Chris Bowen's Blog

Development Practices, Tools, Technology, and Community

  • Chris Bowen's Blog

    First New Hampshire Code Camp on February 28th



    I'm glad to pass along word that all systems are "go" for New Hampshire to run its first Code Camp!  The New Hampshire Code Camp will be on February 28th at Daniel Webster College in Nashua, NH from 9 AM to around 4:30 PM.

    New Hampshire!Register Now!

    Registration is free and now open via The Dev Community site.

    What's a Code Camp?

    A Code Camp is a free, community-driven event that offers a great way to meet, share with, and learn from fellow developers in the local area.  They began right here in New England and follow the basic ideas in the Code Camp Manifesto

    For a glimpse of other Code Camps, view the posts under the Code Camp tag on my blog.

    Speakers and Sessions Wanted

    Because a Code Camp is fueled by the community, it needs you!  Been wanting to speak about something, but weren't sure how or where?  This is the perfect opportunity. 

    Submit a session today!  Here's how:

    1. Sign in to an existing account or create a new one at 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 NH Code Camp entry, you should see a "Submit a Session" link.
    5. Submit one or more sessions

    Any technology-related topic is welcome, from beginners' tutorials, to real-world experiences with current tools and processes, to looks at the cutting-edge and future of tech.

    Sponsors Needed

    To keep Code Camps free, contributors are needed to provide things from food to giveaways and venues.  From the NH .NET User Group site:

    Sponsors: We’re looking for sponsors!  This could be your chance to introduce your company to our local community. Please contact Angela Cirrone, Daniel Webster College, (603) 577-6500 Website:


    Thanks to Pat Tormey (who leads the New Hampshire .NET User Group), who has been doing a great job pulling things together for this event. If you're interested in helping, send him a note.

    Thanks also to Daniel Webster College for generously offering use of rooms for this event.  Having been there for our last Roadshow (which they also generously hosted), I can say it's a going to be great venue for a Code Camp!

    I'll see you there,

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    Have You Seen the Linked .NET User Group?


    LinkedDotNetUserGroup The Linked .NET User Group, a virtual .NET user group with over 20,000 members, has a portal on Linked In and features online meetings.  The group has been doing some great stuff recently and is definitely worth taking a look.

    In particular, there are some extremely promising upcoming meetings.  Events are online through LiveMeeting, so you can attend in your pajamas (for those of you who work from home, at least):

    The group also has lists pointers to resources, hosts active discussions, and is another way to connect with others.

    Note that there’s also an unofficial group site that’s not based on Linked In.


  • Chris Bowen's Blog

    Announcing New England Code Camp 10!



    It's amazing to say, but we're gearing up for our tenth Code Camp in the New England area!  And this one will be the biggest and best one yet!

    Save the Dates: 
    September 20th & 21st!

    This will be a fantastic (and free, of course) weekend for developers by developers, in Waltham, MA.  Stay tuned for open registration and the Call for Speakers.

    Wondering what Code Camp is all about?  Take a look at my Code Camp 9 summary and the Code Camp Manifesto for some guiding principles.

    Interested in helping?  These definitely don't happen by themselves, so we need people to pitch in and help bring things together, so please contact me if you can help.

    Interested in donating/contributing?  Likewise, these definitely don't pay for themselves, so if your company would like to give back to the developer community, please let me know as well.

    More soon!


    [Update 7/16 - Added the fantastic new Code Camp 10 logo, courtesy of Bryan Phillips of Grey Wolf Design.  Brian also created the logo from Code Camp 9Thanks a million, Bryan!]

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    The Digital Dorm Room Tour Has Arrived!


    DDR My colleague Edwin Guarin, who focuses on academia here in the northeast, has just kicked off the northeastern leg of the Digital Dorm Room Tour, packing a customized RV with some very cool technology and motoring across the northeast!  Edwin blogged about the tour, the idea, goals, tech, goodies for giveaways, and what's on the RV.

    The RV (and hopefully Edwin too) are heading to a bunch of colleges and universities over the coming month.  Here's the schedule.

    Who knows, you might even find yours truly hopping on board for the ride (despite the fact that I've been driven by Edwin before!) and hitting a campus or two!

    Check out the Digital Dorm Room site for the latest details.


  • Chris Bowen's Blog

    Office 2007 Document Inspector


    I have a new favorite feature in Office 2007.  I often need to send documents to contacts, but I want to ensure there's no extra information tagging along for the ride (revision history, document properties, speaker notes in PowerPoint, etc.) 

