Enter your email address:

Delivered by FeedBurner

So what happened at PDC?


What happened at PDC do you ask? Lots of stuff. We are shipping more bits now than we ever have. First, watch this slide deck we have put together that is a quick lap around the PDC and find out what makes you smile.

And then you can go to www.microsoftpdc.com/videos to watch all of the sessions, and drill deep into each topic. This will give you something to do on your Zune while travelling over the river and through the hills to grandmothers house this holiday.

I want to thank the Findlay .NET UG and the Knoxville .NET UG for hosting me, and for everyone coming out to the meetings.

I also want to thank Kevin Grossnicklaus. He was the first to put a deck together,and he shared it with us to save work. Mike Wood also helped by making sure we hit all the top points, and polished up my shoddy hack job on Kevin’s deck.

DogFood II is in the bag!

Labels: , ,

Wow! A year has come and gone and the second annual DogFood conference is done. We had 19 partners come together to put on a two day event for customers in Columbus, Ohio. We had attendees from four hours away! There were over 45 sessions. I was able to deliver a talk on using Azure.

There were 400 attendees over the two days, and I think everyone had a lot of fun, and learned a lot.

I want to thank everyone who came to my session, and please connect with me if you have more questions about Azure.

The slides are here:

Dog Food Conference v2 registration is open


This is the second year for the dog food conference, brain child of Danilo Casino. It is a local event, put on by MS and our partners. This year we have two full days, with four tracks. We have both local MS employees, as well as some blue badges coming in from out of state. Many of the presenters are local rock stars that work for our partners. This event is free (unless you are in pubsec, then you have to pay for your food).

It was a great event last year, and I hope to see you there.

Since the event is two days, we have two registration links. Please bear with us, it’s just how the machine works.

The reg links:

Thursday Registration Link

Friday Registration Link

· **Attendees must register for each day separately**


· Please join us for the 2nd Annual Dog Food Conference.  We will have MS speakers, MS partners, ISVs, MS MVPs and community leads presenting 40 topics. The story behind “Eating one’s own Dog Food”


· November 12-13, 2009; Attendees must sign up for both days separately


· 8800 Lyra Dr. Columbus, OH 43240.  Sessions will be on Floor 3, 4 and 5


· See the overviews and roadmaps for MS applications, knowledge transfer with your peers and meet with MS Partners and User Group leads.

Thursday, November 12, 2009: Topic List View



· SharePoint Road Map

· SharePoint Governance

· KnowledgeLake: Document Imaging and Capture for SharePoint

· Exchange 2010 Overview

· Dynamics XRM

Core Infrastructure Optimization:

· MS Support Lifecycle

· Windows Mobile

· Windows 7

Development, Application Lifecycle Management:

· TFS: Process template

· Test Driven Development


· F#

Data Platform:

· SQL 2008 R2 Overview

Project Management & Business Intelligence:

· Performance Point Services

· Project Server Overview

· Project Portfolio Server

· Sketch Flow


Friday: November 13, 2009: Topic List View


· Office Communication Server

Infrastructure Optimization:

· SCCM R3: Desktop Power Management

· Server 2008 R2, Hyper V

· Application and Desktop Virtualization


· Windows 7 Lunch & Learn

· MS Support Lifecycle

Application Platform, Cloud Services:

· SilverLight Overview

· F# Overview

· BizTalk 2009 & SOA

· COBOL & mainframe apps on the Windows Platform

· Silverlight, Rich Internet Applications

· Bing Maps

· Windows Azure


· RSA Data Loss Prevention Suite

· Writing Secure Code

· Forefront Identity Manager

· Forefront Unified Access Gateway

· Forefront Threat Management Gateway

· Forefront Client Security

Application Lifecycle Management

· TFS 2010

· Implementing Scrum with TFS



Thanks to all the sponsors; Dog Food II would not happen without your support

Cardinal Solutions

Sophic Group


Quick Solutions







Mimosa Systems

Strategic Data Systems, INC.



T3 Technologies





DeVry University

nPlus1.org will hold ArcSummit in Chicago

Labels: , ,

Details on the event is below:
When: December 7, 2009
Microsoft MTC - Aon Center
200 E. Randolph
Suite 200
Chicago, IL 60601
United States

Recommended Audiences: Solution Architects, Software Developers, Developers, Architects
nPlus1.org is hosting its fifth Architecture Summit on December 7th at the Microsoft MTC in Chicago, IL. The topic of this summit will be Patterns and Principles.

Morning Session (Optional): An Introduction to Object Oriented Programming
10:00 AM - 12:00 PM
Are you new to OOP? Do you want a refresher on the benefits of Interfaces and the differences between implements and extends? The morning session is a two hour introductory course of Object Oriented Programming. If you are new to OOP the lessons in this session will prepare you for the more advanced topics in the afternoon.
If you are already well versed in OOP then feel free to come have a refresher, or simply join us for lunch and the advanced sessions in the afternoon. The morning session is completely optional.

Afternoon sessions:
Session One: Software Patterns
Patterns are an important tool to use as architects and developers. They provide a common vocabulary for us to design with, as well as a common approach to a common problem. Come learn about useful patterns, and how to use them in your everyday code.

Session Two: How I Learned To Love Dependency Injection
Dependency Injection is one of those scary topics that most developers avoid. It sounds all ‘high-falootin’ and complex. It’s not. Really. We wouldn’t lie. It’s a great way to manage complexity in your system, and a great way to make your system so much more testable. And isn’t that what we all want?
Each session will be followed by open discussions periods.
A catered lunch will be provided starting at noon. This will divide the morning introductory sessions from the advanced sessions. Register once for all session and choose to attend the morning, the afternoon or both! Lunch is provided for attendees for any of the sessions.

About nPlus1.org (http://www.nplus1.org)

nPlus1.org is a site dedicated to helping Architects, aspiring Architects and Lead Developers learn, connect and contribute. At nplu1.org you have access to great first party content written by some of the most skilled and experienced Architects working today. You also have access to a nexus of content from around the Internet aimed at keeping Architects up to date on all the new developments in their fields of interest.

PSR will rescue your Thanksgiving!

Labels: ,

PSR stands for Problem Step Recorder, and is a tool that ships in Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2. It was designed to help support professionals have users record the steps of their problem so they can see what is going on. It fixes the ‘See the big blue ball in the lower left-hand corner?’ problem. While we have remote connection capabilities, and screen recorders, those can be hard to setup for a typical user, and takes too long to show something simple. PSR is really lightweight and helps with the initial triaging of the problem.

