Chris Bowen's Blog

Development Practices, Tools, Technology, and Community

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  • Chris Bowen's Blog

    Vermont’s First Code Camp a Success!

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    Having helped to run the New England Code Camps for a while now, I know that organizing one is no easy task.  It’s especially challenging to run the first one – finding a venue, raising awareness, encouraging people to speak, reaching out to companies for support, etc. 

    Rob Helping with RegistrationRob and Julie Kicking Things OffCode Campers

    So I’m confident when I say job well done to everyone who organized and volunteered for Vermont’s first Code Camp this weekend!

    In particular, thanks to Rob Hale, who did an outstanding job stepping up to take point for organizing the event, and to Julie Lerman, who for many years has worked to drive and improve the Vermont developer community. 

    Of course, a Code Camp simply couldn’t happen without the support of the speakers (local and out of state), volunteers, and contributors/sponsors – all of whom deserve many thanks!  And finally, thanks to the over 80 attendees who invested their Saturday to gather to share, learn, and network.

    Time for Giveaways

    It would have been a success for any Code Camp, but to see the diverse tech community presence, support by local and national companies, a perfect venue (thanks to UVM), and excellent presentations all at a first attempt is a great accomplishment.

    As a bonus, my wife and I were able to a weekend of the visit to Vermont and enjoyed revisiting our favorite Burlington places (we used to live there, so I’m always happy to make the trip.)

    The VTC Student-Created VTank XNA Game!Dave Burke Presents!

    Code Camp season is upon us (MA, NH, and NY each have Camps in the works), and it’s off to a great start!

    -Chris

  • Chris Bowen's Blog

    XAMLFest Boston 5/27 – 5/28… and Online

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    xamlfest_thumb XAMLFest events are a great (and free) way to learn about Silverlight and WPF through a combination of presentations and instructor-led hands-on lab work. 

    XAMLFest Boston is coming to the NERD facility (One Memorial Drive, Cambridge, MA) on May 27th & 28th, and will be the last XAMLFest in the northeast this fiscal year.

    John Pelak has the full details via the ISV Developer Community Blog:

    This event, like past ones, is already filling up and will reach capacity, so act quickly if you know you can attend!

    XAMLFest Online

    Because this event series has been so popular, filling up each time, the team is taking XAMLFests to the web to help reach more designers and developers.

    XAMLFest Online will be held June 1-5, featuring a syllabus with two live sessions each day supplemented with recorded content.

    Bruce Kyle has the details at:

    Enjoy becoming XAMLized!

    -Chris

  • Chris Bowen's Blog

    Bob & Chris' MSDN Roadshow: Code Camp Edition

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    While considering the schedule for this weekend's Code Camp 7, it occurred to me that Bob is going to be covering his Bob & Chris' MSDN Roadshow topics, so why shouldn't I cover my Roadshow topics as well and put them back-to-back in the same room?

    Well, that's just what we're going to do.

    So, those of you who had wanted the Roadshow to swing through Massachusetts now have access at Code Camp to the same .NET 3.0 Framework (WCF, CardSpace, WF, and WPF) content we've delivered in Rochester, Burlington, Portland, Manchester and Farmington!

    Keep an eye on my blog for the final Code Camp schedule, but unless something drastic occurs, we'll run the Roadshow sessions on the second day of Camp on April 1st.

    -Chris

    [Update - The schedule has been published and we're running these sessions all day on Sunday in MPR B.]

  • Chris Bowen's Blog

    C# Day Returns on September 13th

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    Michael de la Maza is returning to Waltham, MA to run a 3rd "C# Day" event.  Previous C# Days have been great opportunities for attendees to become familiar with the C# language using an approach quite different from standard lecture-focused events.

    Here's a description from the C# Day home page:

    "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. This day is not lecture-based. There will be fewer than 60 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."
    Here's a summary post from the first C# Day event in June.

    RSVPs are required, so please head to http://learn2learn2program.com for more details and to register.

    -Chris

  • Chris Bowen's Blog

    The Roadshow Comes to New Hampshire on 12/18!

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    Roadshow Breaking news!  We've been able to arrange a visit to New Hampshire for the Winter Northeast Roadshow!  We'll be spending the day at Daniel Webster College on December 18th, talking about jQuery & ASP.NET, Workflow, WPF, Silverlight, WCF, and a bunch more:

    Register here!

