Chris Bowen's Blog

Development Practices, Tools, Technology, and Community

  • Chris Bowen's Blog

    GameDev Day '07 Boston - XNA, Gaming, and Game Development


    XNA Like games?  Wonder how they're made?  Want to know how to make them yourself?

    Emerson Hall, HarvardCome to GameDev Day '07, a free event being hosted at Harvard University on December 1st, sponsored by Microsoft in association with the Harvard Interactive Media Group (HIMG).

    The Details

    What:  GameDev Day '07 Boston
    Who:  ANYONE - students, professionals, enthusiasts - interested in learning about how games are made and the gaming industry
    When:  Saturday, December 1st, 10 AM - 4 PM
    Where:  Harvard University [directions],
    Emerson Hall [map], Room 105 (Note that we moved from Sever Hall)
    Cost:  Free
    Registration:  None, but if you're on Facebook, add yourself to the event's page!

    Game Development Sessions

    • Presentations on game development topics
    • Second Life Learn about virtual worlds like Second Life (from the company that created it!) and their effect on the real world
    • Learn to create games for the XBOX 360 and PCs with (the free) XNA Game Studio Express 

    Gaming Industry Experts

    • halo3Open Q&A Panel
    • Advice on getting to game development
    • Careers in the Boston area

    Open Gaming

    • Play Halo 3 and Guitar Hero on XBOX Elites

    Pizza and Giveaways

    • Halo 3
    • Project Gotham Racing 4
    • Gears of War
    • Flight Simulator X Deluxe [PC]

    The Agenda

    10:15 - Welcome and Announcements (Edwin Guarin and Chris Bowen)
    10:25 - Introduction to XNA (Edwin and Chris)
    10:50 - Creating Your First XNA Game (Michael Cummings)
    12:00 - Pizza & Gaming
    12:50 - Creating Games - What *Really* Goes on Under the Covers (Mark Mullin and Dan Scherlis)
    2:00 - Blurring the Boundaries: CSI, Second Life and You (Kent Quirk and John Lester, Linden Lab)
    3:00 - Gaming Industry Q&A Panel (Dan Scherlis, Mark Mullin, Michael Cummings, Kent Quirk, Darius Kazemi)

    We're going to have a great time!  See you there!


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    Code Camp 9 Update


    Code Camp 9 Things are moving along well for Code Camp 9, coming on April 5th and 6th at the Microsoft offices in Waltham, MA.

    With a little over three weeks to go, we're already over 30 sessions and nearing 250 registrations.  Keep them coming!

    Register (Code Camp is free!) today at

    If you're interested in speaking, it's as simple as registering a session and we'll give you a room/session.  Check the bottom of this post for details on how to submit a session.

    New CC9 Logo!

    First, and most obvious in this post, is that we have a new Code Camp 9 logo!  Many thanks to Bryan Phillips for volunteering to create it.  (Just a bit better than my previous logo, eh?) 

    Thanks Bryan!!

    "Introductions" Track

    New at this Code Camp is the dedication of one room solely to introductory sessions on foundational topics.  Are you or your company just getting into technology X?  The Introductions Track is your chance to come up to speed on a variety of developer topics.

    We still have speaker slots to fill for the introductions track, so if you'd like to help get people up to speed on existing technologies, please volunteer your time!

    See you in April!


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    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!


  • Chris Bowen's Blog

    C# Day Report


    C# Day - ClassroomThis Saturday (6/23), we gathered at the Microsoft offices in Waltham for the first "C# Day" event.  Thanks to Michael de la Maza for volunteering his time and effort to run the session!

    There was a great turnout - so good in fact that the room filled up and unfortunately couldn't offer table space for one or two latecomers.  The good news is Michael is planning to run this event again, so keep an eye on this blog or on the Learn2LearnProgram site for announcements.

    The day was quite different from traditional (lecture/lab) technology education events.  Michael's approach is very social, encouraging people to interact to share what they've discovered and to work with different lab partners throughout the day.  Michael gave an introduction to the material, then encouraged C# Day - Cocktail Partyparticipants to "become" one of the C# language constructs.  Everyone specialized in a language feature, researched and worked with that feature, and then attended a "cocktail party" in the next room where people socialized by exchanging details about what their function was.  Introductions took the form of "Hello, my name is <C# function> and I..."

