Denver Dev Day Call for Speakers ends Sunday

Here’s the call for speakers below.  I would personally love to see new speakers sign up.

Denver Dev Day is back! Lucky you, speaker call has been extended. We have new opportunities for you to contribute. Let’s start with the three type of presentations available to a speaker who wants to speak at Denver Dev Day:
Regular session (60 minutes)

This typical teaching session is an hour. It gives speakers the opportunity to introduce and go deep in a topic. From level 100 to 300, technical and soft-skill sessions are welcome.

Lightning talk (10 minutes)

A lightning talk is short and focused. In 10 short minutes, speakers get the chance to introduce a topic or show off a quick solution. No fluff, and a great starting place for new speakers.

Roundtable (45 minutes)

The Roundtable is new at Denver Dev Day. Subject matter experts host an in-depth technical discussion and open question-and-answer session in an open door forum.

Where do you sign up?

Right here: Speaker Sign Up

When is Denver Dev Day?

Friday, June 24th. This is our sixth Denver Dev Day, and the past two have been on Friday. We have had a resounding success targeting a weekday. As a result, we’re sticking to our Friday event plan.

What type of topics?

Denver Dev Day is a developer-focused event without a specific theme (like web) or technology (like Microsoft). This means, if it’s interesting to developers, we want your topic submitted.

When is speaker call closed?

Sunday, May 7.

Submit your session at Speaker Sign Up by the end of this month. The Denver Dev Day leadership team will tease through submissions, making selections the second week of May.

Who do I contact or will be my point of contact?

Do you have questions? Do you need information? Everything you need to know for a successful session will be sent to you after selection. Need answers now? Julie Yack ([email protected])

Must I be a professional speaker?

The only requirement to present a session is that you know the content of the talk. If you are a regular speaker or this will be your first session, you’re welcome at Denver Dev Day.

Executive- check! Legislative- check! Judicial- NEXT WEEK!

I am a big government nerd (not a fan of ginormous government, but a big fan of government). Very fascinated by the government, the political aspects of it. Love the logic and reasoning that in a perfect world prevails. I have the Constitution on my phone and reference it more often that you might think, especially during our crazy current political climate.

Legislative branch- For several years now I have been honored to offer my voice on Capitol Hill. Offering my views and influence on STEM education, technology policy and more. I have met with staffers, council, policy writers and sitting Senators and Congressmen (and one Congresswoman).

Executive branch- I have also been invited to The White House to do the same with the science and technology policy folks. I met my first sitting president in 1992 during George HW Bush’s re-election bid. I have shaken hands with President Obama in 2012 and got to personally grill him with my questions at a town hall in 2009.

Judicial branch- Next week after spending a day on The Hill hoping to be heard, I plan to stop by The Supreme Court to hear oral arguments. I intend to attend the consolidated argument taking on criminalization of refusal to consent to warrantless field sobriety tests. Three cases have been combined based on their similarities to one another. Thanks to the ACLU for providing this quick summary:

Whether states may criminalize a driver’s refusal to consent to a warrantless blood, breath or urine test for alcohol after a drunk driving arrest.

In 2013, the Supreme Court held in Missouri v. McNeely that the Fourth Amendment bars warrantless blood tests in drunk driving cases absent exigent circumstances beyond the normal dissipation of alcohol in the blood. The issue in this case is whether a state can criminally prosecute a driver for exercising his Fourth Amendment right to refuse consent. The ACLU argues in an amicus brief that the assertion of a constitutional right can never be a crime, and that the government cannot avoid this basic rule by treating the issuance of a driver’s license as a blanket consent to all future blood, breath, or urine testing without a warrant.

Watch for a follow-up after my visit.

Tech recruiters failing their clients

I get a fair number of resumes emailed to me.  From friends and professional peers, from recruiters, from random people that find me online.  Today brought a resume that had far too many issues, and it came from a recruiter.  It smelled of recruiter.  It smelled bad.