And let’s face it, if you are reading this you are probably the IT Support team for your family. You are probably feeling a lot of angst about the upcoming holidays, especially Thanksgiving, which is the one holiday you are forced to hang around with people you actively avoid on Twitter and Facebook. You are not alone, we all feel like this. In the 50’s it was everyone asking the family member who was a physician about medical questions all day. Now it’s us.

What is RAM? How do I replace the smoke that came out of my computer? Which side is up on this new blank paper?

Do not let another Thanksgiving go to waste by being cornered by all the needy humans in your family that need help with their computers, or home networks, or home made scale models of the death star in their backyard. Keep in mind that help with Xbox achievements are perfectly acceptable, and provide a way to dodge all of the other requests..

To start PSR, click on the start menu, and type PSR in the search box. Done. When you start it you will see a little bar popup. Just tell the user to click the record button, and reproduce the problem.


Once the problem has been reproduced, they should click the stop button. This will ask them where to save the file (perhaps the desktop in this case so it is easily found again.) PSR creates a static HTML file with everything embedded, all in one file. No mess of directories with pictures and text scattered everywhere, since that would be brittle. Have the user email or IM you the file.

From there you will see a step by step document on what the user was doing, with built in highlights to see what they were clicking or typing.


While this was developed with the intention of helping IT Support get a better picture of how a user was breaking something, think of all the other uses. You could use it to easily generate documentation for your application, or document how policies should be implemented.

I just used it the other day to explain how to mark an assembly as ‘copy local’. It was a lot easier to send this small html file that it was to describe it in words in an email. The friend I was helping ‘got it’ immediately, and helped them get on with what they were doing.

You should try out PSR yourself and see how it works. I really love small, light, and easy to use solutions to problems that we all have. PSR gets my “Utility that is automatically included in Windows” award of the year. The runner up is the Snipping Tool, which was shipped in Vista.

Note: I love my family, and everyone in it, and I love helping them with technology, and talking about it. This whole post is all in jest. Enjoy your turkey day.

Windows 7 at HDC

Labels: ,

I was at the HDC this past week in Omaha, NE. I had a blast! It was a great conference, and I got to speak with a lot of the local developers. People were really excited about the pending launch of Windoes 7 and the keynote from Scott Guthrie on the new VS2010 build. I interviewed a bunch of people on what their favorite Windoes 7 feature is. There is one surprising guest half way through.

Thanks to David Giard who was the wizard who edited the video. You should check out his blog, and his webcast. It's a great show.

IronRuby & IronPython CTPs for VS2010 beta 2

Labels: ,

I have a lot of friends who really like to work in Python and Ruby, so I thought I would pass this announcement on. If you are into Python and Ruby, you might want to check out www.codemash.org, a great event I help with coming up in January.

Today we announced the release of the IronRuby and IronPython CTPs for .NET 4.0 Beta 2. This is the third preview of IronRuby and IronPython running under the Dynamic Language Runtime that is built directly into .NET 4.0. As before, this release allows you to use IronRuby objects and types as .NET 4.0 dynamic objects from within C# and Visual Basic code. These binaries are roughly equivalent to the functionality found in IronRuby 0.9 and IronPython 2.6. Take a look at Harry Pierson’s blog post about this release as well, especially if you’re more into snakes than gemstones.


Try it out

To try out this release:

· Install NET 4.0 Beta 2 or Visual Studio 2010 Beta 2

· Download either IronRuby or IronPython

· Follow any of the many dynamic walkthroughs online. This would be a good start.


Build from source

To build IronPython or IronRuby for .NET 4.0 Beta 2 from source, get the sources from:

· IronPython: CodePlex

· IronRuby: GitHub (direct download)

Note: use the "v4" build configurations.

Quick download links: IronRuby | IronPython | .NET 4.0 Beta 2 | Announcement

VS2010 SKUs simplified

Labels: ,

We have been trying to simplify our product lineup and skus over the past few years for all of our products. Customers want it to be simpler. I have bought software before, and in comparison we have some of the simplest licensing, but we can always do better. Windows 7 has fewer skus, and now VS2010 does as well. Having different skus is important, but the trick is to have the right number.

Too much choice leads to consumer confusion and dissatisfaction. Studies have shown that too many choices leads to a dissatisfied customer. Let’s say you go into a store and there are 100 different types of jeans on sale. You spend some time, pick the ones you like and bring them home (preferably after paying for them.) You will be ok with your selection, but not really happy. You will always have the doubt in your head as to the question if you actually picked the right pair. Perhaps the one with the super special boot leg cut would have been better looking with my sandals. Now that I have you fretting about the jeans you are wearing, lets return to why we are all here.

For VS2010 we have reduced it to three skus. There is still VS Express, but that is free, so it isn’t really a sku, and doesn’t count. (I was going to make a zero reference but Mike Neel is sick of those jokes, and he was kind enough to send me a free token to his new game, which rocks!)

The skus are: (official feature breakdown here)

· Microsoft Visual Studio 2010 Professional (MSDN optional): the essential tool for professional development tasks to assist developers in implementing their ideas easily. The basic tool set. If you get MSDN you get time on Azure, and the server products. Also includes TFS and a CAL, and basic unit testing. Nice!

· Microsoft Visual Studio 2010 Premium with MSDN: a complete toolset for developers to deliver scalable, high quality applications. All of the above, plus: better testing tools, database dev tools, super debug features, and some architecture stuff. You also get Visio, Project, Office, and Expression Studio for production use. Score!

· Microsoft Visual Studio 2010 Ultimate with MSDN: the comprehensive suite of application lifecycle management tools for software teams to ensure quality results from design to deployment. Of course all of the above, plus: Wicked architecture tools, and the new lab management infrastructure. Have you seen this? Crazy! This is the full fire hose. Once you see the fullness, you won’t be able to go back. If you are at a lower level, we have a deal that will give you a discount on upgrading to a higher level.


Hopefully this will make it easier to figure out which version you need. There is a plan in place for people with VS2008 to figure out which version they get when they upgrade or renew their MSDN subscription. Please keep an eye for those details. The MSDN site and program has been upgraded, with some new benefits that will be rolled out over the coming months.

