Chris Bowen's Blog

Development Practices, Tools, Technology, and Community

  • Chris Bowen's Blog

    Announcing the Fall 2008 Northeast Roadshow!


    The Northeast Roadshow

    We’re fueling up the car, stocking up on munchies, packing in a bunch of giveaways, and heading out on the open roads for our sixth Roadshow! It’s also our biggest one yet, as we'll pile on the miles heading to six cities across the northeast:

    [Please note that, in addition to adding Albany, we have new venues in Burlington, Rochester, and Augusta.  Details are in the event registration pages, plus a few notes at the bottom of this post.]

    Join my fellow road and code warrior, Jim O'Neil and me for a free, relaxed day of deep content for developers and architects.  Somewhere Between VT and NY(Roadshow partner Bob Familiar can’t make it this time around – he’s working on a secret hush-hush type of project – but he’ll be back when we return to the roads this winter!)

    We’re trying out a different kind of session plan this time. We’ve added a few extra sessions to this series, including topics that fit more comfortably into a smaller amount of time. These “turbo sessions” are a great way to bring a more diverse agenda to you, while staying deep with others.  Speaking of the agenda...


    8:30 – Registration
    9:00 – Understanding the ADO.NET Entity Framework

    Abstraction is frequently used to create difficult-to-appreciate artwork, but when applied to software, abstractions can improve flexibility, independence, and the ability to compose higher-level concepts. ADO.NET Entity Framework, now shipping as part of Visual Studio 2008 & .NET 3.5 Service Pack 1, helps you create models of your data that enable a familiar object-oriented programming experience. Entities map flexibly to data sources while providing insulation from schema changes at the same time. LINQ makes an appearance as well, using the familiar syntax we’ve seen with LINQ to Objects, SQL, and XML to query entities. You’ve got the picture, so get out there and model some works of art!

    10:30 – Discovering Dynamic Data

    Hartford Roadshow

    ASP.NET Dynamic Data, introduced with the .NET Framework 3.5 SP1 release, breathes immediate (i.e., code-less) life into LINQ To SQL and Entity Framework data models by providing a customizable, template-driven, scaffolding framework. Put on your wizard hat, you now have dynamic power at your fingertips.

    11:15 - Exploring Internet Explorer 8

    Ahoy, developers! The release of Internet Explorer 8 is just around the bend. Of course, we’ll pull out the spyglass and take a look over the sea of new consumer features, but what does this next version mean for you as developer, and what should you do to navigate to glory? You’ll see how treasures like accelerators and web slices can be a differentiator for your company, see the new wave of compatibility features and options, and unearth the tools available for developers to make for smooth sailing on the sometimes turbulent web development waters. 

    12:00 – RoboLunch

    Grab a lunch and join in as we delve into the world of robotics programming with Microsoft Robotics Developer Studio. Think robotics is mostly for manufacturing systems, toys, and those cool little floor cleaning bots? You may be surprised at how the things we cover may come to affect your professional development life! Perhaps you’ll find yourself saying, “Thank you very luncho, Mr. Roboto!”

    1:00 - UI, UX, U Confused?

    One thing not missing from Microsoft’s development offerings is a choice of options. In this session, we’ll compare and contrast the various .NET technologies available for building client experiences (Windows Forms, WPF, XBAP, ASP.NET, Silverlight, and Windows Mobile) to give you some insight in to making the best choices for reaching your applications’ target audience. 

    1:45 - A RESTed Development

    Blizzards Can't Stop the Roadshow

    REST (Representational State Transfer) is what all the cool developers are using these days to communicate among distributed resources and services.  So that you’re not left standing idly by on the sidelines, we’ll look at the rationales of the approach, why it’s cleaner than SOAP, and how Microsoft has adopted REST in technologies such as WCF and ADO.NET Data Services.

    3:15 - Befriending Unit Testing

    Unit testing could be your new best friend, and we’re here to help make the proper introductions. A practice that ultimately results in reduced overall efforts, unit testing is a focus on crafting test code that verifies your application code isn’t misbehaving. In this session, we’ll focus on what unit testing is, how it can be done, and some of the proven and effective practices you can employ to help your unit tests pay dividends over time. If Humphrey Bogart were a developer, he would have agreed, this is the beginning of a beautiful friendship.

    4:00 – Wrapup, Giveways, and Bon Voyage! 


