POWERFUL Beyond Measure–Free Workshop in Chicago on May 12th hosted by IAMCP WIT

by Angela 25. April 2016 19:17

A little background in case you’re thinking “oh god, ANOTHER freaking workshop for women on networking and empowerment” ::cue an eye roll that could cause a tidal wave::  This one is different, no really. Why do *I* know this? Because the woman running it is my career/life coach. And I was SUPER skeptical about seeing a life coach until the opportunity to try out a session for free fell into my lap at a conference. I had an intense first session with her, then never looked back! You see, I’ve been struggling with a lot of my own inner demons lately, a good number self-summoned, a similar number not. And in just a few months I’ve managed to find a lot more joy in my work, and a lot more courage to do the things I really want to do. So I know this lady means business.  She has made a huge difference in how I live my life and how I manage my career, and I am betting that in just this short time she’ll start you off on a similar path. I really hope you can make it!



You are a beautiful, brave, powerful woman. You are. You may not feel it today, but that doesn’t make it any less true. And, when you unleash your power (in a self-supportive way – not the dominating others  kind of power), you will feel surprisingly more in charge of your life and future. It can feel like people and circumstances stand in the way of getting what you want. Have you ever said, thought or felt any of these:

  • If X would happen, then things would be better (examples of X include lose weight, get promoted, make more money, get married, kids go to bed on time, co-workers pull their weight, etc.)
  • Because I have to
  • My boss doesn’t understand me
  • That’s just the way it is
  • He never does his part, and I have to do it or cover for him
  • I didn’t get picked for the good project
  • Why her and not me
  • If I were in charge...
  • I wish someone would ask what I think


If your answer is yes, then (a) congratulations on being human; and (b) all of these are statements that give away power. As women, we notoriously give our power away, which creates this vicious cycle of feeling less empowered,  giving more power away, feeling even less empowered and so on. Let’s stop this cycle and take our power back!

  • While I will facilitate, you are going to find out about you …
    Why and how you give power away
  • What you can do to keep your power
  • How to start using your power right away
  • We are going to learn, practice and grow together


REGISTER AT http://bit.ly/1SqTf5g

Date: Thursday, May 12th

Time: 8:30am-11:00am CST

· 8:30-9:00am – Breakfast and Networking

· 9:00-10:30am – Presentation/Workshop

· 10:30-11:00am – Q&A and Networking

Location: Microsoft AON Center | 200 E. Randolph St. Suite 200, Chicago IL 60601


SPEAKER BIO: Laura Weber is a leadership coach and consultant, working with various industries, teams  and individuals. She roots her  technique in authenticity and  courage, and views transformation  as a set of practices – something we approach and make decisions about each day. Since courage is a hallmark practice for her, she never asks her clients to do something she hasn’t already done or is willing to do herself.



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!




Chicago DevOps Community Roadshow–April 2016 Recap

by Angela 22. April 2016 09:41

Last week myself and some of my favorite community leaders and MVPs were able to deliver a free community event focusing on DevOps practices and tools thanks to the generosity of Microsoft. Not only did Microsoft provide the great venue for free, but they also supplied the funding that covered a great hot breakfast, beverages, and a Microsoft Band 2 for the raffle!

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We had over 100 people register, and people started trickling in early. We had a surprising number of enthusiastic attendees already seated and ready for Jim’s 8:30am keynote!

2016-04-15 08.37.10

Next we had some great talks by Landan, Erik, Chris, Min, and Greg. Topics included continuous integration with Visual Studio and TFS 2015, environment provisioning and DSC with Azure, release management with TFS RM and Octopus Deploy, and metrics and monitoring with Application Insights and SonarQube.

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There was a lot of great discussion, some awesome demos, and everyone had a great time. Thanks again to my rock star team - Eric Boyd, Landan Rotter, Angela Dugan, Greg Levenhagen, Chris Taylor, Jim Szubryt, and Min Maung - who seems to not really like any of us enough to stand next to us Smile

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Slides from the event are still being uploaded, but you’ll be able to access everything here. Thanks again for attending, and if you didn’t make it and would like to learn more about any of these topics, shout at me on email (via the link at the bottom of this blog post) or twitter and I’ll connect you with the right people!


Preliminary Chicago Code Camp Schedule is Up!

by Angela 14. April 2016 08:01

Hey campers, I hope you’re registered for Chicago Code Camp on April 30th. If not, get on over there and sign up for a great day of tech! It’s free, it’s fun, and we’d love to see you there.