Visual Studio 2010 Beta 2 is released

Labels: ,

VS2010 beta 2 has been released. Go get it now. It comes with a go live license, so you can use it in production, and we will support it. You need to understand that it is still a beta though. The RTM date is March 22, 2010, so if you have a project that is going live around then, it might be best to build it with the beta than building it with VS2008. We have committed that there will be a smooth upgrade path from beta2 to RTM so you don’t have to worry about the proper retention of source code, and work items.placeholder_for_vid[1]

I plan on posting some unboxing videos soon, but I wanted to hit some of the top features (at least that I think are my favorite features).

  • TFS is now much easier to install. You can install on Windows 7, on a desktop PC, and with SQL Express. It takes about 20 minutes now.
  • There is a new basic profile with TFS that installs the core features, making it super easy to get source control and work item tracking up and running for your team.
  • There is a new code only profile in the VS editor. When enabled, all the toolboxes, designers, and properties windows are removed. Just you and your code. Love it!
  • Support for TDD. Intellisense now figures our what you are doing when you refer to a class or method that doesn’t exist yet, and helps you write that test first! Yeah!
  • Historical Debugging lets you wind the clock back, and see what happened.
  • Integrate UML modeling. This isn’t your fathers UML. The diagrams are dynamically generated. Think UML for as built, not UML design docs. The diagrams are interactive, letting you set breakpoints and debugging through them, and you can navigate your code with them. This is great when you inherit a strange codebase.
  • Multimonitor support.

It does safely work side by side VS2008, so you can download it and try it without worrying about anything.

Local Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2 Launch Events

Labels: , ,

We have just wrapped up the first Windows 7 launch tour. We hit all of the major cities. Now that we have brushed the dust from our boots, we are heading back out and doubling back to hit more local cities. If you weren’t able to make it to one of the big launches you should sign up to make it to one of these local launches. There will be some cool prizes as well. I will be speaking at the Nashville event (Franklin, TN), and the Columbus event. I hope to see you there.

From the official invite…



TechNet & MSDN Events Present:

Highlights from “the New Efficiency” Launch

Join us as we explore how Windows® 7, Windows Server® 2008 R2 and

Exchange Server® 2010 deliver on the new efficiency where cost savings, productivity and innovations come together. At this free event we’ll cover the “best of” content and deliver highlights from “the New Efficiency” Launch events taking place nationwide.

ATTEND this special event and learn about these exciting new products and discover how:

· Windows 7 simplifies everyday tasks, improves productivity and works the way you want. 

· Windows Server 2008 R2 delivers new functionality and powerful improvements to the core Windows Server operating system to help organizations increase control, availability, and flexibility for their changing business needs.

· Exchange Server 2010 achieves new levels of reliability, reduces cost and drives productivity.

TechNet Events Presents >
8:30 am - 12:00 pm

· Introducing Windows 7

· Introduction to Windows Server 2008 R2

· Introducing Exchange Server 2010



Louisville, KY


Mason, OH


Columbus, OH


Franklin, TN



MSDN Events Presents >

1:00 pm - 4:30 pm

· Taking Your Application to the Next Level with Windows 7

· Light up Your Application with Graphics, Multi-touch and Ribbon on Windows 7

· What’s new and changed in Windows Server 2008 R2



Louisville, KY


Mason, OH


Columbus, OH


Franklin, TN


Register and attend for your chance to WIN!

Ø Netbook! Dell Mini 10 - US $329.00 (ARV) Approximate Retail Value

Ø Zune! – Zune HD - US $289.00 (ARV)

Ø Games! “Halo 3 ODST” for XBOX 360 US $59.99 (ARV)

Ø Books!

- Windows 7 Inside Out US $49.99 (ARV) - TechNet

- Introducing Windows 7 for Developers US $39.99 (ARV) – MSDN

*No Purchase Necessary. Open only to registered event attendees. Game ends day of event. Must be present to win. For full Official Rules, see event registration desk.

The Terrific Toub Tour Trip

Labels: ,

Stephen Toub is on the Parallel Computing Platform team at Microsoft. Jennifer has convinced him to spend a week on the road in Michigan, Ohio, Kentucky, and Tennessee, speaking to customers and visiting user groups. See her blog for more details on the tour.

He will cover concurrency and tools for how to easily develop parallel solutions. This will be an important part of the framework going forward because of the many core problem. As the number of cores in CPUs increase, we will start to have issues with concurrency. We will also want to write code that leverages that hardware. BUT, writing multithreaded code is very difficult, and is insanely hard to debug. Microsoft’s challenge is to provide a framework as part of the platform to make it easy for developers to build parallel applications, with a great degree of quality and productivity.

The official abstract and bio is below. 


Mon 10/26,
Microsoft office
2555 Meridian Blvd, Suite 300
Franklin, TN 37067

Mon 10/26, 6:30-8:30pm
Microsoft office
2555 Meridian Blvd, Suite 300
Franklin, TN 37067

Tues 10/27,
University of Louisville Campus
J.B. Speed Hall, Room 100
No registration required.

Wed 10/28,
Microsoft office
4605 Duke Dr, Suite 800, Mason, OH 45040-9410

Wed 10/28,
MAX Technical Training
4900 Parkway Dr, Suite 160
Mason, OH 45040

Thurs 10/29, 9-11am
Microsoft office, Park Center III, Third Floor, 6050 Oak Tree Blvd S, Independence, OH 44131 

Thurs 10/29, 6:30-8:30pm
Sogeti office at Beacon Place Conference Center
6055 Rockside Woods Blvd, lower level
Independence, OH 44131
To register, please send an email to sam@clevelanddotnet.info with "RSVP" in the subject line.

Fri 10/30,
Microsoft office,
Southfield Town Center, 1000 Town Center Dr., Suite 1930
Southfield, MI 48075

Parallel Computing with Visual Studio 2010 and the .NET Framework 4

With the .NET Framework today, correctly introducing concurrency and parallelism into libraries and applications is difficult, time consuming, and error-prone. However, as the hardware industry shifts towards multi-core and manycore processors, the key to high-performance applications is parallelism. The .NET Framework 4 and Visual Studio 2010 offer solutions to help make coding, debugging, and profiling concurrent applications significantly easier. In this talk, we’ll examine Parallel LINQ-to-Objects (PLINQ), the Task Parallel Library (TPL), new coordination and synchronization types, and Visual Studio tooling support in order to provide a look at the next generation of parallel programming with .NET.

