Taking a new direction…

I am very pleased to announce that I have accepted a position as the Vice President of Engineering at Asynchrony Solutions, Inc., a leading agile development firm based in St. Louis, MO, effective May 1st, 2006. I’m thrilled to take this new position, as the spirit, principles, and values of Asynchrony very closely mirror my own — honesty, integrity, agility, openness, and all that other good stuff. In my new role, I will be responsible for helping align the agile project processes and practices with the larger business goals of the organization, developing an entirely new training division specializing in agile development and management practices, creating a .Net development practice, acting as a mentor to Asynchrony’s growing body of agile coaches, and managing several development projects for our clients.

I am unbelievably excited about this opportunity. I will be stepping away from day to day development tasks in part (not entirely!!!), but I will be responsible for helping to set the overall agile direction of the entire company. My goal is to publish as much as I can about our successes (and failures if allowed ), further the art of agile project management, and develop an effective way to sell defense contractors on agility wrapped inside their CMM-based processes. I truly want to be as transparent as I can about my activities, as I haven’t seen anywhere nearly enough published about this part of agility.

The one downside to this (and it is a tremendous downside) is that I’m going to have to leave the patterns & practices team at Microsoft. I have had an incredible 2–1/2 year run with them, I have had the opportunity to work with and learn from some outstanding people (Tom, Scott, Peter, Brad, EdJez, and now Jason and Don, plus too many more to mention), and I would not trade that experience for the entire world. Contrary to what outsiders might think, Microsoft is an incredible place to work — everyone you meet is consistently brilliant, helpful, and they all get it. Think what you may about the corporation Microsoft — they have amazing people. And mostly, I want to thank Jim Newkirk for having the faith in me to bring me into p&p all those many months ago, despite the objections of Scott and Naveen  I’ve known Jim for 10 years and consider him to be a very close friend, and I do thank him for all he’s done.

I do intend to keep up this blog, still writing about technical topics as I can, but I’ll also expand its topics to include more management-based learnings. I’m excited about this, and I can’t wait to start.

Yours truly,

Brian Button
V.P. of Engineering
Asynchrony Solutions, Inc.

Announcing the St. Louis Code Camp!

At long last, I can officially announce the 2006 St. Louis Code  Camp, to be held the weekend of May 6th and 7th, in Creve Coeur, MO. The code camp will be held in the offices of Microsoft at Three City Place, at the corner of Ballas and Olive, and will meet from 8:30 until 5 each day. Final plans for the number of sessions we can accept are still being drawn up, but we should have enough room for lots of good presentations.

A web site is in the process of being set up at www.stlcodecamp.org. On that site will soon be the camp schedule, list of speakers, map to the camp location, and a link to register. Registration is going to be limited to about 150 people due to size constraints of our facility.

Call for Volunteers

Much help is still being sought in organizing. I need someone to help create the web site, I need help planning some after-session activities for Saturday night, and lots of other things. If you’re interested in volunteering, please email me at codecamp-volunteers@agilestl.com.

Call for Speakers

This will also serve as the first Call for Speakers. If you want to speak at the code camp, please email me a description of your presentation. This is a non-competitive speaker selection process, so the first speakers who register will be given speaking slots until the slots fill up. Feel free to speak on any development-related topic, including Java, C++, C#, .Net, Ruby, Lua, Agile programming techniques, Unix, Linux, MacOS, Windows, AOP, or anything else you’re passionate about. The only requirement is that your presentation and any sample code must be made available to all code camp attendees with no restrictions on their use. Please email session descriptions to codecamp-speakers@agilestl.com.

This blog will serve as the primary means of announcing news about the St. Louis Code Camp until  the web site is set up. Once that is up and running, all news and information will be available from there.

For more information on Code Camps

You can get more information on what code camps are and how you can contribute at http://blogs.msdn.com/trobbins/archive/2004/12/12/280181.aspx . If you have any other questions, please drop me a note, and I can help answer your question.

Thanks, and I look forward to seeing many of you there!

— bab