0

Meetups, meetups, everywhere! But where do you start?

by Angela 24. February 2016 16:54

At our most recent Chicago ALM user group meeting I was approached by someone who was attending their very first technology meetup ever, and had chosen mine! I was glad to hear that he had really enjoyed the meeting and was looking for more technology focused meetups in the area.  I started talking about all of the groups I had recently discovered on Meetup.com and it turns out he had never heard of it. I had assumed he knew about it. Then I wondered, are there other people out there who haven’t discovered the awesomeness of Meetup.com? Maybe you already knew about it, maybe you didn’t, or maybe like me you signed up for an account some number of years ago and haven’t logged in for a while to see what’s new.

If you’ve never been on Meetup.com it would be worth signing up for a free account and seeing what else is in your local area that might be of interest to you.  Heck, there are plenty of meetups that aren't even work related that you might want to attend! It will ask you some questions about where you live, and what topics are interesting to you, and then as you join Meetup groups it learns about your preferences and suggests groups to you that it thinks you will like. Creepy and awesome right? The number of available meetups might be a little overwhelming at first, but here’s the thing - you can watch meetups to get a feel for what they talk about and who attends, so effectively stalking the meetup, before committing to attending it.

Here are just the agile related ones that I am signed up for right now. I wanted to share because maybe you’ve been wanting to find other groups that focus on agile related topics and wasn’t sure where to start.  And hey, if you have one that is not in my list please let me know!

Chicago ALM Meetup – OK, this is MY group and we’re not actually on Meetup.com but I feel like I have to talk about it on my own blog. We discuss a huge variety of topics around Application Lifecycle Management including DevOps strategies, ALM tools like TFS, and various agile practices like continuous integration, continuous deployment, and test automation. We meet in the downtown and Downers Grove Microsoft offices anout 8 times a year. Sign up to be notified of new events at the Chicago ALM user group website!

Chicago Agile Open Spaces meets the first Tuesdays of every month at 5:30pm in the Loop. Been to a few, really great bunch of people who know their stuff! Their next meeting is March 8th and they are talking about Success with: Distributed Teams / Remote Teams: http://www.meetup.com/Chicago-Agile-Open-Space/

The Chicago Agile Methodology Group meets the third Tuesday of every month at the Catalyst Ranch in west loop. Haven’t been to this one yet, kind of small still, but have some great topics coming up. Their next topic is March 15th on Getting Intentional About Rank and Power in Agile Organizations: http://www.meetup.com/The-Chicago-Agile-Methodology-Group/

Agile Professional Learning Network - This is one is interesting as it is marketed as "professional learning". I see a lot of my PMI contacts attending this one, likely because they meet in the same complex for their own meetups. And hey, NOT in the city for once! The meet the second Thursday of every month in the near northwest burbs (not far from Ohare), but I heard they may be moving closer to Schaumburg soon. Their next topic is Agile Tools vs Physical Boards: : http://www.meetup.com/APLN-Chicago/

Scaling Agile Chicago - This one is new, and is pretty exciting to me as someone who recently got their SPC. Also not in the city which may appeal to a few folks living in the MW suburbs. Seems like they are still figuring out their location and cadence.  The next meeting is SAFe 4.0 Primer, March 31 , Schaumburg Library:http://www.meetup.com/Scaling-Agile-Chicago/

Agile Project Management: I was really excited about this one, but they don't meet very often yet.  I am thinking about reaching out to them about presenting, maybe they just need some support.  http://www.meetup.com/ABOK-ORG/

Chicago Agile Project Management: The meet on the last Monday of the month at 5:30pm at ITA in the loop. Wondering if it replaced the one above, it seems a bit young as well, and this month's topic looks awesome! Alas I'll be on vacation so won't be able to attend myself: Rapid Quality in Agile 3.0  http://www.meetup.com/Chicago-APM/events/228704700/

 

There are meetups for darn near EVERYTHING, so whether you’re into programming in Ember, using Lean for delivering products, raising backyard chickens, reading SciFi books, or reading SciFi books about backyard chickens who prefer developing in Ember (You never know, it might be a thing!), there is a group for you. Apologies in advance if you lose the rest of the night spelunking through Meetup.com Smile

Tags:

community | meetups | Agile | Scrum | SAFe | Lean | Application Lifecycle Management | ALM

0

Chicago Code Camp Call for Speakers is Open

by Angela 17. February 2016 08:52

In case you haven’t heard, Chicago Code Camp call for speakers opened last week and we need you! Not heard of Chicago Code Camp? Well, grab a cup of coffee and pull up a chair because we have a great story! This is our 8th year, and once again we’ll be staying in downtown Chicago at the Illinois Institute of Technology to make sure we are centrally located and easy to get to by car, train, or subway. It is a day to learn from the community. It is a day to contribute to the community. Please join us by sponsoring, attending, speaking, or all three! We cannot be successful without you. 

