Chris Bowen's Blog

Development Practices, Tools, Technology, and Community

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  • Chris Bowen's Blog

    Code Camp 8 Registration and Call for Speakers Open!

    • 14 Comments

    CodeCamp

    We're live and ready (thanks, Chris Pels!)  Attendee registration and the Call for Speakers are both now open for Code Camp 8: Rise of the Silverlight Surfer!

    The Details

    JonesRoad Code Camp 8: Rise of the Silverlight Surfer will be held at the Microsoft offices in Waltham, MA on the weekend of September 29th and 30th.  Registration at 8:30 AM, sessions start at 9:00.  As always, it's a completely free event (and you'll probably walk away with some swag as well.)

    What's a Code Camp?  They are learning and networking events driven by and for the local developer community.  There's no set agenda for what kind of sessions can be submitted (despite the attempt at humor with the Silverlight subtitle) - you and your fellow developers and architects define the content.  See the Code Camp Manifesto for more and scan the summary of Code Camp 7 for an idea of what you might see at CC8.

    Register to Attend

    Registration is required, so head to http://theDevCommunity.org/CodeCamps and click the "Register" link for Code Camp 8.  We recommend you first create an account or login to your existing one, which will give you access to site resources, including downloads of presentation materials.

    Call for Speakers

    Speakers are the life blood of Code Camps and Code Camps are one of the best ways to break into the speaking circuit.  There's no stodgy selection committee for reviewing session submissions - if you have an idea and are willing to talk about it, you'll get a room!

    For an idea of what kind of sessions a Code Camp may have, look at the list from Code Camp 7.  (Note that if you're signed in, you can download presentation materials as well.)

    So, want to help out by speaking?  Here's how to make it happen:

    1. Sign in to an existing account or create a new one at theDevCommunity.org site.
    2. Complete a Speaker Registry profile (if you don't already have one.)
    3. Head to the Code Camps home page.
    4. Next to the CC8 entry, you should see a "Submit a Session" link.
    5. Fill out the form and submit.  As many sessions as you'd like.
    6. Please ensure that you also register as an attendee.

    Again, Code Camp can't happen without you, so thank you!

    Call for Contributors

    Especially in New England with our two-day format, Code Camps rely on contributors to donate giveaways and funding for food to help make the event happen.  Please let me know if your company is interested in becoming a contributor for Code Camp 8.

    Code Camp Organization and Planning

    Want to help?  We'd appreciate it!  Send me a note using the Contact form on this blog.

    Looking forward to another great event!

    -Chris

  • Chris Bowen's Blog

    Got Tech Posters?

    • 14 Comments

    Have a blank wall (and access to your company's color printer)? 

    There are plenty of technology posters and charts for developers available on MSDN.  I didn't realize just how many until I searched for "poster" on MSDN downloads.

    Here's a list of the more recent ones:

    Enjoy!

    -Chris

  • Chris Bowen's Blog

    Join Us for The Winter Northeast MSDN Roadshow!

    • 14 Comments

    Roadshow-September-2008

    Somewhere in Scenic Vermont

    [UPDATE 11/19 - We've added New Hampshire to our tour for December 18th!]

    We just couldn't take not being out on the road, talking about tech, so we're heading back out again in December for the Winter Northeast Roadshow! 

    This, our seventh Roadshow, will feature a ton of great stuff like jQuery and ASP.NET 3.5 AJAX, WPF, WF, Silverlight and WCF/REST, and even some interesting things from Microsoft Research!

    Join my fellow road and code warrior, Jim O'Neil and me for a relaxed day of deep content for developers and architects.  Oh, and it's free.

    We're heading to six cities in December:

    Most of our stops for the Fall Northeast Roadshow filled up, so if you're interested, register early.

    THE AGENDA

    [Times are for all events except Rochester, NY, which starts 30 minutes earlier.]

    Roadshow at RIT 8:30 – Register, Grab Some Coffee, and Pull Up A Chair

    9:00 - Morning TechUpdate

    Before we dive into the sessions, we’ll take some time to update you on the latest news, tools and technology from the developer world.

    9:15 - Turbo Boosting for Web Developers: Using jQuery and ASP.NET 3.5 AJAX

    Like things that help you go faster? Of course! That’s why we’re focusing this session on the powerful set of features that jQuery and ASP.NET 3.5 offer web developers. We’ll get up to speed with jQuery, a popular open source JavaScript library with powerful features, a concise syntax with chained commands, but at the same time is fully extensible via a plugin-based architecture. Microsoft will be distributing jQuery (as-is) with Visual Studio going forward, and offers IntelliSense support for jQuery as well. We’ll complement that with a look at the latest in ASP.NET 3.5 AJAX with Visual Studio 2008 to provide extra code-writing acceleration along the way. Like hitting “Boost” in your favorite racing game, jQuery and ASP.NET 3.5 AJAX will have you speeding toward great rich internet applications in no time!

    10:45 - Workflow Foundation (WF) Steals the Show

    As Shakespeare put it, “All the world’s a stage”, and WPF and WCF love to bask in the limelight, but now it’s time for their cousin, Windows Workflow Foundation, to assume the leading role.  We’ll go beyond the usual introductory demos to show that, despite lacking a third letter in its acronym, WF is a very powerful environment for building robust and scalable applications that capture complex and real-world business processes.  From dashing good looks (a visual designer which you can even host in your own applications) to dazzling abilities such as new options for integration with WCF (both as a service provider and consumer), resumable programmable activities as building blocks, and built-in services for persistence, transactions, scheduling and tracking, WF is a standout performer for any application.  We’ll have Hamlet saying, “The Workflow’s the thing!”

    In the Car on Lake Champlain 12:00 - Lunch in the Lab: A Look at Tools & Tech from Microsoft Research

    Grab some lunch, get out your Bunsen burners and microscopes, and join us as we don lab coats and take a tour of the latest and greatest tools and technology from Microsoft Research. From developer tools that you can use today like CHESS and Pex, future tech like DryadLINQ, to the just plain cool of AutoCollage, Boku, and SecondLight, there’s a lot for us to experiment on. We promise not to set anything on fire in this lab, well, unless you ask nicely…

    1:00 - Deeper into Windows Presentation Foundation (WPF)

    Windows Presentation Foundation (WPF) has a rich set of features to create visually appealing, high-performance applications on the .NET Framework with declarative markup. And perhaps you’ve seen the “hello world” demos and get the general idea. But you say “Great! What else can I do with it?” Funny you should ask, because that’s exactly what this session is about. After a brief introduction to WPF, we’ll dive into the host of new features that .NET 3.5 Service Pack 1 has brought – enhanced 3D capabilities, Visual Studio designer improvements, and more. We’ll cover important WPF topics such as interoperability with WinForms and achieving reuse via resources, templates, and user controls. Finally, we’ll round out the talk by showing the new WPF Toolkit, including new WPF controls like Calendar, DatePicker, and DataGrid. Now, aren’t you glad you asked?