Stephen Toub is a Senior Program Manager Lead on the Parallel Computing Platform team at Microsoft, where he spends his days focusing on the next generation of programming models and runtimes for concurrency, parallelism, and asynchrony. Stephen is also a Contributing Editor for MSDN® Magazine, for which he writes the .NET Matters column, and he’s an avid speaker at conferences like  PDC, TechEd, and DevConnections. Prior to working on the Parallel Computing Platform, Stephen designed and built enterprise applications for companies such as GE, McGraw-Hill, BankOne, and JetBlue. He was a developer for Microsoft Outlook as well as for the Microsoft Office Solution Accelerators.

“Azure in Action” with Chris Hay

Labels: ,

For some time now I have been working on a book with Chris Hay titled “Azure in Action”. The book will be published by Manning, hopefully around March 2010. We only have a few more chapters to write, and then we start the long editorial process. But I know many of you can not wait until March to get the book.

hay_cover150[1] This is where the MEAP comes in. MEAP stands for Manning Early Access Program, and it allows readers to read the first chapter for free, or buy the book now. If you buy the book early you get access to the draft chapters as they are written, and get access to an authors forum to provide us feedback on the book, and get questions answered.

I was in the middle of writing another book for Manning when I mentioned that I was surprised they didn’t have a dedicated book for each part of the Windows Azure Platform. Later I found out this simple little comment set off a flurry (well, maybe a passel) of activity in setting up the other books in the series, and finding the write authors. They had arranged for Chris Hay to write the Azure book, and he was kind enough to invite me to help him write it.

It has been a blast (but a lot of work) so far, and I can’t wait to see it on paper.

There are currently three chapters online now, and we are close to releasing a new set of chapters. If you are interested in Azure, this may be the book for you.

ARCast.TV - Caleb Jenkins On Dependency Injection

Labels: ,

ARCastLogo_thumb[1]I caught up with Caleb Jenkins at the MVP summit. We commandeered a conference room, and talked about how all developers need to care about architecture. Developers should think of architecture at the code level and the benefits of Dependency Injection.


ARCast.TV - Caleb Jenkins On Dependency Injection

Article Published in Perspectives on IASA Magazine

Labels: ,

A while ago I wrote a quick article titled “Three Scenarios: When the Cloud Makes Sense”. The article goes into three core scenarios where cloud computing make sense. Not everything should be run in the cloud, and I wanted highlight a few times when it is a clear win to do so.

image_gallery[1] The role of the person making strategic decisions (lead dev, architect, or IT manager) is to look at their portfolio and decide what system benefits from moving some or all of it to the cloud. The benefit could be a cost savings, reduction in management overhead, or enabling a use of the software that wasn’t possible in the limited on-premises data centers we have.

Please check out the article.

Real World Azure Road Show web cast

Labels: , ,

We recently wrapped up a 17 city road show covering real work experiences with Azure. We had both an IT Pro session, and a developer session. While we were in Nashville we webcasted the event. If you weren’t able to get to one of the events, now is your chance to see the recordings. We cover the architecture, and development of solutions running on Azure, as well as how to manage and provisions the solutions. Just because the app is running in the cloud doesn’t mean it doesn’t need to be managed. You just aren’t spending as much time managing the underlying infrastructure.

You can replay the videos, or download them for offline viewing. The IT Pro one has also been published to TechNet here.

TechNet Events Presents: Real World Azure



MSDN Events Presents: Real World Azure - Live Meeting


Windows 7 Under the Hood Talk

Labels: ,

I have been really impressed with Windows 7 since the early internal builds I was allowed to use. I am still constantly amazed how a new version of a product (of any product from any company) can have more features, have a larger kernel, support more hardware, and be faster, lighter, and easier to use. I don’t think that has every happened before.

I decided, just for fun, that I wanted to learn why this is the case. Did we remove some long forgotten sleep loop in the kernel? Or did we just delete all of the verbose comments and validation checks?

It turns out it was none of those things. And so I set out to put together a talk on the subject. I just think the internals is very interesting, and insight into how things work can make troubleshooting easier.

While I do put a lot of time into preparing a new talk (60-80 hours), I still like to beta test a talk with a smaller, intimate audience. David Giard provided me with such an audience with his internal user group at Sogeti in Michigan. During the Real World Azure Roadshow, he invited in to try out my talk. I figured, worst case was I could just leave town if it didn’t go well.

I think it went fairly well for a maiden cruise. I have a lot of polish to add. After the meeting, he invited me on his Technology and Friends webcast. He has published the episode, and you should go check it out.

Dave has invented a new drinking game. Every time I use a metaphor in a talk, you have to take a drink. Don’t blame me, he thought it up. That is what the reference is to when he grabs my water for a sip near the end.


CINNUG is hosting an ASP.NET MVC Firestarter

Labels: , ,

Just a quick post in case you are interested. CINNUG has been doing a series of special events. This one is a firestarter on ASP.NET MVC. Firestarters are great for getting up to speed on a technology you don’t know anything about. You can walk in the door knowing nothing about MVC, and walk out with a good grasp.

From their announcement:

CINNUG is hosting an ASP.NET MVC Firestarter event on Saturday, Oct. 17th at the MS office in Mason, OH (near Cincinnati).  I was hoping that the people on this list that believe this could be a good event would please publicize the event on their blogs and/or tweet about it.  This will be the third firestarter event that CINNUG has put on and the previous two have been successful with some people coming in from TN and MI to attend these one day, focused events. 

Registration Link: https://www.clicktoattend.com/invitation.aspx?code=140750


If you know nothing about ASP.NET MVC, then this event is for you.  It’s a “from the ground up” look at how to get started with this alternative to ASP.NET Webform development.  We'll be covering a number of topics including

  • Intro to ASP.NET MVC
  • Intro to Testing ASP.NET MVC
  • Intro to JQuery
  • Intro to ASP.NET MVC on Azure
  • Panel Discussion: Web Forms vs ASP.NET MVC

Another Event: WinMoDevCamp

Labels: ,

My buddy Jon Box will be presenting at the WinMoDevCamp in Memphis. The event is on 9/29 from 6p to 8p, which is next Tuesday.

