Jim Christopher


Jim Christopher is an independent software consultant with 19 years of professional experience spanning highly-regulated industries such as defense, education, and casino gaming systems. He currently runs Code Owls LLC, a Charlotte NC company focused on automation and integration projects. Jim is a Pluralsight author, three-time PowerShell MVP, Blue Diamond Technology award winner, and manages about a dozen open source projects. In his off time he plays guitar, ukulele, and participates in various acts of nogoodnicking.

Automating Visual Studio with StudioShell and Nuget

Sunday, June 22nd, 2014 at 9:00 am in

StudioShell’s goal is to fundamentally change the way you interact with Visual Studio and your code.

If you’ve ever implemented a Visual Studio extension, such as an add-in or a package, you know how convoluted this space has become. You have to become an expert in your tooling if you want to change it. StudioShell changes this landscape by exposing many of Visual Studio’s extensibility points in a simple and consistent way. It makes the Visual Studio SDK interactive and discoverable. What an extension does in a compiled binary, StudioShell can accomplish with a one-liner.

The latest release of StudioShell is designed to work specifically inside of the Package Manager console and your Nuget packages. This means that your Nuget packages can now easily manipulate any aspect of the Visual Studio SDK as part of their installation. This offers some tantalizing possibilities, such as custom context menu items tied to bits of script.

During this session I will demonstrate how easy it is to make Visual Studio and Nuget not just a tool you use, but *your* tool. Demos will include a conditional refactoring that cannot be accomplished using any existing Visual Studio extensions, as well as way to customize the IDE and UI from a Nuget package.

You will leave this session with your mind blown and full of amazing ideas. I guarantee, the first thing you’ll do when you get home from Philly Code Camp is install StudioShell.

Developer Body Issues

Saturday, June 21st, 2014 at 7:30 pm in

We don’t usually compare our professional lives to those of athletes, but often our careers end in the same way – a slow whittling of our bodies through minor and repetitive injuries, followed by sudden debilitation.

This talk will detail the various ways that developers and IT Pros destroy their bodies as they work, and provide simple ways to help correct these problems before they become serious or even career-ending. We will focus on four specific body areas that can impact developers and computer-users in general: posture, sight, hands and wrists, and breathing. We will discuss the anthropological reasons why humans walk upright, and how that impacts the way we use computers (or more precisely, the way that computer use injures our bodies). Specific attention is given to how the spine and nervous system interact, creating subluxations under stress that can cause any number of issues from allergies to miscarriages. We examine how the human eye works to focus and transduce light into neural impulses, and how the visual needs demanded by computer use work to destroy this system. Common hand and wrist injuries are covered, as well as their early warning signs and ways to avoid them. Finally, we cover the phenomenon of “screen apnea,” where people tend to hold their breath in stressful situations (such as receiving an email or having a test fail), and discuss how this type of breathing contributes to a host of serious ailments.

30 years of computer use has left parts of my body in constant pain or completely numb. Come to this talk to learn what has taken me that long to figure out and start to fix.

Panel: Year of the Developer

Saturday, June 21st, 2014 at 4:30 pm in