Remember last year when you tried to get into that one SUPER popular session and there were people out the door? And then you went to that other session (like one of mine) and it was in an enormous room but only 20 or so people were there? Yeah, it happens because we were trying to guess how many people would show up for certain sessions, and we were close but didn’t get them all right.  We want to do better this year!

Once you get registered, be sure to review all of the great speakers and sessions and start thinking about what you might want to go see that day, then click the star next to your favorites  In case you missed my blog post about marking your favorite sessions, we still need your help planning out the day. We’ve started playing calendar Tetris to find the best possible time slots for each session, and we’re basing what times and which rooms each session will land in based on how many people hope to attend it. So while we have posted a preliminary schedule, we will keep using your votes to make changes to make sure that you can attend as many of your favorite sessions as possible. . Of course, we can’t help it if you want to attend multiple sessions in the same slot, we don’t have THAT kind of technology yet, but Min and Lwin are probably working on it Smile

OK, now stop reading and go register for CCC 2016 and favorite some sessions!


Chicago Code Camp | community


What Conference? ThatConference! That Joke is Getting Old But I Love It

by Angela 11. April 2016 13:02

Feels like just yesterday I was packing up and moving down another career path, and talking about this awesome conference with a funny name that was having it’s very first year. Can you believe it’s been almost 5 years?!  Well, here we are about to have our 5th ThatConference, and the call for speakers was a whirlwind, and we were blown away with the wide range of topics and subjects that people submit and voted on. This year is going to be so AWESOME! I know, I say that every year, but every year it’s true.

The speaker and session list includes an incredibly diverse range of topics. There are over 40 female speakers, and at least a dozen kid speakers so far - and the list of young campers speaking at the conference is still growing! You know, it’s one thing to be part of a successful conference, that feels really good. But it’s another to have a conference that incites such excitement that you have dozens of kids willing to roll up their sleeves and teach us all some great new skills. I just cannot get over that. I had neither the chutzpah nor the opportunity for something like that growing up, so I love that we can do that at ThatConference. If you missed the call for speakers, and you or your little ones are interested in speaking, keep in mind that we will have Open Spaces sessions to allow for spur of the moment talks.

Needless to say I am so proud to be a part of something like this, and am so grateful to be part of such a passionate and dedicated conference team – especially Clark and Carrie Sell. None of us knew what we were signing on to back in 2010 when the idea was born, including them I imagine Smile

Haven’t heard of ThatConference? Well, get on over to the conference website because I probably can’t do it justice. I hope you, and your family can make it this year! Early bird pricing is in effect, so be sure to grab your tickets and your rooms soon.  They won’t last – trust me on this!

Below are some fun pics from last year that I wanted to share as well, maybe you’ll see yourself in here Smile

Some fun times decorating badges:



The amazing conference crew:



Board game night!


Our glorious stage (and leader!)



ThatConference | community | Cloud Computing | Azure | Mobile | Mobile development | Agile | Scrum | SDLC | web development


Help us Make Chicago Code Camp 2016 Awesome by Marking Sessions You Plan to Attend

by Angela 4. April 2016 16:41

Hopefully you’ve already signed up for Chicago Code Camp 2016!  If not, get on over to the site, check it out, and get signed up! Sure, you can register the day of, but we get a LOT of people first thing in the morning and there could be lines. So trust me and don’t wait if you know you are coming anyway. Registering ahead of time also helps us to plan better! CCC 2016 requires a lot of planning for food, logistics, seating, T-shirt orders, and if we know ahead of time how many people are coming, what you are eating, and what sessions you want to go to, well we are far more able to be ready for you!

Once you are registered, head on over to the Session page and start favoriting the things you think you might attend. And we know, it’s hard to pick sometimes, and maybe you want to go to all of them, because we do have some amazing sessions this year!  That’s ok, pick everything that you like and we’ll sort out the rest. You can unmark the items later if you change your mind, or when inevitably two really good talks are happening at the same time and you can’t be at both. We just want to avoid sessions with larger audiences from being in tiny rooms, and more niche topics with a more focused audience getting the auditorium.

And marking an item as a favorite it easy! Look for the star to the left of the title on the General Sessions page, and click the star to highlight (if the star is yellow it’s a favorite!). Click again to unmark.



