Last week we’ve had our very first Virtual Brown Bag Meeting (click here to learn more). About 14 people showed up, which was beyond my expectations, since it was just the first meeting, and I had only announced it in a few places (my own blog, Twitter, and VAN’s Google Group). I’ve heard some great feedback about it, so we’ll keep this going.
Things We’ve Covered
Here are a few things we’ve covered in the first meeting:
- Sara Ford’s book on Visual Studio Tips
- VS productivity tools
Things I’ve Adopted or Will be Adopting Soon
I’ve been using SlickRun for several years now. It’s the very first tool I install right after installing the O.S. And I use it a LOT! I’ve always heard of people using both SlickRun and Launchy, since they complement each other. When I saw Executor at this 1st Virtual BBM, I just knew I had to take a serious look into it. Executor is much like a mix of SlickRun+Launchy; it has pretty much the best of both, and more. I’ve adopted it as my main launcher tool, and I’ll probably have a separate post just about it. I’m still going to keep SlickRun around because I use it’s Jot feature quite often.
Another thing I’ve had at the back of my mind for quite some time now is AutoHotKey. After seeing a little demo of it at this last BBM, I’m convinced I also have to take a serious look into this tool, too. My immediate use is going to be for creating BDD-style test names, but I can see how I’m going to be using it for many other things. However, I’ll need to spend some time learning its scripting language.
Things We’ve Learned in General About How to Handle the Meeting
We’ve recorded the session, but I’ve made the mistake to not record it to the LiveMeeting servers, so I only have it on my computer. I’ve uploaded it so you can download it here, though.
One thing we’ve established at the meeting was that whoever has anything to share must change the “Feedback” flag on LiveMeeting to “yellow”:
That helps the facilitator (that is, whoever’s helping the group stay on track as the main presenter) to promote the person to a presenter. Once you’ve been promoted to a presenter, go to the LiveMeeting toolbar at the top of your screen, click Content, Share, and then either pick Share a Program or Share Your Desktop, depending on what it is exactly that you want to share:
Also, we’re using LiveMeeting’s voice-over-IP features for the audio part, so make sure you have a microphone and speakers plugged in (for better quality, trying using a headset).
That’s it for now. Do not forget our next Virtual BBM is tomorrow (Thursday), at 12pm Central Time. Bring in your tips and let’s share!
If you have any suggestions or comments, please don’t hesitate in letting me know, so we can improve the experience for everybody.