Chris Bowen's Blog

Development Practices, Tools, Technology, and Community

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  • Chris Bowen's Blog

    User Group and Event Visits this Week

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    A quick post of my schedule of events this week:

    BAND Bangor Area .NET Developers (BAND)

    Tonight (2/23) at 6 PM, I’ll be up in Bangor, ME speaking with the Bangor Area .NET Developers Group (or BAND).  I’ll be talking about Windows Azure and Visual Studio 2010.

    mdn_logo Maine Developer Network

    Wednesday morning (2/24), I’m pointing the car toward Augusta, ME for a special Silverlight event with the Maine Developer Network.  I’ll be joining MVP Mark Blomsma and Shawn Robichaud to cover various aspects of Silverlight from 9AM to 1PM.

    WebsiteSpark Boston WebsiteSpark Group

    Wednesday night (2/24) at 6PM, I’m heading to Microsoft NERD in Cambridge to introduce jQuery for the Boston WebsiteSpark Group.  There are two topics that evening, so I’ll be following a session on “The 7 Secrets to Succeeding as a Small Business Owner” by Stuart Goldman CPA.

    SharePointSatBoston SharePoint Saturday Boston

    Saturday, February 27th, from 8:45 AM to 6:30 PM is the second SharePoint Saturday Boston at the Microsoft offices in Waltham, MA.  There’s a lot of great SharePoint content planned, and still room and time to register (it’s a free event)!

    -Chris

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

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    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

    Install Some More

    Learning More

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

    -Chris

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    Code Mastery Event by Magenic – February 11 in Waltham

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    Magenic

    Passing along word of a free developer event by Magenic coming next week in Waltham, MA.

    Code Mastery is a full day of content with sessions in two tracks:

    • Core .NET Development – Visual Studio 2010, .NET 4, Silverlight, WPF, Pex, etc.
    • Microsoft Server Development: SharePoint 2010, SQL Server, BizTalk, etc.

    Featured speakers include Rocky Lhotka, Jason Bock, Michael Cummings (Boston XNA Developers Group leader), Jason Weber, Brad Friedlander, and others.

         Code Mastery
         February 11th, 8 AM – 5 PM
         Microsoft, 201 Jones Road, Waltham, MA

         Register at www.codemastery.com.

    See you there!

    -Chris

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    Announcing New England Code Camp 13!

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    Code Camp 13 All systems are go for New England Code Camp 13, a major community event for developers coming to Waltham, MA on March 27th!

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

        New England Code Camp 13
        “Spring Back into Code”
     
        Saturday, March 27th
        8:30 AM – 6 PM+ (and post-event Geek Gathering)
        Microsoft, 201 Jones Road, Waltham, MA

        http://www.thedevcommunity.org

    Update 3/20 - The schedule has been posted!

    For social media fans, the tag will be #necc13.

    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.

    With the strong interest in all of the new technologies recently available and soon to be released, I won’t be surprised if we reach capacity for this Camp.

    A Session in the Rhode Island RoomRichard Hale Shaw

    Speakers Wanted!

    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 TheDevCommunity.org 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 CC13 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 Sponsors/Contributors

    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 13 a success.

    Thanks

    Thanks to Chris Pels for his continuing help organizing these events and thanks also to Bryan Phillips for creating the Code Camp 13 logo (and logos for several previous Camps)!

    See you at Code Camp 13!

    -Chris

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    Virtualization Deep Dive Day – Waltham and Beyond

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    On February 12th, the Virtualization Group Boston is hosting a community-driven Virtualization Deep Dive Day in Waltham, MA, and the event is being simulcast to satellite events in NY, MO, and Canada.

    The day is a focus on various approaches to virtualization - desktop, application, server - and related topics like administration, adoption, security, and performance.

    There are multiple tracks and featured speakers include Paul Thurrott, Dan Stolts, Blain Barton, Tim Mangan, Doug Lane and many others.

    For details see:

    -Chris

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    New England Code Camp 13 – Save the Date!

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    JonesRoad_3

    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

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    Reminder for Saturday’s New England Data Camp v2.0

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    SQLSaturday34With 27 sessions and over 450 people registered (and a bit of room left for more), this Saturday’s free New England Data Camp v2 / SQL Saturday #34 is shaping up to be an event not to be missed.

