In this session you will discover how you – a C# or Visual Basic developer – can take advantage of this new functionality. Alongside plenty of demos, you will learn how to make your application feel like a real extension to the Windows Vista platform, and not like a ported application that just runs on it.

Technologies covered will include using the “glass” interface in your applications, new dialog box features, the RSS API, sidebar gadgets, the restart/recovery API and an overview of User Account Control (UAC) feature including how to ensure your applications work with UAC, TxF, plus many more.

9.00 for 9.45 Registration
9.45 – 11.00 Session 1
11.00 – 11.15 break
11.15 -12.30 Session 2
12.30 close

What do an ex-FBI agent and Microsoft community have in common?


Scottish Developers and the NxtGenUG are proud to announce the ‘Ed Gibson “On The Road”‘ Events which will take place mid-Septermber to mid-October 2006 at 5 venues around the country. The aim of the events are to raise awareness of the issues surrounding computer security, specifically Organised Crime and Hacking and also to raise the awareness amongst the Business and Developer communities of Developer and IT Pro User Groups and how they can help instruct and inform developers and managers about new technologies and other issues such as security.

The headline speaker is Ed Gibson the new Chief Security Advisor for Microsoft UK. Ed is an ex-FBI agent and delivers a fascinating talk on his experiences and views on security in the IT world and how to combat organised crime on the Internet.

Other speakers from the likes of Oracle will offer alternative or differing views on computer security and the event will end with an hour long ‘panel discussion’ with question and answers.

Register via here.

Ed’s Dates and Venues

Faraday Wharf,Aston Science Park
20th Sept 2006 (4pm-7.30pm)
This event will feature Ed Gibson, Dinis Cruz and Barry Dorrans and is being run by The Next Generation User Group and the Scottish Developers Group in association with Aston Science Park and iCentrum, Birmingham.

Microsoft Laboratories, Cambridge
3rd Oct 2006 (4pm-7.30pm)
This event will feature Ed Gibson and Alun Rogers of Risual and is being run by The Next Generation User Group and the Scottish Developers Group in association with the Cambridge Network.

Leeds Univeristy
12th Oct 2006(Prov) (4pm-7.30pm)
This event will feature Ed Gibson, Dinis Cruz and Duncan Harris of Oracle and is being run by the Scottish Developers Group and The Next Generation User Group in association with Leeds University.

Microsoft Offices London
26th Oct 2006 (4pm-7.30pm)
This event will feature Ed Gibson, Dinis Cruz and Chris Seary of Charteris and is being run by the Scottish Developers Group and The Next Generation User Group in association with the London .NET User Group.

Royal Pharmaceutical Society
2nd Nov 2006 (1pm-5pm)
This event will feature Ed Gibson and Duncan Harris of Oracle and is being run by the Scottish Developers Group and The Next Generation User Group.

DDD4 – Call For Speakers

Would you like to speak at one of the UK’s leading developer community events?

We’re looking for community-oriented folks to speak at DeveloperDeveloperDeveloper 4 (2nd December 2006)!

Please take a look at the submissions so far, then feel free to submit your own session!

If you are sitting on the fence or have not spoken to an audience before, fear not! DDD is a friendly place, you will be made most welcome!

As usual, the event will be held at Microsoft’s Reading Campus in Thames Valley Park.

Check out what I’ve said about previous DDD days here, here and here!

NxtGenUG podcast 4

NxtGenUG podcast no.4 is now available.

Show #4 – The one with two MVP’s Tuesday, July 25, 2006
Featuring an Ex MVP and now Microsoft employee: Daniel Moth on life in Microsoft. Rich talks about his impressions of XLinq and dave thinks VirtualEarth is the best thing since Ordinance survey maps!