    2:30 - Adventures in Data with Silverlight, WCF REST, and ADO.NET Data Services

    You’ve heard that REST is the talk of the town (well, the really geeky part of town) these days, but what does it mean to you, someone who needs to get work DONE? Get ready to improve your Silverlight skills, because this session features a practical, code-based focus on the use of the new WCF REST Starter Kit, ADO.NET Data Services (formerly Astoria), and databinding techniques to tap the power of RESTful services.  A from-scratch implementation will be created, using Silverlight to build a data-centric application covering concepts such as the WebClient and HTTPWebRequest objects, syndication formats, cross domain policy, and data binding in XAML. 

    3:50 – Wrapup, Evals, and Giveaways

    Geek Gatherings

    Albany Pump Station

    It's always nice to unwind after a Roadshow, and we'd love to chat with other developers in the community, we're looking at our options for informal gatherings at local brewpubs and the like after each event (except Rochester, which will need to be the night before on 12/1).

    Let us know if you have the "perfect place" to be social (and my personal preference, has good beer) in your city and we'll help get the word out! 

    Thanks!

    A huge thanks goes to the companies and organizations who volunteer their space for the Roadshow visits!

    This time, we return to two venues that have been great hosts for previous Roadshows.  In Rochester, NY, we again descend upon Rochester Institute of Technology's Golisano Auditorium.  In Burlington, VT (well, Williston, actually), we return to Vermont Technical College.

    In the Albany, NY area, Autotask has graciously offered their meeting facilities for the event. 

    Last, but by no means least, thanks to great support by the developer community in Maine (and a 100% packed room last time!), we're running the Roadshow in the much larger Florian Auditorium at the Central Maine Commerce Center.

    Every Roadshow we do quite honestly is a blast for us (well, once we're ready and out on the road,) and we hope you'll enjoy it too. 

    We’ll see you soon!

    -Chris

  • Chris Bowen's Blog

    Code Camp 11 – The Schedule!

    • 13 Comments

    CodeCamp We're just under a week from New England Code Camp 11: "Developer Stimulus Package" (what is Code Camp?), a free day filled with with technology sessions given by the local developer community.  Code Camp 11 will be held on March 28th at the Microsoft offices in Waltham, MA.

    Registration is at over 300 350 375 400 people and still open at:

          http://TheDevCommunity.org/CodeCamps

    Sessions and Schedules

    But the real story is that there's been a fantastic show of support from volunteers giving their time and expertise to speak.

    CC11 is currently scheduled to offer 41 44 sessions by 32 speakers, all for free!  The grid (as always, subject to change) is below, here are the session descriptions, and we'll have printouts of the grids and descriptions waiting for you at registration.

    The Schedule (click to expand):

    CC11Schedule

    Register today, plan out your weekend with the schedule below, and we'll see you at Camp!

    P4050052Saturday Evening Geek Gathering

    A Code Camp tradition for years, we're informally gathering over at the Waltham Westin's lobby bar for a chance to unwind on Saturday night.  Drop by after sessions are over to relax, chat, and network with fellow New England devs!

    Thanks to Infragistics!

    Infragistics Last but certainly not least, budgets are hard everywhere these days, but Infragistics has really stepped up to help make Code Camp a success by sponsoring  lunch!  Many thanks to them, and you can see Infragistics’ own Tony Lombardo who is coming from the NYC area to speak.

    See you at Camp!

    -Chris

  • Chris Bowen's Blog

    The Roadshow Rides Again! - May/June Edition

    • 12 Comments

     

    Northeast Roadshow logo 

     

    The Northeast Roadshow

     

    We're at it again!  It's time to pack our laptops and gear to head out across the northeast for our fifth Roadshow!  Only this time, you're getting three of us for the price of, well, zero - the events are free after all...  Jim O'Neil, our new colleague here in the northeast, is joining Bob and me as we set out to tour various cities, bringing you deep developer and architect content.  And some giveaways as well, of course. 

     

    What's the Roadshow?

     

    Starting with our first one in March of 2007, the Roadshow is our chance to head out to various parts of the northeast to reach the broader community.  In these free full-day events, we bring you deep technical content including not just the "how to", but also discussion of why and when you may consider technology and practices.  We're also hugely entertaining, especially when failing to hit our marks as we throw things into the audience.

     

    Where?  When?

     

    How?

     

    Register today (venue details and links below) - it's free - and join us for a relaxed day of low-fluff, high-signal content for developers and architects!

     

    Note that some cities consistently hit capacity, so don't wait to register.

     

    The Agenda:

     

    8:30-9:00 AM -  Registration

     

    9:00-10:25 AM - The Strongest LINQ - The Sequel (SQL and Entities)

    Our story began with the previous Roadshow, where a tale of C# and VB language enhancements led us to an appreciation for how LINQ works.  Now another story  unfolds, featuring practical details of how LINQ to SQL and LINQ to Entities can make your life better as a developer and architect.  We'll quickly get you up to speed with the foundations of LINQ, then dive deeply into the specific applications of LINQ for use with databases.  Besides the how-to details of LINQ to SQL and the Entity Framework, we'll also share practical insights for adoption strategies, performance optimization, and maintainability.  The slide-and-code-based equivalent of a real page turner!

     

    10:25-10:35 AM - We'll put a bookmark in the content so you can take a break

     

    10:35 AM -12:00 PM - Leveraging .NET in the Office

    In this overview of Visual Studio Tools for Office (VSTO) with Visual Studio 2008, Jim will show how you can leverage your .NET skills to bring additional customized functionality to the Microsoft Office suite of products.   We'll look at integrating custom actions in the Microsoft Word Ribbon control , creating form regions in Outlook, and extending existing VBA investments in Excel.  With sample code galore, you can be a hero in your own office as you integrate and standardize your business's unique processes and requirements into those very familiar Office applications your colleagues and staff use day in and day out.

     

    12:00-12:45 PM - All this talk has made us hungry.  Lunch!

     

    12:45-2:10 PM -  The Architecture of RIA - The Silverlight 2.0 Story

    In this session, we'll take a look at the current state of RIA (Rich Internet Application) development leveraging Silverlight 2.0.  We'll focus on the architecture of RIA's, using XAML for user interface layout and design, WCF (Windows Communication Foundation) for Web Services, Visual Studio 2008 and Expression Blend for the design/development environment and Windows Server 2008/IIS 7 as the deployment environment.  Hmm, all of that in one session?  Even we aren't sure it's going to fit...

     

    2:10-2:20 PM - Time to relax and consider your architecture options

     

    2:20-3:45 PM - ASP.NET's Model View Controller (MVC) - What's All the Fuss About?

    It's everywhere you look: blogs, magazines, the backs of cereal boxes.  You may recall reading something about it in that "Gang of Four" book, but you're not entirely sure.  What is it?  MVC!  In this session, we'll dive into the world of ASP.NET's Model View Controller (MVC) implementation.  What the MVC pattern is, how it can clearly separate concerns, improve control over published URLs and HTML, where it might make your life easier, and of course, plenty of code showing how to use it with your websites.  You'll end the day with the background necessary to confidently stride into technology discussions and boldly say "M-V-C".

     

    3:45-4:00 PM -  Wrap-up, giveaways, and a fond farewell

     

    REGISTER!