    Northeast Roadshow, December 18th

    Daniel Webster College
    Collings Auditorium
    20 University Place
    Nashua, NH 03063

    Jim and I ask that if you're switching to NH from another location, please cancel your other registration (via the My Events page).  Thanks!

    Many thanks to Genevieve Baudin and Daniel Webster College for arranging to host us!  We're looking forward to adding New Hampshire into the Roadshow tour!

    -Chris

  • Chris Bowen's Blog

    C# Day Goes Virtual on December 8th in Second Life

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    Why should we keep all the fun for ourselves here in New England?  Michael de la Maza is taking his successful C# Day series to the virtual world of Second Life!

    I've blogged about Microsoft and Second Life before, but now we'll have one of our own northeast volunteers running an event in association with the Second Life .NET Users Group on Visual Studio Island.

    Full details are at http://www.sldnug.net/CSharpDay.aspx, and the event runs from 9:00 - 4:00 (SLT = Second Life Time = Pacific Standard Time = PST) on the lower level of Visual Studio Island.  Here's the agenda:

    9:00am - 9:30am - Ice breakers
    9:30am - 10:00am - C# Language Discovery
    10:00am - 11:00am - C# Language Cocktail Party
    11:00am - 11:30am - Knowledge organization and self-reflection
    11:30am - 12:00pm - Starting a new project in Visual Studio/C# Express
    12:00pm - 1:00pm - Lunch
    1:00pm - 1:45pm - C# Program Discovery
    1:45pm - 2:45pm - C# Program Cocktail Party
    2:45pm - 3:15pm - Knowledge organization and self-reflection
    3:15pm - 4:00pm - InnerWorkings

    The great part is you don't have to travel to participate in this C# Day.  Just install the software (check the event site for details) and log in.  Nobody has to know you're in your PJs.

    You can get to Visual Studio Island by searching for "Visual Studio Island" in-world.

    If the virtual world isn't to your liking, Michael will be running the next "real world" C# Day in January of February.  Keep your eye on this blog or the C# Day site for details.

    See you in Second Life!

    -Chris

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  • Chris Bowen's Blog

    Speaking on ASP.NET MVC 1.0 – August 19, Waltham, MA

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    MVC I’ll be diving into ASP.NET MVC 1.0 with the New England ASP.NET Professionals User Group this Wednesday in Waltham, MA:

    When: August 19th, 2009 at 6:15PM

    Where: Microsoft Offices - Waltham

    Speaker: Chris Bowen of Microsoft

     

    ASP.NET Model View Controller (MVC)

    Released earlier this year, ASP.NET MVC 1.0 presents a new option for developing web applications. Bringing to ASP.NET the benefits of the Model View Controller pattern, ASP.NET MVC builds on core ASP.NET services to support control over HTML and URLs, clean separation of concerns, testability, flexibility, and more. In this session, we'll take a brief look at the main concepts behind MVC, but focus primarily on diving into code and looking at ways to implement various concepts using ASP.NET MVC 1.0 and Visual Studio.

    All are welcome.

     

    BTW, If you attended one of my Roadshow sessions on MVC, we’ll have more time at this meeting, so I plan to delve more deeply into the coding side.

     

    -Chris

  • Chris Bowen's Blog

    Jim O'Neil Blogs!

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    Jim_ONeil_100 If you’ve been to our Roadshow or some of the Heroes Happen Here events, you’ve had a chance to meet my new Northeast colleague, Jim O’Neil.

    Well, Jim has just entered the ranks of Microsoft bloggers and now you can find an additional local source of information on his new blog.  His will definitely be a blog that’s subscription-worthy!

    While you're adding subscriptions, here's a way to meet the rest of our local evangelism team.