    Michael received plenty of good feedback from attendees and is already planning some new ideas and approaches for the next event.

    Considering coming to the next C# Day?  So your expectations are inline with the event, be certain to read Michael's description on his site.  Also, Michael arranged to capture parts of the event on video.  The video should be on soon, the idea being that a video can demonstrate the format and style of the event more effectively than textual descriptions.

    Thanks to everyone who participated and again to Michael for running the event!


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    Code Camp 7 - The Schedule!


    We've got an amazing weekend planned for Code Camp 7 - "Deer in Headlights!"  We're now near 400 registered attendees and, thanks to our volunteer speakers, have 42 sessions on a great variety of topics from .NET Framework 3.0 to SharePoint to Robotics!

    The Camp will be this Saturday (3/31) and Sunday (4/1) at the Microsoft offices at 201 Jones Road, Waltham, MA on the 6th floor.  Registration starts at 8:30 both days, with sessions starting at 9:00.

    The full schedule is below. 

    Come and network with fellow technologists, learn a thing or two, grab some pizza, and pick up some swag along the way (thanks to our contributors, Dundas Software, CoDe Magazineasp.netPRO Magazine, and Cizer Software.)

    Also a special thanks to Jason Haley for conducting a volunteer campaign to provide funds for (better) coffee and... doughnuts for Saturday morning while raising awareness of user group activities.

    Don't forget there's also the traditional Saturday evening social gathering after day 1 of Camp over at the Waltham Westin's lobby bar.  So after the sessions end, grab a little dinner then head over there to unwind and enjoy some good company.

    Hope to see you there!

    P.S.  Speakers - We've blocked off the Providence Room for use by speakers (only) as a green/ready room for your talks.

    Day 1: March 31st

    MPR A

    MPR B

    MPR C

    Executive Briefing Center

    Rhode Island Room


    Registration/Welcome (Coffee/Tea in Kitchen)

    9:00-10:30 How to Perform a Secure Code Review - Robert Hurlbut ASP.NET and LINQ to SQL - Julie Lerman Intro to Windows SharePoint Services with Overview of New Features - Robert Holmes Introduction to SQL Server Data Mining - Phil Denoncourt Windows Mobile Development with Visual Studio 2005 - Judy Carten


    10:45 – 12:15 AJAX Will Protect Us from Meteors - Dan Krhla WPF and CAB – A marriage made in heaven - Mark Mullin Protecting Data with SQL Server 2005 - Robert Hurlbut Building Business Applications with Community Server - Dave Burke
    12:15 -1:15

    Lunch (Kitchen)

    1:15 – 2:45 Sleight of Hand with ASP.Net 2.0. Now you see it, now you don't. - Bob Goodearl Introduction to Windows Communication Foundation (WCF) - Chris Bowen "Can we build it? Yes We Can!": An Introduction to MSBuild - Steven St Jean   Chalk Talk: Exploring the Entity Data Model in the new ADO.NET Entity Framework - Julie Lerman
    2:45 – 3:00


    3:00 – 4:30 Disassembling .Net - Jason Haley Application Lifecycle Management with Visual Studio Team System - Todd Mancini User-Defined Functions in SQL Server 2005 - Andy Novick Windows Mobile Application Performance Best Practices - Don Sorcinelli
    4:30 – 4:45


    4:45 – 6:15 Reflector and Friends: An overview of Lutz Roeder's .Net Reflector and its add-ins - Jason Haley ADO.NET Orcas Overview - Julie Lerman Microsoft Office Groove 2007 - William Aboujaoude Leveraging Speech in .NET Applications and Windows Vista - Don Sorcinelli Concurrency and Coordination Runtime (CCR): No More Asynchronous Spaghetti. An Introduction. - Igor Moochnick

    End of Day 1

    Day 2: April 1st

    MPR A

    MPR B

    MPR C

    Executive Briefing Center

    Rhode Island Room


    Registration/Welcome (Coffee/Tea in Kitchen)

    9:00-10:30 Best Practices for Programming WCF - Richard Hale Shaw

    Workflow and the SharePoint Platform - Use them to your advantage! - Max Weber

    Lifting Up the Covers on a Live ASP.Net 2.0 Web Site - Rob Daigneau Generics - Robert Hope Introduction to Commerce Starter Kit 2.0 - Nabil Benchekroun


