About a week ago, @AmrEldib and @EmadMokhtar recorded the 3rd episode of EgyGeeks podcast. We were not sure whether to make a 2nd part of it, stretch the episode itself, or what. At the end, we just put it online today as to look for more feedback as usual.
It’s a new year, and I wish I had a happier post to write, but the local news about the people dead around the Church in Alex makes that hard. We even discussed whether it’s good to have the episode today, but, we already don’t have specific time between each episode and another, and the episode recording has been waiting around for a while, and didn’t want to just keep waiting.
You can view the official announcement page to listen to the recording, and give feedback. You may leave you comments here as well.
In brief, EgyGeeks is an usergroup of many developers (mainly Egyptian .NET geeks, but not only) that started with some online gatherings instead of usual offline ones, and now starting to add podcasts to the game (In Arabic)…
Personal Blah Blah Blah Part…
If you remember that I haven’t made it to the first “published” episode (maybe some day we decide to publish the very first secret episode, who knows!), well, I was lucky enough to make it to this one though!
Podcast’s 2nd Episode: Joel’s Test
This time the topic is Joel’s test. If I remember correctly, It was @AmrElDib’s idea. Nice one.
Joel’s test is a set of 12 questions that try to be a general standard scale for software companies, especially to use for those considering offers for different companies and want to evaluate how professional is the work in there. They are advised to ask those question to the companies.
It’s very old test though, ten years or something. We thought we get to introduce the questions and see what interesting conversations might come out of these.
By the end of the episode, we learned a great value that just jumped out when we started discussing what should be applied and what is really applied in different companies, and –what showed up as more importantly– what to do when some are not applied and you believe they really matter.
As you’ll read below. We really don’t know how to manage this yet and learning it just by trial. You’ll hear so many “I think … ”, weird transitions, etc..
We hope you’ll still find the podcast fun, and really really ask you to tell us what bothered you most to focus on improving in the next episodes.
The official announcement and link to the 2nd episode can be found at:
In a new episode of EgyGeeks podcast, we discuss Joel Spolsky’s famous 10-years-old blog post about a 12-questions test for your development environment. Hosts: Amr Eldib, Mohamed Meligy, and Emad Mokhtar.
I know I have been quite away from this blog. Keeping the details for other times many already know I was moving from Abu Dhabi to Sydney and joining th great consulting company, Readify.
But this post is not about that, it’s about the work that has been going during the last month (where I was one of the least involved for honesty) to evolve EgyGeeks as we paused the bi-weekly meetings after Ramadan.
We thought we can even reach more of you out there by trying a different model than online sessions and open talks. That is recorded podcasts.
We are trying this for the first time, trying to simulate the normal tech talks I and you always talk about when we meet a friend developer even if meeting in a cafe with no technical topics in mind. Let’s see if it makes any sense…
The first “published” episode, Pilot, is mainly around the new Windows Phone 7 stuff. Check out the podcast landing page.
Subscribe to this podcast via RSS (for Zune and other players).
Subscribe to this podcast for iTunes.
Visit our Podcast page.
Find us on Twitter @EgyGeeks
To be honest, we are not sure where to go with this podcst. We had a trial that went very well during the recording but was a bit hard to get edited in a fashion we can take out. We had a second try that feels going well (unfortunately due to time zone issues I couldn’t make it to this one you are listening to) and we hope it goes well.
So, you can clearly realize we do need your feedback on this. Please make sure to tell us what you think, what sounds well, and what needs to change!
The Website (Weblog)
Along with the podcasts we thought it’s time to get a centralized place for all EgyGeeks content. A one-place-to-go. Of course the twitter account especially as well as the facebook page and user group helped a lot to keep up to date with what is happening now or coming now but we also needed a reference place for all the already-done kind of stuff.
Just a quick update in case you haven’t been following my recent updates (@Meligy) or @EgyGeeks news on twitter…
This week #EgyGeeks will have a very interesting session, about Continuous Integration in .NET. The session will be given by @AmrEldib who is a really brilliant and clever guy from what I see on twitter and some mailing groups.
Also, the open talk will be about BI, mainly in SQL Server.
The gathering is going to start in less than 3 HOURS. 11:59 PM CAIRO TIME (GMT+2) TODAY.
You can join by clicking the link that will pop up on @EgyGeeks (and @Meligy) by the time of gathering.
You can choose one topic from open talk suggestions, or suggest a new one. You can also choose the level you want the session to be. You can even choose whether you want the gathering to be a session only, an open talk only, or both.
Call For Speakers
Moreover, if you are interested in delivering a session yourself not just attend one, answer the last question in the survey with your email and session details. We’re looking for more speakers in the next gatherings…
Our first meeting on Friday, or technically the first hours of Saturday (starting 12 AM), we found technical difficulties in establishing the conversation on Skype, with around 25 attendees, and the need to share desktop view with the entire group, for the first part of the gathering (Ayman’s session).
That’s why we decided we may have rushed it by including the word “Skype” in the name. I don’t know why we needed a name and all that anyway, because the idea is simply some friends who have common interests (all do .NET related stuff) that meet together online weekly talking about their common interests.
Methods of Communication
For twitter, since this gathering used another tool “webex” for conferencing, and we haven’t determined yet how we’ll manage the next gathering, we changed the twitter hash tag to just “#EgyGeeks”.