    You used to have to resort to macros or manual removal, but in Office 2007, there's a built-in tool called the Office System Document Inspector that will cleanse Word, Excel and PowerPoint documents of comments, annotations, history, etc.

    To launch the Inspector, click the "big office button" in Word, Excel, or PowerPoint, choose "Prepare", then Inspect Document:


    The Document Inspector will then display, with options that vary based on the type of document you've opened.  For example, in PowerPoint you'll see:


    Choose which information you'd like to find and remove, then click Inspect.  The Office Developer Center has more information on this tool.

    Hope you find this useful!


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    Code Camp 8 - My Session Materials


    Thanks to everyone who attended Code Camp 8 this weekend!  I received feedback from many people that the quality of the sessions at this camp was one of the best.

    I'll post a more detailed summary later, but I wanted to give a link to the materials from my two sessions:

    • Visual Studio 2005 Tips, Tricks, and Hidden Gems
    • A Sightseeing Tour of Visual Studio 2008

    Like we've done with the September Roadshow materials, I've used the Windows Live SkyDrive service to host my Code Camp materials.

    Just head to this link to pull down the content:



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  • Chris Bowen's Blog

    Code Camp 8 - Saturday Evening Geek Event


    We are ON for the long-standing tradition of meeting over at the lobby bar at the Waltham Westin Saturday evening after Code Camp ends for the day.

    What:  Code Camp 8 Geek Event
    Saturday, September 29th
    Time:  After sessions end (people tend to start strolling in after 7) until they kick us out
    Place:  Lobby Bar at the Waltham Westin hotel (close to CC8 with plenty of parking in their garage)
    Who:  Everyone!

    It's basically a nice chance to unwind and chat with other Code Camp attendees and speakers over some food and drink.

    A nod to Jason Haley, who as I recall originated the idea back with Code Camp II as a blogger event.  Jason now lives in Seattle and unfortunately can't make it out for this Code Camp. 

    We'll raise a glass in your honor, Jason!


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    C# Day Event in Waltham on November 13th


    Michael de la Maza has run three very successful (and free!) C# Day events in Waltham since the summer.  I'm glad to say he's ready to run another one on November 13th from 8:30 - 4:00 at the Microsoft offices in Waltham, MA.

    C# Day is a great way to take those first few steps with C# programming - no prior experience required.  The day is structured much differently than traditional training events, so please take the time to read about the event at and watch the video to get an idea of what the day is like.

    Attendance is free, but RSVPs are required (and have "sold out" for prior C# Days.) 

    I hope you have a great time!


  • Chris Bowen's Blog

    Upcoming Developer Events for January – February, 2011


    Happy New YearI hope your 2011 is off to a great start!  Here’s the current roundup of events for developers here in the northeast for January into February. 

    As always, if you know of a missing event, please let me know.



    January 13
    WebMatrix Launch Event – Online (from CodeMash in Ohio)
    12:30 PM EST

    January 21
    Linked .NET Users Group – Online
    Q&A with Silverlight Evangelist John Papa

    January 24
    Linked .NET Users Group – Online
    Scott Guthrie – Talking Shop VIII

    January 27
    SharePoint Firestarter – Online (from Redmond, WA) 
    11:30 AM EST – 8 PM EST



    January 6
    Fairfield/Westchester .NET User Group – Stamford, CT
    ”What’s New in ASP.NET MVC 3” – Michael Gerety

    January 10
    Hartford Area Build Guild  – Farmington, CT

    January 13
    Fairfield/Westchester SQL Server UG - Stamford, CT
    “SQL Server 2008 Audit” – Linchi Shea


    January 29
    SharePoint Saturday Hartford – Bloomfield, CT
    A free day filled with a wide variety of SharePoint-related sessions.  Registration is now open!