     

    Location

    Date & Time

    Registration

    Vermont Technical College - Williston, VT

    One Blair Park

    201 Lawrence Place, Room 401

    Williston, VT 05495

    May 22, 2008

    8:30 AM-4:00 PM

    Register

    Event ID: 1032378634

    MESDA Technology Center - Westbrook, ME

    506 Main Street

    Westbrook, ME 04092

    May 28, 2008

    8:30 AM-4:00 PM

    Register

    Event ID: 1032378637

    Microsoft Office - Waltham, MA

    201 Jones Road Suite 601

    Waltham, MA 02451

    May 29, 2008

    8:30 AM-4:00 PM

    Register

    Event ID: 1032377292 

    Rochester Institute of Technology - Rochester, NY

    1 Lomb Memorial Drive

    Rochester, NY 14623

    June 10, 2008

    8:30 AM-4:00 PM

    Register

    Event ID: 1032378639

    Microsoft Office - Farmington, CT

    Pondview Corporate Center

    74 Batterson Park Rd.

    Farmington, CT 06032

    June 12, 2007

    8:30 AM-4:00 PM

    Register

    Event ID: 1032376991

     

    See you on the road!

    -Chris

     

    ** Note the date for Farmington is different than what I had mentioned at the Hartford Heroes Happen Here event.  We are now visiting Farmington on June 12th. 

  • Chris Bowen's Blog

    Tips from My Technical Presentations

    • 12 Comments

    My role involves spending a good deal of time with technical audiences.  Recently, I've been getting reactions like this - "I enjoyed your presentation!  I have an odd question - how did you zoom in like that?" or "How did you set those colors in Visual Studio?"

    So, I'm posting some tips so I can direct people here for more information. 

    1) Use ZoomIt for Screen Zooming

    ZoomItIt's never a good thing to feature content on your screen that the audience can't see.  It's frustrating for them, and hinders conveying the very message you're trying to present.

    Fortunately, there's a very easy answer.  For areas where you can't already have proper font sizes and colors (see below), use ZoomIt, a free tool from TechNet!

    Read my post on ZoomIt for details.

    ZoomIt is just great.  Obviously, you can zoom, but you can also draw lines, boxes, ellipses and text anywhere on the screen.  It also has a break timer you can use to quickly count down that break between your sessions.

     

    2) Change the Default "Highlight" Color in Visual Studio

    SelectedTextHighlight The default blue highlight for selected text in Visual Studio looks fine on a computer, but when projecting, selecting text can actually make it harder to read - it's likely that nobody past the first few rows can read what you've just selected.

    To fix this, go to Tools->Options->Environment->Fonts And Colors, then in the "display items" list, Dark Theme and Bright Highlightchoose "Selected Text" and change the background color to bright yellow or green (think highlighter) and the text to black.

     

    3) Use a Code Color/Font Scheme That's Easy to View

    This is clearly subjective, but I've found that changing the fonts and colors from the default results in code that's easier on the eyes.  Many people have told me they prefer this, nobody has said they had trouble with it.

    ImportExportSettingsI've uploaded the settings file for my colors and fonts to SkyDrive (see the above code picture for a preview.)  You can easily apply them to your own Visual Studio settings using "Tools->Import and Export Settings".  I'd recommend you back up your current settings using the Export option before trying this out.

    I use the Consolas font in Visual Studio, which you can download here.

    Also, check out Scott Hanselman's great post on alternate Visual Studio themes.

     

    4) Create Quick-Change Font Size Macros

    In Visual Studio, it's easy to create your own keybindings to IDE features.  FontMacrosI've added CTRL-SHIFT-[+/-] to mine which quickly increments or decrements the editor font size. 

    The screenshot at right shows the decrease font macro I've wired up.  Go to Tools->Options->Environment->Keyboard, then type "Font" into the Show Commands Containing textbox to find the font-related commands.

    Then you can just ask the audience if they can see, quickly bump the font a bit and you're good to go.

     

    5) Have Emergency Backup Plans... and Pictures... and Video

    MPj04005760000[1] Let's face it, sometimes demos don't work as planned.  Pilot error, beta software, phases of the moon - you need a contingency plan.  I'll typically run through my demos and take screenshots of the key points, adding them to the end of my presentation deck. 

    In some cases, you might even consider recording the whole demo, using a tool like Camtasia.  Play the video (without sound) and narrate what's happening for the audience.  Your audience will appreciate having content rather than watching you flail about, trying to diagnose a problem.

    This also applies to websites that you may want to show, should you find yourself without web connectivity.  Either save a local copy of the page (in IE, File->Save As->Web Archive, single file (*.mht)) or just take a screenshot.

     

    Hope you find these tips useful.  Do you have others?

    -Chris

  • Chris Bowen's Blog

    Bob and Chris' MSDN Roadshow - December Edition

    • 12 Comments

    RoadshowBanner

    It's that time again!  Bob and I will be heading back out in December for our fourth Roadshow series, bringing another batch of technical goodness to cities across the northeast (hopefully in time to beat the snow!)

    If you haven't been to one of our events before, the B&C Roadshow is all about high signal and low noise technical content, and, so we're told, our world-class senses of humor.  Relax and spend the day with us as we dive into a variety of development and architecture topics.

    While the cities remain the same as last time, we've changed three of the venues (Rochester, Burlington, and Hartford,) so please note the locations carefully!

    IntroducingMicrosoftSilverlight_Continuing our proud tradition of bribing, er, rewarding our audiences with giveaways, we plan to give everyone who submits an evaluation a free copy of "Introducing Microsoft Silverlight 1.0" by Laurence Moroney.  (I'll say "plan" until I physically see them in my garage.)

    Each event is begins with registration at 8:30 and content from 9:00 to 4:00 (lunch included.)  Here's our schedule, with registration links:

    Register soon since some locations have "sold out" in the past.

    Here's the agenda for each event:

    8:30-9:00 AM - Registration

    9:00-10:25 AM - Visual Studio 2008: The Accelerated AP/Honors Class

    Visual Studio 2008 is here, there's a lot to talk about, and we're not afraid to tackle it all at once! We'll assume you know Visual Studio and just want to hear about the deltas, so no lectures here. You'll see demos aplenty, including new features for web developers: new ASP.NET controls, integrated AJAX, CSS tools, nested master pages, JavaScript IntelliSense and debugging. New features for Windows developers: Client Application Services, WPF integration, WinForm/WPF interop, and Office development. Plus new features for everyone: unit testing, debugging to .NET Framework code, multi-targeting, and improvements for WCF & WF. We're covering a lot of ground, class, so pull out those Trapper Keepers and take good notes.

    10:25-10:35 AM - Take a break and head to your lockers before the next period

    10:35 AM -12:00 PM - The Multi-Tenant Data Architecture

    In this session, we'll investigate the foundation for highly scalable Software as a Service (SaaS) based solutions, the Multi-Tenant Data Architecture. This approach to data architecture deals with the continuum between isolated data and shared data. We will also identify three distinct approaches for creating data architectures that fall at different places along this continuum. Next, we'll explore some of the technical and business factors to consider when deciding which approach to use. Finally, we'll look at design patterns for ensuring security, creating an extensible data model, and scaling the data infrastructure. Normally we come up with some clever attempt at humor in these descriptions but let's face it.Multi-Tenant Data Architecture is not a laughing matter. This is a very serious topic that deserves the utmost respect and decorum... stop giggling. I mean it!