    Thanks very much to Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute for donating use of the Bruggeman Auditorium to enable us to add the Albany area to our list of stops.  Waltham RoadshowSincere thanks as well to KnowledgeWave in Burlington, VT and The Riverview Psychiatric Center in Augusta, ME for donating space in their facilities so we could return to those areas!

    We unfortunately couldn't make a visit to our friends at the Rochester Institute of Technology work for this series (though they very helpfully tried), so we're working with the Rochester Public Library for this visit (and not just because they're ridiculously close to Dinosaur BBQ!)

    Jim and I can't wait to get out there since we always have a blast with the Roadshows!  We’ll see you soon!

    -Chris and Jim

  • Chris Bowen's Blog

    Announcing the Fall 2009 Northeast MSDN Roadshow!


    Roadshow0910 September seems a long time from these warm days of July, but we’ve set the dates and locations for the next Northeast MSDN Roadshow and wanted to tell you about it now!

    Join Jim O’Neil and me for one of our stops of the Fall 2009 series as we bring developer goodness to a town near you, including our first Roadshow stop in Rhode Island*.

    *Update – 7/31:  Sorry for the inconvenience, but we couldn’t get the timing to work in Warwick, RI.  Signs are excellent that we’ll make a stop there for our Winter series, though!

    Update 8/31:  Thanks to the Beantown .NET User Group and the Microsoft New England R&D Center, we’ve just added a new stop on September 28th in Cambridge, MA!

    But there’s something else new as well - four of our events will be in partnership with morning TechNet IT Pro events!  (The TechNet events are separate events you’ll need to additionally register for if you wish to attend both.)

    Please note of the times of each event, because they’re not all the same and not the usual times of previous Roadshows.

    For those of you in Burlington, VT, while won’t have a Roadshow there this time, we will be in town on September 12th as part of the VT Code Camp and hope to see you there!

    Here’s our agenda, the humor of which will provide you countless minutes of enjoyment:

    The Fall 2009 Northeast MSDN Roadshow:  Food for Thoughts Tour

    Food for Thoughts After a long summer, you’re probably hungry for more tools and techniques to feed your development efforts.  Touring the northeast this fall for the tenth Roadshow, road and code warriors Jim O’Neil and Chris Bowen have cooked up a select menu of sessions that are sure to please the heartiest of appetites.  From current tools and technologies to practical insights, there is plenty to digest!

    Reservations are required, so register today for a seating at these free and relaxed technology events. 

    You’ll see how Chris and Jim handle the heat of the demo kitchen, dish out knowledge, and pepper guests with half-baked humor, all the while being grilled by audience questions.

    The Agenda – A Four Course Meal for the Mind:


    1:00 - Essential Patterns, Practically Served

    Design patterns, they’re important but often presented with unappetizing formality, like getting only the oat bits from a box of marshmallow cereal.  We’ll sample a small set of key patterns, but also show you how free frameworks and tools (such as Enterprise Library, Prism, Unity, Velocity, and others) put each of those patterns directly into practice – so you can too.  You’ll leave with a mind full of practical technology and a healthy understanding of how to turn underlying patterns into recipes for success.


    2:15 - 7-Up(grade) Your Applications

    Refresh your existing applications by pouring in some the new features of Windows 7 via the managed-code Windows API Code Pack.  We’ll quench your thirst for how to incorporate the Taskbar, jumplists, and Libraries by taking the cap off an existing Windows Forms application and adding new capabilities, all the while retaining compatibility for your XP and Vista users.  We’ll have you bubbling with excitement, able to give your applications that extra pop.


    3:30 - Silverlight Snacks that Satisfy

    There’s a generous amount of delicious ingredients in Silverlight 3 and we’re going to focus deeply on some of the most enriching.  We’re going beyond the standard fare in this code-heavy session to create an application that leverages the new out-of-browser and offline execution features, local and remote connections, local data storage, and more.  You’ll see that Silverlight 3 applications can be fortified with features so they can go well beyond being eye candy.


    4:45 - Chips off the .NET Block

    As seasoned developers, we know there’s a mix of options on the trail to implementing requirements.  From staples like value types vs. reference types, interfaces vs. classes, Strings vs. StringBuilder, to other more exotic ingredients you may have yet tried, this session will dip into ways to leverage .NET, offering a taste of the impact they have on code execution, performance, and extensibility.


    5:50 – “Check Please!” We’ll box any leftovers, collect your comment cards, and distribute an array of giveaways.

