Talk: Winning at HTTPS

For the first time in a little while, I'll be giving a talk at the Sydney ALT.NET user group:

HTTPS is ever more pervasive, with few sites still using plain HTTP. Want to be the guy or girl on the team who actually understands HTTPS, can set up certificates and fix issues that come up? Sometimes this is left to an ops team, but there are benefits and impacts that cannot be ignored in development.

James has migrated several sites from HTTP to HTTPS and has tips and tricks to share.

Tues 25 October from 6pm at ThoughtWorks Sydney office, Lvl8 51 Pitt St, Sydney.
RSVP on Meetup (for pizza and beer!)

You can find the slides from the night here.

18 10 2016

Talk: Add a billion row data warehouse to your App.. with Redshift, sql and duct tape!

Come along to Sydney ALT.NET for a BIG data night.

I'll be giving a talk on Redshift:

Started to hit the point where your transactional database is not the right place for running reporting queries and experimental data science? Keen to chuck in more data from web logs, CRMs, facebook, etc so you can start learning more about your users? Come along to Sydney ALT.NET on June 24th to see an easy way to do it with AWS Redshift, mapping SQL and some simple scripting duct tape.

We also have a co-presented talk on Azure's Hadoop implementation, HD Insights and Power BI: The Power of the Elephant in the Microsoft Cloud given by Jibin Johnson and Simon Waight from the Azure User Group.

From 6pm at ThoughtWorks Sydney office Lvl8 51 Pitt St, 24 June 14.
Remember to get your free ticket. See you there!

16 06 2014

Talk on Tues: Moving to HTTPS

I'll be giving a talk at Sydney ALT.NET on Tues:

After recently moving the Getup site fully to HTTPS, James will share with you security pitfalls, the justification for the move from mixed HTTP/HTTPS, lessons learnt, and performance tips. A romp through the protocols of the web with riffs on status codes, HSTS, domain verification, and interesting headers. This talk could save your bacon.

From 6pm at ThoughtWorks Sydney office on Pitt St. Remember to RSVP on the Sydney ALT.NET site to help with catering. See you there!

28 07 2013

Talk tonight: Responsive Layout with HTML5

I'll be giving a talk at Sydney ALT.NET tonight:

Want to build a web application which dynamically changes layout to best suit the client, be it mobile, tablet or desktop with the same HTML? Fun times with HTML5, Bootstrap, HAML and Sass. You'll get to see it in action, and the code behind the magic.

From 6pm at ThoughtWorks Sydney office on Pitt St. Remember to RSVP on the Sydney ALT.NET site to help with catering. See you there!

27 11 2012

VIM is Sydney Rails Devs’ Favourite Editor

Outstanding news! As part of the rails refactor talk at RORO (Sydney Rails Group) tonight (great evening by the way!), I asked for a show of hands on people's favoured editors. I was amazed to discover the vim has edged out TextMate with just over half of the people at the group using it as their editor of choice! As an aside, Netbeans had one supporter, RubyMine and Emacs had zero. The groundswell of support for vim (and the cheering) was impressive!

PS - this is a very nerdy post, but as a long time vim fan, I had to report on it 🙂

8 02 2011

Short Talk on rails_refactor at Rails group

I'll be giving a short talk with Ryan Bigg on Rails Refactor at the next Sydney Rails Group (RORO) meet (Tuesday, Feb 8 from 7pm) . We'll be talking about Rails Refactor's birth at a hack night last year, what it can do for you right now, and its bright future as your refactoring tool of choice. Hope to see you there.

1 02 2011

Short Talk: Starting Android Development

I'll be giving a short talk on Starting Android Development on Tuesday at the Sydney ALT.NET group.

We'll be covering:

  • the platform
  • app design and abstractions
  • Java and IDEs for Android Dev
  • Emulator
  • Code walk through of a simple application I'm writing

Richard Banks (@rbanks54) will also be giving a talk on .NET bdd tools.