    February 1
    Agile Connecticut - Farmington, CT

    February 14
    Hartford Area Build Guild – Farmington, CT

    Schedule TBD
    Connecticut .NET Developers Group – Farmington, CT
    New England Silverlight Guild – Farmington, CT
    Hartford SQL Server Users Group – Farmington, CT
    Connecticut DotNetNuke User Group - Bethany, CT



    January 18
    Bangor Area .Net Developers (BAND) - Bangor, ME
    ”Windows Phone 7 Development” – Jay Taplin 

    January 19
    Maine Bytes User Group - Portland, ME 
    Maine Bytes’ 10th Anniversary!  Sessions by Fritz Onion and Chris Bowen

    Schedule TBD
    Maine Developer Network - Augusta, ME



    January 6
    Beantown .NET User Group - Cambridge, MA
    “On Time and Under Budget” – Richard Hale Shaw

    January 6
    New England Visual Basic Professionals - Waltham, MA
    “Database Development with Visual Studio 2010” – Andy Novick

    January 6
    Boston JavaScript Meetup – Cambridge, MA
    “Closure Tools: Principles and Practice” – Michael Bolin

    January 6 
    UX Book Club, Boston – Cambridge, MA

    January 10
    New England F# User Group – Cambridge, MA

    January 11
    DotNetNuke Boston Meetup – Cambridge, MA

    January 11
    Build Guild – Salem, MA

    January 11
    Boston Business Intelligence – Waltham, MA
    ”Building BI Dashboards Using Syncfusion Essential Studio’s BI and UI Components” – Ramesh Praveen

    January 12
    Boston Area SharePoint Users Group – Cambridge, MA
    “SharePoint 2010 Usage and Adoption Best Practices” – Scott Jamison

    January 12
    Boston .NET User Group - Waltham, MA
    “SQL Server Parallel Performance – Are You Getting Full Return on Your CPU Investment?” – Adam Machanic

    January 13
    Boston Web Design Meetup
    – Cambridge, MA

    January 13
    New England SQL Server User Group - Waltham, MA
    “SQL Azure” – Rich Crane

    January 17
    New England Silverlight Guild – Cambridge, MA
    “7 Things I Learned on My First Big Silverlight Project” – Benjamin Day

    January 18
    Greater Boston New Technology Meetup – Cambridge, MA

    January 18
    Boston Web Performance Group – Boston, MA

    January 19
    New England ASP.NET Professionals – Waltham, MA
    “7 Things I Learned on My First Big Silverlight Project” – Benjamin Day

    January 19 
    Boston .NET Architecture Study Group - Waltham, MA

    January 19
    HTML5 Game Development Meetup – Boston, MA
    Audio, CoffeeScript, and Lightning Talks

    January 19
    New England Windows Phone User and Developer Group - Waltham, MA

    January 20
    North Shore Web Geeks – Newburyport, MA

    January 20
    Western Mass Developers’ Group – Hadley, MA

    January 25
    Cape Cod .NET User Group – Plymouth, MA
    “Top 7 Lessons Learned on My First Big Silverlight Project” – Benjamin Day

    January 26
    Boston XNA Developers Group - Waltham, MA

    January 26
    Agile Boston User Group - Waltham, MA

    January 27
    Western Mass Microsoft Technology Users Group - Agawam, MA
    Jim O’Neil & Chris Bowen on Windows Azure and WebMatrix

    January 27
    Boston Azure User Group – Cambridge, MA
    “Windows Azure in the Real World” – Matt Grace

    January 27
    Boston BizSpark Meetup – Cambridge, MA

    January 27
    Lean Startup Circle Meetup – Cambridge, MA

    February 2
    jQuery Boston Meetup – Boston, MA
    “Advanced jQuery Templates Applied Practically” – Tim Branyen

    February 3
    Beantown .NET User Group - Cambridge, MA
    “SharePoint 2010 Development for .NET Developers” – Bob German

    February 3
    New England Visual Basic Professionals - Waltham, MA 
    February 5
    D8 – Cambridge, MA
    A free event for Boston-area high school and college students to learn about technology for web and mobile applications.

    February 8
    DotNetNuke Boston Meetup – Cambridge, MA

    February 10
    Boston Web Design Meetup – Cambridge, MA

    February 16
    HTML5 Game Development Meetup – Boston, MA

    February 16
    Boston Web Performance Group – Boston, MA
    “Automate Performance Analysis with dynaTrace, Selenium and ShowSlow” – Andreas Grabner

    February 17
    Western Mass Developers’ Group – Hadley, MA

    February 17
    Lean Startup Circle Meetup – Cambridge, MA

    February 19
    MobileCamp Boston – Cambridge, MA

    imageFebruary 22
    Light Up Your Silverlight Apps for Windows 7 Firestarter – Waltham, MA
    Learn all about Silverlight and Windows 7 development from my colleagues Dani Diaz and David Isbitski.