    10:45 – 12:15 Best Practices for Designing/Modeling with Generics - Richard Hale Shaw Windows Cardspace and the Identity Metasystem - Bob Familiar Extending WCF With Behaviors - Rob Daigneau Reflection in .NET - Robert Hope SharePoint Content Types, Features and Web Parts - Robert Holmes
    12:15 -1:15

    Lunch (Kitchen)

    1:15 – 2:45 Understanding C# 3.0 Queries: it’s all Ienumerable<T>, baby. - Richard Hale Shaw Introduction to Windows Workflow Foundation (WF) - Chris Bowen Developing Features and Solutions in Office SharePoint Server 2007 - Brian Berry  Developing (Scalable) Enterprise Applications In C#/.NET With Frameworks - Desmond Nolan Custom SharePoint Development - Robert Holmes
    2:45 – 3:00


    3:00 – 4:30 Windows Communication Foundation with Windows Workflow - Mark Mullin XAML and Windows Presentation Foundation - Bob Familiar Design Patterns for SOA - Rob Daigneau Advanced SharePoint Development with Examples - Robert Holmes

    End of Camp - Thanks for Attending!


    Schedule Changes:

    [On 3/29] Moved "Building SharePoint 2007-based Workflow Solutions with Visual Studio 2005" from Saturday to Sunday at 3:00.

    [On 3/30] Swapped "Introduction to Windows Communication Foundation (WCF)", formerly on Sunday at 9:00 with "Workflow and the SharePoint Platform - Use them to your Advantage!", formerly on Saturday at 1:15.

    [On 4/1]  Canceled "Building SharePoint 2007-Based Workflow Solutions with Visual Studio 2005"

  • Chris Bowen's Blog

    The Code Project Virtual Tech Summit on HTML5 & CSS3


    Starting today (and continuing after), you can access some great content on HTML5 and CSS3 for free via The Code Project’s Virtual Tech Summit:

    The event kicks off at noon EDT with Molly Holzschlag’s keynote on “The Future of HTML5” followed by other sessions… including one by me on “Using the Internet Explorer 9 Developer Tools” (launching at 2:15 PM EDT).

    If you can’t make it today, no problem, an advantage of this virtual event is you can drop by any time.


  • Chris Bowen's Blog

    Online Introductory C# Workshop


    Jeromy Walsh at is hosting a free 9+ week online C# Language Workshop:

    This workshop is designed to aid people in their journey to learn beginning C#. This workshop is targeted at highly motivated individuals who are interested in learning C# or who have attempted to learn C# in the past, but found that without sufficient support and mentoring they were unable to connect all the pieces of this highly complex but powerful programming language. This is a 'guided' self-teaching C# workshop. Each student is responsible for taking the time to read the material and learn the information. The community and tutors that arise out of this workshop are here for making the learning process run more smoothly, but are not obligated to baby-sit a person's progress. Because everyone will be working from the same materials, students may find it easier to get answers to the specific questions they might have. There is no minimum age requirement, and there is no previous programming experience required.

    The course just started this week, with participants using Visual C# 2005 Express Edition and downloading the C# Language Specifications [1.2 & 2.0] and individually (but with collective support from the group) working though sets of chapters and projects each week, with forums for Q&A.

    Details and signup instructions are on the workshop's introductory thread.


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  • Chris Bowen's Blog

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


    .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.


    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.


    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 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 Bowen's Blog

    Office Hours for Boston Area Windows 8 App Developers


    Generation AppAre you working on a Windows 8 app or game, or want to get started but have some questions?

    Drop by to chat/code/test with us at our new One Cambridge Center offices where we’ll have open time to answer your questions and discuss your apps.

    We’ll be there each Wednesday starting tomorrow, 9/26, and for at least the next couple of weeks:

    • September 26 – 1-5 PM
    • October 3 – 1-5 PM
    • October 10 – 1-5 PM
    • October 17 – 1-5 PM
    • October 24 – 1-5 PM     
    • December 5 – 1-5 PM *new*
    • December 12 – 1-5 PM *new*

    Drop by 1 Cambridge Center whenever you’d like – no appointment needed.

