Chad Z. Hower aka Kudzu – Speaker Extraordinaire

Cities I have spoken in:

See what attendees
and organizers say:

“What a show! Good speaker, good session, totally enjoyable.”
Attendee Feedback Form
TechEd Asia

“If you are looking for a brilliant speaker for a conference, consider Chad Hower. As you might know, I make very few endorsements of that sort. …. The good news is that he’ll be an independent speaker and if you run a conference or a user group anywhere in EMEA, you should really consider have him come over and talk.”
Clemens Vasters
WCF Program Manager

“Wow-Very very professional.”

“We could not have delivered the First Dev.Conference (Geek Event) in Gulf without Chad’s input to planning and excellent delivery which has had very positive effects on our perception and engagement with the developer community in the region.
Many many thanks.”
Vimal Sethi
DPE Lead
Microsoft Gulf

“An excellent presentation and a good overview of the technology. I’m not 100% convinced of it’s application but really impressed with the presenter. Well Done and thanks :-)”
TechEd Europe Feedback Form

“Good session. Great speaker…. good look into the future as well as pragmatic review of current stuff.”
Attendee Feedback Form
TechEd US

“Chad Hower was really amazing and made almost every one in the room to fall off his/her chair, he knows his stuff, but he also does it with passion and laughter. Thank you, thank you and thank you Chad for your support to MS Kuwait, and hope to have you back in the near future.”
Omar Draghmeh
EPG Manager
Microsoft Kuwait

TechEd Europe Feedback Form

“This is for me the best session I have attended; technically accurate, hot topic and the presenter knows and uses the power of humor to educate on the subject.”

“This guy is great and the contents is incredible.”

“Chad was presenting at our WebDevCon conference in Moscow, also I saw him presenting at various events before and I always was delighted by his style of presenting and being in contact with the audience. I can say for sure – Chad is one of those speakers whom you can learn from.”
Alexander Lozhechkin
Architect Evangelist
Microsoft Russia

“Very good speaker! Was overtime but we didn’t care!”

“The best session in the event till now.”

“Chad excelled in presentation, educational and technical skills while ‘performing’ during Developer & IT Pro Days 2006 in Belgium.”
Tom Mertens
Audience Marketing Manager
Microsoft Belgium

“Very good entertaining speaker. Great topic about user-friendly interfaces and user-experience.”

“Chad has a laid-back and comfortable way of presenting topics, he has the ability to lure knowledge into us, in a both entertaining and efficient way. He also has the ability to make the audience participants, not only spectators. By looking at things from new viewpoints – Chad is a master here, you start to think in a new way. His sessions become a trip in Aha!-land, an exciting trip.”
Ingvar Nilsen
Oslo Delphi Day 2006

“Wish he had more time for another session, excellent!”

“Best speaker of the 2 days for me. This man can fill a whole day without falling asleep or losing the public’s attention.”
Attendee Feedback Form
Belgium Developer Days 2006

“If you look beyond the jokes you will find a deeply knowledgeable individual who is always willing to help the community. Chad manages to excide the crowds not only by jokes but by deep knowledge and hands-on experience on the topics he delivers!”
Evangelos Hadjichristodoulou
BizTalk MVP

Session Abstracts

I have spoken on well over 100 topics. Some of the topics are no longer current, while other topics I develop on demand. In this section are some of my more frequent topics and are sessions that are already prepared. These sessions are well refined and have been delivered many times previously.

I do however speak on many other topics and do have other topics ready as well. If you do not see what you are looking for or are looking for Delphi topics, please contact me.

This page is also available in RSS feed form.

Architecture: Agile Software Development

What is Agile Software Development? Why should you care about it? What benefits will it provide to you and your team? Agile is unlike many other development processes which “do a lot” for management, but little for developers. Agile is of both interest and benefit to developers. More…

Architecture: Dude, where’s my business logic?

