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..."Ship It!" is in the style of the other Pragmatic books and is an easy and focused read. I finished it in two days and have already gained a wealth of insight that I can apply immediately. Hig...
-Anil John
They have gathered together the ‘best bits’ of various styles and methodologies they have been directly involved with, and combined them into a practical approach with the focus on delivering a pro...
-Mitch Wheat
...Much like the Mac, this book “just works”, because it takes the best from lessons learned from team leaders and team players and takes the mystery out of the project management processes as appl...
-Robert Pritchett

Migraines and Me (Aug 19)
I've started writing some form of this post for the last several years. I thought it'd make a great headache/migraine educational bit. About how we as an industry abuse our bodies with caffeine, long hours, and terrible ergonomics. But I never seem to finish that post, so I’m writing this one instead.

About 8 years ago I started getting migraines... about once a quarter. Not too frequent, so I just ignored them. Then they slowly progressed to monthly. Then weekly. And at some point I realized I was waking up with a low grade headache every day. My wife had been trying to get me to a headache doctor for a while, but daily was my wake up call.

Along this time I started skipping west coast conferences. The additional stress of dealing with extra time zones never helped.

I also noticed that, of all my conference friends, I was the only one who had a low-end pharmacy in his laptop bag. Other people bought tylenol when they had a headache. I went to a pocket that had each major over-the-counter medicine so I could rotate doses. I also found that I retreated to the quiet of my hotel room hours before my friends.

Now I rarely speak at conferences, but I do attend a few. Most days I have at least a low-grade headache, but some months (like the last one), I don’t really leave the house other than for work.

Why am I typing all this? I’m asked from time to time why I’m not at conference X or Y. Or why I don’t attend the local user group meetings anymore. I’ve really fallen off of the blogging wagon as well. Finally blogging seemed a more efficient way of sharing the information.

I also want to take this opportunity to say that migraines aren’t just blinding pain that leave you on the floor. They’re also when you have headaches more than three times a week. They can be caused by stress, certain foods, bright lights, missed meals, exercise, or a hundred other things most people take for granted. Ignoring your condition, like I did, makes it much more difficult for you doctor to help you. The longer your body thinks of the pain as normal, the more difficult it’ll be to break the cycle.

Your regular doctor will know a bit about headaches, but there are neurologists who focus exclusively in this area. I strongly encourage you to find one instead of being "tough" like me.

Category: Personal

We're Shut Down (Jan 18)
To help drive public awareness of SOPA, a very bad piece of legislation, this site is shut down today. Visiting the main page will direct you to http://sopastrike.com/strike after 5 seconds.

You can also read about this at Pragmatic Programmers.com, my publisher's url. They, just like Google, Wikipedia, and countless other sites, are trying to be sure everyone understands the legislation we're in danger of seeing passed.

Category: Misc

Public Speaking 101 (Nov 22)
Last Saturday I was privileged to be one of the IndieConf speakers. If you missed it, it's a great conference that has both technical and infrastructure topics ranging from marketing to budgeting to CSS. I think it's a great event for both full timers and independents... but I digress. :)

My talk was more of a workshop. We covered a number of essential public speaking tips, then practiced. I really wish we'd had more time, but it's a fun talk to give and the audience was very engaged. I enjoyed it quite a bit.

Here are the slides I used: Public Speaking 101.

Damond Nolan attended and blogged on key points from a number of sessions, including mine. You can see the list of sessions here. Click through to my talk and see me pointing to an invisible object. ;)

He also posted a number of his IndieConf pix.

For those of you in my talk, the coach I mentioned (more than once) is Alan Hoffler. You can find him at MillsWyck Communications. He's the best coach of this type I've ever worked with and he's got a number of reasonably priced events coming up.

Category: Misc

Slides from Agile Dev Practices in Orlando (Nov 9)
I'd updated my slides after they were submitted for the conference CD, so I told the attendees I'd post the version as presented.

Continuous Integration: The Sign of a Great Shop

Category:
Agile

I'm Joining RoleModel Software! (Oct 18)
I'm very pleased to account that in two weeks I'll be joining the very talented team of software craftsmen at RoleModel Software.

Ken Auer, the founder and leader of RoleModel, has been a presence in RTP software for years. I first met Ken in the mid (maybe early?) 90s and have seen a steady stream of top notch developers working with him since he started RoleModel in 1997. He also recently launched the Software Craftsmanship Academy which will be creating a new generation of Software Craftsmen in 2012 and has many great companies lining up to provide internships for its graduates. I'll have a front row seat for the first iteration of that as well.

RoleModel provides software development services… we'll take your ideas and make them come alive. Our team has a wide range of expertise, including legacy application migration, and writing custom software, particularly of the web and mobile application type. You can read more here.

I'm very excited to make this move and I'm looking forward to working with, and learning from, the team at RoleModel. It's been several years since I've spent real time working in Rails and I can't wait to start back in again.

RoleModel Software logo

Category: Personal

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Acceptance Test Driven Development at StarWest (2015-09-28)
We're revisiting ATDD again, with an emphasis on what you can change to help your team succeed
The GROWS Method: A Modern Software Development Suite (2015-11-10)
Andy and I will provide a half day introduction to GROWS


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