The panel discusses why some people think that the technology community doesn’t exist. Dave discusses how we can improve our technical skill by creating time and killing our egos. Cecil talks how being involved in the technical community has improved his career. Richie talks about why we should have a learning plan and Dave explains why this doesn’t always work for some people. Dave tells a story of how he got a co-worker to learn code through fantasy football. Dave talks about how becoming a manager doesn’t mean you have to give up writing code. The panel discusses how to delegate. Richie tells how hard it was when he was a manager to be technical and be a manager. Dave talks about his hobbies. Dave tells us how to keep our passion for technology. Rails is slow. Cecil asks Dave what technologies/languages make him excited.

Recorded On January 29, 2015.


Brent Ozar
Jon Skeet
Andy Warren


Dave_Nicolas_BioDave Nicolas is a senior Software Architect, with an insatiable for technology. He has been developing software for over 10 years and primarily focuses on Microsoft technologies. However, he is open minded to other platforms available in the open source community. Dave is a co-founder of the dotNet Miami user group where he shares his passion with fellow developers. He currently manages the Software Development initiative at Banker’s Healthcare Group and holds a BS in Computer Science from Florida International University. He also runs a SaaS consulting firm where he and his team offer software services in the wild. You can follow Dave on Twitter at @dvee81.

John talks about why he created short chapters in his new book, Soft Skills: The Software Developer’s Life Manual and his experience in writing the book. He also discusses why he doesn’t quit in the middle of a personal sprint. The panel discusses how to build a personal brand and why you need to be a specialist. John goes into how you can be fit and healthy. Richie asks John on how he’s able to read so much. Cecil asks John how we can find balance in our lives.

Recorded on: February 7, 2015 in the South Florida Code Camp Speaker Room.


Julie Lerman – Entity Framework guru
Soft Skills: The Software Developer’s Life Manual
Superhuman By Habit: A Guide to Becoming the Best Possible Version of Yourself, One Tiny Habit at a Time


John_Sonmez_BioJohn Sonmez is the author of Soft Skills: The Software Developer’s Life Manual. He’s published over 50 courses on topics such as iOS, Android, .NET, Java, and game development for the online developer training resource, Pluralsight. He also host two podcasts to help developers: Get Up and CODE: and Entreprogrammers: He’s a life coach for software developers, and helps software engineers, programmers and other technical professionals boost their careers and live a more fulfilled life. He empowers them to accomplish their goals by making the complex simple. You can find him online at

The panel discusses what really is Miami music. Rachel Appel explains that Chicago Pizza isn’t really pizza and the concept of the Rachii. The Rachels discuss the state of women in technology. Rachel Appel tells how she got started in technology and how she may have fractured a few rules during her start. Rachel Terman talks about her start in technology and how her business background propelled her. Rachel Appel tells a conference story when a male developer decided to be offensive and rude. The panel discusses how to get more diversity in conference speakers. Richie cons Rachel Terman into speaking at dotNet Miami. Richie shares his love for Cecil’s voice.

Recorded on: February 7, 2015 in the South Florida Code Camp Speaker Room



Rachel_Appel_BioRachel Appel is a 20+ year software engineer, author, mentor, and speaker. Rachel currently works as an independent consultant following a tenure at Microsoft; however she still works closely with Microsoft as an ASPInsider and IE userAgent. You can read Rachel’s monthly “Modern Apps” column for MSDN Magazine, or her blog about software development at Catch her speaking at top conferences such as VSLive, DevConnections, Devlink, and Netconf UY. Her expertise is in web development on the Microsoft stack, including ASP.NET MVC, Web Forms, SignalR, C#, HTML, CSS, JavaScript, and TypeScript. Rachel also deals with data as a DBA and data scientist).

Rachel_Terman_BioRachel Terman is the Director of Operations for Schuman Feathers. Previously, she was the Vice-President of Product and Development at XEQ Information Solutions where she specialized in SharePoint, Office365, C# and VB.Net. Rachel is an active member of South Florida Development community and helps organizes events such as the South Florida Code Camp and dotNet Miami. She is also the founder of the Tech Night at the Ballpark, a networking event for the South Florida Technical Community held at Marlins Park in August. For more information go to

This is it. The beginning…of what we’re not exactly sure. Cecil and Richie talk about what Away From The Keyboard is and how it came about. Richie mentions dotNet Miami way too much and Cecil explains why pineapple and coconut water is better than pizza and Mountain Dew. They also discuss the real reason why we write software and the importance of community. Buckle up folks the ride starts here.

Show notes: