Tech Conference Speaker Checklist

I’ve seen a lot of posts over the years that talk about becoming a better presenter. As someone who spends a lot of time speaking at conferences, meetups and giving presentations of all kinds I gravitate towards these resources because I’m always looking to improve my own skills. I figured keeping a running list of them on my blog will help me keep track of them – and hopefully help others looking for good content.

I don’t know that I have much “advice” of my own to offer that hasn’t already been said in the resources above, but I do want to write down my own checklist so that I don’t forget anything when I go to speak at my future events.

Unit Testing: More than Just Code

A few months ago I spoke at Chicago Code Camp 2013, and I presented End to End Unit Testing for Web Developers to a packed audience.

The main idea behind my session was that the hardest part of building unit tests in web applications is actually defining what you should be testing. It’s a deceptively hard thing to do – especially considering that web developers deal with more surface area (i.e. environmental factors susceptible to problems) than traditional server-side programmers.

While I’d like to think my session was a success, I’ll be the first to admit that it’s simply a gigantic topic – one which can just barely be scratched in an hour-long lecture. I wanted to pull one of the examples from my presentation and dive more deeply into the art of choosing what to test.

Achievement Unlocked: Urbanathlon

Back in January, I posted my 2013 list of New Year’s resolutions. At that time I said I wanted to make my health a higher priority because I had just turned 30… and I managed to almost hit my resolution!

After training most of the summer I ran the Men’s Health Urbanathlon on October 19, a 10.8 mile obstacle course. It’s not quite the marathon I had hoped to conquer this year… but it’s a damn good accomplishment for me.

Creating Windows 8 Apps with Ext JS

In the coming weeks, I’ll be speaking at SenchaCon and ThatConference about building Windows 8 apps using Ext JS. Although these presentations cover the same concepts, their content is slightly different (based upon the target audience of each conference).

Because I don’t expect everyone to have a strong background in either, I thought I would list all of the relevant resources here rather than having 30 links at the end of each slide deck.

Sencha Cmd post-build Ant utilities

If you’re using Sencha Cmd for your Ext JS or Sencha Touch application, then you may be somewhat familiar with the build.xml file.

This file is auto-generated by Sencha Cmd when you create a new project and allows you to add all kinds of hooks into the Sencha build process (which runs on top of Ant).

Over the past several months I’ve seen a number of ways in which developers are using their build.xml file to customize their production builds – and I thought I would share one with you today.