    Schedule TBD
    Boston WebsiteSpark Group – Cambridge, MA
    Boston Cloud Services – Waltham, MA
    Cape Cod XNA User Group – Hyannis, MA
    IASA New England – Waltham, MA
    Refresh Boston – Cambridge, MA


    New Hampshire

    January 13
    Nashua Scrum Club – Nashua, NH
    “An Introduction to Test Driven Development” – Michael Denomy

    January 19
    NH .NET User Group, Nashua – Nashua, NH
    “SharePoint with InfoPath” – Rama V.

    January 20
    NH .NET User Group, Concord – Concord, NH
    6 – 8 PM, Capital Commons at Little Hall, NHTI 
    “Windows Phone Development with Silverlight” – John Garland

    February 9
    NH .NET User Group, Nashua – Nashua, NH
    “The Managed Extensibility Framework (MEF)” – Kathleen Dollard

    Schedule TBD
    Seacoast SQL Server Users Group – Portsmouth, NH


    New York (Upstate)

    January 11 
    Tech Valley .NET Users Group - Latham, NY
    “SharePoint 2010 and Workflow” – Russ Kehoe

    January 13 
    Rochester SharePoint User Group – Rochester, NY

    January 18 
    Upstate NY PowerShell Users Group – Rochester, NY

    January 19
    Central New York .NET Developer Group - East Syracuse, NY

    January 25 
    VDUNY - Visual Developers of Upstate NY - Rochester, NY
    “HTML5” – Peter Traeg

    February 2
    Rochester Javascript – Rochester, NY

    imageFebruary 24
    Light Up Your Silverlight Apps for Windows 7 Firestarter – West Henrietta, NY
    Learn all about Silverlight and Windows 7 development from my colleagues Dani Diaz and David Isbitski.

    Schedule TBD
    Upstate NY PowerShell Users Group – Syracuse, NY
    Western NY SQL Server PASS – Amherst, NY
    Refresh Rochester – Rochester, NY
    Build Guild – Troy, NY
    Western New York .NET Users Group - Amherst, NY


    Rhode Island

    January 12
    Southern New England SQL Server User Group, Warwick, RI
    “Microsoft Dynamics CRM, The Product” – Anne Stanton

    January 19
    Providence Geeks – Providence, RI

    February 16
    Providence Geeks – Providence, RI

    Schedule TBD
    Rhode Island .NET User Group - Bristol, RI



    January 10 
    Vermont .NET User Group – S. Burlington, VT
    “Entity Framework in the Cloud” – Julie Lerman

    February 15 
    Vermont .NET User Group – S. Burlington, VT
    Kathleen Dollard

    Schedule TBD
    Vermont SQL Server User Group - Burlington, VT


    [Update 1/10/11 – Added D8, Boston jQuery Meetup, NH .NET Nashua]
    [Update 1/12/11 – Added Cape Cod .NET, Bangor .NET]
    [Update 1/13/11 – Added Linked .NET, North Shore Web Geeks, Boston Web Performance]

  • Chris Bowen's Blog

    New Hampshire .NET Rolls into Portsmouth


    The New Hampshire .NET User Group, in addition to its Nashua and Concord locations, is now adding Portsmouth to the mix!

    The New Hampshire .NET Seacoast User Group will meet the 3rd Wednesday of each month starting with the first meeting on April 20th:

          New Hampshire .NET Seacoast UG
          April 20, 6- 8 PM
    John Garland (of Wintellect) on Getting Started with Windows Phone 7 Applications
          Hosted by: Global Relief Technologies
          30 New Hampshire Ave., Portsmouth, NH

    Thanks to everyone involved (and by the way, the group would love to have more volunteers).  It’s great to see the developer community growing!


  • Chris Bowen's Blog

    Windows 8 Developer Camps – Coming Soon!


    WindowsReady to dive in and learn more about Windows 8 and the developer opportunity it represents?  Then get ready for the upcoming series of Windows Developer Camps!  These are free, full-day, developer-focused events featuring a combination of sessions and hands-on labs, and we’ll have 10 of them right here in the east:

    Windows 8 changes everything.

    Combining the broad reach of Windows, best-in-class developer tools, a reimagined user experience, support for new chipsets, and a built-in Store with industry-leading business terms — Windows 8 is the largest developer opportunity, ever.

    Join us for this free, full-day event designed to share all the knowledge you need to start building Metro-style applications for Windows 8 – today. We’ll begin by showing you how to use Visual Studio to code fast, fluid, immersive and beautiful Metro-style applications in HTML5/JavaScript, XAML/C# and C/C++. Your existing investments in these languages carry forward, making Windows a no-compromise platform for developers.