        New England Data Camp v2.0 / SQL Saturday #34 
          Saturday, January 30, 2010
          8:15 AM – 5:00 PM 
      
       Microsoft New England
          201 Jones Road, Waltham, MA
          [directions]

    NEDC2 is a free, community-driven event for all things data.  The schedule features sessions from Business Intelligence to Data Development, Administration, and Performance Tuning.

    It’s not too late to register, and I hope to see you there!

    -Chris

    P.S.  The tag for the event is #nedc2.

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    Schedule for Wednesday’s (1/27/10) Architect Factory

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    Architect Factory We’re just two days away from the second Architect Factory event, to be held at Microsoft NERD in Cambridge, MA from 1-8 PM on Wednesday, January 27th.

    The Architect Factory is a free community-driven event (my announcement post has pictures and details) that helps provide guidance to experienced developers looking to assume more architect-focused responsibilities.  The event features a combination of content and networking opportunities.

    Registration has been exceptionally strong, but there’s still room if you’re interested in attending!

    The Schedule

    We have a great keynote by Michael Stiefel planned, followed by 10 sessions in 3 tracks:

    • Architecture Leadership
    • Solution Architecture
    • Enterprise Architecture

    The day will end with a social event where you can have some food and drink and network with speakers and other attendees.

    Though the final schedule may still be tweaked, here’s a snapshot of the schedule as it stands today:

    (click image to expand)

    image

    Hope to see you at the event!

    -Chris

    [Updated 1/26/10 – Rob Daigneau and James Phillips sessions swapped, Bill Wilder’s and Mark Mullin’s sessions titles updated.]

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    Resources and Screencasts from the Northeast MSDN Roadshow “Don’t Fear the Coder” Tour

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    Northeast MSDN RoadshowAs we gear up for the next Northeast Roadshow series (in March), Jim and I have put the wraps on the previous tour by posting the content and recording screencasts based on each session.

    The “Don’t Fear the Coder” tour was a blast, and Jim and I visited a whopping seven cities across the northeast in November and December.  Sincere thanks to everyone who was able to attend!

    The Sessions…

    Northeast Channel 9 Page We’ve recorded screencasts based on each session so people who couldn’t attend (or attendees taking a second look) can still get at the core content.

    As always, you can find resources on the Northeast Channel 9 Page and the content and screencasts on the Northeast Roadshow Code Gallery.

    Session 1 - Something WCF This Way Comes

    Screencast 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 store for us with .NET 4.0.  WCF turns out to be a great ally, so you’ll be glad you stood your ground.

    Screencast | Presentation Content

    Session 2 - RIA Window: MVVM, Silverlight, and Expression Blend

    Screencast 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.

    Screencast | Presentation Content

    Session 3 - Grasping at Lifelines: Finding Developer Help

    Screencast 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.

    Screencast | Presentation Content

    Session 4 - LINQ De-Crypted

    Screencast 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, lambda expressions, and more.  With LINQ’s defining components unearthed, you’ll vault to new heights in your development efforts.

    Screencast | Presentation Content

    Session 5 - Tales from the Webside: ASP.NET Web Forms, Scripting, and Ajax

    Screencast 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.

    Screencast | Presentation Content

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    Microsoft Certification Second Shot Program Makes a Return

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    If you’re a developer or IT pro interested in earning certifications to advance your career, but have been worried about not passing, take a look at the Second Shot program, which offers a free exam retake, and is making a return now through June:

    image Whether you are currently unemployed, looking for a promotion, or trying to become indispensable in your existing role, Microsoft Certifications can validate that you have the skills needed to work in the top IT professional and developer jobs in the industry.

    Take advantage of our Second Shot offer and get a free retake if you do not pass an IT professional or developer Microsoft Certification exam the first time. You must take both the first and (if necessary) the retake exam before June 30, 2010.

    Details on registering and getting a voucher code are on the Microsoft Learning site.

    Boston .NET Certification Group

    Also, the Boston .NET Certification Group meets regularly at Microsoft New England Research & Development (NERD) in Cambridge, MA. 

    This user/study group is a fantastic way to work with others for motivation and support to earn developer certifications.

    -Chris

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    Speaking with the New England ASP.NET Professionals Group – Wednesday, Jan 20th

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    I’ll be the speaker for this Wednesday’s (January 20th) meeting of the New England ASP.NET Professionals Group.

    I’ll be delving into ASP.NET Web Forms, scripting, AJAX, and jQuery, with a brief look forward to Web Forms in ASP.NET 4.

