2016 Talks

Robust Software Development with Henry Beitz

January 6, 2016 · 6:00 PM at Atomic Object

As a profession we still don't do very well at producing robust usable products. This applies more to larger projects than to smaller ones. In a product's life-cycle more is usually spent on maintenance than on the production of the original product. New problems are introduced at about the same rate as old ones are fixed.

So what can be done about this? As a practitioner who has produced software for more than 50 years I feel that I have some insights into this. I have taught other software and hardware people how to produce robust products. The methodology I use is quite sophisticated and can be shown to be very thorough. It is based on being able to define the problem space completely. Most software fails because many situations are never considered or because situations that 'can never occur,' do. It is also necessary to deal with all failed situations, every bit as explicitly, as with those that are expected.

A software product that can be used to carry out this process has been deployed and is in widespread use. Unfortunately, many of the users of this product do not have the thorough understanding necessary to get the most out of it. Regardless of the field of practice, craftspeople need to be trained in the use of the tools of their trade.

In the early 1970s I was invited to join a team in Vermont. I spent a few weeks teaching them the fundamentals of this methodology (but decided not to join them). Both the hardware and the software people on the project adopted my methods. In a 1988 report they acknowledged my contribution in a report on their project:

“Henry Beitz convinced us...

The protocol was used by Varian Data Machines, by MEGADATA, and by PROMIS Laboratory. When the hardware was delivered and the terminals were connected, the system operated correctly the first time it was tried.”

Henry also employed the methodology to implement a significant module for the OS of a Super Computer. This one module, which was heavily used by all users, ran without any changes or updates for the 9-year life of the OS.

Using the technology makes it easy to introduce new features and to make modifications without perturbation. It doesn't preclude Agile methods or TDD. It just makes the whole process more robust.

About the Presenter

Henry was educated in South Africa at the University if the Witwatersrand and the University of Natal.

Worked in South Africa with electro-mechanical business machines and main-frame computers from 1958 to 1967.

In 1967, Control Data Corporation brought him to the US to work, firstly in Detroit and subsequently in Saint Paul, Minnesota. Worked mainly in software development and programming methodology.

He joined Software AG in 1974 to support ADABAS, their database management product, and to work on the design of a mini-computer-based database management system.

In 1978, he joined Business Applications Systems (BAS) in Raleigh, North Carolina to build a suite of machine independent software. Formed his own company in 1980 and assumed the responsibility for supporting all the BAS customers. Also consulted with Ann Arbor based company Anvil Corporation who were designing a JIT manufacturing control system. In 1989 he took position with Anvil in Ann Arbor.

When Anvil closed its doors he worked in a number of local enterprises in various support roles and then took a position at the Business School at the U of M. He retired in 2003, but have been active in local IT and volunteer organizations since then.

Henry has been a visiting scholar, published numerous articles in ACM and other journals, and has presented papers at a number of national and international conferences.

Ubuntu Linux Installation with Stanley Bloomfield

February 3, 2016 · 6:00 PM at Atomic Object

1. I will stress that I'm not a coder, programmer or even at the intermediate Linux Administrator Level.

2. I want to show Liquid Web's Job Board to show entry Level Linux positions that start out at $17 + per hour! vA. Then I would touch on two Linux Foundation Courses

* The self paced Introduction to Linux at edx.org (Free)

* The self paced Certified Linux Administrator Course at linuxfoundation.org ($500)

NOTE: These courses can be done in a month or two depending on how serious people are.

NOTE: People stuck on MAC and Windows resist the switch to Linux because they are stuck in a rut?

NOTE: Linux offers everyone unbelievable employment opportunities! Experts estimate there will be a 17% increase in enterprise distribution use by 2017!

NOTE: I want us to start marketing Linux as a potential career move for everyone.

3. Americans Connected Inc Linux Workshop walks people through four complete Distribution Installations! vA. Ubuntu, centOS, openSUSE and a Virtual Box Installation

B. I would then show the Linux Workshop Booklet that 100% organizes an individual's Linux Computer.

NOTE: I charge $55 for this Linux Workshop!

4. I would like to use the power point projector to demonstrate some of the following.

A. The first 45 seconds of one of my videos demonstrates 6 to 7 Applications from the Ubuntu Software Center work!

* Gimp (I make all my Website Images)

* Libre Office: I make pdf's for Gimp to convert to Jpeg's.