    Whatever language you choose, your app gets deep integration with the Windows shell, including notifications, live tiles, deep links, and contracts with other apps. And now you can build once and support all Windows customers, no matter what type of PC they have – from tablets to laptops to convertibles to desktops.

    We’ll cap the day off with an open, hands-on lab session. It’s the perfect opportunity to get your dream application underway, or finish that app you’ve already started – with Windows 8 experts available to guide you through every step. Bring your laptop to join in the fun and show off your killer app.

    Get started now!

    The Schedule

    Join us in one of these cities:

    Windows Developer Camps

    Date City More
    March 27, 2012 Reston, VA Details & Registration
    March 29, 2012 Chevy Chase, MD Details & Registration
    April 11, 2012 Orlando, FL Details & Registration
    April 17, 2012 Tampa, FL Details & Registration
    April 19, 2012 Ft. Lauderdale, FL Details & Registration
    May 1, 2012 Charlotte, NC Details & Registration
    May 22, 2012 Waltham, MA Details & Registration
    May 23, 2012 Atlanta, GA Details & Registration
    May 23, 2012 Farmington, CT Details & Registration
    May 24, 2012 Malvern, PA Details & Registration

    Register today and start thinking about the possibilities and what you’ll create!


  • Chris Bowen's Blog

    Windows 8 Developer Camps and Hackathons – July through September


    I’m happy to pass along word that a new series of Windows 8 developer events are coming soon!  These are special two-day events, with a DevCamp on day one featuring a full day of sessions plus an InstallFest, followed on day two by a Hackathon with Lightning Talks where you can bring app ideas to life with Microsoft and community experts on hand to help. 


    Windows 8 changes everything.
    Combining the broad reach of Windows, best-in-class developer tools, a re‑imagined user experience, support for new chipsets, and a built-in store with industry-leading business terms, Windows 8 is the largest developer opportunity – ever.

    Join us for free events with new sessions and hands-on opportunities designed to help you start building Metro-style applications for Windows 8 – today. We'll show you how to use Visual Studio to code fast, fluid, immersive, and beautiful Metro-style applications in HTML5/JavaScript, XAML/C# and C/C++. Your existing investments in these languages carry forward, making Windows a no-compromise platform for developers. Attend just one day or join us for two full days of learning. It's your choice.

    DevCamp - Day 1
    Events run from 9:00AM – 8:00PM

    Our DevCamp covers Windows 8 Release Preview from top to bottom, featuring sessions that run from introductory to intermediate as the day unfolds. These sessions will be followed by an InstallFest to prepare your system for hands-on app development.

    Hackathon - Day 2
    Events run from 9:00AM – 9:00PM

    Our Hackathon is an open Windows 8 code fest, where you'll put what you've learned into practice. Code to your heart's content, with Windows 8 experts available to guide you through every step of the process. It's the perfect opportunity to get your dream application underway, or to finish that app you've already started.

    This full-day event will be filled with coding, sharing, plenty of food, and the occasional Lightning Talk on topics determined by your apps and questions. Bring your own laptop installed with Windows 8 Release Preview, your apps and your cool ideas and get ready to create!


    imageCities and Dates      
    Separate registration for DevCamps and Hackathons is required

    The choice is yours to join us for either or both days, but please register for each separately.

    Seating is limited, so click the date links below (or call 1-877-MSEVENT) to reserve your seat today!

    Location DevCamp Hackathon
    Manhattan, NY 14-Jul 15-Jul
    St Louis, MO 16-Jul 17-Jul
    Brooklyn, NY 19-Jul 20-Jul
    Nashville, TN 19-Jul 20-Jul
    Los Angeles, CA 20-Jul 21-Jul
    Rochester, NY 27-Jul 28-Jul
    Mountain View, CA 27-Jul 28-Jul
    Atlanta, GA 3-Aug 4-Aug
    Ft. Lauderdale, FL 3-Aug 4-Aug
    Redmond, WA 3-Aug 4-Aug
    Dallas, TX 7-Aug 8-Aug
    Chevy Chase, MD 10-Aug 11-Aug
    Denver, CO 10-Aug 11-Aug
    Irvine, CA 17-Aug 18-Aug
    Boston, MA 17-Aug 18-Aug
    Raleigh, NC 17-Aug 18-Aug
    Reston, VA 17-Aug 18-Aug
    Orlando, FL 17-Aug 18-Aug
    Minneapolis, MN 23-Aug 24-Aug
    Houston, TX 24-Aug 25-Aug
    San Francisco, CA 24-Aug 25-Aug
    Downers Grove, IL 28-Aug 29-Aug
    Phoenix, AZ 7-Sep 8-Sep
    Malvern, PA 14-Sep 15-Sep

    Register today and join us for these fantastic (and free) developer opportunities.