Over the years we have moved from desktop, to client server, to 3-tier, to n-tier, to service orientation. In the process though many things have changed, but many habits have remained. This session discusses what we are doing wrong, and solutions. More…

Architecture: Emergence in Software

“Emergence” is the notion that the whole is more than the sum of its parts. Some say we can we build systems from which more comes out than was put in? Can we? If not today when, and why might it be important today? More…

Architecture: Genetic Programming

Genetic Programming uses nature as a model to perform automated testing of many variant piece of code while mixing desired attributes according to test results. But what does that mean for the every day programmer? Does GP have any use in common software? And if so why is it not commonplace? This session discusses these questions and answers and will enable you to understand how GP might benefit you. More…

Architecture: Mobile Agents

What if objects could move from machine to machine? Not just automated downloads, or remotely controlling objects as in remoting, but a system in which the object actually moves about. Mobile software agents do exactly that. In this session such an architecture will be introduced, discussed and a working system presented based on an open source implementation using Windows Communication Foundation (WCF) and .NET 3.0. More…

Architecture: Neural Networks

Neural Networks in software refer to Artificial Neural Networks (ANN) and are used to construct pattern recognition models. ANN’s are modeled loosely after biological neural networks in the brain and are usually used for optical character recognition, photo analysis, etc. Beyond the fascination however ANN’s also have applications in general business applications. But what are they? This session introduces ANN’s and discusses how and when they are useful to the average developer. More…

Architecture: Improving software safety and reliability – Applying ergonomics to the User Interface

Security is an oft discussed, but what about software safety? In fact, what is software safety? Software safety is the practice of developing code that is more stable, less likely to crash or corrupt data. Software safety has widespread effects, including improving security. This session begins by demonstrating a common hack that is available in most custom written software, and then demonstrating how to address this security hole. From there it moves to an overview of common security mechanisms in .NET and a discussion of software safety and how to begin implementing it. While this session does contain some demos, because of time constraints this session is designed as an overview and call to action for developers, providing developers with starting points and “things to think about”. More…

Architecture: Tier Pressure and Isolationism

Logical layers within n-tier systems should be designed to interact and be influenced by neighboring layers only. This restriction is often violated which is detrimental to the system. In this session I demonstrate why this is so common, the consequences, and why we should focus on layer isolationism. More…

Architecture: What is Architecture?

What is architecture in software? Are you an architect? What makes someone an architect? Why are there so many different and even opposing ways in architecture? This session helps those new to architecture or interested in architecture to navigate and understand the software architecture field today. More…

Delphi: Constructors and Destructors in Delphi.NET

Because of non deterministic destruction in .net, constructors and destructors often act quite differently in Delphi under .NET. Changes to the behaviour of constructors in Delphi for . NET are often subtle and transparent. But in many cases, especially with destructors, these changes drastically change how code functions and introduce hard to find bugs. This session will cover the changes, and common problems caused by the changes. It will also cover how to solve the problems introduced by the changes. More…

Delphi: C# for Delphi Developers

This session will provide an introduction to C# for Delphi developers. C# is the “Default” language of .NET and Delphi programmers will often need to translate C# code into Delphi. Some programmers may also find a need to use C# either for needs of integration, or because of a job change. This session will give Delphi programmers a crash course into C#. More…

Indy: Various Topics

I have well over a dozen Indy topics. If you are interested in Indy sessions, please contact me. More…

Misc: The Amazing Kudzu Plant

Note: This is a non tech session, but it makes a great filler or closing session. It only takes about 15 minutes. More…

.NET 3.0: WCF – Windows Communication Foundation

WCF brings the capabilities of Web Services, DCOM, MSMQ, Remoting, Security, and Transactions into a single configurable framework built around SOA concepts. This session demonstrates what WCF is, its capabilities and how to use it in your applications. This session also discusses how to move from other technologies such as web services or remoting to WCF. More…

.NET 3.0: WF – Windows Workflow

Imagine building visible flow charts into your software that define behaviour, and optionally allowing your end users or customers to modify them to fit their business needs. WF provides a common reusable workflow engine that does exactly that. Learn how what WF can do, and how it can improve your software customization and improve communication with the business owners. More…

.NET 3.0: WPF – Windows Presentation Foundation

WPF (Windows Presentation Foundation aka Avalon) is the next generation user interface. But what exactly does that mean for developers? And what does this mean for WinForms and ASP.NET applications? WPF supports advanced typography and layout, rich media integration, and vector and 3D graphics. WPF changes the way designers and developers collaborate. In this session, learn about the processes, technologies, and design tools available for WPF applications that run in the browser or on the desktop. More…


LINQ – Language Integrated Query. But what is that? It’s a set of language extensions for C# and VB.NET that allow querying of objects in a SQL like manner. LINQ can be used on objects, XML, datbases and more. Specifically for databases is DLINQ. using DLINQ SQL code becomes typesafe and early bound. No more SQL errors at runtime because of typos in strings. Learn how LINQ and DLINQ will simplify your code and increase software quality. More…

