# Sunday, 06 May 2018

This year at CppCon, I'm doing a one-day pre-conference workshop. It's not just me, it's Andrei Alexandrescu, me, and Scott Meyers (everything at CppCon is alphabetical by first name, although for this particular triad we come out in the same order alphabetical by last name.) It's called Engage, Entertain, Educate: Technical Speaking that Works and that's what it's about. Because we're holding it the day before a conference, we're focusing on things you do when you actually get to the room and deliver your talk -- not on things like choosing a topic or writing an abstract. It's not a C++ workshop, though given who we are and who comes to CppCon, some C++ things are likely to be said from time to time. The focus is on technical speaking.

You will get a chance (three chances actually) to deliver a fragment of a presentation and get feedback. You'll also see other attendees doing the same - their feedback is likely to be relevant to you - and watch some talks from us (and some of our colleagues) along with some meta talk about why we did it like that.

So, when you register for CppCon, please consider attending our workshop, and booking your plane tickets accordingly. It's going to be fantastic.

Kate

Sunday, 06 May 2018 13:34:27 (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #    Comments [0]
# Tuesday, 01 May 2018

More and more conferences are making talks available on YouTube. I've decided to put the links on a playlist to make them easier for me to find. You can use it too!

At the moment this includes 4 CppCon talks (2 in 2014, 1 in 2015, I missed 2016 for health reasons, and 1 in 2017), my Meeting C++ keynote, my Meeting C++ lightning talk, my ACCU 2018 talk on simplicity, and both parts of the Munich C++ Meetup version of the same talk. It's in two parts because we had a break in the middle for pizza.

When more of my videos get uploaded, I'll try to keep the playlist up to date.

Other recent appearances include episode 148 of CppCast.

Kate

Tuesday, 01 May 2018 13:20:11 (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #    Comments [0]
# Tuesday, 13 February 2018

The schedule for ACCU has now been released, and the Feb 20th early bird registration deadline is approaching, so I thought it was a good idea to mention my session there.

Simplicity: not just for beginners

Many people say that simple code is better code, but fewer put it into practice. In this talk I’ll spend a little time on why simpler is better, and why we resist simplicity. Then I’ll provide some specific approaches that are likely to make your code simpler, and discuss what you need to know and do in order to consistently write simpler code and reap the benefits of that simplicity. Code samples will be in C++ and some material will be C++-specific.

I'll be joined by dozens of amazing speakers and the topics will be wide-ranging. It's not all C++, and I'm looking forward to a little mind-expanding from some session I didn't expect to do so. The pub quiz and lightning talks will also be good fun. April 11th to 14th in Bristol - will I see you there?

Kate

Tuesday, 13 February 2018 19:07:13 (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #    Comments [0]
# Thursday, 19 October 2017
In 2016 I didn't speak at conferences because I was ill. I really enjoyed getting "back in harness" at CppCon this year (my Guidelines talk has been uploaded already, if you missed it) and I am happily looking forward to my next two conferences.

In Berlin I will deliver one of the keynotes for Meeting C++. It will be one of those opinionated talks with stories in it, plus code of course. I love giving those kinds of talks and they're typically well-received, so I am expecting to have a great time. This will be my first time at Meeting C++ and I know it will be a great conference.

The next week, I will be at the 2017 C++ and System Software Summit in Beijing. 8 tracks and over 500 attendees; this is a big conference. I've never been to Asia before, so I am very excited to meet a lot of new people (and some I've known for a while, the speaker circuit is like that) as well as seeing new places and experiencing a new conference.

I'm still thinking about what I will submit to ACCU for the spring. I prefer to do a new talk for each conference or at least to update existing talks dramatically. I will need to make up my mind before I leave for China!

Kate

Thursday, 19 October 2017 08:08:43 (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #    Comments [2]
# Saturday, 23 September 2017

This week, I’ve been in Salt Lake City for the Pluralsight Author Summit and the first-ever PluralsightLIVE event. What a great time! This is my first time on a plane in over two years, and it is terrific to be out traveling again.

Pluralsight takes great care of its authors and that started with a lovely box of goodies in my room the first night.

Tuesday we all got together to hear about the past growth and future vision for Pluralsight, and to get a sneak peek at some things that would be announced later in the week. And of course, for Aaron to get a selfie with the authors!

In the afternoon, we had open sessions where we learned from some Pluralsight staff we don’t normally get to meet, and from each other. What makes you a great author in the eyes of your editor and the other people who help to get your material published and live? How can you get your courses recorded faster? Geeky talk about microphones and other tools of our trade, of promo videos on YouTube, and so many other things we all really wanted to talk about.

PluralsightLIVE itself started Tuesday night with a reception in the partner pavilion and an evening event I wasn’t able to stay up for.

That's my shirt being printed on the spot for me!

That's the very popular candy dispenser array.

I’ve been to a LOT of conferences and most of them look pretty generic. Here there was just so much effort showing: the fun activities like huge Jenga, Connect 4, and similar games, the couches everywhere (with power and USB ports so you could charge whatever you needed to charge), the large easy-to-spot-and-read signage, and more. It was clear the organizers were really caring about the wellbeing and happiness of all the attendees.

