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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

  • 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

Meet Your Tech on Tap – How Cloudy Is Your Organization? Speakers


Photo courtesy Nicolas Raymond

The next Tech on Tap is brewing on Saturday, May 30, from 11:00 am – 4:00 pm! Join us to learn more about Microsoft Azure, Amazon Web Services, and VMware private clouds with the following experts.

Jason Young is a Senior Program Manager with Microsoft. He focuses on commercial ISVs building large-scale technical projects built on devices, Windows, and Azure. His history includes working for a manufacturing startup, building MES software at GE, and consulting on a variety of technologies. Prior to joining Microsoft, he was CTO of an energy company where he directed development of a large-scale Windows Azure-based building automation and IoT data collection solution.

Jason will present “Azure in the Real World”.

Forget about “the cloud”. Let’s dive in and see what Azure can actually do for me today. From connected cows to running the travel world, we’ll look at real examples showing how you can build your own services and applications in a hyper-scale environment. Whether you want to dip your toes in or take a bath in Kool-Aid, there is something you can use today.

Bob Plankers is a technology generalist who has been writing, speaking, and blogging at for a decade. He is a virtualization & cloud architect at the University of Wisconsin – Madison, analyst at The Virtualization Practice, and a freelance IT consultant on interesting projects all over the region. In his free time he can often be found wondering why no houses ever have 90 degree angles and smoking a cigar while mowing the lawn.

Bob will present “Clouds Are Magic, and Other Related Nonsense”.

We spent a lot of money on a private cloud, but now we just have a mess. We went from having 2000 VMs to 5000 VMs almost overnight, now that the developers can deploy things on their own, and we’ve been adding capacity constantly. Someone told me these things are revolutionary, but the only revolution seems to be the one the CFO is having. And now people are talking about scrapping it all and sending everything to the public cloud. Aren’t clouds supposed to magically fix IT problems, not create new ones? Oh, and what the heck are containers?

Jeff Lehmann from Slalom Consulting has worked in technology and IT for more than 25 years, with 10 of those years spent as a certified SAS administrator and 3 years working with AWS.  He recently presented two sessions at the SAS annual user conference, SAS Global Forum in Dallas: “How to Implement SAS 9.4 on an Amazon Web Services Cloud Server Instance” and “The Advantages and Pitfalls of Implementing SAS in an Amazon Web Services Cloud Instance”. He combines his technical skillset with an analytical mindset.  He enjoys learning about and deploying new technologies.  He is delighted to present AWS to an MS SQL server audience!

Jeff is presenting, “The AWS Cloud Supports Microsoft Windows Server”:

According to Cloud Analyst Industry reports, AWS has the most robust cloud services offerings in the sector.  As well, Microsoft workloads on AWS have provided many success stories.  This presentation is targeted at an MS SQL Server audience and will provide an introductory overview of AWS.

How Cloudy Is Your Organization is going to be a fantastic day of learning, networking, and of course, great beer and food. Register by Wednesday, May 27th!

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:

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

Cheers for Tech on Tap Nothing But .NET!

Whiteboard time at Nothing But .NET with Jon Cwiak and Adam Driscoll

Whiteboard time at Nothing But .NET with Jon Cwiak and Adam Driscoll

The beer was cold, the food was delicious, the sessions were incredibly informative, and the networking was unbeatable. Yes, we had an incredibly successful Tech on Tap v3.1 Nothing But .NET!

Thank you to the attendees for taking a Saturday to increase your knowledge (about beer and code) and learn with us. You had great questions, excellent insight, and were appropriately thirsty.

Thank you to our speakers, Jon Cwiak and Adam Driscoll. You two are unbelievably smart and we couldn’t have done this without you. We learned more about LINQ, weaving, continuous integration, open-sourcing, and much more.

Thank you Stone Cellar for a tasty lunch (mac and beer cheese – yum!) and delicious beer, root beer, and sodas. Your service is excellent, and Kayla was fantastic to us.

Ready to join the fun? We’ll be back with How Cloudy is Your Organization on Saturday, May 16, 2015, and SQL Server on Saturday, October 10, 2015 – sign up for our mailing list today!

It’s almost time for Tech on Tap – Nothing But .NET!

Can you taste the Stone Cellar Six Grain Ale and hear the soothing sounds of laptop fans cooling the hard-working CPUs yet? Tech on Tap – Nothing But .NET is days away! The Brewmasters have been hard at work making this a stellar event.

