The Houston TechFest is coming!

(click image to see full agenda)

#HTF2010:Houston TechFest – October 9th, 2010, @UH


I’m particularly interested in the following sessions:

  • CODING DOJO (extended session—bleeds into lunchtime) – emphasis on bleed. I have only one question: “WHO’S THE CHUMP RUNNING THIS DOJO?” I really hope the speaker comes prepared.
  • The Keynote – Venkat is an excellent speaker. Assuming the projector in the main room works at all, … well, maybe even without the main room projector… from the title it sounds like this is some kind of call to arms. Sweet.
  • Peer code review – an Agile process – assuming this talk is based on first-hand experience, this could be the most useful session in the entire TechFest. Code review has been, hmm, how to say, an underserved need thus far in my career, and I wouldn’t mind submitting myself to code reviews.
  • Workflow systems – myths – from a Microsoft DE. This could be dynamite.
  • Pair programming – Part of the Claudio-fest AKA .NET 1 track. I’m not sure what’s going to happen here, but I’ll give my stamp of approval sight/description unseen.
  • Two excellent, globally-applicable sessions disguised as SharePoint content:
  • Advanced object-oriented programming – I’m curious to see how this session goes. At some point, the concepts become sufficiently advanced such that the best way to explain them is to show code. However it’s done, the content looks interesting.
  • Agile Adoption: curing the disease – conflicts with my session, otherwise I’m there. Incidentally, I think that the lack of Agile-y coding skills (or as they’re sometimes called, “agile engineering techniques”) are a huge barrier to Agile adoption. Just that, and human nature.
  • Zen coding – a more philosophical session.
  • The Claudio-fest AKA .NET 1 track – I won’t be attending because I’ve seen these sessions at some time or other:
    • Design patterns – Claudio’s session here is code-heavy, in the best way. He presents each design pattern by example, writing the code as you go, so you can follow along. Highly recommended.
    • Tips and tricks to boost productivity – this session is where I first learned about SlickRun. Claudio will introduce dozens of little, helpful tools in this session—you’ll pick up something from this session.

These sessions tickle my fancy:

I’m not particularly interested in the introduction to * sessions, Azure (or anything Cloud), Windows Phone 7, the SharePoint technical sessions, Java, or anything SQL. Basically, any technical content I can’t use within the next three months is uninteresting to me. But that’s not the point. The point isn’t that I’m uninterested in attending most of the sessions; the point is that I’ve found something (in most cases, several somethings) in every time slot I do want to attend. The Houston TechFest will have something for everybody. Even me.

Full Disclosure

I am bound to disclose the fact that if you attend the Houston TechFest, you will have to give up the following:


Yet again, the Houston TechFest has chosen to tempt fate and has scheduled itself on the day of the largest UH football game of the year—Miss. St. is coming to town. Last year when Texas Tech took the field at Robertson Stadium just hours after the TechFest’s closing session, things ended badly for them. 29-28 badly!