From the announcement:

We're really excited to announce a barcamp style event, called WinMoDevCamp, for the upcoming Microsoft Windows Mobile 6.5 OS! The event inspired by BarCamp, SuperHappyDevHouse, and MacHack, iPhoneDevCamp and préDevCamp to develop applications (local and web based) for mobile devices that run the Windows Mobile 6.5 Operating System. Attendees will include mobile developers, web developers, .NET Developers, UI designers, and testers, all working together. Development projects will include both solo and team efforts. While some attendees will wish to work solo during the event, we encourage attendees to team up, based on expertise, to work in ad-hoc project development teams. All attendees should be prepared to work on a development project during the event. Attendees will be able to: Learn about the upcoming platform, the roadmap, and the launch program. Create new applications for the Windows Mobile Platform. Migrate existing mobile applications from the iPhone, Blackberry and Palm Pre to the Windows Mobile Platform Create applications to support Windows Enterprise Applications Learn about Race To Market Challenge, a contest for mobile developers where someone could earn fame and big prizes. Eat a good dinner. Bring your laptop, loaded with VS 2008, a Windows Mobile 6.1 SDK Refresh and Windows Mobile 6.5 DTK. Otherwise, follow along on a friend's laptop, or just listen along.

Event URL: http://mnug.net/blogs/news/archive/2009/09/09/next-meeting-tuesday-september-29-2009-6-00-pm.aspx

Event info on User Group Support Services: https://www.usergroupsupportservices.com/UGEventView.ugss?EventID=7671

Event: Top 5 Ways To Supercharge Your Custom SharePoint Solutions

Labels: ,

This event will feature the top 5 industry standard practices for creating and managing quality controlled custom solutions built on SharePoint.  If your organization has struggled with how to best implement a custom line of business applications in a predictable and structured process, this event is for you. 

During this session you’ll learn how Application Lifecycle Management tools and techniques can be applied to the process of creating custom web parts and other SharePoint additions.  These techniques will vastly improve the quality and predictability of all your custom line of business applications being delivered through SharePoint.





Southfield, MI

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Microsoft Office
1000 Town Center

Suite 1930
Southfield, MI 48075

Register Here

Dallas, TX

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Microsoft Office

7000 SR-161 (George Bush Turnpike)
Irving, TX 75039

Register Here

Minneapolis, MN

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Microsoft Office

8300 Norman Center Dr.

Suite 950
Bloomington, MN 55437

Register Here

Downers Grove, IL

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Microsoft Office

3025 Highland Pkwy.

Suite 300
Downers Grove, IL 60515

Register Here

Register now for the Software Engineering 101 Conference

Labels: ,

Jim Holmes has announced that his latest brain child conference is open for registration. Of course, registration is free.

So what is it? You don’t need to ask. If Jim is doing it, then it’s worth your time. Ok, if you don’t buy that, then how about a whole dedicated to learning how to better engineer software. All software, not just .NET stuff.

The event will be at the Microsoft office, near Polaris, in Columbus, Ohio.

Event Date:Wednesday, September 23, 2009
Time: 8:00 AM - 5:30 PM

Welcome Time:07:30 AM Eastern Time


Microsoft Corporation
8800 Lyra Dr.
Polaris Center, Suite 400
Columbus, OH 43240
Location Website



Time Session Speaker
8:15 – 8:20 Intro  
8:20 – 9:30 Principles of Object Oriented Programming  
9:35 – 10:45 SOLID Jon Kruger
11:00 – 11:15 Understanding Code Metrics Jim Holmes
11:20 – 12:30 Production Debugging Scott Walker
12:30 – 1:30 Lunch  
1:30 – 5:00 Hands on Test Driven Development Leon Gersing and others
5:00 – 5:15 Closing remarks  

Get all of the details over at Jim’s blog (which is where I stole the agenda table from), and register at http://is.gd/2wruN.

Presentation: 5 Frameworks you can’t live without

Labels: ,

While I was at devLink I presented a talk called "5 frameworks you can’t live without.” I wanted to talk to people about how to not be a plumber, and how to reduce the code you write to only what only someone like you can write. I also wanted to share some frameworks that I know a lot of people are using and having success with.

This deck is very unsophisticated, and it has a very interesting origination story. I will be happy to share it with anyone who buys me a drink. Big thanks to Mike Wood for helping me with it.

As a whole, devLink was a blast. It is always fun to attend it. If you didn’t get to go you should mark it on your calendar for next year.


Need some Azure training?


My good friend Wes Brock just let me know that Wintellect will be offering a 2 day training course on how to build applications for Azure for $499. The course will be delivered by Paul Mehner, online. This is great news, so you don’t have to travel to sit in on the class. The training will be on October 21-22, 2009.

The course will cover:

Section 1 - Introduction and Overview of the Azure Services Platform

· Intro to the Azure Services Platform

· Intro to Windows Azure Services

· Intro to .NET Services

· Intro to SQL Azure (future)

· Service Registration and setup

Section 2 - Windows Azure Services

· Visual Studio “Cloud Service” Projects

· Configuration of your Windows Azure application

· Deployment of your Windows Azure application

· Load Balancing Infrastructure

· Use of Azure with non-Microsoft technologies (future)

Lab 1a: Setup of your Windows Azure Account

Lab 1b: Develop and deploy your first Windows Azure Application

Section 3 - Microsoft .NET Azure Services and Windows Communication Foundation

· WCF Service Contracts

· WCF Bindings for Microsoft .NET Azure Services

· WCF Security for Microsoft .NET Azure Services

· Introduction to the Service Bus Environment

· Deployment of your Azure .NET Services

Lab 2a: Setup of your Azure .NET Services Account

Lab 2b: Develop and deploy your first Azure .NET Service

Section 4 - Microsoft .NET Service Bus

· Architecture

· Relay Service

· Integration with Access and Orchestration Services

· Service Name Resolution

· Service Registry and Discoverability

· Supported Protocols and Ports

· Support for QOS using WS-ReliableMessaging (*currently unsupported)

· Message Queuing

· Message Routing

Lab 3a: Develop and deploy your second Azure .NET Service

Lab 3b: Add queuing functionality

Lab 3c: Add routing functionality

Section 5 - Microsoft .NET Relay Service (part of .NET Services)

· Architecture

· WCF Relay Bindings

Section 6 - Understanding Identity and Claims-based Security

· Claims Based Security Intro

· Identity Providers

o Integrated

o Live

o Card Spaces

o X.509 Certificates

o Others

· Claims & Claim Transformations

Lab 6a: Modify your service application to make it “claims aware”

Lab 6b: Create Card Space cards for your application

Lab 6c: Create X509 certificate for your application

Section 7 – Securing Your Service with Microsoft Access Control Services

· Architecture of ACS

· Registration of Identity Providers

· Claim Transformations

Lab 7a: Establish an Identity Provider for your service application

Lab 7b: Create claim transformations to support your service application

Section 8 – Error Handling and Diagnostics

· Exceptions and Faults

· Impact of Exceptions on your service application

· Soap Faults

· Creating and throwing Faults

· Fault Declarations

· Unhandled exceptions and the Dispatcher

· Message Logging

· Event Logging

· Tracing

· Performance Counters

Lab 8a: Adding custom faults to your service application / processing service faults

Lab 8b: Add and interpret message logging and diagnostics from your service and sender applications

Community Leadership Summit Results


I want to thank everyone that came out to the Community Leadership Summit in Nashville. If you missed it, don’t worry. There will be another one around CodeMash time.