    12:00-12:45 PM - Lunch. Your data architecture scales, how about your appetite?

    12:45-2:10 PM - "You Are the Strongest LINQ!": Effective Language Integrated Query

    LINQ (Language Integrated Query) is a unified approach for querying data using coding syntax that remains consistent regardless of the data source. It WILL change the way you work as a developer and architect and this session will help you on your way to using it effectively. To understand how LINQ works, we'll first navigate the new features of C# 3.0 and VB 9.0 that enable LINQ functionality. Then, we'll dive into .NET 3.5 and Visual Studio 2008 to explore the various realms of LINQ: Datasets, XML, Database/SQL, in-memory objects, and more. By the end of this session, you'll have a solid understanding of how LINQ works and what it can do for your applications. If development were a game show, and clearly some days it can feel like one, understanding LINQ will help to keep you from being voted off early.

    2:10-2:20 PM - Relax and chat with your fellow winners

    2:20-3:45 PM - Expression Studio for the Designer-Wannabe

    Are you a closet designer? Do you wish you could grow a decent goatee and look good in turtlenecks? Well that may never happen but you can become proficient with Expression Studio and get invited to the beautiful people parties. Expression Studio is made up of 5 products that together provide a PC based toolset for designers that allow them to work in lock step with developers who are using Visual Studio. In this session, we will get an understanding of the purpose of each of the 5 products: Expression Web, Expression Blend, Expression Design, Expression Media and Expression Encoder. Then we will dive deeper into Expression Web (CSS) and Expression Blend (WPF/Silverlight) demonstrating the design and application of CSS and XAML.

    3:45-4:00 PM - Wrap-up. Have designs on our giveaways? Just express yourself with an evaluation!

    Register today and we'll see you on the road!

    -Chris


  • Chris Bowen's Blog

    Save the Dates: Code Camp 7 - Deer in Headlights

    • 12 Comments
     

    [Update - Attendee registration and call for speakers are now open!]

    I'm happy to announce we've finalized the dates for the next round of the Code Camp that started it all! 

    New England's Code Camp 7 - "Deer In Headlights" will be held the weekend of March 31st and April 1st at Microsoft's Waltham, MA office.  Look for some changes to "the usual" this time around!

    Haven't been to a Code Camp before?  They're free events, held outside of work hours, that are a chance for regional .NET communities to gather and to learn from each other.  High signal, low marketing.  Code aplenty, slides afew.  Check out the Code Camp Manifesto for the brief list of the Code Camp guiding principles.

    The relaxed atmosphere of Code Camps is also a great way to break into practice of public speaking.  If you've been considering giving it a try, this will be the perfect opportunity. 

    Mark your calendars and stay tuned for event registration and speaker submission details!

    -Chris

  • Chris Bowen's Blog

    GameDev Day '07 Boston - XNA, Gaming, and Game Development

    • 11 Comments

    XNA Like games?  Wonder how they're made?  Want to know how to make them yourself?

    Emerson Hall, HarvardCome to GameDev Day '07, a free event being hosted at Harvard University on December 1st, sponsored by Microsoft in association with the Harvard Interactive Media Group (HIMG).

    The Details

    What:  GameDev Day '07 Boston
    Who:  ANYONE - students, professionals, enthusiasts - interested in learning about how games are made and the gaming industry
    When:  Saturday, December 1st, 10 AM - 4 PM
    Where:  Harvard University [directions],
    Emerson Hall [map], Room 105 (Note that we moved from Sever Hall)
    Cost:  Free
    Registration:  None, but if you're on Facebook, add yourself to the event's page!

    Game Development Sessions

    • Presentations on game development topics
    • Second Life Learn about virtual worlds like Second Life (from the company that created it!) and their effect on the real world
    • Learn to create games for the XBOX 360 and PCs with (the free) XNA Game Studio Express 

    Gaming Industry Experts

    • halo3Open Q&A Panel
    • Advice on getting to game development
    • Careers in the Boston area

    Open Gaming

    • Play Halo 3 and Guitar Hero on XBOX Elites

    Pizza and Giveaways

    • Halo 3
    • Project Gotham Racing 4
    • Gears of War
    • Flight Simulator X Deluxe [PC]

    The Agenda

    10:15 - Welcome and Announcements (Edwin Guarin and Chris Bowen)
    10:25 - Introduction to XNA (Edwin and Chris)
    10:50 - Creating Your First XNA Game (Michael Cummings)
    12:00 - Pizza & Gaming
    12:50 - Creating Games - What *Really* Goes on Under the Covers (Mark Mullin and Dan Scherlis)
    2:00 - Blurring the Boundaries: CSI, Second Life and You (Kent Quirk and John Lester, Linden Lab)
    3:00 - Gaming Industry Q&A Panel (Dan Scherlis, Mark Mullin, Michael Cummings, Kent Quirk, Darius Kazemi)

    We're going to have a great time!  See you there!

    -Chris

  • Chris Bowen's Blog

    Visual Studio 2008 InstallFests in the Northeast!

    • 11 Comments

    VS08-pro_h_rgb_thumb Visual Studio 2008 has now been released to manufacturing, and as a "thank you" to the community, we're collaborating with area user groups to host a series of Visual Studio InstallFests. 

    I'm happy to announce that we'll have four InstallFests in the Northeast over the coming two weeks!

    • 12/4 - Rochester, NY
    • 12/6 - Burlington, VT
    • 12/10 - Hartford, CT
    • 12/12 - Waltham, MA

    Partnering with area user groups, we're offering attendees a chance to install the release version Visual Studio 2008, enjoy some food, conversation, and gaming!  Since the packaged product hasn't been released yet, here's what will happen:

    • Bring your laptops (or heck, a desktop!) and your festive selves
    • Grab a DVD with the Visual Studio 2008 Pro Trial Edition bits
    • Install and be happy
    • Play some Halo 3 or Guitar Hero, munch on some food, chat with people
    • Go home and enjoy VS2008
    • ...wait...
    • When the packaged product ships, you'll get a copy of Visual Studio 2008 Professional in the mail!  (Which will *not* require a reinstall of the trial version.)

    zune-8gb-thumb As an added incentive to get VS2008 installed that evening, we're giving away T-shirts and raffling off a new 8GB Zune among the people who get VS2008 on their machines!

    "Free Sounds Good!  So, Where?  When?  How Do I Sign Up?"

    You may notice that the events are generally on our MSDN Roadshow days (except for Waltham, where the Roadshow will be the following day.)  That's of course no coincidence, we'd like to take advantage of our passing through various areas in the northeast to run these special events. 

    Each event has its own timing, registration, and logistics, detailed below.

    As you can guess, we have limited quantities of giveaways (and "free" always draws a crowd) so we can't guarantee everyone will walk away with something.

