Archive by Author

TechOnTap Roadmap: 2017 and Beyond

State of the TechOnTap Union

So, it’s been awhile. Wondering where we have been? Here is the quick update.

TechOnTap set out with the dream of intersecting great people, great technology and of course, great beer. We did this by offering full day training events and the occasional social gathering to, you know, enjoy that adult beverage.

When we started, TechOnTap had great partner sponsorship and were able to pay for food, beer, space and more all of the low price of your time and eyeballs. Then things got expensive. We continued this approach for a while but the situation became neither financially viable and sustainable.

Over the last year and half, we’ve been thinking quite a bit about how make our mission of intersecting great people, great ideas and of course, great beer, still possible. Like all great startups, we have decided to pivot rather than give up.

2017 Roadmap

  • TechOnTap.org is becoming a blog

We’ll be publishing some technical content on all sorts of things and we’ve uncovered. Tune in for thoughts on technology, people, and beer

 

  • TechOnTap is transforming into a roadshow

Technical events happen all over the place. We’re already at many of these events. Why not capitalize on this and meet you where you are likely at. In 2017, we are planning some social gatherings at various technical conferences and events going on around the region and beyond.

True to our missions, we want to get great people, great technology and great beer in the same place. We’ll share more when we get our act together.

 

  • TechOnTap Needs Your Feedback

We need your feedback and our opinions on where we should go next. Send us your feedback and lets us know what you think about our roadmap.

TechOnTap v3.3 Canceled

Due to a low turnout for Tech on Tap 3.3 we will be cancelling the event on 10/10/2015. 

We hope to have something to share regarding future events so keep watching this site for updates. In the meantime, if you have suggestions about the timing or content of events please let us know by adding a comment to this post.

Thanks for your continued support. 

TechOnTap Brewmasters

April Showers Bring TechOnTap 3.2 Showers

As the saying goes, “April showers bring May flowers”. Turns out May can be pretty cloudy too. TechOnTap 3.2 is storming in on Saturday, May 30th at the Stone Cellar Brew Pub in Appleton, WI. The crew will be looking to the skies with great presentations on cloud technologies.

Registration opens Monday, April 27th.  Event logistics & details are coming soon!

Severe Weather Awareness Bulletin: TechOnTap 3.2 is Coming. Are You Prepared?

Charge your weather radios; Make sure your weather apps are updated. The week of April 12th is Severe Weather Awareness Week in Wisconsin. While the threat for rumbles of thunder may loom on the horizon, there’s something else brewing this spring.

TechOnTap 3.2 arrives May 30th. Are you prepared for a storm? The TechOnTap crew will be exploring cloud technologies; what rains is sure to quench your thirst for tech.

Signup and event details coming soon!

So you’re thirsty for some tech? Can’t wait for TechOnTap 3.2?

If you’re thirst for tech needs quenching, a few of the TechOnTap Brewmasters are speaking this Saturday 3/28/2015 at the NEW Code Camp

NEW Code Camp registration & attendance are free; Check out the topics and signup here: http://newcodecamp.com/

Come drink in some tech and join us at the NEW Code Camp!

Adventures in Refactoring: The High Cost of a Complacency Culture

by Jon Cwiak (Twitter) => Senior Software Engineer | TechOnTap Brewmaster | Microsoft Certified Professional at building things

The High Cost

Head over to any online news source and you are almost certain to see another story about a hack, data breach, data leakage etc. While many of these “hacks” are attributed to complex phishing attempts and/or stolen credentials you often never get an inside view on the technical “how” such attacks were pulled off. The technical details are withheld for lots of reasons but mostly because parts of that vulnerability may not have been fully mitigated; those same vulnerabilities are probably in your organization.

This article is not about inside stories or root causes of hacks; instead, I want to focus on one attack vector where these attacks originate….a danger that creeps, well camouflaged, in all organizations: the complacency culture; Most businesses today buy, lease, or build their own custom software; this is to be expected and absolutely necessary to run a business. When time/scope/cost/feature set make sense, software is purchased and used, purchased and adapted, and often purchased and forgotten; when features of packaged software don’t meet the needs of the business in question, software is created… and often forgotten. In large organizations, it’s not uncommon to have teams of development staff not know about one or more production applications that they own; it was written long ago and lost to the ages….and there is where the danger lurks.

Software can be dangerous when it’s forgotten or ignored. Not only is there are high price in maintaining old code from a support perspective but there is real danger of letting a solution stagnate for too long. In and of itself, old code is not bad code; however, when the operating environment is kept at a lowest common denominator to cater to solutions that have not been touched in years, this screams danger.

Technical debt is a real. We trade time to market, business features, and cost of purchase for a long term technical mortgage that many organizations don’t feel the need to repay….until they spend hundreds of millions of dollars dealing with a data breach or a hack.

Culture

As technical leaders we are challenged with a complacency culture; as employees or contractors we have expectations of performance; as craftsman we have a responsibility to our craft before our responsibilities to our managers; so where does this leave us? How to we answer to our craft instead of our demands?

When as system is rotting, it’s up to us to raise this concern and bring our toolbox to bear on what we can; what can we do to ensure that future stewards of our systems don’t pay the high cost that we do today?

Change

Change is hard; Complacency culture is best battled by removing the conditions in which it thrives: laziness and acceptance of good enough. Here are some specific ways to encourage moving forward:

 Community

Get involved in the technical community; Join or start a user group; attend a conference; learn and share an idea…even if it’s not really new;

 Interviewing

Engage with interviewing; Value integrity and grit over particular technical talents; Remember that we can all attend a training course; not everyone is a good team player.

Learn To Learn

Learn how you and your team learn best; Be selfish and grow yourself…you silently inspire;

Automate Everything

Stop doing things manually that can be done with automation; Learn & encourage others to rethink routine.

Stop Wasting Your Keystrokes

Write blogs not emails; the future you will appreciate you more.

Wrapping It Up

Paying back technical debt starts with removing the complacency culture. Take iterative, incremental steps build a great team; a great team helps slow and/or stop the erosion of your culture; be a technologist and “professional up” by remaining a life learner. Automate all you can; last but not least, remember that the success and/or failure of our products may not always be in our control but the decision to remain committed to our craft is.