After the opening comments and lunch, we brain stormed a series of interesting conversations, and then scheduled them in a grid. Whomever came up with the session idea had to act as the proctor, and take notes. Each session lasted about 30 minutes. At the end of all of the sessions, each moderator presented the results of their session. Matt Hester recorded these summaries, and they should be available shortly. Until then, here are the notes. Unfortunately, I don’t have time to enter them into the local community wiki, so if someone wants to do handle that, that would be fabulous. Otherwise, I will try to get to in in October.

At this point I am just transcribing the notes. They are not complete. Many times I don’t know what the intention of the note is. If you know, please leave a comment here, or update the wiki (when that is working.)


Session One: Alternative Meeting Formats

  • Hands on meetings with the topic
  • Geek Dinner : meet out after the event for dinner. Everyone eats Dutch. Great way to socialize and network.
  • Fishbowl style: I know a lot of groups that meet this way. It is a great way to have a discussion about a topic and keep the conversation flowing.
  • Give tickets out for participation for the meeting prizes.
  • Code + Coffee : About 10 people show up before work at a local coffee shop to pair on some code they are interested in. No set topic. Bring some real code, a pet project, or just something you want to look at.
  • Virtual Meetings : Can’t find enough people in your area that are passionate about what you want to talk about? Start a virtual meeting. Using Facebook, Linked In, and services like Live Meeting or Oovoo, you can have your meeting no matter where people live.
  • Lightening Talks : A series of very short and targeted talks by a series of speakers. This is a great way to help new speakers get their foot in the door without a lot of stress and prep work.
  • Open Spaces / Community Courtyard : These are very popular, and most people are now familiar with the approach.

Session Two: Engaging the Open Source Community

  • The project needs a strong leader
  • A good project is easy to patch
  • Have your team adopt a project
  • Tool availability can be an issue
  • Popularity of a project
    • Presence
    • Need
    • Caretaking
    • Ease
    • Source included on install

Session Three: Growing user group membership

  • Membership drive
    • Have a minimum amount of new members for the big prize
  • Appropriate Venue
    • Size
    • Location
    • Perhaps multiple locations on different days
  • Meet the needs of the community
    • job
    • network
    • learn
  • Greet and include new members
  • Paid membership (need corp buy in)
  • Consistency
  • Use email to announce meetings
    • corporate
    • public service announcements
    • collect email of attendees
  • Flyers handed out about next months meeting
  • Golden rule: always have the next three meetings planned out
  • Bring a buddy, get first pick @ prizes

Session Four: Conquering the Digital Divide

  • CAP in Cleveland
  • How to bridge
  • Library free classes
    • use local community centers
  • How to find passion around cause
    • community events
    • after events
  • Work local individuals
    • work with Wal-mart
  • Use the tech community as a resource

Session Five: Providing value for event/UG attendees

  • Networking and relationships
  • People appreciate whenever they can contribute
  • Topic Variety

Session Six: Non Profit Status. When. Why. How.

  • Money
    • 2 board members on the bank account
      • both have to sign each check
      • limits are determined in the bylaws
  • Organization
    • Board of directors
    • Treasurer
    • Code of ethics
    • By Laws
    • Articles of incorporation
  • Submit to the IRS
    • Get temp tax number
    • can be used for sponsorship
    • Temp tax number will become EIN
  • When?
    • If you are taking money
    • Liability

Session Seven: Speaking More Better

  • Role Models
    • Seth Godin
    • Scott Hanselman
  • Dramatic volume and pauses
  • Play a character
  • Slide management (not too many)
  • Should be conversational
  • Reading: Presenting to Win
  • Find self confidence (You are good enough)
  • Audience size shouldn’t matter
  • Join Toastmasters
  • Practice, then practice again
    • Prep time is essential
    • Start with lightening talks
  • define your success factors
  • eval comments are more important than scores
  • Movie: Comedian (Jerry Seinfeld)
    • It is about honing your craft
  • Don’t submit a talk because you want to learn a topic or subject
  • Show the demo, then how to build it

Session Eight: Running a Lean Event

  • Do more with less
  • Prioritize spending with a list of everything at the event. As money comes in, move down the list.
  • Food is the largest variable cost
    • Surveys have shown 85% would prefer a free event with no food over a paid event with lunch
    • Plan for 45-60 minutes for people to go get food. There should be options close. A food court, or bring in a caterer that will take cash on the spot.
    • Do snacks only
  • You can charge a little to cover hard costs
    • $25 is just enough for people to make an easy spend decision, and also big enough to make sure they show up
    • Do a budget, with fixed and variable costs
  • Get T+Cs when people pay for a ticket from creative commons
  • Pizza isn’t required at a user group. You can meet without food.
  • Perhaps dues at a meeting
  • When trying to get a sponsor to renew for a new year, or the next event, send them the info with an invoice to make it easy for them to pay
  • Tshirts are usually a low priority at an event, and can be expensive
    • Have something different. Perhaps tall glasses, $1 each
  • Electronic session guides instead of expensive color printed guides
  • Location: find free space: MS Office, local college, community centers
    • Something free, especially if they don’t require to be the catering provider
  • Beg/borrow projectors and screens so you don’t have to rent them.
  • If using a college, have  student org sponsor you. They tend to have lower fees than an outside organization
  • Tap your network for resources
  • Liberally use the resources available to you at your company (use the photo copier, etc.)

