Monthly Archives: September 2012

October 11 – Alan Stevens – Leveling Up

Join us Thursday, October 11, 2012 for a great evening learning and connecting with other developers. Free food and socializing starts at 6:00 PM, and the lecture begins at 6:30 PM. Our meetings are held at 11 Lea Avenue, Nashville, TN (directions).

Leveling Up: When It’s Time To Assume Technical Leadership

Most software developers would make lousy managers, but many of the experienced developers that I have met and worked with have more to offer in terms of technical leadership than they share with their managers and team. As an industry, we need you to leverage your experience for the benefit of us all. In this session we will examine some clues that you may be ready to “level up”. We’ll discuss when and how to appropriately exercise technical leadership and when to keep our mouths shut.

Attendees will leave this session with a toolkit of tactics to influence their teams, companies and clients to make better choices in the pursuit of greater user value.

About Alan Stevens

Alan Stevens is the Winston Wolfe of software development. He solves problems. He is a partner at NerdHive Industries, LLC in Knoxville, TN where he builds kick-ass mobile and web apps. He is also a jerk on Twitter at @alanstevens.

September 20 – Jim Holmes – Functional Testing from Acceptance Criteria to Zip Files

Join us Thursday, September 20, 2012 for a great night of hands-on geek fun and learning. Free food and socializing starts at 6:00 PM, and the lab begins at 6:30 PM. Our meetings are held at 11 Lea Avenue, Nashville, TN (directions).

Lab: Functional Testing from Acceptance Criteria to Zip Files

This session lays out the fundamentals of working with automated functional testing. We’ll start with discussing how important clear acceptance criteria are, then do practical implementations of functional tests dealing with common situations such as input validation, AJAX delays, and yes, downloading Zip files. Along the way you’ll pick up critical concepts like dealing with a web page’s DOM, element locators, and tools to help you interact with these. You’ll also learn UI automation programming concepts like the Page Object Pattern, implicit and explicit waits, and modularizing your tests.

This session focuses primarily on automating web tests, but many of the same concepts can be applied to other UI environments too. Demos and labs will be in C# using WebDriver, but we’ll also discuss Watir, MS Web Test, and Telerik’s Test Studio. You’ll also learn how Jeff Morgan’s page_objects gem might be a great fit for your environment if you’re working with Ruby. We’ll briefly cover acceptance tools like Fitness and Cucumber, and how they can bring great value to your process, too.

You’ll leave this session having learned how to deal with functional testing from A to Z. You’ll also learn critical factors for success in keeping your tests running quickly, and avoiding brittle tests that break frequently.

About Jim Holmes

Father.  Husband.  Geek. Veteran. Around 25 years IT experience. Co-author of “Windows Developer Power Tools.” Coffee Roaster.  MVP for C#.  Chief Cat Herder of the CodeMash Conference. Diabetic. Runner. Liked 5th grade so much he did it twice. One-time setter, middle blocker, and weakside hitter. Blogger (  Evangelist for Telerik’s Test Studio, an awesome set of tools to help teams deliver better software.  Big fan of naps. Find him on Twitter as @aJimHolmes.

September 13 – Jason Myers – Data Networking for Developers

Join us Thursday, September 13, 2012 at 6:00 PM for free food and drinks. The lecture begins at 6:30 PM, followed by some great giveaways, such as books, training, and software. Our meetings are held at 11 Lea Avenue, Nashville, TN (directions).

Topic: Data Networking for Developers

With the emphasis on RESTful APIs and Service Oriented Architectures, it’s easy to forget the impact that network elements can have on application performance. In this talk, we will cover firewalls, load balancers, and caching from a network centric view. Then, we will cover how to map data flow throughout your application. We will follow that up with a discussion about how virtualization and storage can affect your application performance and how to account for it in your architectural design. Finally, we’ll investigate how to use New Relic for Application Performance Management, and Wireshark to make sure communications are occurring the way you expect them too.

Speaker: Jason Myers

Jason has spent 15 years on the infrastructure side of IT, and recently switched back to software development.  Currently a developer at Corrective Care Solutions and Worlds Old Intern at FoxyCart.  Jason blogs at and can be found on twitter at @jasonamyers.