    Microsoft at One Cambridge Center

    You may already be familiar with our New England Research & Development (aka “NERD”) center at 1 Memorial Drive in Cambridge, MA. 

    We very recently opened more offices nearby (I’d call it a “stone’s throw” away, but you’d need a really good arm) at One Cambridge Center.  The office has space for sales, marketing, and services, meeting rooms, and a Microsoft Technology Center.

    Area Map

    Here’s the view of the building if you’re facing west (though it now has a shiny new “Microsoft” sign at the top):

    Westward View  The Entrance

    If you’re looking at the building from this view, there’s a large, glassed-in entrance near one of the the MBTA Kendall (red line) stairways.  Just head in and take the elevator to the 2nd floor (the only option) and check in at the reception.  They’ll guide you from there.

    There are some directions and parking details here. 

    See these announcements for some background on the new offices:


    See you there!

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    Free Antivirus Protection with Microsoft Security Essentials


    Microsoft Security Essentials

    A short and simple post… 

    Need antivirus and antimalware protection?  Want it for free?  Then download Microsoft Security Essentials now:

    Microsoft Security Essentials HomeMicrosoft Security Essentials provides real-time protection for your home PC that guards against viruses, spyware, and other malicious software.

    Microsoft Security Essentials is a free* download from Microsoft that is simple to install, easy to use, and always kept up to date so you can be assured your PC is protected by the latest technology. It’s easy to tell if your PC is secure — when you’re green, you’re good. It’s that simple.


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    TechEd 2011 Birds-of-a-Feather Sessions


    imageIf you’re heading to TechEd 2011 (May 16-19 in Atlanta, GA), check out the Birds of a Feather (BOF) sessions, currently open for session submissions. 

    These are community-driven moderated discussions (not presentations or lectures) on a wide variety of technology topics.

    Have an idea for a session?  Act soon because submissions are only open through Monday, March 21st.


  • Chris Bowen's Blog

    More Microsoft HTML5 Web Camps Coming Soon!


    Microsoft Web CampsThe Microsoft HTML5 Web Camps are free, full-day events to help you get up to speed with HTML5 and related web standards. 

    After the popular events in Massachusetts & NYC in June, Rachel Appel, G. Andrew Duthie and I will be running six more Web Camps in August and September:

    They’re all listed on the MSDN Events site and will soon be on the Microsoft Web Camps site as well.

    What’s Being Covered?

    Over the course of four sessions, we’ll introduce you to the next wave of web standards including HTML5, CSS3, ECMAScript5, SVG, and more:

    • HTML5
      • Semantic Markup, Audio, Video, Canvas, Geolocation, and more
    • Cascading Style Sheets, Level 3 (CSS3)
    • Scalable Vector Graphics (SVG)
    • ECMAScript5 and scripting techniques
    • Internet Explorer 9
      • Standards support and testing
      • Performance
    • Present and future of web standards
      • Internet Explorer 10
      • Emerging standards (e.g. WebSockets, IndexedDB, etc.)
    • Developer options and tools
      • Libraries
      • IE9 Developer Tools
      • Visual Studio 2010 and Expression Web 4

    We’ll also show you techniques and frameworks to help you get started today while still offering good experiences for non-modern browsers.

    Hope to see you at the Web Camps!


  • Chris Bowen's Blog

    New England Code Camp 15 – Registration and Call for Speakers Open!


    CodeCamp3Things are now set for New England Code Camp 15, a major community event for developers coming to Waltham, MA on May 7th!  Registration (free), the Call for Speakers, and Call for Contributors (details below) are now open.

        New England Code Camp 15:
        “Developers in the Streets!”
        Saturday, May 7th 
        8:30 AM – 6 PM + post-event Geek Gathering
        Microsoft, 201 Jones Road, Waltham, MA 
        Registration -
        Other details -
        Tag: #necc15

    It all began 14 camps ago in 2004 – Code Camps are free events outside of regular work hours, organized by and for the developer community, offering a chance to learn, share, and network. Register today and join hundreds of your fellow developers!

    Bryan TuttleSession in MPR CA Session in the Rhode Island Room

    Call for Speakers (Now Easier!)

    A Session in the EBCCode Camps are 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 – including yours.