More info and RSVP on the ALT.NET blog.

See you there!

23 01 2011

ACS Alm Talk: Presentation Wrap Up & Slides

Thanks everyone who came along last night. It was a fun session, with a lot of lively discussion, especially around project management and software design. As mentioned during the talk, you might want to check out nRake for .NET builds and psDeploy for Powershell deployments. Here are the slides from the talk. If you have any more questions or areas to discuss, please feel free to drop me a line.

3 06 2010

ACS Talk: The Ultimate ALM Environment (circa 2010)

I'll be giving a presentation at an Australian Computer Society Special Interest Group on Wed 2 June, 6:30pm. More details here.

The abstract is:

Application Lifecycle Management (ALM) covers the whole software development lifecycle and associated processes including project management, business analysis, testing, build and deploy and development. Based on experiences in the field on projects with ThoughtWorks and consulting with other teams, I will describe what I consider to be the ultimate ALM environment, using an agile approach and techniques. This talk will cover goals, assessment criteria, practices, tools, and physical workspace design.

Hope to see you there!

31 05 2010

Australian ALM Conference, and slides from ‘The Ultimate ALM Environment circa 2010’

The inaugural Australian ALM Conference has been an interesting 2 days. The first day had a number of insightful talks, especially interesting to hear Sam Guckenheimer on how Microsoft has been reshaping their internal development practices into a more agile model. Today, I enjoyed Richard's agile adoption talk (hear hear!) and the other highlight was the last presentation of the day, explaining what's gone into the design of the new Windows 7 Mobile OS (though some things still seem under wraps). Also a pleasure to catch up with some old friends at the conference.

Conference organisation was very good (thanks to Anthony Borton and his team). The focus was very Microsoft centric, but next year, the plans are for a much wider variety of content. Lunar Park was a cosy conference venue and fun to go outside during the breaks and see kids screaming on rides and the sun shining on the bridge and harbour.

My presentation was 8.30am this morning (aargh!) but despite the early hour, there was a reasonable turn out and quite a few interested people asking questions. The plan was to co-present with Jason Yip, but he was called away to Perth so I presented solo. Unlike most other presentations at the conference, Visual Studio and TFS were barely mentioned. Instead I focused on current problems in each area of ALM, coming up with a criteria to assess this area, and what we usually do on projects to meet this criteria - eg, story walls, story maps, automated build and deploy etc. You can find the Powerpoint slides here. The slides are promises for a conversation (ie, mainly images with some notes), so don't hesitate to contact me if you want to chat.

Also, thanks Richard for this photo from the presentation:

James Crisp presenting ‘The Ultimate ALM Environment circa 2010′

14 04 2010

Talk: The ultimate (circa 2010) ALM environment

Jason Yip and I will be presenting on "The ultimate (circa 2010) ALM environment" at the Australian ALM Conference on 14 April. We'll be talking about using agile methods and tools for ALM, rather than a vendor suite.

Here's the blurb:

Based on our experiences in the field on projects and consulting with other teams, we will describe what we consider to be the ultimate development environment (which is not just about vendor tools). This session will discuss principles, practices, tools, and physical workspace design.

Hope to see you there!

20 03 2010

Presentation Zen by Garr Reynolds

presentationzen.jpgAfter being impressed by Garr Reynolds speaking in Sydney a year or so ago, I've been keen to check out his Presentation Zen book. It is an enlightening read, especially if you have never studied art or graphics design. The book is a little over 200 pages long, with many illustrations and a impressive, clean layout (no surprise there!).

Near the start of the book, Garr talks about creativity requiring an open mind (child like) and a willingness to be wrong, and to experiment. He recommends exercising restraint, and focusing on simplicity, clarity and brevity. He starts presentations brainstorming using pen and paper, whiteboards or post-its rather than in front of the computer (personally I often use story cards as you can jot slide outlines on them, group, and shift the order around). He recommends grouping the ideas, and identifying the core message and sticking with that message throughout the whole presentation.