The resume came to me with no name attached.  I don’t know the location.  I know they want to work remote and they are a he because the email tells me he’s ready to start right away.

So I will start by saying this person is probably a decent resource.  But, if I’m picking apart the resume (which I am because I’m blogging about it), I’d be curious why someone with such extensive experience is going through a recruiter to get his next project.

First problem, they claim 15 years of .NET experience.  15 YEARS!  Problem.  .NET was released in 2002.  Math.

Then there’s the 20 years of SQL experience, but only 18 years as an end user.  So, dude was working on a database, but didn’t know how to use software?

Certifications come next.  I have a love/hate relationship with certifications.  The resume shows certifications in CRM 4.0 and 2011.  Problem here, most recent certs are 5 years old.  That’s like 10 technology generations old.  Don’t brag about that!

There are more, older certifications.  If your most recent certifications are that old, then either remove from your resume or get newer ones to add to the list.  If you know me enough to send me a resume, then you know we only work on new stuff.  Version now and version next.  I’m not impressed that you are certified in SQL 2008 R2.

This final critique takes the prize.  Going to copy and paste here from the resume.

“This is a terrifically well-rounded candidate with a wealth of CRM experience, including 10+ years of Dynamics CRM experience (he was given a free copy of version 3 to test by Microsoft). “

Maybe the resume was intended for someone that doesn’t read them?

I cannot stress enough how important it is to stand up to these folks.  They mean well.  They represent YOU.  They sell YOU.  But, they often don’t know enough to make you look good on paper and paper is all I have when I’m emailed a resume.  Don’t let a recruiter make you sound ridiculous.  Please.  There’s loads of work to be had.  But this will likely cost you some good opportunities. 

(I am happy to review just about anyone’s resume and offer feedback, so if you are out in the CRM jungle and looking for work, drop me an email.  Even if we’re not hiring, I’m happy to help so that you don’t suffer the same fate.  And if by some chance this is YOU that the recruiter is selling, email me.  I’ll get you your money back.)

Events to encourage more girls to STEM

This past week we had a class of 24 students. Two of them were women. We had two instructors, one woman, one man.

This was a level 300 course for technologists.

I was glad that the two female students were just as out-spoken as their male counterparts.

In my experience, that ratio is about right for the students in the classes I teach.

What do we need to do to encourage more women into these jobs? 

What do we need to do to keep women in these jobs?

It starts with helping girls find a comfortable place to explore the sciences.  And not just computer science.  We are losing women all the time and we should be finding ways to encourage each other.

Here are a few girl-focused events to look.  Mentor.  Attend.  Take part. 

Engineers week is in February, with Girls day on February 25.  What do you plan to do to make a difference?

Big thanks to Molly Bukowski from Teza Technologies for contacting me and bringing this back into focus for me and giving me the kick in the pants I needed to get back to writing.

Engineers Week_Girl Day


I was recently contacted by Molly Bukowski from Teza Technologies about this problem.  They are trying to do something about it.

The Colorado GOP says my vote is irrelevant

The Colorado GOP will decide your vote this season.  No seriously they will.  You don't get a say.

"Colorado’s delegates to the 2016 RNC will be unbound"

Now that doesn't sound bad does it?  But it is. 

It means that the Colorado Republicans do not respect the views and desires and votes of its Colorado citizens. 

It means don't you worry your pretty little head about voting sweetie, we got this, now go make me a sammich.

It means that each delegate chooses the candidate they personally prefer, with no regard to the will of the people.

Used to be that in order to have a say in the Colorado primary/caucus process you needed to register as GOP.  That's why I was registered as such for many years. 

I switched that today.

GOP press release here.

I will continue to vote based my own thoughts and not based on party.  But I demand my voice be heard.  We all should.

Register now for my Hello World Road Show stop!