Same process from the session detail page, but now the star is in the lower right:



All of us volunteers who work hard to make Chicago Code Camp a success appreciate your help with this!  See you on April 30th!!



FREE CQAA Webinar April 6th: Improve your Retrospectives with Agile Kaizen

by Angela 4. April 2016 07:56

I am doing a quick lunch-time webinar for CQAA this week Wednesday on how to improve your software team’s retrospectives with the Kaizen process. Check it out if you’re free!  And check out CQAA (Chicago Quality Assurance Association) as well, it is a great local organization focused on software quality and testing.


Continuous self-improvement of software teams is traditionally accomplished through 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!

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

Join Angela as she explains how you can use Kaizen to analyze and improve your retrospectives, regardless of your team’s process. She will begin with a brief review of what a retrospective is and walk through some examples of both healthy and unhealthy retrospective scenarios she has experienced herself. Angela will then explain the concept of Kaizen, the Kaizen process, and how you can leverage a Kaizen process to turn your retrospectives back into the effective continuous improvement tools they are meant to be!

Key Learning Objectives

Determining if your current agile retrospectives are effective

Learn Kaizen Burst techniques

Using Kaizen in agile retrospectives

About the Speaker (Hint: it’s ME! Smile)

Angela Dugan is the ALM Practice Manager for Polaris Solutions, a small technology consulting firm based out of Chicago and St. Louis. She has been in software development since 1999, including 5 years as an ALM Tools evangelist with Microsoft. Angela also runs the Chicago Visual Studio ALM user group, is an active organizer and speaker at several local conferences, is a Microsoft ALM MVP, and is both a Certified Scrum master and SAFe Program Consultant. Outside of wrangling TFS, Angela is an avid board gamer, an aspiring runner, and a Twitter addict. She lives in a 1910 house in Oak Park, Illinois that she is constantly working on/cursing at with her husband David.

Register now for this webinar!


The Chicago Quality Assurance Association, the Chicago Chapter of the QAI Global Institute is a nonprofit professional organization that was established in 1984 to promote quality principles and practices within Chicago-area companies. CQAA provides a forum for information professionals to present and discuss quality and process management within information systems, technology, and services.


Application Lifecycle Management | Scrum | retrospectives | Agile


Discover TFS 2015 and VSTS Build Services with Paul Hacker At the Chicago ALM Meetup on April 13th

by Angela 1. April 2016 09:51

In case you missed it, Update 2 for both Visual Studio 2015 and TFS 2105 were announced at //Build yesterday! Be sure to download it and check out the new features as soon as you get a chance, you won’t regret it J One of the biggest changes in TFS 2015 is the new build system. It can be a bit overwhelming to get ramped up on all of the new features, so this next meeting will be a great way to get your feet wet.

Getting Started with Team Foundation Server 2015 Build

Team Foundation Server (TFS) has a powerful build system for years. Nevertheless, TFS 2015 introduces a completely new system. Wondering what this is about and why (again) belongs to something new to you? Join us to explore the next generation of TFS build system and learn more about the background, the technical implementation and the benefits (eg, Cross-Platform builds).

Please note - Many people have requested an earlier starting time, so we're giving it a try. Dinner now starts at 6:00pm and the presentation will start at 6:30pm. See you there!

Speaker Bio:

Paul Hacker has over 15 years of application architecture, design, development, and management expertise in Microsoft technologies. Paul has a depth of experience in ALM, Process Improvement, and Team Foundation Server.  Having distinguished himself as a leader in the IT industry he has been awarded the distinction of Microsoft MVP in the ALM category every year since 2006. Over the years Paul has proven his expertise in Application Lifecycle Management and has demonstrated his professionalism and commitment to the continuous process of managing the life of an application through governance, development and maintenance.

Check out Paul's blog, and listen for him sharing exciting VSTS/TFS news and updates on the RadioTFS podcast!

Join Us Wednesday, April 13, 2016 from 6:00 PM to 8:30 PM
Location:Microsoft-Chicago 200 E Randolph, 2nd Floor, Chicago

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

*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!

P.S. Don’t forget to register, Aon center security requires it.


TFS | TFS 2015 | Team Foundation Server | Build Automation | Continuous Delivery | Continuous deployment | Continuous improvement | Visual Studio | Visual Studio 2015 | Visual Studio Team Services | Con | vis

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