* Synfig (and Blender): 2 D Animation

* Papagayo: for the Flower Lipsyncing

* Audacity (and Rosegarden): for my background music

* Kdenlive (switching to Shotcut): For Capture and Video Editing

B. The most obvious Package is Linux and the Ubuntu Distribution.

NOTE: I stress all these Software Packages are FREE!

5. I would like to talk about Libre Office.

* The Linux Workshop Booklet

* The Torah Scroll Bible Study (750 Page Document that proves Libre Office handles large documents)

* I PDF my Photos and use GIMP to convert them to jpegs.

6. I would like to the show Platinum Arts Sandbox Game Making Platform

A. I would also like to show some of the Babylon 5 Into The Fire Video Game!

NOTE: This is to demonstrate Linux has always been a Gaming Platform!

NOTE: Sandbox Game Making Platform is FREE!

7. I would like to open up XEphem and briefly touch on this awesome Astronomy Software.

NOTE: XEphem costs $24.

8. Then I would talk about Matt Stone and Trey Parker and how it took them one year to make that first South Park cartoon and now they are worth $370 million.

9. I would then wind up the demonstration by talking about the forced software Open Source software forced on my Windows Operating System nearly every time I installed a Open Source package! This does not happen with the Ubuntu Software Center! There are no strings attached to the use of the Free Software Repository Applications

The conclusion

This demonstration is more than enough to convince Linux Experts that the general public is ready to make the switch from Windows to Linux!

1. Entry Level Linux Positions pay more than Burger Flipping and Milking Cows!

2. People can literally start High Tech Hobbies like animation projects that have high dollar value!

3. Linux offers the average American the ability to develop Marketable Skills for next to nothing!

About the Presenter

Stanley Bloomfield grew up in Ovid Michigan and served 9.5 years active duty with the USAF.

He received an honorable Discharge 27 Aug 1991 and started driving trucks for a living. I currently drive trucks for Ryder (full Time) and NTB (part time) delivering Meijer's Freight.

He has always had a love for Astronomy, Computers, running, the Bible (Torah), the Guitar and Harmonica.

Stanley has dabbled with Linux for several years and after Microsoft discontinued support for Windows XP he made the switch to Linux.

New T-SQL Features: Updating the Northwind Database with Phil Huhn

March 2, 2016 · 6:00 PM at Atomic Object


The Northwind model database has been around for at least 16 year and a lot has happened to T-SQL in that time. Hope to demonstrate a few newer T-SQL features by updating the Employee table.

We will be electing a new board for 2016!

Every March, the group elects a new board for the year. All active paid members are eligible to vote, so make sure all dues are paid prior to the start of the meeting.

The board consists of the following positions:

President: Responsible for running the group, leads public meetings and board meetings, and helps solicit future speakers.

Vice President: Responsible for running the public meetings in the absence of the president.

Treasurer/Secretary: Responsible for membership information and collection of dues, and ordering of food and door prizes.

Quartermaster: Responsible for facility location, setup and tear down, and will fill in for any of the above positions in the event they are not available (except for president in the event the vice-president is present). Quartermaster is also responsible for speaker surveys.

Webmaster: Responsible for updates to Meetup.com, all social media (Facebook, Twitter, etc.) and communication of information to the mailing list.

Program Chair: Responsible for coordinating speakers and soliciting speakers for future talks, and helps coordinate speakers during talks. This is an appointed position.

If you are interested in running for the board, please be sure to arrive on time to ensure your nomination.

After the election, we will continue with our normal format, including the following presentation:

About the Presenter

Phil has been a programmer for more than 25 years. He first started working with SQL with Informix in 1988 and with SQL Server in 1998 on a Y2K project. At U of M, he worked on a project that leads to his first AACS talk on Data Transformation Service. He later worked on the M-Reports project, which lead to his Business Intelligence talk in November 2009. This talk comes from a desire to revise his 2010 talk titled ‘SQL 2005/8 T-SQL’.

(also see 'board members' -> resources)

Data Modeling with Saad Husain

May 4, 2016 · 6:00 PM at Atomic Object

Synopsis of Talk:

  1. Importance of Data Modeling when doing Application Development
  2. How Data is stored in a Relational Data Management System (i.e. DB2, Oracle, Sql Server)
  3. What is Data Modeling in RDMS
  4. An example of an Enterprise Data Model
  5. Example of a Data Modeling tool (either CA Erwin or SAP PowerDesigner)
  6. How to reverse engineer an EDM
    • How to do Data Profiling
    • How to use Data Profiling in producing an EDM
  7. Q & A

About the Presenter

Saad Husain grew up in Michigan (Plymouth-Canton), went to MSU and UM and then in search of warmer climates moved to LA to join Hughes Aircraft. He worked on technologies such as the Cray 1 Computer, Air Traffic Control System, etc. He then had enough of the LA traffic and high house prices so moved to Chicago after Motorola gave him a lucrative offer. He continued his career with companies such as IBM Global Services, Blue Cross Blue Shield Association, Meijer, Bank of America, Baker Mackenzie, Ally Bank and others. My motto is to get involved with Bleeding Edge Technologies without bleeding.