    ASP.NET Web Forms in 3.5 & 4, with AJAX and jQuery

    In this session (based on one given for the recent Northeast MSDN Roadshow), we'll return to the main roads of ASP.NET Web Forms development. From Web Forms to scripting, to what's new with AJAX and web tools, we’ll catch up with the latest developments and take a quick glimpse down the road at what awaits us with ASP.NET 4.

    The meeting starts at 6:15 PM at the Microsoft office at 201 Jones Road (6th floor), Waltham, MA.

    -Chris

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    Boston Area WebsiteSpark and BizSpark Meetup Groups

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    Whether you’ve joined, are interested in, or have never heard of the Microsoft WebsiteSpark or BizSpark programs, there are two new groups in Boston to help you learn more and connect with others.

    These programs are available to help web developers and designers (WebsiteSpark) or software startups (BizSpark) get software, support and visibility.

    If you’re in the greater Boston area, drop by one of these groups to meet others and learn more:

    • Boston WebsiteSpark Group
      WebsiteSparkFor web designers and developers (regardless of participation in the WebsiteSpark program), this group focuses on networking, sharing, and learning a variety of web-related topics.
       
    • Boston BizSpark Meetup
      BizSparkBannerFor startups (whether already in BizSpark or not), this group is a chance to network, learn, and share advice.

    Both groups meet at the Microsoft New England Research & Development (NERD) center in Cambridge. 

    -Chris

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    Announcing the Northeast MSDN Roadshow March 2010 Tour!

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    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!

    -Chris

    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 Data.gov 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.

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    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

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    Kodu Game Lab for PC Technical Preview Now Available

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    Kodu Game Lab is a game development environment designed to make it fun and easy for kids to create games while learning programming concepts (but you don’t have to be a kid to enjoy it.)

    KoduProgrammingKoduProgramming2KoduTurtle

    It’s been available on XBox LIVE for some time now (needing only a game controller to use), and now Kodu for PC Technical Preview is available to everyone as a free download!

    I’ll be showing it to the kids later… but only after I’ve had my turn.  :)

    -Chris

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    Upcoming Northeast Developer Events – January and February

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    MPj04442120000[1]As we’re get used to writing “2010” on everything, it’s a good time to take a look ahead and round up a fresh list of what’s happening here in the northeast for developers and architects.

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

    -Chris

    Connecticut

    January 7
    Fairfield/Westchester .NET User Group – Stamford, CT
    “Extending ASP.NET MVC with MVCContrib and Custom Code” John Zablocki

    January 12
    Connecticut .NET User Group - Microsoft Offices, Farmington, CT
    “WCF Data Services” – Kevin Hoffman

    January 14
    Fairfield/Westchester SQL Server UG - UConn, Stamford, CT
    “Designing SQL Server Indexes for Query Performance” – Daniel Buskirk

    February 4
    Fairfield/Westchester .NET User Group – Stamford, CT

    February 9
    Connecticut .NET User Group - Microsoft Offices, Farmington, CT

    Schedule TBD
    Agile Project Leader Network - Microsoft, Farmington, CT

     

    Massachusetts

    January 7
    New England Visual Basic Professionals - Waltham, MA
    “Silverlight 3 – SketchFlow” – Gary Chin

    January 7
    Beantown .NET User Group - Cambridge, MA 
    “Windows Azure SDK” – Jason Haley

    January 12
    Boston BizSpark Meetup – Cambridge, MA
    ”Office Leasing Basics for Tech Startups” – Jon Frisch

    January 12
    Boston Business Intelligence – Waltham, MA
    ”Debugging and Error Handling in SSIS” – Slava Kokaev

    January 12
    Build Guild – Salem, MA

    January 13
    Boston Cloud Services – Waltham, MA

    January 14
    New England SQL Server User Group - Waltham, MA  
    “Power Pivot for Excel 2010” – Carmen Taglienti

    January 18
    DotNetNuke Boston Meetup – Waltham, MA

    January 19
    Boston Business Intelligence – Waltham, MA
    ”Deploying and Configuring SSIS Packages” – Slava Kokaev

    January 20
    New England ASP.NET Professionals – Waltham, MA
    “ASP.NET MVC” – Talbott Crowell

    January 20
    New England Windows Mobile User and Developer Group - Waltham, MA

    January 20
    Boston .NET Architecture Study Group - Waltham, MA

    January 26
    New England SharePoint User Group - Waltham, MA
    ”SharePoint Governance Strategies”

    Architect Factory January 27
    Architect Factory 2 – Cambridge, MA
    Returning after a successful first event in 2009, the Architect Factory is for experienced developers seeking to learn skills to help transition to architect roles.  This is a free event, featuring content and networking.