  • Chris Bowen's Blog

    List of HTML5 Presentation Resources


    I’ve been running sessions on HTML5, Internet Explorer 9/10, CSS3 and more at recent Web Camps, Code Camps, and user group meetings.  Many resources are shown or mentioned in those sessions, so I’ve compiled a list of them for you here.

    I hope you find these useful!


    • HTML5 at W3C – Specifications and learning materials
    • HTML5 W3C Logo – HTML5 and related logos
    • HTML5 LabsHTML5 Labs – Prototypes of early web specifications (e.g. IndexedDB, FileAPI, etc.)
    • – Articles and information on web development
    • – Details support by browser for HTML5, CSS3, and other technologies
    • Modernizr – HTML5 & CSS3 feature detection made easy
    • HTML5 Cross Browser Polyfills – Shims, polyfills helpful for implementing features while supporting a range of browsers
    • HTML5 Boilerplate – An HTML5 template. Useful also as a reference.
    • Initializr – HTML5 template builder
    • Yepnope.js – Conditional resource loader that utilizes asynchronous calls

    HTML5 Sample Applications/Sites

    Internet Explorer


    Canvas & SVG

    • Canvas PadCanvas Pad – Great way to see/learn canvas capabilities
    • Easel.js – A library to help create HTML5 Canvas graphics
    • UN Systems Org Chart – SVG example showing effects of zooming
    • SVG-Oids – SVG game example (Fire up the F12 dev tools with this one)
    • Raphael – A library to help create vector graphics - SVG/VML

    Microsoft Web Platform


    Presentation Slides

    And finally, here are slides I’ve used at some point for various presentations. 

    • SkyDrive folder share.  Contains:
      • HTML5 and Friends
      • HTML5 Web Camp – Graphics and UI with CSS3, SVG, and Canvas
      • HTML5 Web Camp – Practices and Adoption Techniques

    My teammate Rachel Appel has posted materials from her HTML5 Web Camp sessions as well.


  • Chris Bowen's Blog

    A New Chapter at Microsoft


    I have a bit of personal news to share.  I have a new job, which I’ve already begun!

    After about 6.5 years as a Technical Evangelist at Microsoft, starting this month I’ve taken on a new role.  Still at Microsoft, still in the DPE (Developer Platform Evangelism) family, and still in New England, I am now a Technical Specialist for Visual Studio!

    There’s a lot that’s new in the role, but the short version is I’ll be working more closely with area companies on development practices, tools, and adoption, focusing on Visual Studio (if you’ve seen me speak, you know how enthusiastic I am about it) and Visual Studio ALM (Application Lifecycle Management), which I co-authored a book on in the first days of what was then called “Visual Studio Team System”, so I’ve been a fan for a long time.

    It’s been a great ride as an Evangelist, with huge thanks to my team of Bob Familiar, Jim O’Neil, Edwin Guarin, and Michael Cummings.  Many of you in the tech community have helped make the Evangelist role amazing, so thanks to you, too!

    Though I’ll generally be trading public events for more direct customer engagements, I’m still here, in and around the community, and you’ll see me at major events like product launches and Code Camps.  Of course, you can expect much more on Visual Studio and ALM, and given all that’s new, there’s plenty to say.


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    A Resource Guide for Visual Studio 2010 RC (Release Candidate)


    This week, Visual Studio 2010 and .NET Framework 4 RC (Release Candidate) became available to everyone for download. 

    This post is a brief guide to resources to help you quickly get started and learn about what’s new.

    Before Installing


    Install Some More

    Learning More

    Enjoy, and let me know if you’ve found other useful resources.


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    Publishers Offering Support for User Groups


    High pile of hardcover books Run a user group?  With funding and sponsors a constant challenge, you’re probably always on the lookout for things to give away at meetings.

    Fortunately, many publishers have great relationships with the user group community and have established programs through which you can receive promotional copies of books and other items to use as giveaways or for book review programs.

    Here’s a list to get you started:

    (Know of any others?  Please comment below or contact me.  Thanks!)