The mission of Chicago Code Camp is to provide a credible resource within the IT industry. Our goal is to offer a wide range of opportunities to learn about advancements in our field, to share knowledge from our experiences, and to develop valued relationships with our peers. To that end, Chicago Code Camp is a FREE, day-long event. We are here to connect the talent and expertise within the Developer community of the Windy City, and that includes YOU. Discussions for the day have previously included development and trending topics in .net, java, open sourced frameworks, web, mobile, cloud, robotics, testing, soft skills, and more.

So what ideas, technologies, or strategies do you want to share with us? Everyone has something to contribute, whether its information on a new JavaScript framework, teaching us how to leverage Docker to strengthen our DevOps practices, sharing experiences adopting scrum, or how to handle ourselves better in job interviews. We are looking for a broad set of experiences across just about any topic related to being a technology professional.

Note on our selection process: In order to be fair towards all the speakers who submit for sessions for the Code Camp, the speakers are chosen via a blind voting process by the Chicago Code Camp Advisory Council (CCCAC). The advisory council is made up of various local and regional user group leaders and industry experts. The council will only see the topic title, abstract, and level of difficulty of the talk when voting for the abstract. The council does not have access to the presenter's information. The abstracts with highest votes are then placed into tracks and presenters are notified.

So take a few minutes to absorb some caffeine, think about some topics you’d be willing to share with the rest of the tech community in Chicago, then submit your ideas here: http://www.chicagocodecamp.com/Submissions/WantToShare

 

Hope to see you at Chicago Code Camp this April!  Oh, and general registration is not open yet, but stay tuned for news on that Smile

0

Join IAMCP WIT in Chicago on March 10th for a Breakfast Discussion on Work Life Balance!

by Angela 16. February 2016 08:42

Everyone is striving for a WORK-LIFE balance these days which is a good thing! However, we seem to misunderstand what that REALLY means and what it will REALLY look like.  The pursuit of this fabled WORK-LIFE balance has become the newest “having it all!” challenge and ultimate symbol of success for women.

Our guest speaker, Ellen Zelent will share her story of searching for the WORK-LIFE balance unicorn and how her definition of what that is had to change.  Balance is in the eye of the beholder! Do not be confused by what others tell you is balanced. Let’s discuss and share notes and experiences of our individual journeys toward this personal and individual goal.

Date: Thursday, March 10th 
Time: 8:30am-10:30am

  • 8:30-9:00 - Networking and Breakfast
  • 9:00-10:00 - Work-life Balance Presentation
  • 10:00-10:30 - Q&A and Networking

Location: Microsoft Offices (AON) 
                 200 East Randolph St. Suite 200 (MPR 1)
                 Chicago, IL 60601

REGISTER TODAY – SEATS ARE LIMITED

Please don’t forget to register, Aon center security requires it for entry to the Microsoft office! 

Parking can be pricey in the city so please don't overpay for it. SpotHero has some great parking very near to the Aon Center for as little as $10, I use them and I love the service!

Tags:

IAMCP | WIT | Women | Women in Technology

0

Improve your Retrospectives with Agile Kaizen!– Feb 17th at the Chicago ALM User Group

by Angela 8. February 2016 11:18

Continuous self-improvement on agile teams is traditionally done through agile retrospectives, a form of post-mortem held at the completion of an iteration. More often than not, retrospectives begin to fade and the list of action items keeps growing until teams simply succumb to business-as-usual practices. In some cases, teams eventually abandon retrospectives altogether because they feel like a waste of time! I’ve seen it happen, it is NOT pretty.