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


  • Chris Bowen's Blog

    Code Camp 12 – The Schedule!


    code camp 12 We’re on the home stretch for this Saturday’s New England Code Camp 12: “The Developer Dozen” (what is Code Camp?), a free day filled with with technology sessions given by the area developer community.

           New England Code Camp 12
           Saturday, October 17th 
           8:30 AM to 6:40 PM
           Microsoft, 201 Jones Road (6th Floor), Waltham, MA

    Registration is still open!


    Sessions and Schedule

    CC12 will feature 45 sessions by 29 speakers in 7 rooms, all for free! 

    The session grid (as always, subject to change) is below, and session descriptions are online. 

    We’ll have printouts of the grid and descriptions waiting for you at registration.

    The Schedule (click to expand):


    Register today 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 Our Contributors!

    Last but certainly not least, thanks to the contributing companies who have made this event possible:

  • Lunch courtesy Magenic  magenic_logo
  • O’Reilly oreilly_large
  • Pearson/Addison-Wesley  pearson_logo
  • Pluralsight Pluralsight
  • Red-Gate redgate
  • Wiley/WROX wrox_logo 


  • See you at Camp!


  • Chris Bowen's Blog

    New England Code Camp 15 – The Schedule!


    CodeCampNew England Code Camp 15 is this Saturday!  Code Camp is a free day filled with technical (no marketing fluff) sessions given by and for the area developer community.

        New England Code Camp 15:
        Developers in the Streets! 
        Saturday, May 7th
        8:30 AM to 6:40 PM (Doors at 8 AM)
        Microsoft, 201 Jones Road (6th Floor), Waltham, MA

        Register at 
        Details at

    It’s a Saturday very well spent!

    CC15 Contributors

    Thanks to the contributing companies for supporting this event!

    • image Lunch is being provided by Telerik
    • image Morning coffee & doughnuts provided by Wintellect

    CC15 Speakers

    Thanks also to the 30 speakers volunteering their time and expertise to share with the community!

    • Andy Beaulieu
    • Chris Bowen
    • John Bowen
    • SB Chatterjee
    • Ben Day
    • John Garland
    • Richard Hale Shaw
    • Tom Haslam
    • Patrick Hynds
    • Sunil Kadimdiwan
    • Justin Kohlhepp
    • Slava Kokaev
    • Jesse Liberty
    • Steve Maier
    • Todd Mancini
    • Igor Moochnick
    • Andrew Novick
    • Jim O’Neil
    • Varsham Papikian
    • Steve Resnick
    • Joe Stagner
    • Jerry Sun
    • Pat Tormey
    • Frederic Torres
    • Mike Walsh
    • Dileepa Wijayanayake
    • Bill Wilder
    • Maura Wilder
    • Joan Wortman
    • Frank Wu

    The “Draft – Will Change” Schedule

    CC15 will feature 40 sessions in 6 rooms! The draft session grid is below. will be the definitive source for the schedule and session details (as of later tonight), so please check there for the latest.

    (Click to expand)

    Please consider this a preview version – chances are this schedule will change, but hopefully not terribly much.  Again, follow for details and updates.

    Social Media

    Finally, please tag any Code Camp 15 social media creations with #necc15.

    See you at Camp!


    [Update 5/3 – Already a change to the schedule Smile]

  • Chris Bowen's Blog

    Controlling Page Flow with Workflow Foundation - Sample Available


    Matt Winkler gave a session this week at TechEd where he described how to use Windows Workflow Foundation (WF) to control the page flow of a client-facing application.  This has certainly been a popular request since the early days of ASP.NET (giving rise to such MVC frameworks as Maverick.NET.)  A preview of this technology was given at TechEd 2006, but didn't make it into the current release bits.

    PageFlow The good news is that the Page Flow sample is now available with full source code.  It includes a new PageFlow project template, a new Navigator workflow type, and new controls (InteractionActivity and InteractionGroupActivity) for Visual Studio.  This sample can be used with multiple UI technologies (e.g. ASP.NET, WPF, etc.)

    Read Matt's Post for full details and a sample use case.


  • Chris Bowen's Blog

    Presentation Zooming with ZoomIt


    After my Heroes Happen Here talk in Boston about web development with Visual Studio 2008, I got a few emails from people asking me how I was able to zoom in to areas of my screen during my demos.