Garr highlights the importance of taking the time to slow down and really think about what to put in the presentation. He suggests that you keep two important questions in mind: "What's your point?" (what one thing do you want the audience to remember), and "Why does it matter?" (put yourself in the audiences' shoes). If bits of your content don't aid in answering these questions, "when in doubt, cut it out"! Garr also suggests an "Elevator test" - can you make your pitch in 30-45 seconds? A structure that works well is starting with an introduction which explains the issue (the pain) and the core message. Then something like 3 parts that support your assertions or solve the pain (sounds a bit like Bosworth's Solution Selling).

"Amplification through simplification" is central to Garr's design approach. He advocates lots of empty space to highlight just one or a few important elements on a slide. "Simplicity can be obtained through the careful reduction of the non-essential" and decreasing the signal vs noise ratio of the slides. Garr is a big fan of using images on slides with just a few words. The aim is to make slides which have strong, memorable impact, and enhance the presenter's spoken words. He also highlights the importance of having the audience know where to look. Eg, simplicity plus images leading the eye to the right spot (eg, people in images on the slide look towards the words on the slide). Garr is a big fan of using quotes to support his points.

Garr suggests a mix of symmetrical and asymmetrical slides. Symmetrical are more formal and static, where as asymmetrical slides are often more dynamic and interesting and activate empty space. He also suggests using a grid, such as the rule of thirds (2 horizontal and 2 vertical lines providing a grid of 9 equally sized boxes), with the main subject placed on one of the crossing points of the lines. Contrast (using colour, shape, space, etc) can be used to make an element stand out and helps the viewer "get" the point of the design quickly. Repetition can be used (eg, text on each slide in an image of a post-it) to provide a professional and unified look. Use proximity to group related objects.

Although Garr doesn't talk about it explicity, his sample slides tend to make use of clever typography. Often lower case text, with most important part in a bigger font. A mix of colours and sizes and styles and sometimes rotations to add interest to the slides. Generally sans-serif fonts.

On presenting itself, Garr says you should be completely present - enthusiastic and completely focused on presentation that you are giving, lost in the moment. Nothing else. Although you may make mistakes, don't dwell on them. Practice like mad to become confident and appear easy and natural for the presentation. However, remain flexible, aware and open to possibilities as they arise (being "in the moment").

Near the end of the book, Garr says: "It's not about us [the presenter], it's about them. And about the message.". He also suggests that shorter is better, leave the audience wanting more, not overloaded (as per Japanese proverb "eat until 80% full"). On delivery, Garr suggests standing front and centre, leaving the lights on and advancing slides with a remote.

Garr's points are much more clearly illustrated using images in the book. I would recommend Presentation Zen to anyone who is interested in making more visually inspiring and interesting presentations.

9 11 2009

Slides & Code: Securing your MVC site against Code Injection and X-Site Scripting

Here are the slides and code from yesterday's talk at Sydney ALT.NET.

See Steve Sanderson's post for the code/binary for subclassed aspx compiler and more information about the automatic encoding approach we covered in the talk.

26 08 2009

Talk: Securing your MVC site against Code Injection and X-Site Scripting

I'll be giving a lightning talk on securing your ASP.NET MVC site against code injection and x-site scripting next Tuesday 25 August at the Sydney ALT.NET group. I'll be demonstrating potential pitfalls and dangers of arbitary code injection, and how you can protect against it, elegantly. We've got 6 interesting talks lined up for the night. See you there!

18 08 2009

Slides from REST Talk at St George Bank

Thanks very much to Nigel for inviting me to present on REST at St George Bank in Kogarah, and to ThoughtWorks for the time in the middle of the day to give the talk. It was a fun session and the people attending asked quite a number of good questions. Here are the slides. Please note that they are about 10mb (thanks to all the images). There's some extra information in the "Notes" pane as well.

29 01 2009