Hallway Conversations

A Podcast by Developers for Developers

Hallway Conversations - A Podcast by Developers for Developers

Episode 030 – Building Universal Apps for Windows and Windows Phone with Nick Landry

In this episode Nick Landry introduces us to Universal Apps for Windows and Windows Phone, a combination of technology and developer tooling in Visual Studio that facilitates code-sharing and reuse in a single solution when creating apps for both the Windows and the Windows Phone Stores. Nick takes us through understanding the pros and cons of the several code-sharing strategies available to developers in .NET today including Portable Class Libraries, Universal Apps Shared Libraries, file-linking, and conditional compilation in order to leverage your code assets between projects on multiple Microsoft platforms.

In addition to code-sharing techniques, Nick also shares techniques and tips for designing and organizing both shared and distinct UI elements across the multiple form-factors of the various platforms to maximize re-use of your design efforts as well.

We also explore the challenges of making changes to familiar user experiences, updating interaction paradigms to take advantage of new platform capabilities, and what on earth we might (eventually) use to replace the save icon 🙂

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 22 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.

Episode 029 – Running Your .NET Code in node.js using edge.js with David Neal

Are you a .NET developer who’s wanted to get started with node.js but have been concerned about having to abandon your existing investments in .NET? If so, then this episode introducing edge.js is just the ticket for you! Edge.js allows you spin up both the node.js V8 javascript engine and the .NET CLR within a single process boundary. This permits your .NET code, objects, assemblies, etc. to communicate directly with the node.js engine via direct, high-speed in-process communication, rather than via a more heavy-weight protocol like HTTP or distributed messaging.

In this episode, David Neal takes us on a tour of edge.js where we explore various interop scenarios, the interop data-marshalling process, performance/scalability considerations, and more! We also explore the development experience of using Visual Studio tooling for Node.js right alongside your familiar .NET development tools for a fully-integrated developer experience.

Show Notes

david_neal_headshotDavid is a husband, father, geek, musician, motorcyclist, speaker, and software developer living in North GA near Chattanooga, TN. He’s currently a Developer Advocate for LeanKit, makers of LeanKit Kanban, an enterprise visual project management tool. David served as president of the Nashville .NET User Group for 2012 and 2013. He is also a high-volume consumer of caffeine and bacon. You can find David on Twitter as @reverentgeek.

Episode 028 – Exploring Roslyn with Kathleen Dollard

What does the future hold for the C# language and the .NET compiler?  All we know for certain is that its very tightly-tied to the Project:Roslyn effort!

In this episode of Hallway Conversations, the team sits down to chat with Kathleen Dollard about the amazing opportunities that the upcoming .NET compiler (code-name: Roslyn) will offer to the .NET developer ecosystem.  Kathleen digs into the difference between Abstract and Semantic Syntax Trees as well as what having those exposed to developers at compile-time might really mean for the opportunities to do incredibly powerful transformations during compilation.

Kathleen also shares with us her efforts to craft a more human-friendly wrapper around the lower-level DOM-related Roslyn APIs and in the process we discover a lot more about how Roslyn really works.

We also explore some of the additions to the C# language in the upcoming C# 6.0 and begin to understand how the addition of several new keywords will make for even less ceremony in your future C# code.

Steve even asks (again!) for the ‘immutable’ keyword to be added to the language, but sadly that’s still not yet coming even in C# 6.0 🙂

Show Notes

kathleen_dollard_headshotKathleen Dollard wants to teach you to code better. There’s more to learn about the tools you use every day and the tools you aren’t yet using. Coding is our passion and debugging is our challenge – you’ll be happier if you do both better. Kathleen’s written dozens of articles, spoken at conferences and user groups around the world, and pushed Microsoft to respond to your real world needs as a long time MVP. Her Open Source project RoslynDom offers alterative access to information in the .NET Compiler Platform, Roslyn with a load/interrogate/mutate/build SyntaxTree model. She has courses in the Pluralsight library and a series of C# 6 webcasts now available for free on WintellectNOW.

