Hallway Conversations

A Podcast by Developers for Developers

Hallway Conversations - A Podcast by Developers for Developers

Episode 049 – Exploring Reactive Extensions (Rx) with Jim Wooley

In this episode the Hallway Conversations team sits down with Jim Wooley of Slalom Consulting to learn about the foundational concepts of Reactive Programming. In today’s world of asynchronous, event-based programming, the concepts in Reactive Programming can represent a powerful new way to choreograph the behavior of events in your system.

Whether analyzing accelerometer data for user-interface gestures, real-time evaluation of keyboard input for type-ahead auto-complete scenarios, or other similar needs to analyze and respond to events and inputs over time, Reactive Extensions (and its implementations in everything from PERL to JavaScript to Objective-C to .NET) provides a clear, concise declarative model for processing streams of inbound data elements.

If you’ve ever found yourself confounded by trying to learn about Reactive Extensions on your own, this episode offers a great jump-start into the concepts and principles that underlay the Reactive Programming model.

Show Notes


By day, Jim Wooley is a consultant for Slalom Consulting, In his free time, Jim is a frequent speaker, INETA Regional Speaker, MVP, and author of “LINQ in Action”. He is always striving to stay at the forefront of technology and enjoys the thrill of a new challenge. He has been active evangelizing LINQ since it’s announcement in 2005. In addition, he attempts to pass on the insights he has gained by being active in the community, including organizing and speaking at code camps and regional events, including DevLink, DevWeek, CodeMash, CodeStock, VS Live, and MIX. Jim blogs at http://thinqlinq.com/about.aspx

Episode 048 – A Lap Around REST with Mike Amundsen

In this episode we try to make sense of what REST really means to developers with the help of Mike Amundsen from Layer 7. Mike takes us through understanding Roy Fielding’s concepts around REST and along the way disabuses us of the notion that ‘REST perfection’ is often either required or even desired. We also explore some of the challenges with both humans and software consuming RESTful services.

If you’ve been searching for guidance as to the best way to achieve an effective balance between the perfect and the good-enough when it gets to your REST implementation, this is the episode for you!

Show Notes


Mike Amundsen is the Director of Architecture for the API Academy at CA / Layer 7. He is responsible for helping companies to capitalize on the myriad opportunities APIs present to both consumers and the enterprise. He’s an internationally recognized industry expert on distributed network architecture, Web development, cloud computing and more. He has authored numerous books and papers over the last 15 years. His latest book (with Leonard Richardson) is “RESTful Web APIs”. His book “Building Hypermedia APIs with HTML5 and Node” (2011) is an oft-cited reference on building hypermedia-based business applications.

Episode 047 – Windows 10 Universal App Platform with Nick Landry

In this episode we sit down with Nick Landry from Microsoft to discuss the new capabilities and paradigms for App Development that will be coming soon in Windows 10!

Nick first takes us on a trip down memory lane to understand the history of both the divergence and then the subsequent convergence that has occurred between Windows, Windows Phone, and Xbox over the years.  We then dig into the Universal App Platform coming in Windows 10 that will permit a single app to run across the entire ecosystem of Windows 10 devices, including desktop PCs, tablets, phablets, Windows Phones, XboxOne, the recently-unveiled large-screen SurfaceHub, wearables like the Microsoft Band, and even the new HoloLens devices.

If you’ve been wanting to understand more about how Windows 10 will change the way you think about building apps for the Microsoft ecosystem, this episode is for you!

Show Notes


Nick Landry (@ActiveNick) is a mobility pioneer and former entrepreneur specializing in cross-platform mobile app development for Windows, iOS and Android devices. Nick works at Microsoft as a Senior Technical Evangelist in the New York Metro area. He spent most his career in IT consulting, software and services companies across various technical and business roles, designing, building, managing and selling innovative software products and solutions for the world’s top brands and Fortune 500 companies.

