Chris Bowen's Blog

Development Practices, Tools, Technology, and Community

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  • 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

    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

    Maine User Group Visits – 12/15 & 12/16

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    Before the serious snow drops by to visit the area, I’m heading up to Maine to visit with three user groups.  So if you’re in the area, please join in!

    imageDecember 15 - Bangor, ME
         Bangor Area .NET Developers (BAND)
         Kominsky Auditorium, Husson University 
         6 – 8:30 PM 
         Holiday celebration with a bit of learning and a whole lot of XBox gaming with Kinect!
        
    (RSVP by sending a note as mentioned on the site)

    imageDecember 16 – Augusta, ME
         Maine Developer Network
         41 Anthony Ave  
         9 AM – 4 PM 
         A full day on a variety of topics from ASP.NET MVC 3 to Windows Azure
        
    Registration

    imageDecember 16 – Portland, ME
         Maine Bytes
         Unum Building 3, 2211 Congress St. 
         6 – 7:30 PM
         The latest on web development, talking about ASP.NET MVC 3 RC, ASP.NET Web Forms 4, and WebMatrix Beta 3

    Hope to see you along the way!

    -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

    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

    Hartford Code Camp 2 on June 13 – Call for Speakers/Sponsors

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    CTDOTNET-New After a very successful first Hartford Code Camp last year, SB Chatterjee (MVP for Groove) and the CT .NET User Group are bringing another Camp to the Hartford, CT area!

    Join CT area developers for Hartford Code Camp 2 on June 13 from 9AM-5PM

    Hold the date as registration will be coming later, but the Calls for Speakers and Sponsors are open, so consider helping to make this a great event!

    CTDOTNET Second CodeCamp - Hartford CT (Saturday June 13th 9AM-5PM)

    To be held at New Horizons Computer Learning Center (Bloomfield CT).

    A code camp is a FREE, community-driven, all-day event for developers. Speakers are local or regional developers. Topics are based on community interest. Sessions are original and feature a heavy technical focus (no marketing fluff). We will follow the Spirit of the Codecamp Manifesto as described here -
    http://www.thedevcommunity.org/codecamps/manifesto.aspx

    We are seeking talented .NET developers to make a presentation or two at the Second Hartford CodeCamp on June 13th (Saturday). If you have ever wanted fame (& perhaps fortune) - this is your opportunity! We are giving away prizes for presenters (judged by evals from attendees).

    Each session should be about 90mins in duration and the content should be on developer topics that would be of interest to attending developers. Just about anything in .NET and other Microsoft technologies!

    Choose a .NET topic of interest and send a brief abstract or outline, your developer experience, expected audience level, etc or any other questions to ctdotnet@gmail.com

    We will be following a similar format as our First CodeCamp.

    Our thanks to New Horizons Computer Learning Center for sponsoring our event.

    Thanks to SB and the CT .NET User Group!  Looking forward to another great Camp.

    -Chris

  • Chris Bowen's Blog

    September Roadshow - Summary and Content

    • 2 Comments

    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

    Expression Web and Blend Available to MSDN Subscribers

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    A common question I receive when discussing the Expression products is whether there are plans for availability to MSDN subscribers.  I'm glad to pass along word of Soma's announcement that Expression Web is available (and Expression Blend will be available) to all MSDN Premium subscribers:

    "Based on this feedback, I am pleased to say that we will be making Expression Web available starting today to all MSDN Premium subscribers.  We will also make Expression Blend available to MSDN Premium subscribers shortly after the Expression Studio release later in Q2 2007.   Expression Blend and Expression Web are intended to help creative professionals collaborate with developers to create rich user experiences for the Web, Windows Vista applications and beyond, which means we need to make sure both tools are readily available to our developer community."

    Scott Guthrie has posted further details about this announcement as well.

    Keep that feedback coming.  As you can see, it can make a difference!

    -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

    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

    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

    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

    ASP.NET MVC Preview 3 Released

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    Great news from the team that's working on bringing Model View Controller to ASP.NET - the Preview 3 release is now available, along with the source code on CodePlex.  Scott Guthrie has the details on his blog.

    Some interesting new features and refinements in this release:

    • Controller Action method changes
    • Improved HTML Helper methods
    • URL Routing improvements

    Related posts:

    Be sure to look through the Preview 3 readme file as well - it describes what's new in the API and how to convert code from prior versions to Preview 3.

    Finally, If you're in the northeastern U.S., you can learn more about ASP.NET MVC by coming to one of our Northeast Roadshow events, where I'm running a session on that very topic!