There were a lot of keynotes. Wednesday and Thursday both had keynotes the whole morning, and Thursday also had an afternoon keynote. These were entertaining, inspirational, educational, and really worth my time. I was especially looking forward to Joel Spolsky on Wednesday morning and he didn’t disappoint. He was funny and open. He also announced that Stack Exchange users will all get 60 free days of Pluralsight training. I hope some of them use it to take my Stack Exchange course! Then he liked my tweet afterwards so that was fun.

(If you want to take one of my courses, and don't have a subscription, there's a grey rectangle over the right that says Author: click it and you can get a ten-day free trial.)

When I wasn’t in keynotes, I was meeting other attendees and Pluralsight authors. Many of the authors are friends I haven’t seen in far too long, so it was tough to tear myself away, but I forced myself, because meeting learners is what this week was about for me. It was especially helpful to talk to managers and team leaders who want to know how their people are using their subscriptions. The Pluralsight IQ announcement [link] was very well received both by learners who wanted to show off their scores, and managers who wanted to track a team’s progress.

I took the C++ assessment, but I zipped through it a little too quickly and some questions needed more thought than I gave them. Still, I did ok:

After I tweeted my results, a whole pile of my C++ tribe also got their scores, and I even outscored a few! (Plus, I think they found a few bugs in the assessment – I’m going to get them fixed.)

The afternoon keynotes on Thursday wrapped up with Michelle Obama talking about diversity, education, children, and much more. I hadn’t heard her speak before other than sound bites on the news, and I was really impressed. She was warm and funny and willing to show irritation or frustration as well as the polished pleasantness I was expecting.

Next year’s dates have already been announced: the week of August 26th, 2018. I’m planning to be there. If you take Pluralsight courses (and come on, you should be taking Pluralsight courses) then consider it too. There was a lot of good content in a wonderful atmosphere, a chance to meet all kinds of interesting people, and a few days to put learning and growing front and centre – time well spent for me.

Kate

Saturday, 23 September 2017 09:50:51 (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #    Comments [0]
# Monday, 11 September 2017

This year's innovation at CppCon is a Meet the Speakers Dinner Thursday night. It's pretty expensive ($100) because the venue is charging a lot for it, but here's your chance to relax over dinner with many of the speakers from CppCon. If you've registered for the conference but haven't bought a dinner ticket yet, please do! We want to meet attendees and this is a great way to do it. I've been an attendee at speaker dinners at other conferences and I have to say it's always been a highlight of the conference for me. Career advice from Bjarne himself over (excellent) dessert? Yes please!

I can't guarantee you Bjarne (or even me) but you will be asked if there's someone you want to sit with, and the organizers will do their best to accommodate you.

Monday, 11 September 2017 16:01:06 (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #    Comments [0]
# Friday, 21 July 2017

I am happy to announce that my submission to CppCon has been accepted!

10 Core Guidelines You Need to Start Using Now

The C++ Core Guidelines were announced at CppCon 2015, yet some developers have still never heard of them. It's time to see what they have to offer for you, no matter how much C++ experience you have. You don't need to read and learn the whole thing: in this talk I am pulling out some highlights of the Guidelines to show you why you should be using these selected guidelines. For each one I'll show some examples, and discuss the benefit of adopting them for new code or going back into old code to make a change.

Beginners who find the sheer size of the language and library daunting should be able to rely on the Guidelines to help make sane choices when there are many ways to do things. Experienced C++ developers may need to leave some of their habits behind. Developers along this spectrum could benefit from seeing what the Guidelines have to offer, yet the guidelines themselves are just too big to absorb all at once. My examples will be chosen to be beginner-friendly and the focus will be on what's in it for you: faster code, less bugs, and other tangible benefits.

I am so looking forward to seeing "my tribe" again in Bellevue this year. I'm going on the field trip too! If you haven't registered yet, get on that!

Kate

Friday, 21 July 2017 13:03:59 (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #    Comments [4]
# Saturday, 08 July 2017

I spent much of the spring working on this course, and am delighted to see it live!

Visual Studio 2017: Essentials to the Power User is 7 hours of good stuff you need if you're a Visual Studio user. My emphasis is on keeping you happy and productive by getting the tool to help you and showing you neat features you probably didn't know about. If you open that link in a new tab, you can play the course overview (a 2 minute "trailer") and look at the table of contents. I've done versions of this course for older Visual Studios and I get comments like "It's as though I have a whole new IDE" and "I've been using Visual Studio for years and you showed me things I didn't know, and I'm glad I do now."

I think debugging in general is not taught enough, so I'm happy to have 2 whole modules on it here - not on philosophy of debugging or how to narrow down a bug, but just on how to operate the machinery of Visual Studio's debugger. There's lots of it. Plus, if you have Ultimate, there's another half a module on "Historical Debugging", IntelliTrace. I also spend quite a lot of time on how to find your way around a large codebase with the various searching, finding, navigating and exploring capabilities that have evolved over time.

Here's a quick topic summary:

I really enjoyed writing this course and hope you enjoy watching it. If you need a free trial, look over to the right on this page for the grey rectangle that says Author and click for a 10 day trial.

Kate

Saturday, 08 July 2017 10:40:45 (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #    Comments [2]