The Houston TechFest is coming to the Reliant Center on September 28th. Which, depending on how you feel about it, will be too soon, not soon enough, or met with 100% total indifference.

Among the dozens (hundred-plus?) sessions, here are the few I’m personally interested in. I’m excluding talks I’ve seen before or for whatever reason just can’t muster enough interest to bother pasting into this hastily-assembled linkblog. The sessions that interest you will definitely vary from my list.

  • Rediscovering Modularity – the speaker claims to have techniques for organizing code that will help enforce architecture. It’s an intriguing idea, and appears to be, wait for it, wait for it, a new and/or novel idea. Or it will be all lies or some kind of trap where the solution to everything is TFS gated checkins. Anyway, color me intrigued.
  • Estimating: Updating your SWAG – and yes he definitely means swagger. Assuming the speaker speaks from experience, it will be a veritable goldmine of estimating wisdom. Or, again, lies.
  • Professional JavaScript – Chris will be talking about writing JavaScript in the context of JavaScript-heavy web apps, and as I have attended a past talk of his, I know he will be speaking from experience.
  • Rumors of my death have been greatly exaggerated – New Features in ASP.NET Web Forms 4.5 – just kidding, WebForms is in fact dead—dead like WPF and ColdFusion. Meanwhile while we’re on the subject, WPF 4.5 fixed the problem of creating objects off of the UI thread, so that’s nice, WPFs not dead and it’s getting new features too..Anyway, not attending, I just wanted to take some cheap shots at WebForms. Mission Accomplished.
  • Robotics and .NET – Robotics stuff from Phil Wheat. That is all you need to know.
  • Bits to Atoms – the world of 3D printers – 3D printing stuff from Phil Wheat. That is all you need to know.
  • Be thankful you don’t work in Java land – well that isn’t the name of the session but it’s what I got from reading the abstract. To be fair to this session, I could pick on most of the submitted sessions, but I enjoy hating on Java, so allow an old man his simple pleasures and let this one slide. I’m super old so I should be given extra leeway with my offensive jokes.
  • What, you don’t underscore yet? – as it says in the abstract, I’m one of the guilty people who have been meaning to learn more about underscore.js for the last ~year(s).
  • Real World Polyglot Persistence – another talk harvested from experience.
  • Interesting to me is how you can sniff out Agile 101 talks from the Agile war story talks by how the 101 talks focus on practices and the war stories focus on fixing dysfunction:
  • Programming Kinect – You had me at “cool demos.” The joke here is that the last words of this talk’s abstract are “cool demos”, so when I say “you had me at cool demos”, I mean “you had me only by the very end of your abstract, not a word before” See, explaining the joke ruins it.
  • Getting Started with Test Driven Development – at this point I can confidently say I will not learn a single thing in an intro TDD talk, but I’d show up to see if I learn something about teaching TDD. Well, probably not, since I think coding dojos and pairing, or maybe independent experimentation, are the only way to move people from “not doing TDD” to “doing some TDD”.. Anyway I’m sure lots of people who attend will have never seen an intro to TDD talk before, and to them I say, uh, enjoy I guess.


Houston TechFest 2013 features a surprisingly large pool of interesting talks, even to a grizzled tech event veteran such as myself. I’ll see you there.