    -Chris

  • Chris Bowen's Blog

    Building Windows Games with Unity - Online & In-Person Event

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    Building Windows Games with Unity

    Unity 4 Early Access for Windows Store appsHave you used Unity for game development?  As announced by Unity, you’ll be able to put your work to even more use with coming support for Windows 8 / Windows Store games:

    Unity Blog: "Unity 4 Early Access for Windows Store apps"

    To help Unity developers learn how to create or reuse projects to reach the Windows Store, Unity is teaming with Microsoft to run a free event in Mountain View, CA from April 8-10:

    • April 8 – Pre-event day for developers new to Unity (In-person only)
    • April 9 – Main conference
    • April 10 – Hackathon (In-person only)

    Can’t make it in person?  Not a problem.  The main conference day (April 9th) will be streamed live via Channel 9:

    • Live Stream: Building Windows Games with Unity (No registration necessary)
    • April 9, 9 AM – 4:30 PM PDT / 12 PM – 7:30 PM EDT
      • Introduction to the Windows 8 platform and the Windows Store
      • End-to-End: Develop, debug and deploy a Unity game for the Windows Store
      • Deep dive:  Tips & tricks for porting games from other platforms to Windows 8
      • Differentiate: Integrate your game with Windows 8 platform features (such as contracts, notifications, and live tiles)
      • Sharing code:  Learn how to reuse all this new knowledge on the Windows Phone platform
      • Partner sessions: Hear the lessons learned from those that have already done it
      • Discussions and Q&A with Microsoft and Unity engineering and product specialists

    For fellow Boston-area devs, a quick pointer to the Boston Unity Group, meeting monthly to network and share game development goodness.

    -Chris

  • Chris Bowen's Blog

    New Group! The Upstate NY PowerShell Users Group

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    PowerShell Good news for those of you who like to express yourselves in concise, yet powerful ways…

    The Upstate NY PowerShell Users Group has just been formed for the Rochester, Buffalo, and Syracuse areas and focuses on ways to learn and utilize Windows PowerShell for administration and development.

    Join organizers (and PowerShell MVPs) Joel Bennett and Jeffery Hicks for the group’s first meeting (from the event’s flyer):

    Upstate NY PowerShell Users Group
    September 9, 6:00 PM

    New Horizons
    50 Methodist Hill Drive, Suite 50
    Rochester, NY 14623

    Please join us as we kick off the Upstate NY PowerShell Users Group, serving IT Professionals from Central and Upstate New York interested in learning more about PowerShell . Meetings will likely be held in Rochester and Syracuse but please help us figure it all out by attending our first meeting.

    Please RSVP to upnypug@gmail.com

    For those of you in the area, it should be a great way to connect and learn about making life easier by using PowerShell!

    -Chris

  • Chris Bowen's Blog

    September Roadshow - Summary and Content

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    RoadshowBanner

    Thanks to everyone who came out for the various stops on our September Roadshow!  We had a blast as always touring through New England and upstate New York.

    Roadshow Content

    As promised, we've assembled the "visually stunning" slides, "world-class" code, and other resources from the sessions and have made them available for download. 

    This time, we're putting the beta of Windows Live SkyDrive through its paces.  SkyDrive is a new Live service where you can post your own content (currently up to 500 MB) to private, shared, or public folders accessible over the web.

    You can access the September Roadshow content at:

    http://cid-7e4046472a1cd934.skydrive.live.com/browse.aspx/Bob%20|0%20Chris%20Roadshow%20-%20Sep%202007

    Roadshow Facebook Group

    As we mentioned during the events, we're experimenting with Facebook to see how well it could be leveraged for professional community support.  So, we've create a "Bob & Chris MSDN Roadshow" group and welcome all northeast Roadshow attendees to join!

    The group is growing well, with the idea that attendees can interact with other attendees across the northeast, have access to shared content and discussions, and post ideas for future Roadshows and other events in the region.

    Have a look and feel free to throw a friend invitation to us as well!

    Chris Bowen's Facebook profile

    The Next Roadshow...

    We're looking toward the first two weeks of December to return to our road warrior ways.  Keep an eye on our blogs for details as we determine dates and locations.

     

    -Chris

  • Chris Bowen's Blog

    Professional Developers Conference (PDC) Update

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    PDC09Bling_BeforeAfter_240 The Professional Developers Conference (PDC) is November 17-19 in Los Angeles, and will be one of the best ways to get your fill of the latest developer tech:

    I went last year (and just confirmed I can make it again this year) and it’s several intense days of conversations and content.  You can get an idea of what’s in store by reviewing the session recordings from PDC 2008, available for free.

    Birds of a Feather Sessions

    The Birds of a Feather (BOF) sessions are a great way to connect with other attendees and build from each others’ experiences. ("What is a Birds-of-a-Feather Session?")  A number of BOF sessions will be selected and scheduled throughout PDC.