    It’s a symbiotic relationship - you get stuff to help the group, and they get visibility in your community.  Be certain to take advantage of the opportunity.


  • Chris Bowen's Blog

    Northeast MSDN Roadshow - “Don’t Fear the Coder” Tour


    The Northeast MSDN Roadshow As in 2007 and 2008, we like to run a pre-winter Roadshow series before the really deep snow blankets the roads.  I’m glad to say everything’s lined up for us to to get the word out for the next series!

    These are free events, running 9:30 to 3:30, featuring five sessions for developers and architects. Topics include Expression/Silverlight MVVM, ASP.NET Webforms/AJAX, LINQ, finding developer help, and WCF.  The full agenda (in all of its themed glory) is below.

    We’ll be piling into whatever vehicle we can find (that has plenty of cup holders for coffee) to visit seven cities in November and December:

    Register with the above links and we’ll see you on the road!

    P.S. There’s now a directions/parking/updates page to help with any venue updates before each event.


    And now the full agenda (prior Roadshow attendees know we just love a theme).  Read on if you dare, but you’ve been warned…

    MSDN Events Presents

    The MSDN Northeast Roadshow:
    "Don't Fear the Coder" Tour

    MPj04365680000[1] It was a dark and stormy night. Your heart races as you wonder how you'll survive the looming deadline.  Technology questions abound.  A cat jumps at you for no reason.  The stack of unread developer magazines casts a threatening shadow.  What to use?  When?  How?

    Worried?  Don't be.  Road and code warriors Jim O’Neil and Chris Bowen will clear up the fog surrounding key developer technologies. From current practices and tools, to glimpses of the near future, you'll escape with new insights and many stories to tell.

    The Northeast MSDN Roadshow is a free series of deep technology sessions for developers and architects.  Join Chris and Jim for these relaxed events to gain practical insights (and of course they’ll use their wits to transform “horrors” into “har hars”).

    Registration is required, and seating is limited, so register today and join the Roadshow!

    The Agenda: Clever Hacking, Slashed Efforts, and Killer Applications

    Something WCF This Way Comes

    The mysterious figure of Windows Communication Foundation approaches from the swirling mist, but are its intentions good?  Rumors abound that it can be complex and not for the faint of heart.  We'll take a renewed look at WCF, discovering a practical tale of services, connectivity, integration, and more.  Our focus will be on WCF’s current nature, but we'll briefly preview what’s in A Branching Methodologystore for us with .NET 4.0.  WCF turns out to be a great ally, so you’ll be glad you stood your ground.

    RIA Window – Expression, Silverlight, and MVVM

    You’ll code your next Silverlight application with grace after you catch this session, which presents the primary motives for using the MVVM pattern.  Focusing on the use of Expression Blend, we’ll cast a designer’s lens on Silverlight development enabling you to plot a hitch-free course for your future projects.

    "Help!" – Grasping at Lifelines

    In the fight to slay invading bugs and put fearsome requirements to rest, sometimes you need a helping hand.  In this brief lunchtime session, we'll review options for finding assistance – ways to report and view issues you find, help systems, websites, team options, communities, and more.  Breathe easy, there’s no need to wander alone in the dark.

    LINQ De-crypted

    Although it’s part of the foundation of the .NET 3.5 release, many developers have yet to uncover the amazing power buried in LINQ (Language Integrated Query).   This session will bring to light important concepts found lurking in the shadows of the technology: the IEnumerable and IQueryable interfaces, extension methods, MPj04286150000[1]lambda expressions, and more.  With LINQ’s defining components unearthed, you’ll vault to new heights in your development efforts.

    Tales from the Webside - ASP.NET WebForms, AJAX, and More

    Your journey through web development may at times seem like a montage of foreboding images. There are many paths to consider, but in this session we return to the main roads of essential ASP.NET development.  From WebForms and server options, to scripting, AJAX, and other tools, we’ll catch up with the latest developments and take a quick glimpse down the road at what awaits us ahead.  Until next time, enjoy trying your new web development options.

  • Chris Bowen's Blog

    Announcing the Northeast MSDN Roadshow March 2010 Tour!


    The Northeast RoadshowThe plans are set for our next Northeast MSDN Roadshow series, and Jim and I will be consuming coffee aplenty and taking to the roads of the northeast to visit four cities in March.

    These are free events with technical sessions for developers and architects.  We’ll be covering Windows Azure, data and services (including WCF Data Services and SQL Azure), and taking a look at what’s new in Visual Studio 2010 and .NET Framework 4.