    How?  It’s even easier this time around.  Just head to and email the session proposal form.  Proposals can be for any technology topic and sessions will be 75 minutes long.

    The site will be updated periodically to list submissions as they’re received.

    Call for Contributors

    Food Time!Contributors are a critical part of each Code Camp, relied upon to provide the essentials for the Code Camp experience, like:

    • Morning coffee (& doughnuts when possible)
    • 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 send a note to if your company can help make Code Camp 15 a success!


    Richard Hale ShawSpecial thanks to Patrick Hynds and Chris Pels for their ongoing work to organize these events, to the contributing companies, and of course to the many speakers who volunteer their time and expertise!

    See you at New England Code Camp 15!


  • Chris Bowen's Blog

    "Essential WCF" on the Shelves!


    On The Shelf!

    I popped in to my local bookstore (and ended up grabbing a copy of "LINQ in Action", which I've heard great things about) and what to my wondering eyes did appear, but hot-off-the-press copies of my latest authoring journey... "Essential Windows Communication Foundation"!

    Essential Windows Communication Foundation

    It's a great feeling to have all the research, coding, and long nights of writing actually take material shape on a shelf in a bookstore.

    Bowen Books(Being a proud pop, I couldn't resist a side-by-side pic with my previous book, "Professional Visual Studio 2005 Team System".)

    The InformIT Interview


    We were recently contacted by informIT for an interview about the book, which you can read here - "So, What is This WCF Anyway?"

    More about Essential WCF

    Since we'd specifically timed the book to include details of .NET Framework 3.5 and Visual Studio 2008, we're among the first to cover some new WCF topics. 

    Here's a glance at what's inside:

    • Foreword xxv
    • Preface xxvii
    • Chapter 1: Basics 1
    • Chapter 2: Contracts 33
    • Chapter 3: Channels 91
    • Chapter 4: Bindings 111
    • Chapter 5: Behaviors 181
    • Chapter 6: Serialization and Encoding 241
    • Chapter 7: Hosting 287
    • Chapter 8: Security 315
    • Chapter 9: Diagnostics 375
    • Chapter 10: Exception Handling 403
    • Chapter 11: Workflow Services 423
    • Chapter 12: Peer Networking 459
    • Chapter 13: Programmable Web 503
    • Appendix: Advanced Topics 537
    • Index 553

    I've already heard from a number of you who are delving into Essential WCF.  Let me know if you have any feedback about the book. 


    I encourage you to take a moment to check out my coauthors' blogs:

    Thanks Abound

    Thanks to everyone who helped make this possible - my coauthors in "unbounded awesomeness"* - Steve and Rich, the great team at Addison-Wesley who kept the wheels turning well and in the right direction, and our technical reviewers who did a great job helping to ensure we were spot-on:

    Special thanks to Steve Maine, who not only provided great support during creation, but who also took the time to pen the book's forward.

    And of course, thanks to you in the community for your support!


    * Note to Steve Toub, yes, that's the awesomeness' UBound() we're talking about.  :)

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    Join Us for The Winter Northeast MSDN Roadshow!



    Somewhere in Scenic Vermont

    [UPDATE 11/19 - We've added New Hampshire to our tour for December 18th!]

    We just couldn't take not being out on the road, talking about tech, so we're heading back out again in December for the Winter Northeast Roadshow! 

    This, our seventh Roadshow, will feature a ton of great stuff like jQuery and ASP.NET 3.5 AJAX, WPF, WF, Silverlight and WCF/REST, and even some interesting things from Microsoft Research!

    Join my fellow road and code warrior, Jim O'Neil and me for a relaxed day of deep content for developers and architects.  Oh, and it's free.

    We're heading to six cities in December:

    Most of our stops for the Fall Northeast Roadshow filled up, so if you're interested, register early.


    [Times are for all events except Rochester, NY, which starts 30 minutes earlier.]

    Roadshow at RIT 8:30 – Register, Grab Some Coffee, and Pull Up A Chair

    9:00 - Morning TechUpdate

    Before we dive into the sessions, we’ll take some time to update you on the latest news, tools and technology from the developer world.