R for Beginners using Visual Studio with Phil Huhn

June 1, 2016 · 6:15 PM at Atomic Object

The R Language is available in Visual Studio. Microsoft released R Server in January 2016, and R is coming to SQL Server on June 1st with the latest version 2016.

I knew nothing about the R Language. To prepare myself, I have been hitting the books and the web.

This talk is based on an abbreviated version of the book ‘R for Beginners’ by Emmanuel Paradis. ‘R for Beginners’ is one of the many books available online. Come, learn some and engage in the conversation about R Language.

About the Presenter

Phil has been a programmer for more than 25 years. He first started working with SQL with Informix in 1988 and with SQL Server in 1998 on a Y2K project. At U of M, he worked on a project that leads to his first AACS talk on Data Transformation Service. He later worked on the M-Reports project, which lead to his Business Intelligence talk in November 2009. This talk comes from a desire to embrace changes in SQL Server 2016.


Essential UML with Martin L. Shoemaker

July 6, 2016 · 6:15 PM at Atomic Object

We know, you hate UML almost as much as Brussel sprouts. Like sprouts, the Unified Modeling Language is supposed to be good for you, but it still gags you. And somebody telling you to just choke it down doesn’t make it any more palatable.

But is it really UML that’s stuck in your throat? Or is it a bloated, formalized process filled with obscure notations you can never remember? Is it massive, incomprehensible diagrams that are harder to read than the code? Diagrams that no one wants to look at, but someone demands that you do anyway?

That’s not UML! That’s a bunch of bloat that has accumulated around UML, and that people confuse with UML. The essence of UML is the L: Language. It’s a language for communicating through pictures. Simple pictures that anybody can follow (even – gasp! – users). And that’s all it is! Everything else is jargon, and can be as incomprehensible as medical or legal jargon. And like medical jargon, specific UML jargon has its place, but you don’t start with that.

In this presentation, we’re going to learn UML the same way we learned our native languages: by using it in a conversation. Martin L. Shoemaker (The UML Guy) will talk with us to design a system live – and he won’t know what the system is until we tell him! We’ll start with user requirements and trace all the way through to a chunk of working code; and along the way, we’ll draw pictures to help us understand what we’re designing.

This is a very interactive presentation. We’re counting on your ideas and your questions to make it work, so we’re looking forward to seeing you there!

About the Presenter

Martin L. Shoemaker is a programmer who writes science fiction on the side... or maybe it's the other way around. He told stories to imaginary friends and learned to type on his brother's manual typewriter even though he couldn't reach the keys. (He types with the keyboard in his lap still today.) He couldn't imagine any career but writing fiction... until his algebra teacher said, "This is a program. You should write one of these."

Fast forward 30 years of programming, writing, and teaching. He was named an MVP by Microsoft for his work with the .NET developer community. As The UML Guy, he advocates for better communication as a path to better code, and for UML as a tool for communications. And he wrote one UML book, one UML comic strip, and hundreds of UML labs. But that didn't satisfy his storytelling urge, so he returned to writing. His first major story won second place in the Baen Memorial Writing Contest and earned him lunch with Buzz Aldrin. Programming never did that!

Martin hasn't stopped writing or programming since. His work has appeared in Analog, Galaxy's Edge, Digital Science Fiction, Clarkesworld, Writers of the Future, and select service garages worldwide. His short story “Today I Am Paul” was nominated for the Nebula award for Best Short Story (2015) and will appear in four year’s best anthologies and seven international translations. His novella "Murder on the Aldrin Express" was reprinted in The Year's Best Science Fiction: Thirty-First Annual Collection and in Year's Top Short SF Novels 4. You can learn more at http://MartinLShoemaker.com.

Intro to Haskell with Jason Stolaruk

August 3, 2016 · 6:15 PM at Atomic Object

Born in the "ivory towers" of research and heavily influenced by obscure branches of mathematics, Haskell unsurprisingly has a reputation for being both hopelessly difficult and too academic for industrial use.