Known for his dynamic and engaging style, he is a frequent speaker at major software development conferences worldwide, was a 10-year Microsoft MVP awarded on Windows Phone Development, and a Nokia Developer Ambassador & Champion. With over 23 years of professional experience, Nick is a certified developer and software architect by trade and specializes in Cross-Platform Mobility, GIS, Cloud, IoT and Mobile Game Development. He is an active blogger, occasional author, avid gamer, loving husband and proud father.
Blog: http://AgeofMobility.comGitHub: http://github.com/activenick

Episode 046 – Exploring ASP.NET 5 (vNext) with Jeff Fritz

In this episode we sit down with Jeff Fritz from Microsoft to discuss the changes coming in ASP.NET 5.  Jeff talks at length with the Hallway Conversations team about the introduction in ASP.NET 5 of formal support and integration in Visual Studio for front-end automation tools like Grunt and Gulp and Bower as well as helping us understand the scope of the other changes coming in the cross-platform story for ASP.NET.

We explore the enhanced role that NuGet will play in the overall ASP.NET development experience as well as take a deep dive into the development mechanics of what it means to have a choice between two versions of the .NET Framework (.NET 4.6 and .NET Core).

ASP.NET 5 will make it even easier for users to integrate their work both with other development ecosystems as well as other production environments like LINUX and in this episode Jeff takes us all on a detailed whirlwind tour through those changes in detail!

Show Notes


Jeff Fritz is a long time web developer, systems architect and survivor of the dot-com bust. He works as a Program Manager on the ASP.NET team with a focus on the NuGet package manager. With a history of almost 15 years delivering multi-tenant web applications in the financial, pharmaceutical, and education industries, Jeff has a long history of large-scale successful web application launches. You can learn more from Jeff on his blog at www.jeffreyfritz.com and on twitter at @csharpfritz

Episode 045 – Grunt, Gulp, and other Bodily Functions with Jon Mills

In this wildly-rambling episode, the Hallway Conversations team starts out exploring build-automation tools for JavaScript development like Gulp and Grunt and ends up taking a long detour through the rest of the node.js ecosystem, exploring the MEAN stack and other tools and frameworks along the way.

If you find the dizzying complexity of choices facing the average JavaScript developer to be off-putting, its probably not the case that this episode will settle your choices for you :)

Instead, Jon takes us through the thought process that he relies upon to try to best survive the nearly-daily deluge of changes that face the JavaScript software development community.  If you’re looking for a dive into the complexity of the choices, this is the episode for you!

jonathan_mills_headshotWith over 18 years of experience in Software Development and Management, Jon has led and built agile teams in a wide range of environments from small start-ups to large scale financial institutions. As a skilled mentor and international speaker, Jon has the opportunity to promote positive management practices and solid development practices to developers and managers in a wide variety of situations.

As Director of Research and Development at PaigeTechnologies, Jon has the opportunity to help companies identify and track trends in the technology community and understand how that will impact their business. Jon has the ability to work with our clients’ developers to equip them with the skill necessary to meet the changing demands of their customers.

Episode 044 – Navigating the Minefield of JavaScript Development with Rachel Appel

Love it or hate it, its hard to be an effective developer today if you’re not working with JavaScript.  But once you do, you begin to discover that the language is fraught with pitfalls and pratfalls.  Whether its understanding what ‘this’ is or just trying to remember the difference between =, ==, and ===, its safe to say that effectively coding in JavaScript requires some serious situational awareness of its quirks and dangers!

In this episode, Rachel Appel helps us safely navigate the minefields of modern JavaScript programming.  We also explore what the coming of ECMAScript6 might mean for OO paradigms in JavaScript as well as discuss whether the constant churn in JavaScript is a sign of a healthy ecosystem or an impediment to further progress.

rachel_appel_headshotRachel is a 20+ year software engineer, author, mentor, and international speaker. During her career, she has worked on projects of all sizes from the smallest of apps, to the largest enterprise systems at some of the world’s leading companies. Rachel currently works as an independent consultant following a tenure at Microsoft; however she still works closely with Microsoft as an ASPInsider and IE userAgent.

You can read Rachel’s monthly “Modern Apps” column for MSDN Magazine, or her blog about software development at http://rachelappel.com. Catch her speaking at top conferences such as VSLive, DevConnections, MIX, and Netconf UY. Her expertise is in web development on the Microsoft stack, including ASP.NET MVC, Web Forms, SignalR, C#, HTML, CSS, JavaScript, and TypeScript. Rachel also deals with data as a DBA and data scientist, and is an all-around language nerd (both computer and human).

