Monthly Archives: October 2011

October 20, 2011 – Lab “Dev Survival Skills”

Special Theme Night: “Dev Survival Skills”
If you were thrown onto a deserted coding island with a group of strangers would it go more like “Gilligan’s Island” or “Lord of the Flies”? What skills and knowledge does at least one person on a team need to possess to prevent chaos and pain?

Here are three good places to start:

  • a way to coordinate and track effort – such as a Kanban board
  • a simple way to read and write data – with a Micro ORM perhaps
  • a script on how to do version control without server infrastructure – with Git if given a choice

This lab will be broken into three 50-minute sections. Jon Terry will give a crash course on using a physical kanban board to track “who is working on what”. David Neal will get us set up with two (or three) Micro ORMs that are simple-to-learn and simple-to-use. Finally, we will walk through some typical source control use cases using a memory stick as our central repository (primitive islands don’t have WIFI or source servers).

Don’t be a dufus and skip out– it should be a good one. To follow along, please bring a laptop with Visual Studio.

Special note:
Nashville GiveCamp is this weekend. If you are volunteering, this “dev survival skills” lab will be very handy.

October 11, 2011 – Alan Stevens – “Distributed Version Control with Mercurial”

Topic: “Distributed Version Control with Mercurial: A new way to work
What’s wrong with the way we’ve been using source control? Nothing actually, but new tools have come along which empower developers and enable workflows that were not possible before. In this session, we’ll examine the reasons that distributed version control systems (DVCS) were created. We will step through the flow of changes when using a DVCS. We’ll discuss the DVCS alternatives available with demonstrations using Mercurial.

Links to get smart: and

Speaker: Alan Stevens
Alan Stevens is a father, geek, vegan and software artisan living in Knoxville, TN. Alan regularly speaks at conferences and user group meetings about how to be a better software developer. Alan is an Open Space Technology facilitator. Alan received the Microsoft Most Valuable Professional (MVP) award in C# in 2009, 2010 & 2011. Alan is a member of ASP Insiders. When Alan is not hanging out with his family, posting on Twitter, singing or playing his acoustic guitar, he occasionally updates his website at

Special Note:
We will be taking nominations for 2012 officers at this meeting. Elections will be held November 10.