Chris Bowen's Blog

Development Practices, Tools, Technology, and Community

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  • Chris Bowen's Blog

    Announcing SharePoint Saturday Boston – March 14th

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    SharePoint Saturday BostonPart of a successful series of community-driven SharePoint events, SharePoint Saturday Boston will be held on March 14th, bringing area SharePoint professionals together to learn, share experiences, and network. 

    It’s an all day event, for the low price of FREE.

    From the SharePoint Saturday site:

    Join SharePoint architects, developers, and other professionals that work with Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007 for ‘SharePoint Saturday’, on Saturday, March 14th, 2009 at the Microsoft Office on Jones Road in Waltham, MA.  SharePoint Saturday will be an educational, informative & lively day filled with sessions from respected SharePoint professionals & MVPs, covering a wide variety of SharePoint-orientated topics.  SharePoint Saturday is FREE, open to the public and is your local chance to immerse yourself in SharePoint!

    Registration is opening soon now open at:

           https://www.clicktoattend.com/invitation.aspx?code=135382

    Call for Speakers

    There are already some great speakers lined up, but the Call for Speakers is open, and it’s your chance to give back to the SharePoint community by sharing your knowledge with others.

    The tentative list of volunteer speakers includes:

    • Talbott Crowell
    • Mike Dwyer
    • Aaron Cutlip
    • Michael Cummings
    • Ian Dicker
    • Supriyo “SB” Chatterjee

    Have interesting ideas to share?  Please add your name to the list!

    Sponsors Needed

    This event relies on area companies to step up as sponsors to keep it free for attendees.  It’s a great way to get your company and brand in front of an extremely targeted audience of people interested in SharePoint services and products. 

    See the Sponsor page for details and please consider helping with food and other expenses.

    The Organizers

    Finally, many thanks to Talbott Crowell and Michael Lotter for putting together what should be a great learning and networking opportunity!

    -Chris

  • Chris Bowen's Blog

    Mutli-Group Meeting - Thank You, David Chappell!

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    I wanted to extend my gratitude to David Chappell for visiting our special multi-user group event last night in Waltham.  It was an inspiring, informative, and interactive talk, bringing context and an understanding of the importance of world of Software + Services. 

    David shared his insights, formed through his many years of industry experience, and answered the question "As a technology professional, how will this new world of S+S and SaaS affect me?"

    The meeting was very well attended!  I didn't count, but it's safe to say we had around 100 people present.  Thank you to everyone who was able to attend.

    David was kind enough to share further insights over dinner and in our car rides between venues that evening.  Particularly intersesting was our discussion of the art of public speaking.  Thanks again, David.

    I wanted to list the resources from the evening in case you either could not attend or didn't have a chance to jot them down:

    I hope you all found the evening equally worthwhile!

    -Chris

  • Chris Bowen's Blog

    Winter Northeast Roadshow Update

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    Roadshow-September-2008

    Jim and I are on the home stretch for the 2008 Winter Northeast Roadshow!  After four stops over the prior two weeks, we're heading into a three-event week at the following locations:

    We're going to have a blast with these remaining stops - with some of our biggest audiences yet.  (And, after Thursday, I'm looking forward to a little vacation time as well!)

    Look for the slides, demos, and resources from our presentations to be posted on our blogs by the end of this week.

    See you on the road,
    -Chris

  • Chris Bowen's Blog

    Free Connected Home Day Event on September 13th

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    nedmug Interested in learning about the cool things you can do with your home computers?  Want to see what Windows Home Server and Windows Media Center can do?  Want to learn more about home networking options?

    The New England Digital Media Users Group, in partnership with Microsoft and HP, is running a free full-day, two-track Connected Home Day event from 9AM - 6PM on Saturday, September 13th at the Microsoft offices in Waltham, MA.

    From the event details:

    It’s a full day training for novice computer users who want to learn how to build and secure a home network, use Microsoft Media Center to it’s full potential and use Windows Home Server to store and backup their important documents and precious Digital Photos and Videos. We will also be covering the Analog to Digital conversion in Feb 2009 and what it means to the average person.

    The day will feature content divided into two tracks, a Network Track and a Home Theater Track, and you can move between the tracks as you wish throughout the day.

    Register today at:

          http://www.clicktoattend.com/?id=130356

    Everyone is welcome to attend.  This promises to be a great day of fun and interesting technology!