    January 27
    Boston XNA Developers Group - Waltham, MA

    January 28
    Refresh Boston – Cambridge, MA
    ”Embiggen Your Knowledge: How Cromulent Design Would Make The Simpsons Less Funny” – Matthew Oliphant

    January 28
    Boston Azure User Group – Cambridge, MA
    Ben Day

    SQLSaturday34January 30
    New England Data Camp v2.0 / SQL Saturday #34 – Waltham, MA
    Join hundreds of developers, IT pros, and BI pros for the second run of this free, community-driven event that’s about all things data.

    February 1
    New England F# User Group – Cambridge, MA
    Rick Minerich

    February 2
    Western Mass Microsoft Technology Users Group - Chicopee, MA
    Developer Meeting – Topic TBD

    February 2
    Cape Cod XNA User Group – Hyannis, MA

    February 4
    New England Visual Basic Professionals - Waltham, MA 

    February 9
    Build Guild – Salem, MA

    February 9
    Boston BizSpark Meetup – Cambridge, MA
    ”Social Media Marketing for Startups”

    February 10
    Boston .NET User Group - Waltham, MA
    “F# and You!”– Rick Minerich

    February 10
    Boston Cloud Services – Waltham, MA
    ”Windows Azure” – Jim O’Neil

    February 11
    Beantown .NET User Group - Cambridge, MA 
    “Parallelism Zen for .NET Developers” – Rjae Easton

    February 11
    Code Mastery – Waltham, MA
    Free event by Magenic covering topics such as Visual Studio 2010, WPF/Silverlight MVVM, Pex, ASP.NET MVC and more.

    February 12
    Virtualization Deep Dive – Waltham, MA + Online
    All-day event by the Virtualization Group - Boston

    February 17
    New England ASP.NET Professionals – Waltham, MA

    February 17
    Boston .NET Architecture Study Group - Waltham, MA

    February 18
    IASA New England – Waltham, MA
    ”Agile Architect – Is it a Paradox?”

    February 24
    Boston XNA Developers Group - Waltham, MA

    February 24
    Boston WebsiteSpark Group – Cambridge, MA
    ”7 Secrets to Succeeding” – Stuart Goldman
    ”jQuery” – Chris Bowen

    February 25
    Boston Azure User Group – Cambridge, MA 
    “Identity and Geneva” – Curt Devlin

    February 25
    Boston JavaScript Meetup Group – Cambridge, MA 
    “Ubiquity and/or JetPack” – Mitcho

    SharePointSatBoston February 27
    SharePoint Saturday Boston – Waltham, MA
    Another event returning after success in 2009, SharePoint Saturday Boston is a free community-driven day of content about all things SharePoint. 

     

    Schedule TBD
    North Shore Web Geeks – Newburyport, MA
    Cape Cod .NET User Group - Hyannis, MA
    Agile Boston User Group - Waltham, MA 

     

    Maine

    January 26
    Bangor Area .Net Developers (BAND) - Bangor, ME 
    “Web Site Security – Top Attacks and How to Defend Against Them” – Greg Howe

    February 11
    Maine Bytes User Group - Portland, ME
    “Introduction to Application Development with Silverlight 4”

    February 23
    Bangor Area .Net Developers (BAND) - Bangor, ME 
    “.NET 4 and Visual Studio 2010” – Chris Bowen

    February 24
    Maine Developer Network - Augusta, ME
    Silverlight Event – Mark Blomsma, Shawn Robichaud, Chris Bowen


    Schedule TBD
    Maine Microsoft Certification Study Group – Online!

      

    New Hampshire

    January 14
    Nashua Scrum Club – Nashua, NH
    Discussion Groups & “The Agile Evangelist: How to Get Started with Agile in Your Company” – Bob Fischer

    February 17
    New Hampshire .NET User Group - Nashua, NH  

    February 25
    Nashua Scrum Club – Nashua, NH

     

    New York (Upstate)

    January 12
    Tech Valley .NET Users Group - Latham, NY
    “Multi-Touch Madness!” – Brian Peek

    January 13
    Upstate NY PowerShell Users Group – Syracuse, NY

    January 20
    Upstate NY PowerShell Users Group – Rochester, NY
    ”Introductory PowerShell”