The schedule for the day is

10:30-11:00 Registration
11:00-12:00 LINQ – .NET’s Nifty Little Query Syntax – Adam Driscoll
12:00-1:00 Lunch & brewery tour
1:00-2:00 Speaker TBD
2:00-2:15 Break
2:15-3:45 Learning to Weave: AOP and Other Threads – Jon Cwiak
3:45-4:00 Wrap-up
4:00-5:00 Bar chat

Lunch is going to be Stone Cellar’as to-die-for mac & beer cheese. We’ll have several varieties of their beer to try, along with their delicious root beer.

If you haven’t signed up yet, you have until 6:00 PM CST on Wednesday, February 25 to do so!

Most importantly, though, we’ll have great learning and networking opportunities. Make sure to bring a device for note-taking and business cards to share with your new contacts.

15 Conferences To Attend in 2015

The Tech on Tap Brewmasters and attendees are both eager students and teachers, so we’re always looking for more opportunities to expand our knowledge. Here are some of the conferences and experiences we’re looking forward to in 2015!

DeveloperWeek – February 6-12. San Francisco, CA. Learn about HTML5, Javascript, Ruby and more. Participate in a Hackathon. Have fun!

Visual Studio Live – March 16-20, Las Vegas, NV. June 1-4, Austin TX. More locations and dates, too! A great conference for .NET developers looking to hone their skills.

SQL Saturday Madison 2015 – April 11. Madison, WI. All SQL Server, all day, for FREE.

PowerShell Summit North America 2015 – April 20-22. Charlotte, NC. Three days of deep technical education on PowerShell.

Wisconsin VMUG User Conference – April 28. Middleton, WI. A full day of VMware training from local and national experts – and it’s free!

Build – April 29-May 1. San Francisco, CA. This is the conference for developers to learn what’s new and upcoming!

Ignite – May 4-8. Chicago, IL. Microsoft’s newest conference builds on TechEd, covering topics from Azure to Yammer. Bonus: Chicago is close for most of us!

Intersections – May 18-21. Scottsdale, AZ. DEV intersection, SharePoint intersection, Office365 intersection – there’s something here for everyone.

TechWeek Chicago – June 22-28. Chicago, IL. “Techweek’s mission is to showcase, celebrate and enable emerging innovation ecosystems.”

ThatConference – August 10-12. Wisconsin Dells, WI. “Summer camp for geeks” focuses on Mobile, Web, and Cloud – and they have a killer party at the indoor waterpark!

VMworld – August 30-September 3. San Francisco, CA. Want more VMware training? This is the biggest and best conference to get it.

IT/DevConnections – September 14-17. Las Vegas, NV. Sessions on Windows, SharePoint, Azure, SQL Server and more, from independent speakers.

Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing – October 14-16. Houston, TX. The world’s largest gathering of women technologists. Education and inspiration!

PASS Summit – October 27-30. Seattle, WA. The largest SQL Server conference in the world, with almost 200 sessions across three days, plus all-day pre-conference sessions.

AWS Summit – Various dates and locations. Direct-from-Amazon training on their cloud offerings.
Microsoft virtual conferences – Tech Days

What conferences are you excited about? Are you attending one that isn’t listed here? Tell us about it!

Meet your speakers!

Beth Tucker Long

beth-profile-picBeth Tucker Long is the Editor-In-Chief of php[architect] magazine (, co-organizer of Madison PHP (, and she also teaches PHP courses and freelances. You can find her on Twitter (@e3betht) or on her blog ( She runs Treeline Design –, a web development company, and Playlist Event Music –, a DJ company, along with her husband, Chris.

Beth’s Presentation: CI:IRL

Continuous integration is a big picture idea for big projects, but what if your projects and pictures aren’t big? Is continuous integration worthwhile for every day projects? Learn more about what continuous integration actually is, what tools are available to help you implement it, and how you can make it work for you, even in the small stuff.

Aaron Saray

“In our industry, 20 years is a long time. But I can’t help but think I’m just scratching the surface.”

aaronAaron Saray has been absolutely enthralled with programming for more than 2 decades. He’s programmed and scripted in many languages along the way, but gravitates towards Open Source technology. Aaron has given more than 15 PHP-centric conference talks, co-founded the Milwaukee PHP Users Group, runs the Milwaukee Web Design Meetup, and authored the WROX book Professional PHP Design Patterns. His true passion is mentoring programmers and encouraging team development, which just happens to be a great fit for his current role as Development Manager of a team specializing in PHP, Javascript and HTML5.

Aaron’s Presentation: Interactive Programming – Super Pair Style

You’ve heard of Pair Programming – but have you ever tried Group Programming? When is the last time you wrote PHP and HTML just from memory, using the core language without frameworks? In a three challenge segment, Aaron will lead the group in solving three challenges – but will only program using your commands and with your input. Then, the group will reflect on the choices and see what is to be learned, and could anything have been done better. If you’ve never Group Programmed before, you’re going to be hooked!