     

    Rochester, NY
    December 4th, 4:30 to 6:30 PM
    RIT, Building 70, Room 1400,
    20 Lomb Memorial Drive, Rochester, NY
    In partnership with Visual Developers of Upstate New York (VDUNY)
    and the NJ/NY Microsoft Developers Group

    Right after the Roadshow ends, we'll jump into the InstallFest, staying in the same room on the RIT campus we're using for the Roadshow.  The event will run from about 4:30 to 6:30 (at which time we encourage you to head downtown and check out Digital Rochester's Festivus!)

    Priority for giveaways will be given to everyone who attends (not just registers for) the Rochester Roadshow event.  Remaining materials are available, while they last, to any walk-ins.

    Burlington (Williston), VT
    December 6th, 4:15 to 6:00 PM
    Vermont Technical College, 201 Lawrence Place, Room 401, Williston, VT
    In partnership with the Vermont .NET User Group

    Like Rochester, we're running this InstallFest in the same room as the Roadshow event that day.  Stay with us from 4:15 until 6:00 and enjoy some food, camaraderie, and gaming.

    Priority for giveaways will be given to everyone who attends (not just registers for) the Burlington Roadshow event.  Remaining materials are available, while they last, to any walk-ins.

    Hartford (Farmington), CT
    December 10th, 6:00 to 8:00 PM
    Microsoft, 74 Batterson Park Road, Farmington, CT
    In partnership with the Connecticut .NET User Group

    Though there's a Roadshow event that day at UConn in Hartford, we're holding the InstallFest down the road at the Farmington Microsoft office.

    You must register by sending a note to [CTDOTNET [at] gmail [dot] com].  Remaining materials will be available while they last to people who have not RSVPed.

    Waltham, MA
    December 12th, 5:30 - 8:00 PM
    Microsoft, 201 Jones Road, 6th Floor, Waltham, MA
    In partnership with the Boston .NET User Group

    The InstallFest is being held as the traditional holiday pot luck social event for the Boston .NET User Group. 

    So, remember to bring food or drink to share with others!

    Registration is required and will be available soon is available now via the Boston .NET User Group web site

    The event is now on waitlist registration.  You can still register, but copies of VS2008 will be made available to waitlisted people at 7:00 if some of the first 150 people are no-shows.

    "I Have a Question..."

    No problem, ask away (in the comments or directly to me,) but first check out my Texas-based colleague Chris Koenig's great summary of the events for that area.  Many of the same details apply to our events.

    See you at the Roadshows and InstallFests!

    -Chris

     

  • Chris Bowen's Blog

    "Essential WCF" on the Shelves!

    • 11 Comments

    On The Shelf!

    I popped in to my local bookstore (and ended up grabbing a copy of "LINQ in Action", which I've heard great things about) and what to my wondering eyes did appear, but hot-off-the-press copies of my latest authoring journey... "Essential Windows Communication Foundation"!

    Essential Windows Communication Foundation

    It's a great feeling to have all the research, coding, and long nights of writing actually take material shape on a shelf in a bookstore.

    Bowen Books(Being a proud pop, I couldn't resist a side-by-side pic with my previous book, "Professional Visual Studio 2005 Team System".)

    The InformIT Interview

    informit

    We were recently contacted by informIT for an interview about the book, which you can read here - "So, What is This WCF Anyway?"

    More about Essential WCF

    Since we'd specifically timed the book to include details of .NET Framework 3.5 and Visual Studio 2008, we're among the first to cover some new WCF topics. 

    Here's a glance at what's inside:

    • Foreword xxv
    • Preface xxvii
    • Chapter 1: Basics 1
    • Chapter 2: Contracts 33
    • Chapter 3: Channels 91
    • Chapter 4: Bindings 111
    • Chapter 5: Behaviors 181
    • Chapter 6: Serialization and Encoding 241
    • Chapter 7: Hosting 287
    • Chapter 8: Security 315
    • Chapter 9: Diagnostics 375
    • Chapter 10: Exception Handling 403
    • Chapter 11: Workflow Services 423
    • Chapter 12: Peer Networking 459
    • Chapter 13: Programmable Web 503
    • Appendix: Advanced Topics 537
    • Index 553

    I've already heard from a number of you who are delving into Essential WCF.  Let me know if you have any feedback about the book. 

     

    I encourage you to take a moment to check out my coauthors' blogs:

    Thanks Abound

    Thanks to everyone who helped make this possible - my coauthors in "unbounded awesomeness"* - Steve and Rich, the great team at Addison-Wesley who kept the wheels turning well and in the right direction, and our technical reviewers who did a great job helping to ensure we were spot-on:

    Special thanks to Steve Maine, who not only provided great support during creation, but who also took the time to pen the book's forward.

    And of course, thanks to you in the community for your support!

    -Chris

    * Note to Steve Toub, yes, that's the awesomeness' UBound() we're talking about.  :)

  • Chris Bowen's Blog

    Microsoft 2012 Launch Event Series – Windows 8, Visual Studio 2012, and More

    • 10 Comments

    The New Era of Work

    A major series of free, full-day product launch events for Windows 8, Visual Studio 2012, Windows Server, and more begins on October 30th:

    Attend a FREE one-day event and be part of the biggest product launch in our history. You’ll discover how the latest Microsoft technologies are transforming the way people work—from developers and managers to executives in the C-suite. The New Era of Work is here.

             A New Generation of Apps Begins Here

    Register

    Each city will feature one or more of the following tracks of content: Developer, Developer Manager, IT Professional, IT Executive, and Business Executive

    Here’s the full list of “The New Era of Work” cities and dates:

    10/30 Hollywood, CA

    10/30 Waltham, MA

    11/5 Houston, TX

    11/5 New York, NY

    11/7 Bloomington, MN

    11/8 Bellevue, WA

    11/13 Dallas, TX

    11/13 Syracuse, NY

    11/14 San Francisco, CA

    11/14 Brookfield, WI

    11/14 Irvine, CA

    11/14 Orlando, FL

    11/15 Miami Beach, FL

    11/15 Reston, VA

    11/15 Baton Rouge, LA

    11/27 Columbus, OH

    11/27 St. Louis, MO

    11/28 Atlanta, GA

    11/28 Chicago, IL

    11/28 Denver, CO

    11/28 Detroit, MI

    11/28 Iselin, NJ

    11/28 Kansas City, MO

    11/29 Salt Lake City, UT

    11/29 Charlotte, NC

    12/4 Portland, OR

    12/5 Oklahoma City, OK

    12/6 Indianapolis, IN

    12/6 Philadelphia, PA

    12/7 Richmond, VA

    12/12 Brentwood, TN

    12/13 Pittsburgh, PA

  • Chris Bowen's Blog

    Tech Telecommuters - What's Your "Third Place"?

    • 9 Comments

    Adventures in Telecommuting

    At Microsoft, I'm classified as a "mobile" employee.  That's code for "work where you can be productive".  Much of the time, that means home, and sometimes our Waltham, MA office where we have shared space you can grab as needed.  Many times, though, it's a "third place" (I'll get to that in a moment.) 

    MPj04308140000[1]As great as working from home can be, as the weather warms and summer approaches, there's a new source of urgency to be somewhere else... 

    ...school vacation.