Also, we created a Google group to enable us to email everybody when we settle on how the next gathering will be. The group has the same name”EgyGeeks”
We agreed we won’t focus on any other online activity like facebook group etc.. until we settle one or two more gatherings. However, some friends already created a couple of facebook pages for it, which is welcome effort from their side anyway, except that one of the pages is called the “official page” (no official page yet) and the other page has me, Ayman and Ramy admins for it, asking us to focus on that page or this. This reminds me with classic Arab forums efforts. Arab guys, you know what I mean!
When we first met, we were all .NET developers. We decided we want to meet talking about our common interests. And asked all friends who have similar interests to join us as well.
But, what are those interests? If you are in .NET world, you care about many things, .NET is only one. you probably also care about SQL Server, Oracle maybe, Agile methodologies, integrating your work with graphic/web designer and also QA/QC/testing/process people. So, those all are candidates for upcoming talks. if you notice, the first session we had was about “SharePoint No Code Solutions”. So, it’s around what typical .NET related people would think is important.
This is not new by the way. this is what dotNETwork offline user group for example is about. It’s just we’re doing it online!
I want You To Talk About “X Y Z”
Now that you know what we are about, you are likely to know whether your topic may interest the most guys or not. You can send a suggestion to the Google Group for specific topic and we’ll have a vote on it.
If you have a totally unrelated topic, you can get friends who care about it and start something. This does not mean we’re selfish or we don’t welcome contributions. But of course talking about Linux or such won’t interest most of the people.
If you want to start that, we’ll help you based on our small experience yet with this group, seriously.
How Can I Choose The Next Topic?
Since the topics belong to the people, this is what happened in first gathering:
We asked everybody who attended to suggest topics
Ayman collected the list of answers
Ayman created the following online poll:
Poll For Next Gathering Topic: Pre-Organized Session And Open Talk Time
You just go check the poll and tell us what topic you want. You can choose from the list or write your own suggestion.
Who is Organizing This?
For now me, Ramy Mahrous, Ayman El Hattab,(sharePoint MVP) and also some small helping network containing Shady Naguib and Yasser Makram (Silverligth MVP). Some of the network were there from the first unplanned gathering also and are very passionate about it like Mohamed Gamal and Doha El Sayed, Emad Mokhtar.
EgyGeeksOnSkype is an online gathering for a number of Egyptian (and Arab) geeks through a Skype group chat.
The idea only came This Saturday when a small group of geeks got together on Skype group voice chat the night before Easter. We’re decided to make it a weekly habit that we’ll first experience tomorrow and intend to have a similar chat weekly at the same time:
Friday 11:59 PM
We were not sure whether to have an open talk chat with predefined topic or go for formal events session style, so, we decided to have both…
The first 30 minutes are going to a conference style session. This week we’ll have Ayman El Hattab (SharePoint MVP) demoing a No-code SharePoint Solution sample application he developed.
The next 30 minutes will be an open talk where everybody is free to share his/her knowledge and thoughts about Microsoft OData. This will be great chance for those who don’t know OData to hear about it, and for those who know it to share ideas.
You probably noticed those notes already in the original post, so, all I wanted here is to remind you with our first meeting schedule:
Tomorrow, Friday, April 9, Starting 11:59 PM To 1:00 AM Next Day Cairo Time, GMT+2
We thought it’ll be better to have it late in the weekend so that everybody is at home already not busy with other stuff and have nothing to wake up very early for the morning after.
If you are joining us, you can add my username “Mohamed.Meligy” (or any of the other geeks) to your Skype contacts.
IMPORTANT:You also need to send me a message just before the time of the online gathering to add you to the conversation.
To keep an eye on the gathering before and after it takes place, you can check the hash tag #EgyGeeksOnSkype.
It was a great night for me yesterday. It all started when I woke up at 2 or 3 AM Abu Dhabi time, to find a link to a Tiny Chat conversation including many Egyptian .NET geeks (Tiny chat is a website that uses flash to allow you to have a conversation with any number of people, using text, voice or video). They were trying to plan for an offline gathering today, as easter vacation.
Soon we found the website not suitable for some guys with slower connections. We decided to move on to Skype instead.
We had Ramy Mahrous, Mohamed Gamal, Emad Mokhtar, Ayman Al Hattab, Amr El Dib, and few others on voice, and Nashwa (I don’t recall the full name) and Doha El Sayed on text
It was a great talk and we really enjoyed it.
Scheduling the Gatherings
The atmosphere and how it started reminded me with the weekly conversation Sara Chipps used to have on Tiny Chat with many well known geeks., which involved open talks about various technical topics. Why don’t we get something like that?
Everybody seemed to like the idea of a weekly conversation. Some guys didn’t really like the open talk style instead of a formal session style (fearing time waste on side talks maybe). To try both, we agreed on having half an hour on specific topic (an online session, using Skype Desktop Sharing feature), and half an hour as open talk on a pre-defined topic.
Next Online Gathering
So, it’s going to be from this wek on. We’ll have our first scheduled conversation this Friday April 9 at 11:59 PM (Cairo Time, GMT+2). Here’s the deal: Ayman will give a demo showing SharePoint No-Code Solutions in the first half hour (He is a SharePoint MVP), then we’ll have an open talk by everybody about ODATA for the next half hour (I quoted this from Sara since her last gathering was mostly about ODATA().
If you want to join us, just add "mohamed.meligy", "rmahrous", "emad.mokhtar.habib", “aymanelhattab” or "gamalilio" on Skype and we’ll add you to the conversation.
We also are using a twitter hash tag “#EgyGeeksOnSkype” to announce all updates related to this gathering and next gatherings later, so, keep an eye on it, and use it to spread the word!
Although the hash tag specifies Egypt, everybody is welcome to join the conversation wherever there are from (The conversation is going to be in Arabic).