Session Eight: Women in Tech

  • Digi Girls
  • Digital Eve
  • Start young
  • Channel 9
  • Games
  • TV Shows

Session Nine: Sponsorship ROI

  • Cool by association
  • Being elite is more marketable
  • training/brain dump
  • Reduce investment
    • Employee pays for part, or takes time off if the company pays
  • Community events build experience, which improves their marketability as a consultant
  • Networking … Local – people travel
  • Retain top talent
  • Email list
    • sales
    • recruiting
    • marketing

Register for the Windows 7 and R2 online FireStarter event


If you want to learn more about what is new in Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2, you should attend this event. We will get you up to speed on the latest features, and how you can delight your users with some of these new features:

    • DirectAccess, Group Policy and PowerShell, new Internet Explorer 8 features.
    • New BitLocker, AppLocker and User Account Control Features
    • Easy Windows 7 deployment

Direct Access is great. It allows me to VPN into our corporate network without the VPN hoops. It sets up in the background, on demand, based on what resources I want to access. It also allows a remote IT Admin to manage my box (for example, to push a critical patch) at any time, not only when I finally VPN in.

PowerShell is also pretty fantastic, for both IT Pros and developers. It is a very powerful shell that is object oriented, and has full access into the whole platform, so you automate a lot of your work.

The list goes on and on.

You can register here: http://msevents.microsoft.com/CUI/EventDetail.aspx?EventID=1032423124&Culture=en-US

Register for the online FireStart for Silverlight 3 and Expression 3 event


If you are looking for a way to learn more about Silverlight, Expression, RIA Services, and the related toolkits, here is your chance.

On September 17th, we will be hosting an online event, that will be keynoted by Scott Guthrie. But that’s not all. There will also be presentations by Tim Heuer, Brad Abrams, Karl Shifflett and others.

You can register at http://msevents.microsoft.com/CUI/EventDetail.aspx?EventID=1032423163&Culture=en-US.

Community Leadership Summit

Labels: ,

You are invited to the Community Leadership Summit. Our goal is to gather together anyone who is rabid about the community: all of the community leaders, speakers, and contributors. We want to get together and share best practices, and learn from each other. This is OPEN. We aren’t just talking about .NET user groups. We are talking Ruby, PHP, Python, OSS, Linux, ALM, and anything else you can think of. It doesn’t have to be a big formal user group; your community might be the small group of folks that crack code at a coffee shop at 7am. Whatever it is, come on over. This summit is held twice a year, once in the summer, and once in the winter.

jacks_08[1]The event will be held at Jack’s Bar-B-Que,  from noon until 4pm on August 12th, 2009. The address is 416 Broadway, Nashville, TN 37203. Their website is http://jacksbarbque.com.

Register Here: http://tr.im/uKDt

We are holding the summit the day before devLink because we know many leaders will already be in one place, making it easier on people to travel. The winter edition will be held the day before CodeMash in January, in Sandusky, Ohio. If you need a place to stay, or help driving down, please reach out. There are plenty of people going, and who would love to share a ride.

One thing we have learned over the past few years is that the community doesn’t have boundaries, and we don’t want any either. But pants, of some sort, are required. We want there to be open sharing amongst all of the groups, so that we can learn from each other’s successes and failures. We want to discuss how you grow the group, should you want to grow the group, how do you reach out to people that don’t know the community exists, how do you groom new speakers and leaders, and if or how you get sponsors for your meetings. You will also be able to share how you put on an event like a bar camp and learn from other organizers.

The day will start with lunch at noon, where you can mingle, chat, and catch up with the people you know, and maybe spill some BBQ sauce on someone you don’t know. The spill creates an opportunity to chat with the person. That’s a little networking tip from us to you for free.

We will then move into some opening comments and some lightening talks on some cross cutting topics we think would be useful in getting the discussions going from there. The rest of the day will be about you and the community. We expect an ‘open spaces’ like event where we have some topics of discussion, and a freewheeling time flittering around from one group to another.

While Microsoft might be sponsoring the food, this has nothing to do with us. So what is our evil plan? Well, glad you asked. Our jobs are to help the community and the easiest way to help you is to help you help us help you. We also know that a strong community is an important aspect to having a healthy industry, which serves us all. Plus, it’s a great way to get the boss to pay for a meal out of our budget. Wink Wink.

Get this. There will be no projectors, no screens, no laptops, no wifi. Only scratch pads, you, and a giant mess of the best Bar-B-Que* in town. The audience is wide open. If you know someone who fits the description above, please forward it to them. Twitter it, blog it, sky write it, we don’t care. We also don’t care where they are from; Cincinnati, Grand Rapids, Boise, or Miami. And we don’t care what role they play in the community; leader, helper, speaker, attendee, muffin eater; doesn’t matter.

We do have a limit on space and food, so please register quickly, and before you share the link with other people. We would hate for you to miss out because you’re THAT selfless. Being an attendee of devLink is not a requirement, but there are tickets left if you are interested.

* We will have food for people who have alternative diet needs. Please check the box on the registration form.

Scrum and TFS

Labels: , , ,

Do you want to learn how to use Scrum and TFS together? Do you want to learn from someone who has ‘been there, and done that?’

Check out this event, which is being put on by the Chattanooga TN .NET user group.



August 6th, 6:00 PM
4080 Jenkins Rd., Chattanooga, TN
(West Building)

Agile software development is quickly becoming the approach of choice for
companies who want to deliver quality software quickly, and the Scrum process is by far the most popular of these methodologies. Many have found value in coupling their existing development environment with the principles and practices of Scrum and Agile. This free two hour seminar will cover the basics of the Scrum process and demonstrate how to implement them using Visual Team Suite Foundation Server to create collaborative, productive Agile development teams.

Dinner will be provided  and we will have door prizes  to  give  away limited, so register today.


MVC4WPF Launches on 7/23

Labels: ,

ICC worked with the WPF team to develop a framework for bringing MVC to WPF, called MVC4WPF.

MVC4WPF is a combination of code automation, efficient software architecture, and a
maintenance-centric design to writing software that reduces both development and long term costs.  It promotes methodologies that get the best value out of junior developers while gaining all the advantages of mentoring by senior developers.  It uses Microsoft’s latest and greatest development technologies, including the .NET 3.5 platform, Visual Studio 2008, and the Windows Presentation Foundation (WPF), to give you greater transparency into the development process at a very low overhead.

ICC has released it as open source, and will be publishing the code on CodePlex. The code will be available after the launch.

Information Control Corporation and Microsoft would like to invite you to the MVC4WPF launch on July 23rd.

The event will include breakfast starting at 8:30 a.m. at the Microsoft Building located at: 
8800 Lyra Drive Polaris Center, Suite 400, Columbus, Ohio, 43240.