    There's a handy and free utility, ZoomIt, originally a SysInternals utility, that's available on TechNet at:

    zoomit Put it in your startup folder and you'll always be a keystroke from it's features:

    1. Zooming in - CTRL+1
      • Use the mouse to move the zoom around.
      • Use the up and down arrows to zoom farther in or out.
    2. Drawing - CTRL+2
      • Change colors with "r", "y", "o", "g", b".
      • Add text with "t"
      • Draw shapes with shift, control, and tab keys.
      • Press "w" to enter whiteboard or "k" for blackboard mode.
    3. Countdown Clock - CTRL+3
      • For when you want to say "Let's take a 10 minute break"
      • Advanced options let you play a sound on expiration and set opacity



  • Chris Bowen's Blog

    Icons and Images for Your Apps in VS 2008


    [File this under Cool Tips That Are News to Me]

    vs2008imagesb Thanks to Julie Lerman for pointing out a nifty little feature of the Visual Studio 2008 distribution that includes a library of image and icon files that you can use when creating your own applications.

    Get the details in her post.


  • Chris Bowen's Blog

    Introduction to WebMatrix Beta – A New, Free Tool for Website Development


    imageWhat is WebMatrix?

    WebMatrix is a free tool that features a complete stack (web server, database, programming) for web development. It’s lightweight, installs quickly, and has been designed to make things easy.


    Building a Site

    Want to build your site using an open source application like a blog engine, eCommerce site, or photo gallery?  Use the Site from Web Gallery option to selecting from a number of open-source applications – WordPress, DotNetNuke, Joomla!, and others.  These include both ASP.NET (tutorial here) and PHP (tutorial here) based applications.

    If that application has dependencies that aren’t installed, WebMatrix will help install and configure what you need. 


    Prefer to create things yourself?  Use the Site From Template option and choose from “Empty Site” or one of the other starter templates.


    Either way, you’ll then be able to customize your site using the integrated tools, organized into four WorkspacesSite for overall tools, settings and request details, Files to view and modify your site, Database to work with your data, and Reports including tools for Search Engine Optimization (SEO).


    WebMatrix takes care of installing what you need (in this case, IIS Developer Express and SQL Server Compact Edition), so go ahead and click the Run button to test your application using your choice of browsers.  Here’s a shot of the “Bakery” template using the Site from Template option.


    Need to change your markup, code, stylesheets, etc.?  The editor’s there as well, in the File workspace.


    Wondering what that syntax and .CSHTML file extension in the example are?  It’s called ASP.NET “Razor”, and Scott Guthrie introduces Razor here. There’s also a Razor tutorial on

    When you’re ready to deploy, use the included publishing tools and you’ll find guidance for finding hosting as well.

    imageGet WebMatrix

    Ready to take a look?  You can learn more and download it from:


    To download WebMatrix, you can use the Beta of the Web Platform Installer 3 (which makes it easy to install a lot of things, not just WebMatrix).

    Learn More

    Here are some good resources for learning more about WebMatrix:

    imageHave Something to Say?

    It’s a Beta, and the WebMatrix team would love to hear from you, so please share your thoughts via the Microsoft Connect site.

  • Chris Bowen's Blog

    Announcing New England Code Camp 14 – October 2nd, 2010


    CodeCampAll systems are go for New England Code Camp 14, a major community event for developers coming to Waltham, MA on October 2nd!

    Registration (free), the Call for Speakers, and Call for Contributors are all now open.

        New England Code Camp 14 
        Saturday, October 2nd 
        8:30 AM – 6 PM+ (and post-event Geek Gathering)
        Microsoft, 201 Jones Road, Waltham, MA

    New!  This Camp, in addition to a variety of technical tracks, an Entrepreneurial Track will be featured, offering a chance to share and learn about the business side of technology.

    For social media fans, the tag will be #necc14.

    Code What?

    Code Camps (started in 2004 with New England Code Camp 1), are free events, held outside of normal work hours, organized by and for the developer community.  They’re a great opportunity to network and to share knowledge without marketing noise getting in the way. 

    Session in MPR CBryan TuttleSWAG

    Code Camp has something for every developer - a blend of the technical to the practical, established to new, and beginner to advanced.  Check out the Code Camp Manifesto for the guiding principles.

    Register Now

    It’s a free event, so register today and join hundreds of fellow developers for a day of sharing, learning, and networking!