    I absolutely adore my daughters (a phrase you just know will be followed by the word "however"), however, the reality is that the summer months are challenging for the work-from-home types, especially those that need to code and/or read a lot, without having to arbiter weighty disputes involving shouts of "nuh-uh!" and "did too!"

    Not Work, Not Home... The Third Place

    The term "third place" was coined to reflect places that people go outside of home (first place) and work (second place).

    My home office is usually pretty good, and I can escape to the back porch (where I am right now) which is nice, but school vacation or not, there are times I simply need a change of venue.

    So what's my "third place"?  Well, there isn't just one...

    The Coffee Shop

    MPj04230300000[1] The big daddy of all the choices.  Scorned by some, but thoroughly enjoyed by many others.  Count me in the latte(r) camp.

    I'm hardly alone in this.  Here's someone's Starbuckian Handbook.  Sage advice indeed.

    Contrary to tip #1 in the "handbook", I tend to alternate between the selection of Starbucks and Panera Breads in our area, so I don't wear out my welcome at any one.

    Generally, the coffee shops work for what I need.

    The Library

    "Did he just say 'the library'?  How old fashioned!" 

    In my college years, I was a library person.  Many of my peers just couldn't stand being there, but I found it allowed me to truly focus.  No distractions, no loud espresso machines, no toe-tapping music looping in the MPj04276860000[1]background.  Just blissful peace with the faint sounds of pages being turned and the occasional politely hushed conversation.

    The library works for telecommuters, too.  I'm sure one of your area towns has an adequately "workable" library.  Also, college/university libraries are getting the message too, adding amenities to make an extended work session more comfortable.

    Sure, they don't always have the latest computing technology books, but if that's what you need, then perhaps the next place is more your style...

    The Big Bookstores

    An interesting hybrid between a library and a coffee shop (the big bookstores generally also have a cafe these days).  I find it an especially nice place to go if I'm in research mode.  People are usually a little more clued in to library etiquette, versus coffeehouse chatter and cellphone barking. 

    Research is especially good at these places since I can usually grab a few different books/magazines on a topic and plow through them (over an appropriately large coffee beverage of course.)

    Hotels

    MPj03860690000[1]I haven't tried this one yet, but a friend suggested it as a possibility.  And why not?  Many hotels have carefully crafted, welcoming environments that are comfortable and quiet.

    As long as you're patronizing their coffee/snack area and/or restaurant, there would seem little problem with hanging around for a little while to catch up on things. 

    It could be a nice alternative to the mainstream coffee houses.

    Coworking

    CNN has been running a special work at home feature, with stories about telecommuting.  Once concept that piqued my interest was of "coworking", where fellow telecommuting developers (or other professions) gather in a common place for work.  There's a coworking wiki, with information on area groups. 

    Missing the social interaction of work, but don't miss the dreaded "quick questions" that often tag along for the ride?  Coworking might be for you.

    Some Assistance Required

    So why did I write this?  I'd enjoy hearing your feedback.  Have you encountered any places that could serve as a home away from your home away from the office?  Any places that sound good, but in reality should just be avoided?

    Believe me, I really want to know. 

    Hmm, is that the kids I hear?

    -Chris

  • Chris Bowen's Blog

    Code Camp 10 - Registration and Call for Speakers!

    • 9 Comments

    CodeCamp10"Dev InTENsity!"

    We're ready to go with about six weeks until New England's Code Camp 10!  CC10 will be the weekend of September 20th & 21st, with registration at 8:30 and sessions starting at 9:00, held at the Microsoft offices in Waltham, MA.

    To get an idea of what will happen at Code Camp 10, read below and check out the Code Camp 9 summary.  CC9 had over 60 sessions and hundreds of attendees!

    Registration has just opened!  So register today (for free!) at:

          http://www.thedevcommunity.org/CodeCamps

    This promises to be one of the biggest and best we've had!

    What is Code Camp?

    Code Camps were started right here in New England in 2004.  Now hosted around the world, they are free events, held outside of work hours, that are run by the community, for the community (as described in the Code Camp Manifesto). 

    JonesRoad_3

    Like all Code Camps, CC10 features a high signal to noise ratio (i.e. "no marketing fluff, just stuff".)  Sessions are entirely proposed and delivered by the developer community, with the focus on developer content, practices, and code - no marketing.  (See below if you're interested in speaking!)

    It's free and requires only an investment of your time, so come to learn and share with hundreds of fellow New England area developers.  And if that's not enough, you'll probably walk away with some swag as well!

    P4060059Call for Speakers

    Code Camp would be a lot people standing around randomly chatting if it weren't for the people who volunteer their time and expertise run sessions.  People just like you. 

    Code Camps are an easy way to get into speaking; Nobody expects every speaker to be a seasoned veteran of national conferences.  In fact, Code Camps are made better because we hear from so many new voices twice a year.

    There's no set limit on topics - whatever technology area you're passionate about is exactly the right topic for Code Camp.

    P4050046So, ready to share your know-how?  Here's the process:

    1. Sign in to an existing account or create a new one at TheDevCommunity.org site.
    2. Complete a Speaker Registry profile (if you don't already have one.)
    3. Go to the Code Camps home page.
    4. Next to the CC10 entry, you should see a "Submit a Session" link.
    5. Submit as many sessions as you'd like.
    6. Please ensure that you also register as an attendee.

    Submissions must be received by Friday, September 5th.  However, we recommend you get them in earlier so we don't discover last-minute overlaps in topics.

    Code Camp can't happen without you, our speakers, so thank you!

    Call for Contributors

    P4050031 Especially in New England with our two-day format, Code Camps rely on contributors to donate giveaways and funding for food to help make the event happen. 

    Please let me know if your company is interested in becoming a contributor for Code Camp 10.  Thanks for helping to make Code Camp 10 an amazing event!

    I look forward to seeing you there!

    -Chris

    P.S.  Thanks again to Bryan Phillips at Grey Wolf Design for the great Code Camp 10 logo!  (Brian also volunteered his time to create the great Code Camp 9 logo.)

  • Chris Bowen's Blog

    Announcing Bob and Chris' MSDN Roadshow!

    • 8 Comments



    Bob Familiar and I are busting out of our home bases in Massachusetts and taking our long-winded rants and questionable demos on the roads across the Northeast!  In the coming weeks, we'll be bringing the latest in developer- and architect-focused content to a town near you.

    Join us for a full day of no-fluff deep technical content, plenty of code, 100% guaranteed-to-run demos*, and of course giveaways throughout with a chance to win a Zune at day's end!  [* We'll define "run" as we go.]

    Roadshow Schedule and Registration

    Rochester, NY

    February 27th, 2007

    8:30am-4:00pm

    Click Here to Register!

    Burlington, VT

    March 1st, 2007

    8:30am-4:00pm

    Click Here to Register!

    Portland, ME

    March 6th, 2007

    8:30am-4:00pm

    Click Here to Register!

    Manchester, NH

    March 8th, 2007

    8:30am-4:00pm

    Click Here to Register!

    Farmington, CT

    March 20th, 2007

    8:30am-4:00pm

    Click Here to Register!