    Though some sessions have been scheduled, it’s not too late to propose a session idea of your own!  Submissions are open through tomorrow (Friday 10/30) at 5PM PDT.

    You can also follow BOF on Twitter.

    Free Pre-Conference Windows 7 Bootcamp

    The day before PDC (11/16) is an opportunity to attend a number of excellent paid pre-conference workshops on a variety of topics.

    Win7You can also sign up for a free Windows 7 Developer Boot Camp that’s open to everyone (not just people attending PDC.)

    Other Goings On

    $300 Discount Ends Friday, 10/30

    There’s a tiny window remaining to register for PDC with a $300 discount.  Make sure you register by the end of Friday, 10/30.

    -Chris

  • Chris Bowen's Blog

    Free Resources and Training on MSDev.com

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    msdev-homeThough specifically geared toward developers at ISVs*, the newly updated MSDev.com site has great content useful for any developer and is worth checking out.

    From the ISV Developer Community blog announcement:

    You will find web seminars, virtual events, live events on .NET Framework, business development, cloud computing, Exchange, Expression, high performance computing, Hyper-V, Internet Explorer, IIS, Dynamics, Office System, VSTO, SharePoint, Next Web, Web UI, Silverlight, SQL Server, Azure, Windows, Visual Studio, and much more.

    msdevlogoYou'll find unfettered, friction free access to rich media learning content for Microsoft-based solution developers and non-Microsoft based developers.  In additon, the site provides developer training focused on value added partners (VAPs).

    The phrase “friction free” is key, there’s no need to log in to view resources (though you can if you wish) – just easy access to the content you need.

    Start with a search and take a look.

    -Chris

    * Independent Software Vendors

  • Chris Bowen's Blog

    MIX08 Registration Open and Site Updated

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    blings_9_25_b[1]Thanks to a heads-up from Brad, I took a look at the newly updated MIX08 website.  I like the site design - simple and easy to navigate, but with some nice effects.

    MIX08 will be at The Venetian in Las Vegas on March 5-7 and registration is now open.  Keynotes from Ballmer and Guthrie, solid sessions, party at Tao, and of course Vegas itself == good conference.

    It's usually a pretty tough event for Microsoft staff to attend, but I'll keep my fingers crossed...

    -Chris

    Technorati tags: ,

     x[1]

  • Chris Bowen's Blog

    Boston XNA Developer Group Wednesday

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    bostonxna

    Just a  reminder that the Boston XNA Developer Group will be having a meeting at its usual day/time (fourth Wednesday of the month), tomorrow, May 28th at 6:00 at the Microsoft office in Waltham, MA.

    Michael Cummings will be presenting.  The content level is still introductory, so if you're new to XNA, please do stop by!

    Head to the group's site for resources and information.

    -Chris 

  • Chris Bowen's Blog

    Albany Geek Gathering on September 24th

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    Attendees of the developer track of the "Heroes Happen Here" launch event in Albany know that Bob, Jim, and I discovered the Albany Pump Station on our visit and decided we must return again - soon.

    AlbanyPumpStationWell, since we've added a stop in the Albany area to our Fall Northeast Roadshow, what better way to celebrate than to gather there after the Roadshow?

    • Albany Geek Gathering - Roadshow Edition
    • 9/24/2008 - 5:00 PM till whenever...
    • Albany Pump Station
    • 19 Quackenbush Square, Albany, NY
    • [1-Click Directions]

    Nothing formal - Jim and I will be there grabbing some food and maybe a wee dram o' beer.

    Swing by if you can!

    -Chris

  • Chris Bowen's Blog

    Code Camps in Albany, NY and Stamford, CT Coming Soon

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    Next Saturday (November 7th) will bring two more Code Camps to the northeast, one in Albany, NY and the other in Stamford, CT. 

    Code Camps are free, community events for connecting with and learning from fellow developers. If you can make it to one of these, it will be a day well spent!

    Tech Valley Code Camp 2009

    TechValleyCC2Back after last year’s first event, Tech Valley Code Camp 2009 will be hosted at SUNY Albany and is organized by the Tech Valley .NET Users Group

        Tech Valley Code Camp 2009
        November 7, 9 AM – 3 PM
        SUNY, Albany, NY
        http://www.techvalleycodecamp.com

    Register today to attend and while you’re at it, why not throw caution to the wind and volunteer to share your interests in a session as well?

