Videos from OreDev 2008 conference available for general public

Videos from last year's OreDev conference are available for general public:

Check out sessions from all three days and do not miss my favourite Domain Driven Design (DDD) track. Enjoy!

January book review: Scrumban

Corey Ladas
Scrumban: Essays on Kanban Systems for Lean Software Development

Many agile teams subscribe to a development approach which Corey Ladas describes as craft production. A team of generalists is working together on user stories from an incoming queue, usually a product backlog. Each idle team member (or each idle feature crew) takes ownership of one user story at a time until there are no idle team members or no pending user stories available. This approach allows a team to control the flow of work and achieve a level of predictability in the process. However, it provides limited knowledge transfer and division of labour and, thus, often results in high variability in deliverables.

In this book, Corey offers a different approach to managing work items. A team of specialists uses kanban scheduling and other lean techniques in order to maintain a smooth and continuous flow of business-valued work items and maximize their throughput into production. What I like about this approach is that it recognizes the area of expertise of each worker and provides clear leading visual indicators of project health (as opposed to a lagging indicator such as velocity).

The book is thought-provoking and very interesting to read. If you have been thinking about introducing a more formal engineering workflow within your team, this book is for you.

Happy reading!

Oxygen Blast Seminar: Google Web Toolkit on Tue, Feb 10, 2009

If your team is developing web applications, you may be interested in the following presentation on Google Web Toolkit:

Who: Jason Sharpiro
What: Google Web Toolkit (GWT)
When: Tuesday, February 10, 2009, 9-11 AM
Where: Intertech, Inc. 1020 Discovery Road, Suite 145 Eagan, MN 55121
Cost: Free

Registration is required:

.NET User Group on Thu, Feb 5, 2009: Windows Azure

If you have an interest in cloud computing, take a look at the .NET User Group event next week:

Who: Jeff Brand
What: Developing and Deploying Your Windows Azure Application
When: Thursday, February 5, 2009, 5-7 PM
Where: Microsoft, 8300 Norman Center Drive, Suite 950, Bloomington MN 55437
Cost: Free

Check for more information.

Richard Gabriel speaks at OTUG on Mon, Feb 9, 2009

Richard Gabriel will be speaking on ultra-largescale systems at OTUG on Monday, February 9, 2009.

Who: Richard Gabriel
What: Ultra-Largescale Systems: the software challenge of the future
When: Monday, February 9, 2009, 5 - 9 PM
Where:  O'Shaughnessy Educational Center (OEC) - University of St. Thomas, St. Paul, MN
Cost: 20$ (cash or check)

RSVP is required. As usual, check for more information.

CITCON on April 24-25, 2009

CITCON, Continuous Integration and Testing Conference, is coming to Minneapolis in April 2009!

When: April 24-25, 2009
Where: West Wing of the University of Minnesota Campus Club
Cost: Free

Registration is required. Check for more information. Note that the attendance is limited to the first 150 registrations.

MinneDemo on Fri, Feb 6, 2009

Next MinneDemo, a local technology and networking event, is scheduled for Friday next week. Come to see what Minnesota companies are working on.

What: MinneDemo
When: Friday, February 6th, 2009, 7 PM
Where: Intermedia Arts 2822 Lyndale Ave S, Minneapolis, MN 55408
Cost: Free

RSVP is required. Please, check for more information.

January event at OTUG

Do not miss an excellent event tomorrow night:

Who: Michael Nygard
What: Clouds, Grids, and Fog
When: Tuesday, January 20, 2009, 6:00 - 8:00 PM
Where:  Owens Science Hall (OWS) - 3M Auditorium, University of St. Thomas, St. Paul, MN

As usual, check for more information.

Code Freeze 2009 on Thu, Jan 15, 2009

It is getting really cold outside, just in time for our annual Code Freeze conference. This year's topic is Maximizing Developer Value.

Who: Susan Standiford, Nate Shutta, Andy Miller, Neal Ford, Pam Rostal, Bob King, and others
What: Code Freeze 2009: Maximizing Developer Value
When: Monday, January 15, 2009, 8:30 AM - 5:30 PM
Where: Hubert H Humphrey Center, University of Minnesota, 301 19th AveS, Minneapolis, MN 55455
Cost: 90$ (online)

Registration is required. Check for more information. See you there!

Dojo 1.1, Firefox 3.0.5, and this._getText is not a function

We run into an interesting problem with Dojo 1.1 running on Firefox 3.0.5. The page works well on Firefox 2, IE 6/7, Safari 2/3, but once in a while, it does not load correctly on Firefox 3. It may also throw one or more JavaScript exceptions. For example, "failed loading undefined./currency.js with error: TypeError: this._getText is not a function".

My hunch is that it happens because dojo.require statements are not handled correctly. It is also possible that this issue is related to another issue reported on the Dojo forum:

The good news is that we tested the problem on the alpha version of Firefox 3.2 (Minefield - and it seemed to be resolved. We also found a work-around to make Dojo 1.1 more stable on Firefox 3.0.5: loading base dojo libraries via script tags instead of the dojo.require function. The JavaScript exceptions still appear from time to time, but much more rarely.

If you have any insight into this issue, please, let us know. Your help would be very appreciated. Thank you. Happy coding!

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