    January 27
    VDUNY - Visual Developers of Upstate NY - Rochester, NY
    ”Line of Business Apps with Silverlight 4” – Andy Beaulieu

    February 24
    Central New York .NET Developer Group - East Syracuse, NY
    Topic TBA – Jim O’Neil


    Schedule TBD
    Western New York .NET Users Group - Amherst, NY  

     

    Rhode Island

    January 13
    Southern New England SQL Server User Group, Warwick, RI
    “T-SQL Power!  Learning to Harness the Under-Used OVER Clause” – Adam Machanic


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

     

    Vermont

    January 11
    Vermont .NET User Group - S. Burlington, VT
    “Microsoft PDC Wrap-Up” – Rob Hale

    February 8
    Vermont .NET User Group - S. Burlington, VT
    “WPF and the MVVM Design Pattern” – Rick Martin 


    Schedule TBD
    Vermont SQL Server User Group - Burlington, VT

  • Chris Bowen's Blog

    Announcing the Architect Factory 2 – Cambridge, January 27

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    Architect Factory

    The first Architect Factory was held in June and was a great success, helping experienced developers learn the skills to transition into a variety of architect roles.

    I’m glad to announce that the Architect Factory 2 is coming to Cambridge, MA on January 27th from 1-8PM.

    From the event page:

    This, the second Architect Factory event, focuses on you, senior technologists interested in becoming software, solutions, enterprise, or design architects. This event helps bridge the knowledge gap between senior technical, design, enterprise, information, and solutions roles and real-world architecture roles, putting you on the path to becoming an architect in your field.

    The event is free and features three tracks of content along with time for interaction and networking.

      009003005

    Thanks to Bryan Tuttle (he’s the speaker in the first picture above) and the team of volunteers for making this possible!

    Registration is Now Open

    Register for free at http://thearchitectfactory.eventbrite.com today! 

    The event will be held  at the Microsoft NERD (New England Research & Development) facility in Cambridge, MA.

    ArcFact7 006 ArcFact9

    Call for Speakers

    015This is a volunteer-driven event, and speakers of any technology background are welcome and encouraged to submit sessions that will help experienced developers to assume architect roles.

    The Call for Speakers will close on January 21st.

    See the event page for details on the tracks, type of content being sought, and how to submit your ideas.

    -Chris

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    New England Data Camp v2.0 / SQL Saturday 34

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    Back in January, the New England SQL Server Users Group and Southern New England SQL Server Users Group combined forces to host New England Data Camp v1.0.  It was a solid success, bringing a focus on all things data to a large Code Camp style event.

    I’m glad to pass along word that the event is making a return on January 30th!

    This time, New England Data Camp v2.0 has joined forces with the SQL Saturday series of events and will be SQL Saturday #34!

    Where?  When?

          New England Data Camp v2.0 / SQL Saturday #34
          SQLSaturday34January 30, 2010
          All day (times TBD)
          Microsoft New England
          201 Jones Road, Waltham, MA
          [directions]

    Who?  What?

    Anyone who works with data (yep, that’s a lot of us.)  Developers, DBAs, Architects, Business Intelligence pros, etc.

    Wondering what kind of content there may be?  Nothing’s exact until the Call for Speakers closes, but the schedule from NEDC v1.0 should give an idea.

    How?

           Register here! (It’s free!)

    Opportunities to Help

    Like Code Camps, this event is being organized by and supported by volunteers and the community.  Why not get involved?

    • Call for Speakers - All sessions are given by volunteers donating their time and expertise.  Everyone is welcome to submit a session, and people new to public speaking are especially encouraged to join in.
    • Call for Sponsors – This event is made possible through the generosity and support of sponsors.  It’s a great opportunity to help the community.

    Related Posts

    -Chris

  • Chris Bowen's Blog

    Second SharePoint Saturday Boston on February 27th

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    SharePointSatBoston After a successful event in March, SharePoint Saturday Boston is returning for a second run on February 27th at the Jones Road Microsoft Offices in Waltham, MA. 

    This free, all-day event offers a chance to learn through a variety of sessions and plenty of networking with hundreds of fellow SharePoint professionals.

    Follow @SPSBoston on Twitter for event updates.

    Registration is coming soon.

    Call for Speakers

    The first event had a great lineup of speakers, with about 25 sessions on various SharePoint-related topics. 

    If you’re interested in volunteering as a speaker, see the SharePoint Saturday Boston site for the submission form and contact details.