    -Chris

  • Chris Bowen's Blog

    XamlFest Boston: Come As You Are, Leave Xamlized

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    WPF Are you excited about the WPF but concerned about the learning curve?  Have you seen Silverlight but don’t know where to get started?  Or are you curious about how tools like Visual Studio and Expression Blend help designers and developers work together to deliver great user experiences? If so, join us at XamlFest!

    XamlFest is a two day interactive event where you’ll learn about the platforms the tools and processes used to deliver differentiated user experiences. It’s a chance for you to mingle with UX minded Microsoft folks as well as industry leading design integrators.  It’s also an opportunity to pick up a free copy of Visual Studio 2008 and Expression Studio 2 for you attendance.

    Each XamlFest day will start with interactive sessions by Microsoft and our design partners, followed by a free lunch and a chance to network, have some fun and win prizes. Each afternoon will be geared toward assisted development with instructor-led walkthroughs, or, better yet, come with your own project in mind and we’ll help kick start your very own proof of concept!

    PLEASE NOTE:  Each attendee will need a laptop to take part in the assisted development sessions.

    Dates

    Thursday & Friday December 11th and 12th.

    Venue

    Microsoft Technology Center

    890 Winter Street Suite 100

    Waltham, MA 02451

    [Directions]

    Agenda

    Date Time Topic
    Thursday, 12/11 9:00 AM Introduction to WPF, Xaml, Expression Blend
      10:30 AM Break
      10:45 AM Building Visually Rich Applications: The role of the Integrator in building designable applications
      12:00 PM Lunch, Mingle, Prizes
      1:00 PM Instructor-led WPF walkthrough and assisted development
      3:00 PM Assisted Development
      5:00 PM End of Day 1
    Friday, 12/12 9:00 AM Introduction to Silverlight, Data Binding, LINQ
      10:30 AM Break
      10:45 AM

    Platform Centric Design Best Practices: Creating WPF and Silverlight XAML for Web and Local Client Solutions

      12:00 Lunch, Mingle, Prizes
      1:00 Instructor-led Silverlight walkthrough and assisted development
      3:00 Assisted development
      5:00 XamlFest Ends

    Frequently Asked Questions

    Q. What if I don’t have Visual Studio?

    A. No problem, every attendee leaves with Visual Studio 2008 Pro!

    Q. What if I don’t have Expression Blend?

    A. Again, no problem! Everyone leaves with Expression Studio 2.

    Q. What if I don’t have an idea for a starter project?

    A. We’d like you to leave with something personal, but if nothing comes to mind that’s OK too. It’s the main reason we’re planning a few guided sessions where you can fallow along with us. These sessions should take no more than two hours, so if something sparks your interest you’ll still have time left for assisted development.

    Q. What if I don’t have a laptop?

    A. You can still participate in the training in the mornings and lunch, but assisted development in the afternoon is a harder problem to solve. We have no problem with people pairing up, so you might want to check with friends or co-workers to see if they’re interested.

    Q. Can I just come for the training and skip assisted development?

    A. XamlFest is about empowering designers and developers to deliver great user experiences and we believe a key component is hands-on assisted development. If you are unable to participate in the afternoon sessions please wait until the day before the event to register. This will give others the opportunity to sign up first, and if there’s still space available you’re welcome to join us.

    XamlFest -- Come as you are, leave Xamlized.

    Registration

    Space is extremely limited, so we ask that you please register only if you fully expect to be able to attend.  Register by contacting xamlfest-boston@live.com.

  • 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

    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

    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

    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

  • 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

    Get Your Hands on a Surface at the Sheraton Boston

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    surfacelogo If you're in or passing through the Boston area and have yet to see a Microsoft Surface machine in action, you can swing by the Boston Sheraton hotel for a chance to interact with one.  Boston is one of five Sheratons to feature a Surface as a guide to the local area.

    I had a chance to play with research the capabilities of one while at Mix08 this spring and can say that the cool factor is extremely high with these. You can interact via touching the table top, putting objects on top of it (that it then recognizes and responds to), and it can communicate wirelessly with devices that support that (such as phones, cameras, etc.) 

    P3070023In the picture at right, you can see a picture someone took of our group at MIX that was transferred to the Surface by placing the camera on the table top and selecting the picture from the camera with a flick of a finger.

    Of course, the Surface team has plenty to say on the matter:

    P3070021The Surface machine is in the lobby of:

        The Sheraton Boston Hotel
        39 Dalton St.
        Boston, MA
        [One-click directions]

    I haven't made it out to the Sheraton just yet, but if you go, please let me know what you think!

    -Chris

    P.S.  This has been getting plenty of attention in the media.  Here's a sampling of what I found:

  • Boston.com
  • Travel and Tourism News
  • HotelChatter
  • Mobility Site
  • MediaPost Marketing Daily
  • SeattlePI
  • ZDNet - Mary-Jo Foley

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