.NET: MicroFramework

Using only a few hundred kilobytes of RAM and an inexpensive processor, the Microsoft .NET Micro Framework platform allows developers to build applications for the smallest of devices. These devices are typically constrained by cost, memory, processor, and/or power consumption. This platform is currently used in Smart Watches for MSN Direct, and is planned for Windows Vista SideShow displays, as well as an upcoming version of Microsoft TV Foundation Edition. More…

.NET: Smart Clients

What if you could take the best features from both web and desktop applications with neither of their problems. Smart Clients allow you to do this. In this sesions I’ll provide a very quick introduction, then move onto more advanced and even non traditional uses of smart clients. More…

.NET: VSTS – Visual Studio Team System

Learn how Visual Studio 2005 Team System enables you to drive predictability, visibility, and control into your software development process. More…

.NET: WPF/E – WPF Everywhere

WPF/E is a cross platform runtime enabling a subset of Windows Presentation Foundation (WPF) XAML to reach beyond the latest Windows PC platforms. With WPF/E you’ll be able to build rich, interactive experiences that run in major Web browsers on major platforms as well as on mobile devices. The combination of WPF/E and WPF will enable designers and developers to have a consistent development experience across smart clients, Web-based applications, and mobile devices. Join us to discuss the WPF/E feature set, targeted platforms and browsers, the developer experience, and to see a preview of the technology. More…

.NET: XNA – .NET for the Xbox 360!

What is XNA? It is nothing short of .NET for the Xbox 360! Learn how you can use .NET to develop games and other applications for the XBox with the same ease that you can develop for Windows. Simply use Visual Studio.NET, build, deploy! More…

Office: Smart Tags

Smart Tags allow you to add menu options and highlighting on individual words either by lookup, or regular expression. For example you might create a Smart Tag to recognize phone numbers in a document and allow with a simple mouse click on the phone number to dial using and integrated phone system or VOIP package. Smart Tags are not limited to phone numbers though, and are completely customizable to any tag you define. Learn other uses of smart tags and see how easy they are to implement in this session. More…

Office: VSTO – Visual Studio Tools for Office

For many years Office has been programmable via COM and even DDE. But with VSTO (Visual Studio Tools for Office) your Excel worksheet or Word document act just like forms. You can drop controls on, add events for cells, etc directly from within Visual Studio. More…

Office: Office Open XML Formats

Office 2007 now stores its documents in XML. This makes manipulation and creation of documents easy to do, even without Office installed. The Office Open XML format is also an ECMA standard and has backwards compatibility with older versions of Office as well as some capabilities on Linux and Macintosh, as well as Java. Surprised? Learn about these features and more in this session. More…

Process: Developers are from Mars, Managers are from Venus

Developers and managers do speak different languages! What can be done to bridge this gap and improve communication? What effects will it have on your team and projects? Learn some simple techniques through real and practical examples of how to improve this vital communication conduit. More…

Process: Configuring your Development Workstation for Productivity and Reliability

Most developer machines are a mess of left over beta software parts and often are unreliable. Many developers have resorted to using virtual machines. Virtual machines are great for testing, but for developers they often are quite slow and have other side effects. The good news is that there is a better way to configure your development workstation to provide proper isolation, while retaining stability and ability to test beta software and SDK’s, and still retaining the full speed and power of the host machine. More…

Process: Piracy and Unconventional Wisdom

As software developers, piracy is something that affects us all. If you are a software developer who works for a big company, you likely do not see it directly. But you still have an interest in who is using your company’s software. If you are in a small company or are a developer who sells software, piracy hits a lot closer to home. However, the conventional wisdom, which often equates to the “knee jerk” reaction, is not the proper one. More…

Process: Improving Teamwork and Developer Habits

Too many teams operate simply as a group of developers with relationships formed only by task, friendships, or attempts by project managers. In addition there are large impedences between management and developers. What kind of practical steps can be taken to work out common problems? Come see in this interactive thought provoking session how developers and managers can work better together, and team members can become more cohesive. More…


Using the new SQLCLR feature in SQL Server 2005 C# and VB.NET (or any .NET language) can be used to write stored procedures, custom data types, dynamic result sets and more. This is an extremely powerful and much needed feature that will simplify your T-SQL monsters and allow you to perform more efficient operations using high level languages. More…