Blog: http://blogs.msmvps.com/kathleen/
Twitter: @kathleendollard
GitHub: KathleenDollard

Episode 027 – Lean and Kanban with Troy Tuttle

Agile.  Lean.  Kanban.  Scrum.  What does all this mean to me as a developer?  In this episode of Hallway Conversations, the team chats with Troy Tuttle about all-things-agile in an attempt to get to the root of how an agile approach can be used to improve the effectiveness and the efficiency of your entire project team from business stakeholders to designers to developers to operations and through to your end-users!

Troy explains in-depth the practical theory behind the ideas of Lean that underpin the practice of Kanban in software development.  The conversation digs deep (maybe even a little too deep!) on both the practical effectiveness and the true role of the estimating process in software engineering.

If you’re looking for techniques to ramp-up the effectiveness of the process-side of your software development practices, then you don’t want to miss this episode!

Show Notes




More Kanban Reading

troy_tuttle_headshotTroy Tuttle is a Lean-Agile coach, software developer mentor, and consultant with almost a decade of experience working in Lean-Agile environments. He currently operates KanFlow, a consulting firm dedicated to helping software professionals, teams, and organizations improve by the study and application of Lean and Agile principles and practices. Most of his work is directed by approaches that support better clarity, understanding, and continuous learning about Lean, Agile, and the nature of knowledge work itself.

Troy has been heavily involved in the community as a facilitator and speaker. He founded the Limited WIP Society of Kansas City in 2009—a user group for Lean, Kanban, and Agile practitioners to help others in the community with the theory and practice of Lean software. He also regularly speaks at Lean and Agile events and conferences. Recently his interests have focused on systems thinking and complexity theory as alternative means to achieve a better understanding of Lean and Agile software development.

Twitter: @troytuttle
LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/troytuttle

Episode 026 – Mobile-First Web Development with Rachel Appel

Website design and development today means considering the impact of choices on your mobile users as much (or even perhaps more!) as you do your desktop users. In this discussion, Phil talks to Rachel Appel about techniques for changing your website design and development mindset to be mobile-first to ensure a superior experience for your mobile users. Rachel offers suggestions for design techniques to respond to different display form-factors, variable network bandwidth availability, and even considerations for touch-based vs. mouse-centric interaction with your site.

If you’re not thinking about the different ways your website serves content to the ever-growing variety of devices, form-factors, and platforms on which your site will be consumed, this episode will get you started in the right direction!

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 025 – Windows8 in the Enterprise with Ben Dewey

In this episode Phil chats with Ben Dewey about the impact of Mobile in the enterprise and the value of Windows Apps in this equation. Mobile is impacting everything in the world in the consumer experience, but the savvy enterprises are beginning to think carefully about how they can leverage mobile to radically change the way business processes are executed via Line-of-Business apps. Ben takes us through many categories of business scenarios where mobile can have a dramatic impact on the operational efficiency of your workforce as well as by improving access to information, data, and actionable intelligence for the immediacy of decision-support activities.

With the prevalence of Windows in the enterprise and the richness of the development tools and APIs available, Ben explores how to get started writing apps for both Windows and WindowsPhone to best position your enterprise to take advantage of what it means to mobile-enable your workforce!

Ben Dewey is a Microsoft MVP, INETA Community Speaker, and published
 with over 16 years of experience writing applications and continually striving to create SOLID applications
of the highest craftsmanship while paying special attention to clean User Experiences (UX).  Ben is currently leading the Windows Division of the Mobile Practice at Tallan, Inc. and consults regularly in New York City on Web, XAML, and Cloud based technologies. He has also worked to deploy numerous high-quality, engaging apps to the Windows Store. When he’s not consulting, Ben is busy training, mentoring, blogging and speaking at various conferences and community events around the country. He also recently authored the book “A
Guide to Windows 8 Apps
”, published by O’Reilly. Outside of work, Ben spends most of his time playing with his three young kids, working around the house, or, if it’s windy, kitesurfing. You can find Ben online on Twitter, StackOverflow,GitHub, or on his blog at http://bendewey.com/

Episode 024 – How to Take Control of Your Career with Gus Emery

In this episode the Hallway Conversations team sits down with Gus Emery to explore how you as a developer can take control of your own career.  Gus shares with us both the necessary mindset as well as offering specific actions you can take to ensure that its you (and not your employer!) that is in the driver’s seat of your professional career.

We discusses the challenges developers face when trying to formulate a long-term career strategy against the backdrop of ever-changing technology and explore in detail the pros and cons of choosing between being a jack-of-all-trades vs. a deep specialist in a single technology (and what that choice might mean for the future of your career).