     

    Event Agenda

    For this tour, we're focusing on all things .Net Framework 3.0.  Here's the agenda:

    08:30am – Arrive, check in, grab a nosh and a seat

     

    09:00 – 10:15 – Windows Communication Foundation

    Windows Communication Foundation (WCF) is Microsoft's unified framework for building secure, reliable, transacted, and interoperable distributed applications. Learn how to leverage the new features in Windows Communication Foundation (WCF) to make a smooth transition to a service-orientation.  The capabilities exposed through this new addition to the .NET framework will enable the core building blocks of connected systems such as data & service contracts, security, reliability, administration, and management   

     

    10:15 – 10:30 – Take a break and communicate

     

    10:30 – 12:00 – Windows CardSpaces

    Windows CardSpace enables users to provide their digital identities in a familiar, secure and easy way. In the physical world we use business cards, credit cards and membership cards. Online with CardSpace we use a variety of virtual cards to identify ourselves, each retrieving data from an identity provider. Don't struggle with usernames and passwords, just choose an information card! This session will delve into the architecture and implementation of CardSpaces.

    12:00-01:00 – Grab a lunch and ponder your identity

    01:00 – 02:15 –Workflow Foundation

    Workflow Foundation (WF), a component of the .NET Framework 3.0, enables you to quickly and reliably implement workflows and business rules in your applications.  WF provides a framework for constructing sequential and state-machine based workflows for any .NET application or service and includes tools to effectively manage and modify those workflows.  In this session, we'll introduce the major concepts and purpose of WF, demonstrate the creation and maintenance of workflows with Visual Studio 2005, and show the potential uses of workflows within your applications. 

    02:15-02:30 – Take a break and go with the flow

    02:30 – 03:45 – Windows Presentation Foundation

    Windows Presentation Foundation (WPF) is Microsoft’s new strategic User Interface technology designed to provide richer, high-fidelity, applications using an optimized developer/designer workflow.  Learn how to leverage the new features in WPF such as XAML to create visually stunning interfaces to enhance capabilities and user experience of your applications. 

     

    03:45 – 04:00 – Zune Giveaway

    Register using the links in the schedule above.  Looking forward to seeing you out on the road!

    -Chris

  • Chris Bowen's Blog

    Code Camp 7 - The Schedule!

    • 8 Comments

    We've got an amazing weekend planned for Code Camp 7 - "Deer in Headlights!"  We're now near 400 registered attendees and, thanks to our volunteer speakers, have 42 sessions on a great variety of topics from .NET Framework 3.0 to SharePoint to Robotics!

    The Camp will be this Saturday (3/31) and Sunday (4/1) at the Microsoft offices at 201 Jones Road, Waltham, MA on the 6th floor.  Registration starts at 8:30 both days, with sessions starting at 9:00.

    The full schedule is below. 

    Come and network with fellow technologists, learn a thing or two, grab some pizza, and pick up some swag along the way (thanks to our contributors, Dundas Software, CoDe Magazineasp.netPRO Magazine, and Cizer Software.)

    Also a special thanks to Jason Haley for conducting a volunteer campaign to provide funds for (better) coffee and... doughnuts for Saturday morning while raising awareness of user group activities.

    Don't forget there's also the traditional Saturday evening social gathering after day 1 of Camp over at the Waltham Westin's lobby bar.  So after the sessions end, grab a little dinner then head over there to unwind and enjoy some good company.

    Hope to see you there!
    -Chris

    P.S.  Speakers - We've blocked off the Providence Room for use by speakers (only) as a green/ready room for your talks.

    Day 1: March 31st

    MPR A

    MPR B

    MPR C

    Executive Briefing Center

    Rhode Island Room

    8:30-9:00

    Registration/Welcome (Coffee/Tea in Kitchen)

    9:00-10:30 How to Perform a Secure Code Review - Robert Hurlbut ASP.NET and LINQ to SQL - Julie Lerman Intro to Windows SharePoint Services with Overview of New Features - Robert Holmes Introduction to SQL Server Data Mining - Phil Denoncourt Windows Mobile Development with Visual Studio 2005 - Judy Carten
    10:30-10:45

    Break

    10:45 – 12:15 AJAX Will Protect Us from Meteors - Dan Krhla WPF and CAB – A marriage made in heaven - Mark Mullin Protecting Data with SQL Server 2005 - Robert Hurlbut Building Business Applications with Community Server - Dave Burke
    12:15 -1:15

    Lunch (Kitchen)

    1:15 – 2:45 Sleight of Hand with ASP.Net 2.0. Now you see it, now you don't. - Bob Goodearl Introduction to Windows Communication Foundation (WCF) - Chris Bowen "Can we build it? Yes We Can!": An Introduction to MSBuild - Steven St Jean   Chalk Talk: Exploring the Entity Data Model in the new ADO.NET Entity Framework - Julie Lerman
    2:45 – 3:00

    Break

    3:00 – 4:30 Disassembling .Net - Jason Haley Application Lifecycle Management with Visual Studio Team System - Todd Mancini User-Defined Functions in SQL Server 2005 - Andy Novick Windows Mobile Application Performance Best Practices - Don Sorcinelli
    4:30 – 4:45

    Break

    4:45 – 6:15 Reflector and Friends: An overview of Lutz Roeder's .Net Reflector and its add-ins - Jason Haley ADO.NET Orcas Overview - Julie Lerman Microsoft Office Groove 2007 - William Aboujaoude Leveraging Speech in .NET Applications and Windows Vista - Don Sorcinelli Concurrency and Coordination Runtime (CCR): No More Asynchronous Spaghetti. An Introduction. - Igor Moochnick
    6:15

    End of Day 1

    Day 2: April 1st

    MPR A

    MPR B

    MPR C

    Executive Briefing Center

    Rhode Island Room

    8:30-9:00

    Registration/Welcome (Coffee/Tea in Kitchen)

    9:00-10:30 Best Practices for Programming WCF - Richard Hale Shaw

    Workflow and the SharePoint Platform - Use them to your advantage! - Max Weber

    Lifting Up the Covers on a Live ASP.Net 2.0 Web Site - Rob Daigneau Generics - Robert Hope Introduction to Commerce Starter Kit 2.0 - Nabil Benchekroun
    10:30-10:45

    Break

    10:45 – 12:15 Best Practices for Designing/Modeling with Generics - Richard Hale Shaw Windows Cardspace and the Identity Metasystem - Bob Familiar Extending WCF With Behaviors - Rob Daigneau Reflection in .NET - Robert Hope SharePoint Content Types, Features and Web Parts - Robert Holmes
    12:15 -1:15

    Lunch (Kitchen)

    1:15 – 2:45 Understanding C# 3.0 Queries: it’s all Ienumerable<T>, baby. - Richard Hale Shaw Introduction to Windows Workflow Foundation (WF) - Chris Bowen Developing Features and Solutions in Office SharePoint Server 2007 - Brian Berry  Developing (Scalable) Enterprise Applications In C#/.NET With Frameworks - Desmond Nolan Custom SharePoint Development - Robert Holmes
    2:45 – 3:00

    Break

    3:00 – 4:30 Windows Communication Foundation with Windows Workflow - Mark Mullin XAML and Windows Presentation Foundation - Bob Familiar Design Patterns for SOA - Rob Daigneau Advanced SharePoint Development with Examples - Robert Holmes
    4:30

    End of Camp - Thanks for Attending!