But fear not! Haskell may have a steep learning curve, but it's far from being impossibly difficult. Rather, its clever design is simply based on principles that are largely unfamiliar to most mainstream programmers.

In this introductory presentation, I'll shed some light on those principles that make Haskell unusual and fascinating. We’ll exploit the REPL to take a “deep dive” into the language. You'll see how type safety, purity, and lazy evaluation make Haskell an attractive choice for many applications.

About the Presenter

Jason works at Detroit Labs where he is an Android and JavaScript developer. In his free time he's developing a MUD ("Multi-User Dungeon") in Haskell(https://github.com/jasonstolaruk/CurryMUD) using his favorite Dvorak keyboard.

SQLite3: A Survey with Phil Huhn

September 7, 2016 · 6:00 PM at Atomic Object

The most used database is not MySQL or Microsoft, it is an mostly ANSI 92 compliant single DLL called SQLite. It the most used because it is the database of choose for mobile application. The web-site says it best, "SQLite is a software library that implements a self-contained, serverless, zero-configuration, transactional SQL database engine. SQLite is the most widely deployed database engine in the world. The source code for SQLite is in the public domain". Agenda:

  • Install SQLite3
  • SQLite command line
  • Some GUI's Available
  • 2 ODBC Drivers
  • Using Entity Framework SQLite

About the Presenter

Phil has been a programmer for more than 25 years.  He first started working with SQL with Informix in 1988 and with SQL Server in 1998 on a Y2K project. At U of M, he worked on a project that leads to his first AACS talk on Data Transformation Service.   He later worked on the M-Reports project, which lead to his Business Intelligence talk in November 2009.  This talk comes from a desire to revise his 2010 talk titled ‘SQL 2005/8 T-SQL’.


October 2016: -no meeting-

Performance Engineering: Any owners ? Find & address challenges of performance engineering inside your organization with Jas Sidhu

November 2, 2016 · 6:00 PM at Atomic Object

Humans have now attention span shorter than a goldfish i.e. 8 seconds to be precise. During this attention span, 6 seconds may look like eternity!!!! About a decade ago, 6 seconds was the gold standard in application response time, nowadays it’s just between 2 to 3 seconds. The increase in expectation leads to end user dissatisfaction and they will not hesitate looking for other alternatives right away. When it comes to Mobile websites or apps, it’s getting more critical than ever to pay attention towards how end user engagement is impacted by performance. Here are some key stats to look at:

  • 86% of the users will delete the slow responding App after using first time
  • 74% of users will leave page if page does not load within 5 seconds
  • 81% of buyers will pay more for a better experience

In this session, I will be exploring ways to foster collaboration among traditionally silo groups i.e. Business, Development, Testing & Operations. The talk will cover both processes and tools and how to effectively use Performance as competitive advantage for your organization.

About the Presenter

Jas Sidhu has over 15 years experience in Application Performance Management. He helped find bottlenecks in eCommerce and Mobile applications for major online retailers resulting in better end user experience & conversion rates. Jas started his career at Mercury, which was later acquired by HP in 2006. Jas is currently working as Senior Solutions Architect @AppDynamics, a next generation Application Intelligence platform that bridges gap between Marketing and IT operations.

CasperJS the Friendly Phantom with Phil Huhn

December 7, 2016 · 6:00 PM at Atomic Object

CasperJS allows you to build full navigation scenarios using high-level functions and a straight forward interface to accomplish all sizes of tasks.

Some scenerios for CasperJS is capture data from web pages simply that don't contain APIs. Validate your production environment on a regular basis. Alternatively, use Casper to load your application with data.

This talk is focused on using CasperJS to test web application. Casper comes with a basic testing suite that allows you to run full featured tests without the overhead of a full browser.


  • Installation and configuration
  • Casper Testing Infrastructure
  • ToDo Application Scripts
    • ToDo_Logon
    • ToDo_LogonFail
    • ToDo_NewItem
    • ToDo_DeleteItem

About the Presenter

Phil has been a programmer for more than 25 years. In 25 years, he has been a Programmer Analyst, Data Communication Systems Engineer, DBA, Windows and Unix System Admin and Programmer / Consultant / Mentor.

Phil started writing web application in 1996. He worked with the Apache Server prior to the 1.0 version. He is very sad to see that http://hoohoo.ncsa.uiuc.edu/ does not exist. He has written classic Asp and Asp.Net 1.1, 2.0, 3.5, 4.0 and 4.5 web forms applications. Phil is currently a Programmer/Analyst and Technologist creating Asp.Net 4.5 web forms application in Novi, Michigan.