    A Session in the Rhode Island RoomRichard Hale Shaw

    Call for Speakers – You!

    A Session in the EBCCode Camp is driven by speakers who volunteer their time and expertise. From first-time presenters to veterans of national conferences, Code Camps are great because we hear from many perspectives – we want to hear yours.

    So, have something to share?  Submit a session today:

    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 CC14 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

    Topics are open and sessions are normally scheduled for 75 minutes.

    Call for Contributors (Sponsors)

    Food Time!Code Camps rely on contributors to donate giveaways and funding for food to help make the event happen. Needed:

    • Morning coffee (and doughnuts are always appreciated, too)
    • Lunch
    • Giveaways – items to be given out by speakers in sessions
    • SWAG - items like pens, pads, and bags – branded or unbranded – it’s all welcome!

    You’ll have a highly-targeted audience thanking your company for its support of the developer community, so please let me know if your company is interested in helping to made Code Camp 14 a success.


    Special thanks to Patrick Hynds for volunteering to lead the organization of this event, and to Chris Pels for his continuing help with organizing these events!

    See you at Code Camp 14!


  • Chris Bowen's Blog

    Code Camp Hartford - Save the Date!


    MCj01895870000[1] Fantastic news for northeast developers - a Code Camp is now coming to the Hartford, Connecticut area!  SB Chatterjeee (who runs the CT .NET User Group), sends word that a venue has been secured and that Code Camp Hartford will be on Saturday, August 16th!

    Details and the Call for Speakers will be coming soon, so stay tuned to CT .NET User Group site or to this blog.


  • Chris Bowen's Blog

    Design Camp Boston – November 6th


    Community-driven events like Code Camps and BarCamps have been great ways for developers to connect and share knowledge.  With the strong design community here in New England, a similarly-structured event focusing on designers would clearly be helpful.

    Enter Design Camp Boston:

    Design Camp focuses on both current trends and future developments in web design and user experience across their many forms. Community driven, Design Camp Boston is a free, weekend-day event featuring some 18 sessions spanning web site design, frameworks, content management systems, motion graphics, standards, mobile applications, marketing, social media and more.

    NERDDesign Camp Boston will be held on Saturday, November 6th from 8 AM – 5 PM at the Microsoft New England Research & Development (NERD) Center in Cambridge, MA. 

    The schedule has been posted and registration is now open.

    Thanks to Bryan Phillips of Grey Wolf Design for his tireless efforts in leading the turning of this idea into reality!


  • Chris Bowen's Blog

    The Roadshow Rides Again! - May/June Edition



    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?




    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





    Date & Time


    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


    Event ID: 1032378634

    MESDA Technology Center - Westbrook, ME

    506 Main Street

    Westbrook, ME 04092

    May 28, 2008

    8:30 AM-4:00 PM


    Event ID: 1032378637

    Microsoft Office - Waltham, MA

    201 Jones Road Suite 601

    Waltham, MA 02451

    May 29, 2008

    8:30 AM-4:00 PM


    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


    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


    Event ID: 1032376991


    See you on the road!



    ** 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

    Free Microsoft Online Developer Courses


    The Microsoft Learning site has a number of self-paced eLearning courses on current technologies (e.g. .NET 2.0 & 3.0 and VS2005.)  I've pulled the subset of the developer courses that are free and listed them below, but take a look at the full developer catalog as well (the courses with fees are pretty reasonable.)


    .NET 3.0

    Collection 5134: Developing Rich Experiences with Microsoft® .NET Framework 3.0 and Visual Studio® 2005

    Summary: This collection of 3 2-hour premium clinics teaches Enterprise Developers and Software Architects about the new capabilities provided by the .NET Framework 3.0.
    Audience: Developer
    Available Offline: No
    Price: FREE
    Subscription: 3 years


    Distributed Applications

    Clinic 5136 : Introduction to Developing with Windows® Workflow Foundation and Visual Studio® 2005

    Summary: This 2 hour premium clinic teaches Enterprise Developers and Software Architects about the functionality Windows Workflow Foundation provides for enabling business processes within applications.
    Audience: Developer
    Available Offline: No
    Price: FREE
    Subscription: 1 year

    Clinic 5137: Introduction to Developing with Windows® Communication Foundation and Visual Studio® 2005

    Summary: This 2 hour premium clinic teaches Enterprise Developers and Software Architects about the functionality Windows Communication Foundation provides for service oriented development.
    Audience: Developer
    Available Offline: No
    Price: FREE
    Subscription: 1 year