    Full session descriptions are at the end of this post.

    The Schedule

    The Roadshows are 1-5 PM and, like our Fall 2009 series, several will be the same day as morning TechNet IT Pro events.  (They’re separate events, so if you want to attend both, please register for each.)

    Also, keep an eye on the “Northeast Roadshow – Before You Leave the House!” page for any last-minute updates on venues and logistics.

    The Roadshow in Rochester

    After the tour, we’ll post materials and record screencasts based on the sessions on the Northeast Portal on Channel 9 (head there now for content from previous Roadshows.)

    We’ll see you on the road!


    The Northeast MSDN Roadshow - "Driving Toward a New Horizon" Tour

    It’s a new year and road and code warriors Chris Bowen and Jim O’Neil just can’t wait to return to the highways of the northeast to talk about major technology releases and what’s important for developers. 

    The Roadshow - Somwhere on I-90...From writing applications that leverage Windows Azure, Microsoft’s cloud operating system that went live on January 1st, to new ways of working with services and data like WCF Data Services and SQL Azure, to a look at what’s just around the bend with Visual Studio 2010 and .NET Framework 4, let Chris and Jim be your GPS of technology travel.

    The Northeast MSDN Roadshow is a free series of deep technology sessions for developers and architects.  Register today and join Chris and Jim for these relaxed events to gain practical insights.

    So, rev up those developer engines and get ready to roll toward new sights and destinations!

    The Agenda: Cloudy (but Clear) Skies, Driving Data, and Visual (Studio) Sights


    Windows Azure: What? Why? And a Peek Under the Hood

    What is Cloud Computing and where can it take you?  In this session, we’ll first focus on showing the potential benefits of creating applications for the cloud with Windows Azure.  Then, we’ll pop open the hood to show you around the main parts of the engine, including web roles, worker roles, and queues.  You’ll see how Windows Azure plugs in for interoperability with other on-premises and cloud applications via the App Fabric.  You’ll also learn how Windows Azure can be used to host technologies other than .NET – such as Java and PHP – and get a glimpse into what’s coming next with project “Sydney” and the integration of Windows Workflow into the cloud.

    Data: At Your Service

    Services are more than just executable bits of business logic; data too can be provided as a service, and the Microsoft stack offers a number of ways to host your data on and off-premises.  Windows Azure provides highly scalable table and blob storage, and SQL Azure brings the relational model to the cloud, but there’s other options as well including exposing your domain data via WCF Data Services and leveraging vetted data service providers such as the Associated Press and the via Microsoft “Dallas”.  Think of this session as a pit stop to help you examine the data and modeling options best suited to tune your applications.

    Visual Studio 2010: That’s a 10-4, Good Buddy
    There’s a buzz in the air as Visual Studio 2010 and .NET Framework 4 are arriving soon, and they’re bringing plenty of cargo that developers will enjoy, from new features to improved productivity.  We’ll hop on and take a tour, giving you the lay of the land in terms of what will help you as a developer.  The sights will include parallel application development, new editor features and debugging capabilities (including a new historical debugger), improvements for web and Windows development, new .NET language features, and much more.

  • Chris Bowen's Blog

    New England Code Camp 13 – Save the Date!



    UPDATE 2/4/10 - Registration is open!

    A quick post to let everyone know that the date is set and the venue reserved for New England Code Camp 13:

           Saturday, March 27th, 2010

    The Microsoft offices in Waltham, MA will host this free, full day of knowledge sharing and networking, by the community, for the community.  (What is a Code Camp?)

    Bryan TuttleRichard Hale Shaw Jeff Hall and Greg Howe

    For now, this is a “save the date” and registration will be opening soon.  So mark your calendars, stay tuned for updates, and join hundreds of your fellow developers for this fantastic community event!

    Speaking and Sponsors

    Though we haven’t formally opened the Calls for Speakers and Sponsors (should be soon), please consider helping out by presenting or sponsoring the event.  If you have any questions, please let me know!


  • Chris Bowen's Blog

    Major Visual Studio 2008 Announcements Today


    We've taken the wraps off some big announcements related to Visual Studio 2008.  As Soma mentions on his blog, he made the announcements at TechEd Developer Europe today.

    The highlights:

    And more.  Read Soma's post for the full details.

    Mary Jo Foley has some coverage as well and there a press release accompanying the announcements.


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