This month has been a blast so far as I've been on a whirlwind tour of area user groups supporting the VS 2008 Professional installfests. To thank loyal user group attendees, Microsoft has been giving them free licenses for Visual Studio 2008 Professional. We've had installfests in Stamford, CT, Iselin, NJ, Melville, LI, Parsippany, NJ, and East Windsor, NJ. Now there's only one more left.... but it's the largest group in our area: The NYC .NET Developers group.
It all kicked off December 4th up in Stamford, CT. The Fairfield/Westchester .NET group had a most excellent presentation by John Zablocki from webroyalty.com. John covered the Castle project and web development with MonoRail and ActiveRecord. It was a great talk on a technology popular in the Alt.NET community.
On December 6th, the folks at the NJ MS Developers group were treated to a presentation on Biz Talk 2006 by Brian Mallon from Microsoft. Special thanks to Sonya Zidek for making sure the install-fest went off without a hitch! I couldn't be in Iselin that night, because I was at the Long Island .NET users group which met out in Melville, NY at the same time.
Out on the island, David Laribee and Raymond Lewallen schooled the crowd on Ping Pong Pair Programming. It was a great session that really brought the concepts of Test Driven Development and Pair Programming home. Also on display were a bunch of add-on developer tools for Visual Studio, including Re-Sharper, Rhino Mocks, and Test Driven.NET.
On December 11th, the folks at N3UG met in Parsippany, NJ. It was a sell out crowd with over 65 people. The folks at Set Focus who host the meeting had to open not one, but TWO overflow rooms for the main presentation! For the main presentation, Josh Smith from Infragistics came out from New York to give folks a great lesson on the Windows Presentation Foundation (WPF). Before re-joining Infragistics, Josh worked on supporting what I think is one of the coolest WPF applications out there: The New York Times Reader.
On Thursday, December 13th, the show went on at the Central Jersey .NET user group in East Windsor despite the threat of the first snow storm of the season. (After all the huffing and puffing on local TV about the snow, there was only rain down in Mercer County!) It was a full house at the Infragistics office as folks were excited to get their hands on VS 2008. But the place was captivated by an excellent WPF session given by Walt Ritscher from Wintellect. The Central Jersey folks were lucky that Walt was in town this week from Poulsbo, Wa (a hop, skip, and a ferry ride away from Seattle) to teach one of Wintellect's awesome WPF classes. He generously agreed to spend the night with user group versus being holed up in his hotel room on a cold rainy night. Thanks Walt!
If you've missed these install fests in our area, be sure to register for the one in New York on Thursday, December 20th. Don't be late as there is a limited supply of VS 2008 licenses which will be distributed on a first come-first served basis!