I’ve been a technical speaker for more than ten years and have had my share of successes, failures, and oh crap moments. Over the past few years, my job has moved me into a position where I help to plan the content for several major technical conferences and I support the folks presenting at my events. This week, my friend Kendra asked me for advice regarding what to bring to support speakers at the first event she is managing and I thought it would be great to share those tips with everyone so that we all can have successful events. Continue reading
Confession: I use a laptop all the time. I use my laptops a LOT. If you watch my live stream on Twitch, you may know that I use three laptops to assemble and present that content. It’s a lot of work, and my hands have been in laptop keyboards, and laptop keyboards only for the last 5-6 years. I haven’t used a desktop machine as a daily-driver, or even an external keyboard on a regular basis in that time.
I’ve learned to deal with all of the nonsense with “Fn” keys and the function keys on laptops not immediately accessible. As a programmer who is always using the function keys and the arrow keys, its really annoying to have to use an extra keystroke to access these keys that I use on a regular basis. These are the keyboards that I was using regularly:
… and they’re all flat and I have those stupid Fn keys in order to use the F1-F12 keys, which I use regularly as a developer.
Enter the Vortex Race 3
I stepped up to the plate, and got the Vortex Race 3 with Cherry Blue switches and a USB connection. Yes, link to Amazon attached to the pic:
Ok, Cherry Blue is a nice full click sound and just feels like the right amount of pressure to type. I love the extra colored keys and the size of the keyboard is just perfect for me. I don’t need the numeric keypad and I love the location of the Page Up and Page Down buttons on the right.
Gratuitous Unboxing Pics
I was so happy when the Vortex Race 3 arrived, and took pictures of the entire process.
I’ve been using the Race 3 all the time, and absolutely love the feel and the sound as I type. When I’m on the road and typing on the laptop keyboards, it just feels… non-responsive. I feel like I’m typing on a dead fish. I’ve also seen the communities out there that make custom key caps, and considered getting a few cool ones made. I’m thinking of replacing my C key with a C# logo key and the A key with an Azure logo key.
Are you using a mechanical keyboard? What has been your experience? What would you recommend for new folks looking to get something a little less ‘stock’?
It’s no secret: I’m really enjoying my Live Coding Stream. There’s something invigorating about spending time with friends and writing code together. I’ve had guests on the show to teach about various topics, and show us how to improve our code. But every now and again, I get the itch to REALLY teach.. and I plan a full-day workshop.
On Friday, May 18th I hosted our second workshop on the stream. This C# Workshop covered items for beginners, intermediate developers, and even an advanced topic or two. I originally planned the event for 8 hours with 8 different guest pair-programmers, but we hit a milestone of 1,000 subscribers on YouTube and I had a ninth speaker asking to join the event. How could I refuse Scott Hanselman asking to join and show how to apply your C# skills to a Raspberry Pi device?
It’s been a little over 5 months since I started writing code on a live video stream on Twitch. What started as an experiment, writing code with folks watching, has become a full-fledged pair-programming experience with participants joining in-person and pull-requests being reviewed on a regular basis. My goal was, and continued to be simple: make learning about software development easy and accessible to everyone.
A lot has changed since I started streaming: we’ve learned a lot together, we’ve gone on the road together, and we’ve even done a live stream in front of a live audience. I want to take a moment and reflect on what has worked well, what has not worked well, and talk about the future of the live stream. Continue reading
I’m on the road this week, traveling and helping with a conference in Seattle. Streaming while on the road, and in a Pacific coast city that’s home to both Microsoft and Amazon… no PROBLEM! Wrong.. plenty of problems. Let’s take a look at my on-the-road configuration and some of the challenges that require assistance when attempting to present away from my home. Continue reading