    -Chris

  • Chris Bowen's Blog

    Learning XNA: A Guide for .NET Rocks Show 501 on XNA Game Development

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    .NET Rocks Show 501 If you’re a listener of .NET Rocks! (“The Internet Audio Talk Show for .NET Developers”), you may have heard Show #501 on XNA that Michael Cummings and I recorded last week.

    You can download the show here (59 minutes – MP3/WMA/AAC).

    We mentioned a lot of things on the show, so here are core resources to help you create that game you’ve always wanted to try making.

    So, What’s XNA?

    XNA XNA is the name for resources, software, and frameworks for creating games for the PC, Zune, and Xbox 360

    The XNA Framework makes game creation easier by abstracting gaming concepts to help you be more productive.  What’s great is that you can put your existing .NET skills to work since the XNA Framework is based on the .NET Framework.

    While games are of course about fun, developers may find making a little money can be fun, too.  If you think your game has what it takes, look into Xbox LIVE Indie Games (now one year old), which can place approved XNA games on Xbox LIVE Marketplace for purchase.

    Getting Started with XNA

    XNACreatorsClub First, head to the XNA Creators Club, which is a central place for working with XNA:

    • Downloads
    • Learning & Help
    • Resources
    • Community

    XNA Game Studio is what you’ll use to create your masterpiece.  Head to the Download page and get XNA Game Studio 3.1 (for free).  It’s based on Visual Studio, so you’ll also need either the free Visual C# 2008 Express Edition, or Visual Studio 2008 installed.

    Creating games for the PC and Zune is free, but if you’re interested in creating games on the Xbox 360, then you’ll need a Premium Creators Club membership.  Read the Creators Club tour for more.

    XNA Screencast

    I recorded a screencast on getting started with XNA that features a bit of background, then dives into a demo of creating a (very) basic 2D game:

    XNA ScreencastXNA Game Development Screencast

    Learning XNA

    If you’re new to game development, I recommend you try your hand at 2D game creation to learn the basics, then expand from there.  There’s plenty to help you get started.

    Tutorials

    The Getting Started page features two tutorials to get you going:

    These feature code, assets, documentation, and step-by-step videos to walk you through.

    Starter Kits

    XNA_RPG-Game_03_small One of the best ways to learn XNA is to look at how existing games work. 

    Take the time to download a couple of XNA Starter Kits, full games to help you learn.  Play right away, then explore the code and assets – it’s all included and ready for you to modify to help you learn XNA.

    Games include a 2D RPG, 3D racing game, a puzzle, and others.

    Education Catalog

    XNAEducationCatalog There’s a ton of help available on the Creators Club site, and it’s collected together in the Education Catalog.  Content is organized by dev area and type:

    • Physics, 2D, 3D, AI, Gameplay, Graphics, Audio, Storage, and more
    • Samples, Tutorials, Articles, Utilities, etc.

    Links

    Other Topics

    Kodu Game Lab

    Mentioned on the show, Kodu Game Lab is a visual environment for game creation that focuses on making programming concepts easy to learn and use.  Kodu leaves the keyboard behind and uses just the XBox controller. 

    KoduProgramming2KoduIt’s designed to be accessible for children, but the young at heart will find it fun as well. (I can vouch for this.)

    I have a post with more details on Kodu.

    Microsoft Gamefest

    Gamefest The Microsoft Gamefest conference focuses on all things game development.  There are multiple events upcoming (and according to the Gamefest site, you’ll hear the latest on Project Natal there).

    Content and recordings from past Gamefests is available, including XNA sessions.

    You can also download presentations from the Game Developer Conference (GDC) 2009.

    Boston Area Game Community

    If you’re in New England, here are some ways to connect with the area game development community:

    • bostonxnaBoston XNA Developers Group – Run by Michael Cummings, offers a monthly look at different game development topics.  No experience necessary to join.
    • CapeCodXNA2Cape Cod XNA Group – For those of you near the Cape, this group is run by Tom Kennedy, also offering a chance to learn XNA.
    • BostonPostMortemBoston Post Mortem – Meeting monthly in Waltham, MA, this is for professional game developers to meet, share, and network.  It is also the Boston chapter of the IGDA.

    Thanks!

    Thanks to Carl Franklin and Richard Campbell for their incredible work on the .NET Rocks! series, passing an amazing milestone of 500 shows! 

    And I hope you enjoyed listening to the show as much as we enjoyed being guests!

    If you have any questions, just let me know.

    -Chris

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