    -Chris

    logo_homeserver

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  • Chris Bowen's Blog

    Three Events in Upstate New York This Week (5/13 - 5/15)

    • 3 Comments

    I'm getting ready to head out for a multi-event tour of upstate New York this week: 

     

    TVUG

    Tuesday, May 13th - 6:30 - 9:00
    Tech Valley .NET User Group - Albany, NY
    I'll be presenting on "Next-Generation UX Development with Silverlight and WPF"

     

    WNYDNUG

    Wednesday, May 14th - 6:00 - 8:30
    Western NY .NET User Group - Buffalo, NY
    I'll be presenting on "LINQ and .NET 3.5 Language Enhancements"

     

    HHH 

    Thursday, May 15th (all day event)
    Heroes Happen Here Launch Event - Rochester, NY
    My session is on "Web Development with Visual Studio 2008".  I'll be joined by my Northeast Roadshow buddies, Bob Familiar and Jim O'Neil, who are also delivering sessions.

     

    That's plenty of driving, but it should be a lot of fun.  Hope those of you in the area can make an event or two!

    -Chris

  • Chris Bowen's Blog

    Southern Connecticut Code Camp - Call for Speakers Open

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    Great news for the northeast .NET community - We will soon have a new Code Camp option in southern Connecticut!  The Fairfield/Westchester .NET User Group is organizing a Code Camp for November 10th at UConn in Stamford, CT.

    Registration isn't open just yet, but sessions and speakers are actively being sought.

    Been thinking about giving presenting a try?  Code Camps are an excellent way to "break into" the speaking habit.  The atmosphere of a Code Camp is supportive and relaxed - perfect for first-time speakers (and veterans, too!)

    For more information, head to http://fwcodecamp.net and volunteer!

    -Chris

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  • Chris Bowen's Blog

    Announcing the Rochester Code Camp!

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    New YorkGreat news - Rochester, NY will be getting in on the Code Camp action in 2009! 

    It's early in the planning process, but a core team of volunteers have begun working toward creating the Rochester Code Camp, tentatively planned for the first quarter of 2009.

    There's a new website up at:

         www.RochesterCodeCamp.net

    What is a Code Camp?

    I've described Code Camps a little here, but the quick version is they're free, developer-focused events, driven entirely by the community.  They follow the basic tenets outlined in the Code Camp Manifesto - and by the way, were started right here in the northeast in 2004!

    Helping Hands Needed

    Want to help grow the developer community in western New York?  Consider helping out!  Volunteers are actively being sought for all kinds of different things, so if you'd like to get involved, contact organizer David Stevenson via the link on the Rochester Code Camp site.

    Looking forward to having another great Code Camp in the northeast!

    -Chris

  • Chris Bowen's Blog

    Free SEO Toolkit for Search Engine Optimization on IIS

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    image 

    There’s now a free SEO (Search Engine Optimization) Toolkit that easy to install (via the Web Platform Installer or directly) and use with IIS to analyze your website.  It offers reports to help you make your site more search engine friendly, helping to increasing traffic (and helping to get the right kind of traffic).  The reports can also identify problems (e.g. missing content, incorrect links, etc.) that can sometimes be difficult to find.

    There’s also a 14 minute video walkthrough of how to work with the SEO Toolkit and what it can do for you.

    image By the way, the SEO Toolkit is just one of many IIS Extensions available (logging, routing, dynamic IP restrictions, smooth streaming, and more.)

    -Chris

  • Chris Bowen's Blog

    Web North of Boston (WebNOB) Kickoff Meeting 4/8

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    WebNOB From the "late notice is better than no notice" department, I'd like to pass along word that the new Web North of Boston (WebNOB) group is holding a kickoff event tonight (April 8th) from 6-8 at the Jillian's in Manchester, NH.  (As mentioned by Ian Muir during the kickoff session announcements at Code Camp this weekend.)

    From the WebNOB Facebook group listing:

    If you design or develop web-based applications, on your own or with a company, and are located between the Charles River and the North Pole, then WebNOB (Web North Of Boston) is for you.

    We'll get together to eat and drink, share technical and marketing insights, support local initiatives like BarCamp, and help each other find an audience.

    And the kickoff event listing:

    If you design, code, market, or fund Web applications, drop by and join the conversation. Our guest will be Tom Daly, CTO of DynDNS, who will discuss the benefits and challenges of growing a lively API-based developer community.

    If you can make it, add yourself (soon!) to the event listing.

    -Chris

  • Chris Bowen's Blog

    First Buffalo Code Camp

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    WNYDNUG

    UPDATE (11/14):  The 11/22 date was problematic, so the organizers are now seeking a new date for Code Camp.  I'll blog/update when the new date is set.