    Windows and Smart Client

    Clinic 5135 : Introduction to Developing with Windows® Presentation Foundation and Visual Studio® 2005

    Summary: This 2-hour premium clinic teaches Smart Client Developers and Software Architects about the powerful features Windows Presentation Foundation provides for building rich user experiences.
    Audience: Developer
    Available Offline: No
    Price: FREE
    Subscription: 1 year


    Visual Studio 2005

    Clinic 5045: Inside Look at Developing with Microsoft® Windows® SharePoint® Services 3.0

    Summary: In this 2-hour premium clinic you will learn about the rich capabilities that Windows SharePoint Services 3.0 offers to developers. The clinic will focus on Architecture and List Management, Building and Extending Windows SharePoint Sites, and Packaging and Deploying Windows SharePoint services solutions.
    Audience: Developer
    Available Offline: Yes
    Price: FREE
    Subscription: 1 year

    Clinic 5046: Inside Look at Building and Developing Solutions with Microsoft® Office SharePoint® Server 2007

    Summary: In this 2-hour premium clinic you will learn about the rich capabilities that Office SharePoint Server 2007 offers to developers. The clinic will focus on Fundamentals of Building Solutions with Office SharePoint Server 2007, Building Business Solutions with Office SharePoint Server 2007 and how to Incorporate Office SharePoint Services into Business solutions.
    Audience: Developer
    Available Offline: Yes
    Price: FREE
    Subscription: 1 year

    Collection 5134: Developing Rich Experiences with Microsoft® .NET Framework 3.0 and Visual Studio® 2005

    Summary: This collection of 3 2-hour premium clinics teaches Enterprise Developers and Software Architects about the new capabilities provided by the .NET Framework 3.0.
    Audience: Developer
    Available Offline: No
    Price: FREE
    Subscription: 3 years


    ASP.NET 2.0

    Clinic 3402: ASP.NET for PHP Developers: Introduction to ASP.NET

    Summary: In this clinic, you learn about ASP.NET as a Web development platform and how it compares to PHP. You will explore features including Server Controls, Master Pages, and Profiles. Additionally you will also learn about Visual Web Developer Express, a powerful free tool for authoring ASP.NET Web sites.
    Audience: Developer
    Available Offline: Yes
    Price: FREE
    Subscription: 1 year

    Clinic 5230 : Developing Enhanced Web Experiences with Microsoft® ASP.NET AJAX Extensions

    Summary: In this 2-hour clinic you will learn about the rich functionality that ASP.NET AJAX Extensions provides for building highly responsive and enhanced web applications.
    Audience: Developer
    Available Offline: Yes
    Price: FREE
    Subscription: 1 year


    Clinic 5045: Inside Look at Developing with Microsoft® Windows® SharePoint® Services 3.0

    Summary: In this 2-hour premium clinic you will learn about the rich capabilities that Windows SharePoint Services 3.0 offers to developers. The clinic will focus on Architecture and List Management, Building and Extending Windows SharePoint Sites, and Packaging and Deploying Windows SharePoint services solutions.
    Audience: Developer
    Available Offline: Yes
    Price: FREE
    Subscription: 1 year

    Clinic 5046: Inside Look at Building and Developing Solutions with Microsoft® Office SharePoint® Server 2007

    Summary: In this 2-hour premium clinic you will learn about the rich capabilities that Office SharePoint Server 2007 offers to developers. The clinic will focus on Fundamentals of Building Solutions with Office SharePoint Server 2007, Building Business Solutions with Office SharePoint Server 2007 and how to Incorporate Office SharePoint Services into Business solutions.
    Audience: Developer
    Available Offline: Yes
    Price: FREE
    Subscription: 1 year



    Clinic 2806: Microsoft® Security Guidance Training for Developers

    Summary: This online clinic provides students with knowledge and skills essential for the creation of applications with enhanced security. Students will learn about the need for implementing security at every stage of the development process and best practices for applying security principles. Students will also learn how to use established threat modeling methodologies and tools with other best practices to minimize vulnerabilities and limit damage from attacks. Finally, students will learn how to implement security features to enhance security for Web applications and Web services that are built by using Microsoft ASP.NET.
    Audience: Developer
    Available Offline: Yes
    Price: FREE
    Subscription: 1 year