The Hello World podcast by Shawn Wildermuth has been getting the stories of how folks began their journeys in software.  He's going on the road and taking his show with him. And I'm going to be the guest at the stop in Denver on March 24.  Join us at the Microsoft office in the evening from 6:30-9.  We'll chat and then also Shawn with give a talk about ASP Core.  Seating is limited, so reserve your spot now!

If you can't make the Denver stop, have a look, there's probably a stop near you.

See you in Denver!


If I have to have rheumatoid arthritis, at least I’m a ninja

Today I admit to being human

This blog has been pretty quiet, I’ve been distracted. I was recently diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis. It’s not the arthritis you get as you get old or from an injury; it’s a destructive and painful auto-immune disease. And it can be all-consuming. Working with a great doctor on getting it under control, and am now able to pick back up where I left off on a few things. Like this blog.

Won’t clutter this blog with it, if you’re interested in that journey, head over to

Back to your regularly scheduled program.

Just another day at MalaMala

The day begins just before sunrise.

As we leave camp we notice some impala all standing at attention and looking the same way. We head that way to investigate.

Look in the river. Look around the river in the bush. No go.

In comes the call, lions. Not just lions but a new pride in the making. An established pride of three lionesses seems to have joined forces with a pride that started with two males and a female. However, the female has been shunned and was no longer with the group. The lions, five of them, were lounging on the sand alongside the river just a short distance away.

When we arrive we see the two males sleeping. The lionesses are near but one is wide awake, like she’s on guard duty. We get a good position for photos. Our hope is that as the sun rises from behind us, the lions will go into the river for a drink and we’ll get good photos head on with the fresh morning sun lighting up their faces.

One of the other rangers sees a leopard across the river. That would be behind us. We do not see the leopard. But the lioness on guard sees the leopard.

She begins her walk over, going right through the water in front of us.

Copyright Julie Yack

The other lionesses follow her. After the three lionesses cross, the two males join.

Copyright Julie Yack

They have found the leopard and have her trapped high in a tree.

Copyright Julie Yack

The lions decide it’s time to sleep now. Under the tree, keeping the leopard trapped.

We wait. We watch.

The lions move around a little.

The leopard grumbles and hisses.

The lions move around a little more.

The leopard grumbles and hisses more.

The dance continues for some time.

As long as the leopard is patient, she can wait out the lions. She is far too high in the tree for them to reach her.

We leave the scene and move along on a quest for more leopards, two young females had been spotted not far away. On the way we are distracted by a beautiful green bird. This bird sits high in the tree, in the perfect sunlight. When it takes off it performs a loop and returns to the same branch. This little bird is not only photogenic, it’s cooperative.


We drive a little more and decide to stop for coffee and biscotti. We enjoy a hot cup while keeping an eye on the river. There is no danger, but who knows when an elephant might decide to cross the water, always great to watch.

From there we head back to the continued saga of the lions and the leopard. The monkeys are hollering. They want anyone that can hear to know that there’s some big predators here and they mean business.

Enter a herd of thirsty buffalo. The only thing between them and the water is lions. And a leopard.

A few of the male buffalo decide to bicker, throwing horns and grunting, dirt filling the air.

The buffalo move closer to the lions. The lions start to wake.

The leopard remains high in the tree.

The buffalo move closer to the lions. The lions are on their feet.

The leopard carefully watching from above. Safe.

The buffalo move in, the lions run for the water. Dirt flying.

Lions growling. Buffalo grunting.

Copyright Julie Yack

After the lions are gone, and the buffalo are settled the leopard cautiously begins climbing down the tree. She looks around and goes down a branch. She checks for the lions’ location, goes down another two branches. She can’t be too careful. She makes her way to the ground, continuously looking around her for any chance of danger. Once she reaches the ground she slowly begins her walk to safety, walking and looking over her shoulder for dangers behind her. Once she is sure the dangers are gone, she runs from the area.

With that drama over, we return to the road in hopes of catching a glimpse of the Bicycle Crossing leopard. His nickname is The Godfather. He has the largest territory of any leopard in this part of the world. He is big and tough, and at 14 years old a little past his prime. We had seen him last night and heard he is still in the same area. He likely has a kill that we didn’t see and will remain there to eat.