    Buffalo, New York is getting in on Code Camp fever!  The Western NY .NET Users Group is hosting the first Buffalo Code Camp on Saturday, November 22nd (being rescheduled).

    Camp will be held from 8AM-5PM at the University of Buffalo, North Campus in Amherst.  [One click directions]

    Current details are on the WNY .NET User Group site.

    Code Camps

    So, what is a Code Camp?  The idea is explained in the Code Camp Manifesto, but essentially, they are events by the developer community, for the developer community.  Your fellow developers volunteer their time to speak on a variety of topics, and most of all, the events are always free.

    The organizers have been putting a lot of planning and hard work into this Camp, so I'm sure it will be something special!

    Registration

    Registration is now open (again, it's free), and the group expects an overall attendance of 150-200 developers, so sign up today for a great chance to network and learn.

    Speaking Slots Available

    Interested in helping out by giving a session?  There are still openings available, so check the WNY .NET User Group site for details on volunteering.

    I'll be heading out there to be one of the speakers, and I hope to see you there!

    -Chris

  • Chris Bowen's Blog

    Second Fairfield/Westchester Code Camp This Saturday (11/8)

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    Fairfield / Westchester .NET User GroupA reminder that the Fairfield/Westchester .NET User Group will be hosting their Second Code Camp this Saturday, November 8th at the University of Connecticut campus in Stamford, CT:

    Over 150 people have registered as of today! We have 4 tracks with 6 sessions for a total of 24 presentations plus a lunch time chat with Richard Hale Shaw. Some of the best regional and local developers will be speaking on some excellent topics including the latest announcements from the Professional Developers Conference such as Cloud Services and Live Framework as well as LINQ, Entity Framework, Silverlight 2.0, WCF, MVC and more. The final schedule is attached.

    We have a number of prizes from Red Gate, Telerik, Infragistics, Jet Brains, Microsoft and more including a Zune and an Xbox

    If you have not already registered then register now.

    Https://www.clicktoattend.com/invitation.aspx?code=132314

    We will have doughnuts and coffee in the morning and pizza for lunch.

    Seating is limited and our focus is technology. No Recruiters, please.

    Definitely worth checking out if you're in the area!

    -Chris

  • Chris Bowen's Blog

    Boston .NET User Group Holiday Potluck and Tech Swap

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    BostonDotNet A new twist for this year's annual Boston .NET User Group holiday gathering - a Tech Swap!  Based on a great idea from Bob Nims and the Visual Developers of Upstate NY group, the Tech Swap will be a chance to exchange your tech items with fellow developers, mixed in with a dose of festive cheer.

    From the Boston .NET User Group site:

    Wednesday December 10, 2008
    Annual Holiday Gathering & Tech Swap 6:00-8:00 P.M.
    Microsoft Office, 201 Jones Road, Waltham, MA

    On our December meeting date we will again host our popular annual Pot-Luck Holiday Gathering. No technical sessions, just an opportunity to get together with fellow developers and enjoy some food and beverages. Each person is requested to bring a beverage, appetizer, main dish, or dessert item to share with the group.

    A new addition this year will be a "Tech Swap". Everyone is encouraged to bring any old tech "stuff" lying around their closet, office, etc. We'll have a room where all the items can be dislayed and "acquired" by fellow members. Books, computers, video cards, boxes of 5 1/4 floppies, and anything else. SORRY, NO CRT MONITORS! All items now finding a new owner by the end of the evening will be discarded. Please, tech related items only :-)

    I've got a few things looking for a new home, so I'll see you there!

    -Chris

  • Chris Bowen's Blog

    Special Boston Scalability User Group Event - 4/23

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    On April 23rd, the (recently-formed!) Boston Scalability User Group will serve as host for a special visit by Microsoft's Greg Leake to speak about the .NET StockTrader application and scalability in distributed SOA systems.

    StockTraderThe meeting will be on Wednesday, April 23rd, from 6-8 PM at the Microsoft offices at 201 Jones Road in Waltham, MA. 

    Please register for the event as pizza (and some raffled software) will be provided.

    If you have an interest in performance, interoperability, and distributed systems scalability, especially with ASP.NET and WCF, then this is a session I strongly recommend you consider attending.