    9:15 - Turbo Boosting for Web Developers: Using jQuery and ASP.NET 3.5 AJAX

    Like things that help you go faster? Of course! That’s why we’re focusing this session on the powerful set of features that jQuery and ASP.NET 3.5 offer web developers. We’ll get up to speed with jQuery, a popular open source JavaScript library with powerful features, a concise syntax with chained commands, but at the same time is fully extensible via a plugin-based architecture. Microsoft will be distributing jQuery (as-is) with Visual Studio going forward, and offers IntelliSense support for jQuery as well. We’ll complement that with a look at the latest in ASP.NET 3.5 AJAX with Visual Studio 2008 to provide extra code-writing acceleration along the way. Like hitting “Boost” in your favorite racing game, jQuery and ASP.NET 3.5 AJAX will have you speeding toward great rich internet applications in no time!

    10:45 - Workflow Foundation (WF) Steals the Show

    As Shakespeare put it, “All the world’s a stage”, and WPF and WCF love to bask in the limelight, but now it’s time for their cousin, Windows Workflow Foundation, to assume the leading role.  We’ll go beyond the usual introductory demos to show that, despite lacking a third letter in its acronym, WF is a very powerful environment for building robust and scalable applications that capture complex and real-world business processes.  From dashing good looks (a visual designer which you can even host in your own applications) to dazzling abilities such as new options for integration with WCF (both as a service provider and consumer), resumable programmable activities as building blocks, and built-in services for persistence, transactions, scheduling and tracking, WF is a standout performer for any application.  We’ll have Hamlet saying, “The Workflow’s the thing!”

    In the Car on Lake Champlain 12:00 - Lunch in the Lab: A Look at Tools & Tech from Microsoft Research

    Grab some lunch, get out your Bunsen burners and microscopes, and join us as we don lab coats and take a tour of the latest and greatest tools and technology from Microsoft Research. From developer tools that you can use today like CHESS and Pex, future tech like DryadLINQ, to the just plain cool of AutoCollage, Boku, and SecondLight, there’s a lot for us to experiment on. We promise not to set anything on fire in this lab, well, unless you ask nicely…

    1:00 - Deeper into Windows Presentation Foundation (WPF)

    Windows Presentation Foundation (WPF) has a rich set of features to create visually appealing, high-performance applications on the .NET Framework with declarative markup. And perhaps you’ve seen the “hello world” demos and get the general idea. But you say “Great! What else can I do with it?” Funny you should ask, because that’s exactly what this session is about. After a brief introduction to WPF, we’ll dive into the host of new features that .NET 3.5 Service Pack 1 has brought – enhanced 3D capabilities, Visual Studio designer improvements, and more. We’ll cover important WPF topics such as interoperability with WinForms and achieving reuse via resources, templates, and user controls. Finally, we’ll round out the talk by showing the new WPF Toolkit, including new WPF controls like Calendar, DatePicker, and DataGrid. Now, aren’t you glad you asked?

    2:30 - Adventures in Data with Silverlight, WCF REST, and ADO.NET Data Services

    You’ve heard that REST is the talk of the town (well, the really geeky part of town) these days, but what does it mean to you, someone who needs to get work DONE? Get ready to improve your Silverlight skills, because this session features a practical, code-based focus on the use of the new WCF REST Starter Kit, ADO.NET Data Services (formerly Astoria), and databinding techniques to tap the power of RESTful services.  A from-scratch implementation will be created, using Silverlight to build a data-centric application covering concepts such as the WebClient and HTTPWebRequest objects, syndication formats, cross domain policy, and data binding in XAML. 

    3:50 – Wrapup, Evals, and Giveaways

    Geek Gatherings

    Albany Pump Station

    It's always nice to unwind after a Roadshow, and we'd love to chat with other developers in the community, we're looking at our options for informal gatherings at local brewpubs and the like after each event (except Rochester, which will need to be the night before on 12/1).

    Let us know if you have the "perfect place" to be social (and my personal preference, has good beer) in your city and we'll help get the word out! 


    A huge thanks goes to the companies and organizations who volunteer their space for the Roadshow visits!

    This time, we return to two venues that have been great hosts for previous Roadshows.  In Rochester, NY, we again descend upon Rochester Institute of Technology's Golisano Auditorium.  In Burlington, VT (well, Williston, actually), we return to Vermont Technical College.

    In the Albany, NY area, Autotask has graciously offered their meeting facilities for the event. 