    Fairfield/Westchester Code Camp 2009

    For those of you in the southern CT area, Fairfield/Westchester Code camp returns for a 2009 edition, organized by the Fairfield/Westchester .NET User Group.

        Fairfield/Westchester Code Camp 2009
        November 7, 8 AM – 6 PM
        UConn, Stamford, CT
        http://fairfieldwestchester.net/Code-Camp.aspx

    Hats off to the community for putting these events together!

    -Chris

  • Chris Bowen's Blog

    Boston XNA July 23rd Meeting on 2D Role Playing Game Development

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    bostonxna 

    The Boston XNA Developers Group is an open user group for anyone interested in learning about game development with the .NET-based XNA framework.  Attendance is open and everyone is welcome, including students and parents with their programming-interested children.

    RPG Starter KitTomorrow night (July 23rd at 6:00 in Waltham), we're kicking off a multiple month look at the 2D Role Playing Game starter kit that's freely available from the XNA Creators Club site.  We'll look at some of the approaches and practices used by the initial version of the game, then walk through adding a few new extensions to the game.

    We'll keep this topic going as all or part of each meeting going forward, encouraging anyone in the group to add new features and to give an informal show-and-tell of the new feature and how it was done.

    Who knows what kind of magic we'll have created after a few months?

    -Chris

  • Chris Bowen's Blog

    The New Hampshire .NET User Group is Back!

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    Pat Tormey, who runs the New Hampshire .NET User Group, just sent word that the group has a new site and new plans:

    We're Re-Grouping New Hamphire DotNet User Group at our new site and we could use some advice from you.

    Could you drop in at http://www.nhdn.com and tell us where you'd like to meet, what evening works best for you, and what technology piques your interest these days.

    Then please register at www.nhdn.com for New Hamphire DotNet User Group. And stay tuned for our Grand Launch of VS 2008, SQL 2008 and Windows 2008.

    So check out the group's site and cast your vote to help determine the direction the group will take!

    -Chris

    P.S.  Pat also mentioned that he's created a series of Smart Client videos:

    I've also posted a whole series of SmartClient Videos at http://nhdn.com/DNN/VSVideoTraining/tabid/72/Default.aspx

    These videos were developed for http://windowsclient.net/ and there are dozens more free video training session with both VB and C# source code there.

    And if you want to hear more on this from Pat in person, check out his "WinForms and Smart Client Development" talk at Code Camp!

  • Chris Bowen's Blog

    Roadshow Update - Portland and Manchester

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    Two more stops made and one more to go on the first tour of Bob & Chris' MSDN Roadshow! 

    Portland, ME

    We visited the Portland, ME area and had a great audience brave the should-never-get-this-cold cold to come to the MESDA facility in Westbrook.

    [Again, thanks to Bob for being Mr. Photographer!]

    We're returning with the Roadshow in May, but I'll be back in the area on April 5th at 1:30 to speak with the Maine Developer Network user group in Augusta on WCF and again on April 12th to speak with the Maine Bytes User Group on WPF in Portland.

    Manchester, NH

    Two days later we were in Manchester, NH.  First of all, we had an amazing turnout.  The turnout was so amazing that we couldn't fit in the room!  If you weren't there, you missed out on Bob and I performing what we're now calling the ol' "Manchester Swap".  We had an overflow room where we each took turns repeating our sessions from the main room.

    [Our Manchester Zune winner, Jason Hull!]

    Rest assured that we won't be in the same facility for our next visit to New Hampshire.  Knowing how many of you are interested in attending, we'll find another place with plenty of room.

    Thank you all for being good sports about the unusual logistics!

    Session Follow-up

    Some additional details from the week's questions and discussions:

    Roadshow Content

    We're still working on a permanent home for the Roadshow materials and information, but we've gathered our content from the current tour and you can now download the presentations as a ZIP from the ArcStreamEast.net site.

    Next Stop

    We'll be visiting the Microsoft Offices in Farmington, CT on Tuesday (3/20) for our last stop until May.  Registration is actually "sold out" for the event and have been taking waitlist registrations!

    -Chris

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