    Here's a description of the event:

    NET StockTrader/SOA Session

     

    Subject: The .NET StockTrader is an end-to-end sample application for .NET Enterprise Application Server technologies. It is a distributed service-oriented application based on the .NET Framework, specifically using Windows Communication Foundation and ASP.NET. This session will illustrate how many of the .NET enterprise development technologies are made for building highly scalable, rich "enterprise-connected" applications. Greg will also be doing a full demo of this application and how he has designed this application to be a benchmark kit.

     

    Speaker: Greg Leake works in the Connected Systems Division at Microsoft. Greg has been at the company for about 15 years and have held several positions including a few in the Developer Division. He currently spends most of his time developing new enterprise software and samples that focus on interoperability, scalability and performance. Go to the link below to find out more about Greg and his work on the .NET Framework.

     

    Leake

    See you there!

    -Chris

  • Chris Bowen's Blog

    Special geekSpeak on Developing Silverlight Games on May 27th

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    AndyBeaulieu The Northeast’s very own Andy Beaulieu (Silverlight guru, MVP, CNY .NET UG Lead, etc.) is connecting with Jim O’Neil and Glen Gordon to share details about developing games with Silverlight!

    GeekSpeakThis episode in the MSDN geekSpeak series is May, 27th (tomorrow) from 3:00-4:00 PM EST, and features an open “radio show” style, where you can ask whatever’s questions are on your mind.

    Register for the webcast here

    I’ve discussed Silverlight and game development with Andy before and had the pleasure of catching some of his presentations on the subject and can say he truly knows his stuff.  This promises to be a worthwhile and interesting webcast!

    -Chris

    BossLaunch P.S.  If you’re looking for a little stress relief, definitely check out Andy’s latest Silverlight game, called “Boss Launch”, that he recently unveiled!

    Just one of the many Silverlight games that Andy has written and made available for you to try.

  • Chris Bowen's Blog

    A New Chapter at Microsoft

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    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.

    Onward!
    -Chris

  • Chris Bowen's Blog

    New England SQL Server User Group Special Event - 5/8

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    Adam Machanic sends word that the New England SQL Server User Group is hosting a special event on May 8th at 6:30 in Waltham. 

    Microsoft's Craig Freedman, on the SQL Server team in Redmond, will be visiting to speak on "Understanding Query Processing and Query Plans in SQL Server":

    Have you ever wondered how the SQL Server query processor really works?  Or how to read a query plan?  Or what the real difference is between a nested loops join and hash join or between a stream aggregate and a hash aggregate?  In this talk we will cover how query processing and query execution work in SQL Server.  This talk is based on a review of the life cycle of a SQL query and a discussion on how iterators -- the basic building blocks of a query plan -- work, plus an explanation of how to read query plans.  We will also dig into some of the most important and most common operators, including scans, seeks, joins, and aggregation.

    Note that, unlike other meetings, an RSVP will be required.  To get access to RSVP, join the group's mailing list by Tuesday (5/6).

    -Chris

  • Chris Bowen's Blog

    Congratulations to John Ross and Ron Thibeau, Community Super Heroes

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    This Thursday, at the TechNet / MSDN event held in Boston, John Ross and Ron Thibeau were recognized for their outstanding support of both the IT pro and developer communities in the northeast with the first Community Super Hero Award.

    Ron Thibeau (left) and John RossHats off to my colleague Dan Stolts, (please see Dan's post on the award and presentation) who did the heavy lifting on this one.  He recognized that John and Ron were due recognition, arranged the gifts, and produced framed certificates signed by Dan, Blain Barton, Jim O'Neil, and myself.  [See the picture - Ron on the left, John on right.]

    Having known John and Ron for several years before I joined Microsoft, I have seen that they epitomize the volunteer ideal.  They are always ready to lend a hand and do so without having expectations in return. 

    From running the very helpful Boston User Groups site (which has a great calendar of upcoming events!), helping with countless user group meetings, coming in on weekends to help set up wiring for C# Days, to being a constant source of help for Code Camps, they deserve to be recognized and thanked.

    So, thank you to John and Ron!  It's people like you that make our technology community one of the best anywhere!

    -Chris

  • Chris Bowen's Blog

    Code Camp 9 Registration Limit Increased

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    Code Camp 9 The great interest in this weekend's Code Camp 9 has put us over our limit of 500 registrants!  We've decided to extend registration to a limit of 550, so if you're interested in attending, you still have a chance to register at:

          http://TheDevCommunity.org

    The (many!) sessions are listed at the above site and I've also put the schedule into grid format.

    See you this weekend!

    -Chris

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