On the way we receive word that there’s another male leopard in the area. They are aware of one another and hissing and growling.

Could there be a battle?

We speed up, but then must take a detour. There’s a rhinoceros sleeping in the road.

When we arrive we see the challenger, in the sand and reeds of the river. It’s a younger male, but he looks tough. Broad shoulders and nostrils flaring.

We hear The Godfather grunting and hissing.

Both leopards move around a little, but still do not approach each other.

One goes in for a drink.

The other moves around and repositions.

They continue this for some time while we watch and wait. Cameras poised and at the ready.

The challenger goes in swiftly, not quite at a run. The Godfather does not engage in conflict.

The challenger goes back to walk in the sand and get some distance. He decides to lay down in the sand. He is alert, not resting one bit.

Then The Godfather gets up and hops down into the sand. He slowly walks toward his challenger. The challenger gets up and slowly walks toward The Godfather. They walk parallel to each other, sizing the other up to prepare for battle.

The Godfather makes his move and chases his challenger into the reeds. There is little fighting that occurs and the challenger is nowhere to be found.

With his head high The Godfather returns to his meal. Swagger intact.

Copyright Julie Yack

Curious about the lions we had seen we head back toward them and find them all sleeping at the river. The males on the big cool rock. The females are waterside on the sand.

Copyright Julie Yack

We decide to head back to camp and on our way see a beautiful roller in the tree and snap a couple of quick photos. The drive as over.

Copyright Julie Yack

It was time for breakfast.

That one more thing you need to be successful in CRM

I have often been asked what we need to teach our students to make them successful in the long term. Like, EXACTLY, what do we need to teach them? There is not a specific class to be named. There is not a skill I can name.

Our students need an employable skill on graduation day. Plus one more thing. It can be almost anything. It can be fluency in another language. It can be art. It can be another science. One more thing. Now, we will explore jobs and ways you can make a difference with those obscure things that give you passion. The one more thing.

My story…I love solving puzzles. Not here’s a picture cut up into little pieces, put it back together type of puzzles. I love the logic problems, anything that makes you think creatively to solve something. I am also a 3-dimensional thinker. So when I am driving around a city, in my head it’s a 3-d map/globe that I am moving around in. So the chance to creatively solve a business problem with my 3-dimensional thinking makes me a more valuable resource. When I am designing CRM, in my head it’s a 3-d mapping of the architecture. How does this piece fit with that piece? Is this the right relationship to this other thing? That crazy virtual board of things from Minority Report? That’s almost like what I have in my head when building a new schema.

Chris is a successful CRM professional. His job includes lots and lots of customer support. His hobby is restoring old cars. How could those possibly be related? The process of getting into the details, figuring out how things work, cleaning them for better appearance, find solutions to missing parts and correct factory finishes, all make him better in his Dynamics Job in how he has to complete discovery, research, often cleanup messes, and revise for better user adoption, find ISVS, and provide easier upgrade and maintenance paths. The creative thinking and attention to detail needed for the car work directly match with what’s needed to help and troubleshoot customers with their own different and creative CRM implementations.

Gustaf has a slightly different view of how his dedication to Aikido helps him in his work as a CRM consultant. The basic philosophy of Aikido is to embrace the force of the attacker and move the attacker in circles to the direction of your choice, ideally without them even knowing it. How does that relate to Dynamics work? In his words, “When working with a customer and I find that their processes, for instance sales process, is backward or sub optimal, instead of confronting them head on and telling them that you have to change, your process is bad. It is often more efficient to try to listen, understand, embrace how they work and why and the slowly try to change their perspective so that they end up where you want them. It can only work if I first establish a firm base of trust for the people I work with which is similar to a firm stance which will be the center of the circle of the movement.”

What creative skills do you have that will help you in your career?