    Clinic 2807: Microsoft® Security Guidance Training for Developers II

    Summary: This clinic discusses best practices for building security into the design, development, testing, and deployment phases of the software development life cycle. It is targeted towards individual with at least one to two years of programming experience. The course will provide developers with the skills and knowledge to design and develop more secure Microsoft solutions.
    Audience: Developer
    Available Offline: Yes
    Price: FREE
    Subscription: 1 year



    Clinic 2954: First Look: Microsoft® BizTalk® Server 2006 for Developers

    Summary: This clinic provides developers with an introduction to BizTalk Server 2006.
    Audience: Developer
    Available Offline: Yes
    Price: FREE
    Subscription: 1 year 

  • Chris Bowen's Blog

    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.


  • Chris Bowen's Blog

    Code Camp 9 - Save the Dates!



    "One, Two,... Nine, Sir!"

    Can you believe we're on Code Camp Nine?!  Code Camps began in New England in 2004, and here we are, with Code Camps now happening all around the world!  A great testament to the motivation and strength of our global .NET developer community.

    I'm happy to say we're officially a lock for April 5th and 6th for Code Camp 9 at the Microsoft offices in Waltham, MA.

    Got Name?

    Our dedicated team of community leaders are working hard to find the perfect (read "good enough") subtitle for this one, but if you've got an idea, let me know

    For reference, here are the prior eight, from the timely to the downright puzzling:

    1. [Eponymous]
    2. The Return
    3. The Madness
    4. Developers Gone Wild
    5. Code Frenzy
    6. Devs on a Plane
    7. Deer in Headlights
    8. Rise of the Silverlight Surfer
    9. ???

    Got Logo?

    Have some, well ANY artistic talent?  Can you create a new Code Camp logo?  Really, as you can see above, it won't take much to do better than mine. 

    Come up with one that we use and I'll lavish you with fame (okay, a thank you on my blog) and fortune (we can negotiate something out of my DE prize closet.)

    See You There!

    Save the dates, think of sessions you'd like to give (we can't have a camp without volunteer presenters), and we'll see you then!

    Keep an eye on this blog for more details, registration, and the Call for Speakers.


  • Chris Bowen's Blog

    New Deitel Resource Centers: ASP.NET 3.5, LINQ, Popfly, WPF, and SharePoint


    Deitel recently released more topics of interest to .NET developers in their excellent Resource Center series

    Created to help you find articles, tutorials, blogs, downloads, FAQs, and more, here are the new centers:

    I find these valuable since they're not simply lists of links.  Most resources have brief descriptions of each item written by someone who has taken the time to review the resource. 

    Worth a look!


    Technorati tags: , , , ,
  • Chris Bowen's Blog

    Visual Studio 2010 & .NET 4.0 Training Kit Available


    VS2010 and DotNet 4 

    If you're interested in learning more about the what's coming in the VS 2010/.NET 4.0 wave, check out the "Visual Studio 2010 & .NET 4.0 Training Kit" (November Preview):

    The Visual Studio 2010 and .NET Framework 4.0 Training Kit includes presentations, hands-on labs, and demos. This content is designed to help you learn how to utilize the Visual Studio 2010 features and a variety of framework technologies including: C# 4.0, Visual Basic 10, F#, Parallel Computing Platform, WCF, WF, WPF, ASP.NET AJAX 4.0, ASP.NET MVC Dynamic Data.

    The kit will be expanded and updated periodically as final release approaches, but here's what the kit currently contains:

    • Presentations:
      • Overview of the .NET Framework 4.0
      • Overview of the Visual Studio 2010
    • Hands-On Labs:
      • Visual Studio 2010: Office Programmability
      • Visual Studio 2010: Test Driven Development
      • Parallel Extensions: Building Multicore Applications with .NET
      • Introduction To Managed Extensibility Framework
      • ASP.NET AJAX
      • ASP.NET Dynamic Data
      • Intro To Project "Velocity"
      • Intro To F#

    To try these labs, you can download a VPC with the CTP of .NET 4.0 and Visual Studio 2010 here.  (You can also check out Brian Keller's post on a faster way to download large VPCs.)

    BTW, there's a similar Visual Studio 2008 and .NET 3.5 Training Kit as well.


    MSDNDevCon P.S. This is exactly the kind of the stuff you'll hear about at the MSDN Developer Conference series from December through February!

  • 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

    Code Camp 10: The Schedule!


