Kendall Miller

Kendall Miller is one of the founding partners of Gibraltar Software, an Independent Software Vendor (ISV) that develops & markets commercial applications for .NET developers. Introduced in 2009, Loupe is an application logging & monitoring platform that is currently used by customers around the world from individual consultants through Fortune 100 companies and governments.

Before starting Gibraltar Software, Kendall worked for multiple startups leading their technology development from beginning through profitability. In each case he’s focused on translating enterprise-level performance and capabilities down to smaller companies.

Kendall has a B.S in Computer Engineering from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign.

Megahertz, Gigahertz, Registers and Instructions: How does a CPU actually work?

Saturday, March 24th, 2018 at 1:30 pm in

For decades, we’ve been creating ever higher abstractions between ourselves and the computing hardware we’re programming, but in the end whether you’re writing JavaScript, Haskell, or Python it all comes down to 1’s and 0’s running through hardware patterns that were well understood twenty years ago.

We’ll walk through the fundamentals of how CPU’s “think” in an accessible way (no engineering degree required!) so you can appreciate the marvel that is the modern CPU be it in a server data center or your fridge at home. You’ll learn how a CPU turns the code we feed it into actions, what’s the big difference between an ARM and an Intel processor, how CPU’s constantly optimize work for us, and where is it all going for the next few years.

Finally, we’ll show how Meltdown and Spectre take advantage of CPU internals to expose data and why this class of security problems are going to be a challenge to the next generation of CPU’s.

Scaling Systems: Architectures that grow

Saturday, April 9th, 2016 at 1:30 pm in

It’s harder than ever to predict the load your application will need to handle in advance, so how do you design your architecture so you can afford to implement as you go and be ready for whatever comes your way. It’s easy to focus on optimizing each part of your application but your application architecture determines the options you have to make big leaps in scalability.

In this talk we’ll cover practical patterns you can build today to meet the needs of rapid development while still creating systems that can scale up and out. Specific code examples will focus on .NET but the principles apply across many technologies. Real world systems will be discussed based on our experience helping customers around the world optimize their enterprise applications.

To The Cloud! How Azure helped us improve the scalability of our SaaS

Saturday, April 9th, 2016 at 8:30 am in

Two years ago we had to make a decision whether to double down with new hardware in our Colo or go another way to grow our SaaS. We moved into Azure and haven’t looked back.

In this talk we’ll walk through the challenges we’ve faced moving from our own hardware to Azure including:

* Taking advantage of auto-scaling to reduce costs.
* Growing 100x without controlling the hardware.
* When it all goes wrong and Azure falls over.
* How Azure has improved the performance of our on-premises installs too

Far from a theoretical conversation about how you could use the cloud, we’ll share real data from our production implementation, both the good and the bad. Finally, we’ll talk about where we’re going with what we’ve learned.

Introducing Agile to the Enterprise

Saturday, March 21st, 2015 at 3:00 pm in

Still Living in a Waterfall World? You’re Not Alone! Convincing your company to use an Agile development approach for application development can be surprisingly difficult. While the initial benefits excite everyone, that enthusiasm often disappears when the true trade-offs of Agile become apparent. You may even find that many members of the development team aren’t willing to give up their waterfall patterns of development. How do you convince the business that good software doesn’t begin and end with a giant Microsoft Project Plan? In this session we’ll discuss how you can get your company moving down the path to more effective software development and bridge the gap between traditional practices and the current software development landscape

•How to discuss Agile with the Business: It’s their money, you need to make sure they’re on board with how you’re going to spend it.

•Convincing the Team to Work Differently: Without the right patterns of development within your team, your first Agile project may be the last for a while.

•Useful Compromises: When you can’t change the world overnight, how do you at least get the ship turning in the right direction?

Presented by one of the founders of Gibraltar Software, we’ll discuss how we’ve worked with many enterprise customers to marry agile practices into traditional teams. Sometimes successful sometimes a brilliant failure – come and learn from our mistakes so you can produce better results and have happier customers and team members. We won’t be focusing on a specific technology or Agile approach but rather how you get businesses to accept giving up the Gantt chart and learn to love software development.

Peaks and Pitfalls in Creating Commercial Software

Saturday, March 21st, 2015 at 11:30 am in

Kendall Miller, Co-founder of Gibraltar Software (A Baltimore-based Independent Software Vendor) pulls back the curtain and talks about the challenges and difficult decisions that come along with creating a business around commercial software.
•Creating Product Strategy – One of these three doors is the path to greatness, the other two go nowhere. Guess which.
•Connecting with Customers – Trying to not be the best product no one ever heard of.
•Finding the Right Talent – Collecting the team to knock it out of the park

We’ll go through real examples from the history of our software products – things that have worked out and things that have gone awry. Sometimes comical, sometimes tragic – it’s never boring when you’re building your reputation and your company.