techdays_logo_container_msdn Are you ready for a GeekFest?  We’re pulling out all the stops to make the next MSDN event a memorable one!  MSDN TechDays is a three-day geek-out covering a variety of topics for ITPros, Developers and Architects.  We’re holding the first ever MSDN TechDays on November 18-20 at the Dallas Convention Center.  Here’s an overview of the topics, and some links where you can register to attend.

PLEASE NOTE that each day is considered a separate event.  Make sure you register for ALL the sessions you plan to attend as registering for only one event does not mean you’re registered for all the event.

TUESDAY

The agenda on Tuesday features presentations from our local community influencers.  The focus of this day is around maximizing your investment in today’s Smart Client technologies.  With WPF/Winforms integration and application deployment plus details on building mobile applications, we’ll show you how to further refine your skills and make you a more productive developer.

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Topic #1: Take your User Experience to the Next Level

Want to add some “cool” to your WinForms?  Do people laugh at your GUI?  Then come to this session where we will show how to use WPF with your current applications.  Whether you’re just adding a new WPF form or using WPF components inside your existing forms we have the solution for you!  In this session you will learn how to turn that plain looking interface into something amazing.

Topic #2: Taking the Pain Out of Deployment

You've built the coolest client application ever. Now you come to that dreaded moment in every client application's lifetime: deployment. And then, once it's deployed, how do you keep it updated with the most current version? Have no fear, these aren't the nightmares of yesteryear. You'll learn how you can deploy today's .NET applications and keep them up to date using Click-Once. You'll also see how XAML Browser Applications (XBAPs) give you the best of rich client applications with the deployment ease of a web application.

Topic #3: Programming for the Computer in Your Pocket

The average cell phone has 400 times the processing power, 8,000 times the storage, and 1,280 times the connected bandwidth of the first computers we started using for business.  But today we’re still struggling to get email on them all (something that was perfected with FidoNet back in 1984.)  Come learn how you can leverage the processing power, storage, and more importantly, connectivity that most people carry around with them every day in the modern world to expand the reach of your programs, systems, and businesses.

Wednesday

The plan for Wednesday features our traditional MSDN event with MSDN quality content.  Our focus is on balancing today’s capabilities with future technologies.  As always, our goal is to help make you a better developer using our most popular technologies.

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Topic# 1: What’s New in SQL Server 2008 for Developers

SQL Server 2008 adds numerous new capabilities for developers – from support for Spatial Data types to a storage mechanism for SQL BLOB data using the NTFS file system, and much, much more. The new release also delivers several improvements to development-related areas, from T-SQL to SQLCLR to XML. This presentation will provide a technical dive into the latest and greatest features you’ll find in SQL Server 2008, while offering insight into how to effectively apply them to your upcoming development projects.

Topic # 2: Power up your Office applications with VSTO

In this presentation, we’ll focus on the power and productivity of Visual Studio Tools for the Microsoft Office System (VSTO) – a .NET Smart Client technology. We’ll give you tips and tricks for designing and building smart client applications with VSTO, which allows you to create managed code applications with .NET languages including Microsoft Visual Basic .NET and Visual C#. VSTO also makes it simple to manifest the functionality of those applications in the rich user interfaces of Microsoft Office Excel, Word, PowerPoint, Visio, Outlook and others from the Office stack. VSTO addresses some of the biggest challenges that Office solution developers are facing today, including separation of data and view elements, server-side and offline scenarios, seamless integration with the Visual Studio tools, deployment and updating. Join us for this eye-opening session and learn just how easy it is to build and deploy powerful applications with VSTO.

Topic # 3: Build next generation applications with Silverlight 2.0

Silverlight provides a powerful platform for building the next generation of rich interactive applications on the Internet. In this session, we’ll take a look at the programming model and tools that developers and designers can leverage to build these true next generation experiences for consumers and business, and demonstrate how to build a rich interactive application (RIA) using Silverlight and Microsoft .NET. We’ll explore how to use Microsoft Visual Studio to create applications, and how to create UI using XAML markup and code, controls, and File I/O. We’ll also discuss networking, how to retrieve data from a Web service, and various other aspects of building Silverlight applications.

Thursday

Thursday is the day devoted to the Architect community where we focus on some of the softer skills that architects need to have, regardless of the technology they are using. These skills and tools will help you become a better professional, and give you some insight into what an architect’s role is on a project.

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Topic # 1: Architecting your Career – Patterns for Architects in the Job

In this presentation we will discuss some of the skills and patterns you need to use to become a good architect. We will cover how to talk with humans, how to learn about the business you support, and how to hire the right people for your team.

Topic #2: Architecting your Software – Common patterns you should use everyday

In this discussion we will talk about common patterns that we sometimes use without knowing. Learn when to use these patterns, and how to teach them to your team. For example, we will cover the Single Responsibility Pattern, and why it is important.

We’ll also be hosting an Open Spaces room where anyone will be able to post a topic that they’d like to hear about, talk about or discuss.  Open Spaces are a fun and interesting way to discuss technology and I know with PDC just having been complete, there will be plenty of interesting things for us to talk about.

So – be sure to mark your calendars now for MSDN TechDays, Nov 18-20 at the Dallas Convention Center.  Stay tuned to this blog for information about TechDays and more!