    CodeCamp10We're under a week from New England's Code Camp 10: "Dev InTENsity!" (what is Code Camp?), a free weekend filled with technology sessions given by the local developer community.  Code Camp 10 will be held on September 20th & 21st at the Microsoft offices in Waltham, MA.

    Registration is at over 315 345 385 people and still open at:

    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.

    CC10 will feature about 50 sessions by 30 speakers, all for free!  The grids are below, here are the session descriptions, and we'll have printouts of the grids and descriptions waiting for you at registration.

    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 several 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!


    P.S.  There's also a Code Camp Facebook page, which is another way to connect with others in the northeast community.

    Saturday, September 20th

    MPR A MPR B MPR C EBC Rhode Island Providence
    8:30 Registration (Coffee/Tea in Kitchen)
    8:45 Camp Welcome Session  
    9:00 Break
    9:10 May the Source Stay with You The Agile Revolution - Introducing Scrum 'Clean' Web Development with AJAX and SQL Server 2005 When .NET Isn't Enough - An Intro to C++/CLI
    10:25 Break
    10:35 Intro to Functional and Concurrent Programming in F#

    Getting Started with the Web DataGrid

    Creating Custom WCF Behaviors Using MMC 3.0 and .NET to Write Custom Admin Tools

    Lunch (Food in Kitchen & MPR A + B)

    Thanks to Magenic Technologies!

    12:35 The How's and Why's of Unit Testing and TDD ASP.NET Model View Controller (MVC) .NET Basics - Basic Tools Visual studio 2008 and Office Creating Terrain in XNA
    1:50 Break
    2:00 IronRuby: Ruby for .NET, Silverlight, and Mono Using XML to Store Hierarchical Data Have it Your Way - REST and SOAP in WCF Solutions Forms Services and Workflow - So Happy Together
    3:15 Break
    3:25 Silverlight 2 Animation Techniques .NET OOP Demystified Getting to Know Team Foundation Server 2008

    Code Generation with the Visual Studio 2008 SDK

    Adding Speech Recog. to Your Apps
    4:40 Break
    4:50 .NET Basics - The Architect's Toolchest Charts and Gauges with Reporting Services 2008 Build a SharePoint Dashboard Using SharePoint Designer Custom My-Sites in MOSS - "Have it Your Way!" Associate Wanted to Bring Project into Mainstream
    6:05 End of Day 1


    Sunday, September 21st

    MPR A MPR B MPR C EBC Rhode Island Providence
    8:30 Registration/Welcome (Coffee/Tea in Kitchen)
    9:00 New Features in C# 3.0 Toolbox for Agile Projects and Devs: Intro Silverlight as a Front End to Excel Services on SharePoint Digital Imaging and Image Processing with .NET
    10:15 Break
    10:30 LINQ to Objects, Method Syntax, and Enumerable Class A-Z Deploying SharePoint Apps Beginning Mobile Dev with Compact Fx and SQLCE Custom SharePoint Development with Examples

    Lunch (Food in Kitchen & MPR A + B)

    Thanks to Syrinx Consulting!

    12:30 LINQ to SQL and Object Relational Designer Introducing MSBuild Toolbox for Agile Projects and Devs: Mocking and IOC/DI Self-Healing Apps That Integrate with CRM SharePoint Site Columns, Content Types and Features: Oh My! Applied Generics: The Radix Sort
    1:45 Break
    1:55 Intro to Silverlight 2.0 TDD with nUnit and Test Driven .NET SharePoint Branding Toolbox for Agile: It All Began in Java - Unit Testing, Mocking, IOC/DI
    3:10 Break
    3:20 Integrating Silverlight into SharePoint Building Extensible .NET Applications with Mono Addins Operations Manager 2007 for the DBA
    4:35 End of Camp - Thanks for Attending!

  • Chris Bowen's Blog

    Second Life's Second C# Day This Saturday (2/16)


    sl_color_horiz_152x63 Michael de la Maza is again assuming avatar form and appearing in Second Life to run a virtual world C# Day event on Saturday, February 16th!  C# Day is a fantastic, non lecture-based way to learn C# programming with no previous programming experience required. 

    Details are at

    Check out the work that my colleague Zain Naboulsi and others have been doing to deck out Visual Studio Island for the C# Day event:


    Great stuff!  I encourage you to walk/swm/fly in for a look.  Enjoy!


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