     

    Schedule Changes:

    [On 3/29] Moved "Building SharePoint 2007-based Workflow Solutions with Visual Studio 2005" from Saturday to Sunday at 3:00.

    [On 3/30] Swapped "Introduction to Windows Communication Foundation (WCF)", formerly on Sunday at 9:00 with "Workflow and the SharePoint Platform - Use them to your Advantage!", formerly on Saturday at 1:15.

    [On 4/1]  Canceled "Building SharePoint 2007-Based Workflow Solutions with Visual Studio 2005"

  • Chris Bowen's Blog

    C# Day in Waltham on June 23rd

    • 7 Comments

    Interested in learning C# (for free)?  Michael de la Maza is coordinating a community hands-on C# learning event on Saturday, June 23rd right here in Waltham!

    What: Microsoft C# Day
    When: June 23rd, 9am - 4pm (8:30am - 9am registration)
    Where: Microsoft, 201 Jones Road, 6th Floor, Waltham, MA
    Who: People who are new to C# or new to programming

    Join us for a relaxed, no cost introduction to C# programming. By engaging in participatory activities, you will learn some of the most common and powerful features of the C# language. By the end of the class you will feel confident in your ability to write C# programs.

    No prior experience is necessary -- we will start by learning how to create a new project in Visual Studio/Express!

    This day is not lecture-based. There will be fewer than 30 minutes of lecture material -- almost all of the time will be spent on participant-guided activities. Everyone who attends will learn what interests them at their own pace in a relaxed, tension-free environment with an experienced C# developer and trainer available to answer questions.

    All participants must bring a laptop with Visual Studio or Visual C# Express installed. Visual C# Express is available as a free download from Microsoft: http://msdn.microsoft.com/vstudio/express/visualcsharp/

    For more information, visit learn2learn2program.com or send email to Michael de la Maza. Although not required, we strongly recommend that you RSVP to Michael.delamaza@learn2learn2program.com

    Please help spread the word!

    -Chris

  • Chris Bowen's Blog

    Microsoft Growing in Cambridge, MA

    • 7 Comments

    We'll be expanding our available space in the Boston area by way of One Memorial Drive, Cambridge:

    http://www.boston.com/business/technology/articles/2007/06/21/room_to_grow_for_microsoft/

    One Memorial Drive"Microsoft will be leasing 136,000 square feet in the 17-story high-rise office tower, overlooking the Charles River, in addition to the 46,000 square feet the Redmond, Wash., company agreed in April to lease for employees of Softricity, a Boston company it acquired last summer."

    Definitely a positive development for Microsoft in New England.

    Now I'll have more excuses to swing by my favorite Cambridge haunts - L.A. Burdick, East Coast Grill, Mr. Bartley's... Oh, and customers, of course.  :)

    Update - Chris Brookins commented to provide a link to a great video of the view from inside One Memorial Drive.

    http://youtube.com/watch?v=BF-3HiMTjLU

    -Chris

  • Chris Bowen's Blog

    Index of Silverlight Games (Most with Source)

    • 7 Comments

    Zero Gravity In my experience, many corporate developers by day are actually gamers by night (after putting the kids in bed, of course.)  So when an interesting technology like Silverlight comes along, a good way to learn what it can do is to see gaming concepts applied, then pull things apart to see how they were done.

    Here's a recent crop of Silverlight 1.0 & 1.1 games, each (but one) with source:

    If you're interested in learning more about game development with Silverlight, Bill Reiss has been working on a great series of tutorial posts on his Silverlight Games 101 blog.  Start reading from the bottom first, where he start with a basic game canvas, then adds sprites, a game loop, keyboard input, etc.

    -Chris

    Update 7/5 - Added Silverlight Maze, Khet
    Update 7/6 - Added Bubble Factory [via WynApse].  Hmm, three more games without source - I may have to change the post title soon... :(
    Update 7/8 - Added Browser Poker, Grand Piano, Silverlights Out, SilverNibbles [via Tim Sneath]
    Update 7/30 - Added Silverlight Tetris

    Technorati tags: , ,
  • Chris Bowen's Blog

    Code Camp 9 - Registration and Call for Speakers Open!

    • 7 Comments

    CodeCamp

    Register Today!

    All systems are GO for New England Code Camp 9!  CC9 will be on the weekend of April 5th and 6th - registration at 8:30, sessions at 9:00 - at the Microsoft offices in Waltham, MA.

    Register now (for free) at http://TheDevCommunity.org/CodeCamps.  (CC8 had nearly 450 registrants, can we top that for CC9?)

    Thanks to Chris Pels for setting up the registration and call for speakers!

    What is Code Camp?

    201 Jones Road, Waltham New England Code Camp, one of the largest community-based developer events in the region, is a free event held twice yearly at the Microsoft offices at 201 Jones Road (6th floor) in Waltham, MA. 

    Code Camps (now hosted around the world,) follow a manifesto, created for the very first Code Camp held right here in New England in 2004. 

    Like all Code Camps, CC9 features a high signal to noise ratio (i.e. "no marketing fluff, just stuff".)  Sessions are entirely proposed and delivered by the developer community, with the focus on developer content, practices, and code - no marketing.  (See below if you're interested in speaking!)

    It's free and requires only an investment of your time, so come to learn and share with hundreds of fellow New England area developers.  And if that's not enough, you'll probably walk away with some swag as well!

    The Name

    Ending days of intense speculation and Las Vegas oddsmakers weighing probabilities of the outcome, the community has settled on the next in our series of Camp names that have ranged from the humorous to the downright puzzling.

    j0405272This camp will be...

    Code Camp 9:  "I Came, I Saw, I Coded"

    Or, in the words of Julius Caesar, "Veni, Vidi, Vibi".  Thanks to Carl Franklin for the original idea and Latin punnery!

    Call for Speakers

    Code Camp would just be a lot of people standing around if it weren't for volunteer speakers.  We rely on YOU to give sessions on... well, whatever you're interested in! 

    New to giving technical talks?  Speaking at Code Camp is a great way to get into speaking.  Want a small room for a focused topic?  No problem.  Want to get the word to the masses?  No problem, we have large rooms, too.

    So, ready to share your know-how?  Here's the process:

    1. Sign in to an existing account or create a new one at TheDevCommunity.org site.
    2. Complete a Speaker Registry profile (if you don't already have one.)
    3. Go to the Code Camps home page.
    4. Next to the CC9 entry, you should see a "Submit a Session" link.
    5. Submit as many sessions as you'd like.
    6. Please ensure that you also register as an attendee.

    Submissions must be received by Monday, March 24th.  However, we recommend you get them in earlier so we don't discover last-minute overlaps in topics.

    Code Camp can't happen without you, our speakers, so thank you!

    Call for Contributors

    Especially in New England with our two-day format, Code Camps rely on contributors to donate giveaways and funding for food to help make the event happen.  Please let me know if your company is interested in becoming a contributor for Code Camp 9.


    I look forward to seeing you all at Code Camp 9!

    -Chris

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