If you often feel that you’re not in control of your own career path, this is the episode for you!


Gus Emery is a Principal with Kosmik Koding, a Microsoft Partner in Minnesota. Gus also is a Co-Host of !CodeCast a biweekly development PodCast striving to distribute development knowledge to the masses. Gus has spent the last 20 years architecting and implementing highly-scalable ASP.Net applications and distributed n-tiered applications across a broad array of industries in the Twin Cities. Gus has been working with Visual Basic since v3.0 and C# .Net since inception, and loves to seek out new and exciting technologies that facilitate productivity improvements and serve his customers’ technological needs!

Episode 023 – The Business Case for Xamarin with Chris Miller

In this chat with Chris Miller, we explore an in-depth case-study of the development of an iOS app using Xamarin’s mobile development tools and technologies.  Chris takes us through his company’s process of evaluating the technologies and making the business case for choosing Xamarin.

In addition, Chris shares with us his recommendations for do’s and don’ts with the Xamarin stack as well as recommendations for how to get started to effectively ramp-up on the technologies themselves.

Show Notes


Chris is a Microsoft MVP for Visual C#, a Xamarin Certified Mobile Developer for iOS and Android, and the leader of the Tech Valley .NET User Group in Albany NY.

He has been developing on various platforms for too long to detail, but he currently works with and writes about C# programming using Microsoft and Xamarin tools. Chris works for Tyler Technologies, designing and implementing student transportation management applications for the K-12 market. You can follow Chris on Twitter @anotherlab.

Episode 022 – Ramping Up on Machine-Learning with Seth Juarez

In this episode of Hallway Conversations, we sit down to discuss the concepts and theory behind Machine Learning with Seth Juarez of DevExpress. Seth takes us through understanding the concepts and complexities of Machine Learning, explaining both the underlying principles and the types of problems for which Machine Learning is well-suited (as well as not well-suited!). We discuss the techniques for applying Machine Learning to many problem domains and explore different techniques for handling data as input to systems based on Machine Learning algorithms.

Seth also digs into the concepts behind his NuML library for Machine Learning on the .NET platform and explains how you can leverage this powerful technique in your daily programming projects to improve the mechanisms your software uses to discriminate and make important decisions based on input data. We also talk about the new Azure Machine Learning services (that have just been announced in Developer Preview) and discuss how you can use this powerful capability to enhance your own software, whether on-premises or in the cloud.

Lastly, we talk a bit about whether Machine Learning is really the first step to Artificial Intelligence or whether we’re just building ever-faster automatons that merely approximate the appearance of intelligence, despite being still quite stupid at their core; along the way, we’ll dig into Neural Networks and do some Deep Thinking too!

Show Notes


Seth Juarez holds a Master’s Degree in Computer Science where his field of research was Artificial Intelligence, specifically in the realm of Machine Learning. Seth is the Analytics Program Manager for DevExpress where he specializes in products dealing with data analysis, shaping, and presentation. When he is not working in that area, Seth devotes his time to an open source Machine Learning Library specifically for .NET, NuML.NET, intended to simplify the use of popular machine learning models, as well as complex statistics and linear algebra.

Episode 021 – Using Xamarin for Cross-Platform Development with Jon Dick

In this episode we speak to Jon Dick about iOS and Android development using C# with the Xamarin tools.  The Xamarin platform allows .NET developers to leverage their C# language skills to build apps for non-MSFT mobile platforms and in our discussion Jon takes us through some of the more recent features added to the Xamarin toolset including Xamarin Forms.

Jon tells us about cross-platform code-sharing techniques, understanding how the Xamarin tools work, what you need to get started, and how to decide whether you should look at the Xamarin Studio stand-alone IDE or the Visual Studio-integrated Xamarin add-in for your work.  We also talk about the third-party ecosystem of components that have grown up around Xamarin development and explore the many module and components that simplify your building powerful mobile apps using Xamarin for both iOS and Android.

Show Notes


A recent addition to the Xamarin team, this beer-driven developer of the great white north has been slinging C# for mobile since it was born. He’s a self proclaimed expert on Push Notifications, has published several Xamarin Components, and even helped write a book on Android C# programming.