    Last, but by no means least, thanks to great support by the developer community in Maine (and a 100% packed room last time!), we're running the Roadshow in the much larger Florian Auditorium at the Central Maine Commerce Center.

    Every Roadshow we do quite honestly is a blast for us (well, once we're ready and out on the road,) and we hope you'll enjoy it too. 

    We’ll see you soon!


  • Chris Bowen's Blog

    Announcing New England Code Camp 13!


    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

    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 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 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 Bowen's Blog

    Take the Rock Paper Azure Challenge


    RockPaperAzure Challenge

    The Rock Paper Azure Challenge gets underway today!  It’s a chance to prove your coding skills as bots you develop battle it out in a cloud-based game of “Rock, Paper, Scissors” (with added twists – dynamite and water balloons).

    Though topping the leaderboard will earn you bragging rights, there are prizes for the weekly tournaments (run each Friday) as well.

    RockPaperAzure ChallengeHow do you get started?

    1. Get the (free) tools, game code, and trial Windows Azure account
    2. Build your bot – the strategy is up to you (some helpful tips)
    3. Test and deploy your bot
    4. Enter your bot in the Challenge

    There are weekly webcasts to help - “Getting Started” on Tuesdays, and “Tips and Tricks” on Fridays.

    Details are on the Rock Paper Azure Challenge site.

    Good luck!


  • Chris Bowen's Blog

    2008 Winter Northeast Roadshow - Resources and Summary


    The Winter Northeast Roadshow series has run its course!  Jim and I traveled about 2,000 miles to deliver seven events for nearly 600 people across the Northeast, and had a great time bringing developer technology and practices to you.

    Northeast RoadshowThe Goods

    As promised, we're posting the content and resources from each of our sessions. 

    Look for the content from Jim's sessions, "Windows Workflow Steals the Show" and "Adventures in Data with Silverlight, WCF REST, and ADO.NET Data Services" on his blog.

    SESSION: "Tech Update"


    SESSION: "ASP.NET AJAX 3.5 and jQuery"

    Slides & Demos

    Albany, NYResources

    SESSION: "Deeper into Windows Presentation Foundation"

    Demos  (no slides used)


    SESSION: "Lunch in the Lab - A Look at Microsoft Research"


    Nashua, NHResources

    Thank You!

    Thanks to everyone who invested the time to join us for these events.  Special thanks to the each of the following companies and organizations who helped us along the way:

    We couldn't have delivered the Roadshow without your fantastic support!

    Next Time

    We're going into hibernation for a little while to reacquaint ourselves with family and friends, but early 2009 will see many events, including our Spring Roadshow, likely in the later February into March timeframe.

    Keep an eye on our blogs and sign up for MSDN Flash to hear updates on that and other events as they emerge.

    Thanks again, and we'll see you again on the road!


  • Chris Bowen's Blog

    Silverlight Announcements - 1.0 Live, Linux support


    Some fantastic news out this week.  Silverlight 1.0 is now live!

    If that weren't enough, we've announced a formal partnership with Novell to bring Silverlight to Linux distributions via the project known as Moonlight.

    There's no point in adding more detail here, just don't miss reading these two posts to get the perspectives from Microsoft and Novell:

    Certainly, this will make ReMix07 Boston all the more interesting to attend!



    Technorati tags:
  • Chris Bowen's Blog

    CTDOTNET Hartford Code Camp 2 Registration Open


    CTDOTNET-NewCode Camps are a great (and free) way to spend a day learning and connecting with area developers, and the second Hartford, CT area camp is coming on June 13th from 9 AM to 5:30 PM in Bloomfield, CT.

    The CTDOTNET Hartford Code Camp 2 already has a wide variety of sessions planned by about 30 speakers, and the day will also feature a Career Fair, with mini-sessions on career related topics.

    Registration Now Open

    Register today (it’s free) by visiting

    You Can Help!

    Code Camps rely on volunteer speakers as well as contributions from supporting companies, and the Call for Speakers and Call for Sponsors are both still open.

    For details on how you can help, see


    Thanks to SB Chatterjee (MVP and leader of the CT .NET User Group) and other volunteers for doing a great job organizing what is shaping up to be another excellent camp in the Hartford area!


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