CLD Summit 2016
I recently had the privilege of presenting at the Denver Certified LabVIEW Developer Summit or CLD Summit for short. It's sort of a "meeting of the minds" of some of the highly skilled LabVIEW developers in Denver. It is one of the perks of being a certified LabVIEW Professional. If you are not certified, I highly recommend that you look into getting certified. Being certified gives you the ability to attend the CLD Summit, which has a lot of benefits, and certification is also a good feather to put in your cap. If you are certified and didn't attend the CLD Summit, I highly recommend you make some time to attend in the future. I always learn a ton at these events and they are almost always well worth the time invested. I find it's always good to spend time in the company of people who are smarter than you.
The CLD summit is organized by NI, and they usually provide a few presentations, but most of the content is provided by the local community. Each presentation is generally about an hour long. I had a teaching commitment in the morning so I missed the first couple presentations, but the couple that I saw were very good.
Google Repo tool
The first presentation I caught was a presentation on using the Google repo tool to manage multiple git repositiories. It was very interesting. The presenter's product line required various different modules and depending on the specific product, it might require a specific revision of a module, which might vary from one specific product to the next. Basically each module in was given its own git repository and then the Google tool kept track of a manifest file for each product that said: "For this particular product pull this specific revision of this module from this location." You could peg a module at a specific revision or you could set it to get the latest. I thought it was rather slick. It was also a rather different way of thinking about the problem. When the presenters were introducing their problem my mind had immediately jumped to using VI Package manager, but their solution seemed a little more flexible.
You're doing it Wrong
After that, Matt Richardson, who organized the summit, gave a great presentation entitled "You're doing it wrong". He was basically poking fun at himself. It was about an ongoing project he is working on and some of the issues he's been running into. It was a lot of project management type dos and don'ts. It also talked about webservices, Actor Framework and some other technologies and their pros and cons. What I took out of it was don't fall victim to the magpie syndrome, where you constantly are trying to use the latest and greatest shiny thing, but make sure that the tool fits the problem. Another major point I took out of it was to avoid fixed bids. All in all it was a very useful presentation. Matt is a very bright guy and very good at challenging the status quo and challenging people's thinking.
The next presentation was a roundtable on the use of virtual machines. It was interesting to see the different opinions. Various people used different Virtual Machine managers such as Virtual Box or VMware. The opinion seemed to lean towards VMware as the better choice. It also seemed like most people were making a single "virgin" image and then making copies of that for each specific application. It also seemed like most people were carrying these around with them on USB 3.0 harddrives. There was some discussion of running the VMs on a server and then remote desktopping into them, but it seemed like no one was really doing that.
After lunch, I gave a presentation on a toolkit that I have been developing for managing multiple versions of LabVIEW on a single computer. There is a beta program available if anyone is interested. You can find it on my website under the "Tips, Tricks, and FREE stuff" menu, or you can use the following link: bit.ly/LVMBeta. That was only a small part of my presentation. Most of my presentation was on how to take a tool that you may have built that is rough around the edges and polish it and turn it into a product you can either sell or give away. There's lots of good information in the presentation on building installers, graphics, and other tips. The graphics slide is probably my favorite and points to a lot of free tools. Here is a link to my presentation, so you can check it out yourself.
In writing my presentation for the CLD Summit and developing this LabVIEW version managing tool, I have learned a whole lot and it has sparked some great ideas for future posts. Look for some more coming soon and make sure you keep your eyes open for details on next years CLD Summit.