  1. Do you feel like your retrospectives are a death march where no one is actively participating?
  2. Do the same problems seem to resurface repeatedly?
  3. Are your retrospectives ending prematurely or being cancelled in favor of "getting more real work done"?
  4. Or maybe you feel great about your agile retrospectives, but just want to learn more about Kaizen...

Join Angela as she leads this interactive discussion about how you can use Kaizen to analyze and improve your agile retrospectives. She will begin with a brief review of what an agile retrospective is, and walk through some retrospective scenarios she has experienced on her own scrum teams.  Angela will then explain the concept of Kaizen, and walk through the Kaizen process.  Lastly, Angela will demonstrate how you can use a Kaizen process to turn your agile retrospectives back into the effective continuous improvement tools they are meant to be!

RSVP

Location:Microsoft-Chicago 200 E Randolph, 2nd Floor, Chicago

Date and time: Wednesday, February 17, 2016 from 6:30 PM to 8:30 PM

Agenda:6:30 Dinner and networking, 7:00pm Main Speaker Presentation

Speaker Bio: Angela Dugan is a Principal Consultant and the Application Lifecycle Management (ALM) Practice Manager for Polaris Solutions, a small .NET development and ALM consulting firm based out of Chicago, Denver, and St. Louis. Angela has been in software development filling various roles since 1999, including 5 years at Microsoft. In 2011, she followed her passion back into the consulting world where she could be far more hands-on with her customers and play a greater role in the local tech community. Angela runs the Chicago ALM user group, is an active organizer and speaker at several local conferences including Chicago Code Camp and ThatConference, is a Microsoft ALM MVP, a Certified Scrum master, and a certified SAFe Program Consultant.

Outside of wrangling TFS, Angela is an avid board gamer, a chicken farmer (seriously, they have chickens!), an aspiring runner, a blogger, and a Twitter addict. She lives in a 1910 house in Oak Park that she is constantly working on/cursing at with her husband David.

Please don’t forget to register, Aon center security requires it!  I know parking is pricey in the city so please don't overpay for it. SpotHero has some great parking very near to the Aon Center for as little as $10, I use them and I love the service!

 

Tags:

ALM | Application Lifecycle Management | Agile | Kaizen | Scrum | Software Development Lifecycle Management | Continuous improvement

0

Join Polaris Solutions and Microsoft in Downers Grove This Month for a FREE All Day Azure Training Event

by Angela 4. February 2016 14:02

Are you still hovering around the edge of the Azure watering hole? Looking to get some deeper discussion and hands on experience around developing for the cloud, deploying to the cloud, and/or leveraging cloud for dev/test? Microsoft has a great event coming to the Chicago suburbs later this month, and Polaris is excited to be part of that. Please join us for this interactive, full-day training session led by experts from the field, with content created specifically for developers and IT professionals like you. Our very own Chris Taylor will be covering Microsoft Azure App Services with Visual Studio 2015

If you already have Visual Studio 2015 on your laptop or tablet, you’re all set. You can also download it from MSDN or get a trial version here. Don’t have an Azure subscriptions? No worries! you’ll be provided with a free Microsoft Azure pass since you’ll spend most of the day in a hands-on lab environment.

Check out this Agenda, it’s packed with awesome sessions!

8:30AM: Registration / Welcome

9:00AM: Intro to Microsoft Azure & Visual Studio 2015

9:45AM: Azure App service overview

10:30AM: Azure VM and virtual networks (IaaS)

11:00AM: Instructor led / Hands-on labs

12:00PM: Lunch served

1:00PM: Azure Machine Learning

1:45PM: Azure Data overview

2:30PM: Instructor led / Hands-on labs

4:30PM: Wrap up / Evaluations / Raffle

 

Microsoft Office - Chicago (Downers Grove)
3025 Highland Pkwy, Suite 200,
Downers Grove , Illinois 60515
See map and/or driving directions

Date: Feb 23, 2016
Time: 9:00 AM - 4:30 PM

 

Best part, this event is FREE! Get more details and register here: https://www.microsoftevents.com/profile/form/index.cfm?PKformID=0x7448165a6

 

Hope to see you there!

Tags:

ALM | Application Lifecycle Management | Azure | Cloud Computing | DevOps | VS 2015 | Visual Studio | Visual Studio 2015 | Visual Studio Online | Visual Studio Team Services

Powered by BlogEngine.NET 2.7.0.0
Original Design by Laptop Geek, Adapted by onesoft