It's an exciting couple weeks for us developers in the Midwest!

First up there's the Code PaLOUsa conference. It's April 25-27 in Louisville, Kentucky and features a great variety of talks, and most certainly a lot of bourbon

The following week (May 2-4) is the Kansas City Developer Conference (KCDC) that's being held in Kansas City, Missouri. It also has a bunch of sessions worth attending on everything from Ruby to DevOps to .NET.

I'll be speaking at both of these conferences:

NuGet for the Enterprise (KCDC Only)

NuGet -- the open-source library package manager for .NET -- has exploded in popularity over the past two years with well over 5,000 available packages and support from major contributors such as Microsoft, NUnit, Castle, and JQuery. It’s an incredibly easy-to-use and very powerful tool that helps developers escape  dependency hell  while discovering new third-party libraries.

But with great power comes great responsibility, and what works in the open source-world doesn't always translate to enterprise development... and that's especially true with NuGet. There are a whole lot of things to consider with NuGet in enterprise development environments, from out-of-control dependencies to quality assurance to open-source license compliance, and we'll cover most of these in this talk. We'll also do some hands-on with NuGet to get a feel for both creating and consuming library packages, and talk about how you can leverage NuGet to be an important part of your enterprise architecture.

Practical DevOps & Continuous Delivery: A Hands-on Workshop (Code PaLOUsa and KCDC)

DevOps and Continuous Delivery are a set of methodologies, mindsets, and principles that all share a common goal: release better software faster and more reliably. It’s about bringing together the entire development organization -- developers, operations, QA, project management, etc. -- to make the process of going from concept to production as smooth and predictable as possible.

There are whole lot of specific techniques available to help accomplish these objectives, but not everything works for every organization. While not every application needs 100% test coverage, and certainly not every organization can go to production multiple times a day, understanding automation and frequent deployment -- and how they can be used to benefit development organizations of all shapes and sizes -- will be a key takeaway of this workshop.

In this workshop, we’ll also explore these techniques, discuss their implementation, and do a number of hands-on exercises to experience DevOps and Continuous Integration first-hand. Each participant will have their own (or can optionally share) a pre-configured server hosting a number of familiar tools. By the end of the workshop, each participant will learn how to leverage these various issue tracking, source control, database, and automation tools to build a robust and flexible DevOps / Continuous Delivery workflow.

All that's required to participate is a laptop with a modern web browser. A text editor and an ability to connect to a Subversion or Mercurial repository would be helpful, but not necessary. An ability to whip up awesome coding solutions to simple problems is not at all needed, but may earn you some bragging rights.

Racing Thru the Last Mile: Cloud Delivery & Web-Scale Deployment (Code PaLOUsa and KCDC)

Explosive growth; millions of users; global 24/7 usage -- it's a dream wished by many and a nightmare experienced by few. It's the Web-Scale, and it's redefining how we create and deliver software. If a run-of-the-mill enterprise application is like a Honda, then a Web-Scale application is like a Formula 1 car -- engineering and maintenance challenges included. One missed detail, and you could lose the race, or worse, hit the berm and end up as a tangled-mess of scrap metal.

But unlike Formula 1, there are no pit stops or scheduled maintenance windows. Changes to Web-Scale applications must be error free and have no down-time... unless you want to face a mob of angry, demanding users somewhere in the world, and an even angrier mob of managers and investors. In this talk, we'll discuss various deployment strategies, scalable delivery, and how a few real-world Web-Scale organizations do it, from to Twitter, and even the monstrous Google.

If you're planning on attending either event, please drop me a note -- that way, I can make sure to bring a TDWTF mug for you, and we can grab a bourbon or something.

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