Conferences where Rachel is speaking: http://rachelappel.com/speaking

Rachel’s Modern Apps column: http://bit.ly/Rachel-MSDN

Episode 043 – Mike Wood on Growing the Skills to Be a Better Developer

Its clear that being a successful software developer requires solid technical skills, but its also the case that truly successful software developers have to grow and master a whole host of so-called soft-skills in order excel in their profession.  In this episode of Hallway Conversations, we speak at length with return-guest Mike Wood about the importance of some of these skills, how to acquire them, grow them, and encourage them in other members of your team.

Mike_Wood_headshotMike Wood is a Technical Evangelist for Red Gate Software on the Cerebrata Team. He describes himself as a problem solving, outdoorsy, user group founding, dog-loving, blog writing, solution creating, event planning, married, technology speaking, father of one kind of guy. When he’s not living up to that title he’s an avid reader, (horrible) violinist and gamer. Michael is one of the Founding Directors of the Cincinnati .NET User Group as well as the founder of the Cincinnati Software Architecture Special Interest Group. He is also a Microsoft MVP in Windows Azure. You can catch up with Mike on his blog at http://mvwood.com/blog and on twitter under the handle @mikewo.

Episode 042 – How to Succeed in Agile with Esteban Garcia

Succeeding with Agile means more than just parroting the actions and processes of techniques like Scrum or Kanban, it means a commitment to both continuous introspection and improvement of your software development processes.

In this episode, we connect with Esteban Garcia to understand the common pitfalls that stymie Agile adoption as well as mechanisms you can use to help overcome them in your organization.  Esteban shares his Agile adoption tips and warning signs with us so that you can ensure a successful implementation of Agile in your organization!


Esteban is the Founder and Chief Technologist at Nebbia Technology, an ALM consulting and Azure-powered technology company. He is a software developer with a passion for ALM, TFS, Azure, and software development and Agile best practices. Esteban is a Microsoft Visual Studio ALM MVP and ALM Ranger, Pluralsight author, and the president of ONETUG (Orlando .NET User Group).

Episode 041 – Web Performance Optimization with Chris Love

In today’s world, your web site is at least at likely to be consumed on a low-power, low-speed, small form-factor mobile device as on a larger, high-powered desktop PC with a large screen, fast processor, and lightning-quick internet connection.  In this climate, optimizing your web site for performance and speed isn’t a luxury –its a necessity!

In this episode, the Hallway Conversations team chats with Chris Love about the many tips and tricks that developers often overlook when building web sites.  Optimizing your site for performance isn’t a matter of doing one big thing right, but more a matter of doing a lot of little things that can collectively add up to huge improvements in speed and throughput.

Using our own http://hallwayconversations.com site as a test-case, Chris takes us all through the process of evaluating and tuning your site designs to maximize performance on lower-bandwidth devices — if you want to build web sites for the modern era, you need to listen to the advice Chris shares with us in this episode!


Chris has over 20 years — yes, that’s right — of web development experience. He has built a wide variety of web sites and applications in those years. In recent years he has begun to immerse himself in the modern, single page web application space. This has giving him some amazing experiences using HTML5, JavaScript, CSS and responsive design. Currently he is obsessed with modern web and mobility to help solve the problems many enterprises are having adapting to the rapidly changing technology landscape. He has authored 3 books, including his latest, High Performance Single Page Web Applications. He is an 8 time ASP.NET MVP, ASP Insider and Internet Explorer User Agent. Chris regularly speaks at user groups, code camps and other developer events. He Blogs at http://love2dev.com.

Episode 040 – Chatting About Everything with Mike Benkovich

In this episode we sit down for a rambling chat with Mike Benkovich about everything from Phil’s stolen laptops to detecting plagiarism on the internet to Mike’s mother learning Twitter Bootstrap.

We also explore passwords and security on the internet (and the inanity of “secret questions” like “what was the name of your dog growing up?”) and discuss some of the trade-offs between secure practices and customer convenience.  As if that wasn’t enough, we also explore the reasons that the financial industry isn’t properly incentivized to combat credit card fraud and data breaches.

Just to prove that this episode is really all over the map, we also explore the factors that play into why women’s pants so rarely include functional pockets — and the implications of that for the mobile phone industry’s preferences for ever-larger cell phones!


Mike Benkovich is a former Microsoft evangelist who has spent his career helping developers explore and apply new technologies to solving information challenges. His website www.benkotips.com provides developers with resources to get started and work with technologies including cloud, data and devices. Follow him on twitter @mbenko.