Please RSVP for the event here:


Thrive for Developers is online

Labels: , ,

A little while back I wrote about a site called Thrive for IT Pros. We have launched a similar site for developers called Thrive for Developers. Microsoft has always been good about giving the information and tools developers need to build great software. Thrive is a way for  us to go beyond that. To help you learn the tools you need for your career, how to be a better developer, and do more with what you have already.

I was really excited to be asked to be a part of this launch. Many of you have seen the Soft Skillz talk that I have done over the past year. They have also brought together a lot of content from the community, as well as tools to help you find that next job.

That Soft Skillz talk originated out of a farewell talk I did as I left my team at Quick Solutions. It focused on retelling the lessons we had learned over my time there, so I could pass on some of our culture and tribal knowledge to the next generation of the team.

The talk evolved, and became very popular. When I heard about the new Thrive site, I pitched it to the team, to see if it could be part of the content. I was going to turn the talk into a screencast anyway, so why not have a place to host it? They accepted, and I started breaking the show down into 7 minute chunks. Way faster than an 8 minute show, and of course 6 minutes would too short, you wouldn’t even be able to get your heart rate going..

The first four episodes are up:

Driving Your Career - Soft Skills to Move You Forward

Sit shotgun with Brian Prince in “Driving Your Career” – a 32-week screencast series that explores the new skills developers need to thrive. Brian will tackle relevant topics including quick learning techniques, how to manage your career, how to build consensus, and the always-tricky task of talking to humans. Brian will share his expertise of being a manager, a consultant, and many other roles over his career, to help you succeed in yours.

  • Week 1 - It’s always darkest before the dawn  |  WMV MP3
  • Week 2 - How I learned that humans don’t care about technology  |   WMV MP3
  • Week 3 - Always have a mentor  |  WMV MP3
  • Week 4 - Body language doesn’t use CSS  |  WMV MP3

So please check them out, and even more importantly, forward the link to anyone you know that is struggling in their career, or in finding a job.

Windows 7 Release Date Announced!

Labels: ,

Steve Guggenheimer announced the release dates of Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2 at Computex 2009 in Tapei. We will be RTM’ing Windows 7 in the second half of July, with general availability (that means it’s in stores, etc.) by October 22nd. Windows Server 2008 R2 will be available at the same time.

This is awesome news! Warm up your download tools, it’s not far away.

Everyone I know has been impressed with, and really likes Windows 7, even some of the most critical people I know. I think this is due to the changes in how the Windows team developed the OS, as well as how open they were to feedback, and their willingness to make changes. If you weren’t reading the Engineering Windows 7 blog, you should go there now, and read all of the posts. They are all quite fascinating.

I got to be part of the IQ team, which is a very small part, but it was still fun. I would be given weekly builds to install on my machines, and to test out. While the Beta was of a very high quality, for a beta, I could see the continuing improvements in quality and features in every build. I would get giddy every time I would get the email that a new build was available, then spend the next half day downloading it, and installing it on all of my machines.

I am looking forward to stabilizing on one consistent build for a while. That is of course until they start on Windows 8. :)

Martin Shoemaker and I discuss VS2010 & UML on Arcast.tv

Labels: ,

A while ago Martin and I sat down to discuss UML and how it is making a come back in VS2010 for architects. We had a great chat, and we learned how this isn’t your grandpa’s UML anymore. The way the VS team has implemented it is much more functional to everyone on the team besides the Big Up Front Planning Dinosaur. It will help you understand the lay of the land for that large system you inherited, allowing you to more easily see what is going on.


nPlus1.org hosts their third summit

Labels: , ,

nPlus1.org is hosting it's third Architecture Summit on June 10th at the Microsoft office in Nashville, TN (Franklin).  The topic of this summit will be Patterns and Principles.

Session One: Software Patterns

Patterns are an important tool to use as architects and developers. They provide a common vocabulary for us to design with, as well as a common approach to a common problem. Come learn about useful patterns, and how to use them in your everyday code.

Session Two: How I Learned To Love Dependency Injection

Dependency Injection is one of those scary topics that most developers avoid. It sounds all ‘high-falootin’ and complex. It’s not. Really. We wouldn’t lie. It’s a great way to manage complexity in your system, and a great way to make your system so much more testable. And isn’t that what we all want?

Each session will be followed by open discussions periods.

A catered lunch will be provided starting at noon when the welcome time begins.

Register here: https://www.clicktoattend.com/invitation.aspx?code=138773

Ian McDonald is coming to Columbus next week!


Ian McDonald is the director and general manager of the Windows Server Group. He will be travelling through Ohio, and will be speaking at the Columbus Exchange & Windows User Group (CEWUG). The group meets at the Columbus Microsoft office. He will be talking about the experience of developing Windows.


  • 5:30 to 6:05: Welcome time; meet the MS steering committee, pizza and beverages
  • 6:05 to 7:05: An inside perspective of managing the Windows code base.
  • 5 minute break
  • 7:10 to 8:15: Finish, the intricacies of the people, process and technology of creating Windows Server.


  • 8800 Lyra Dr, Suite 400 Columbus, OH 43240


  • Wednesday: May  27, 2009 5:30 to 8:15 PM

ArcReady is coming to Grand Rapids, MI

Labels: , ,

So, you live in GR, and you want to go to ArcReady, but Detroit is just too far away? Then rest easy my friend. With some great help from Chris Woodruff, and the great folks at RCM Technologies, we are bringing ArcReady to Grand Rapids. The www.arcready.com site should be updated soon. The link to register is


For information on what the sessions will be about, check out my post from last week.


nPlus1.org is giving away $250

Labels: ,

nPlus1.org is on a hunt for a new look. The site has really taken off over the past six months, and they are ready for a facelift.

Go design a new look, and submit it. First prize is $250 to Best Buy and a copy of Vista Ultimate. There are other prizes as well.

Their site is built on Graffiti CMS, and you will need to either provide a template, or other materials to easily upgrade the site.

Take a look at the official rules and requirements at http://nplus1.org/faceliftcontest/.

Upcoming events in the area


Mike Wood and Jennifer Marsman put together this list of events in the area.

I often get asked how people know about the events. It actually becomes sort of all over the place. There is the MSDN Events page, communitymegaphone.com, the web pages of your local user groups, word of mouth, word of social networking site, word of twitter, etc. There isn’t one place to rule them all. While that seems unfortunate, I don’t that is achievable, or worthwhile. The goal should be to announce the events in as many channels as possible. You don’t seen an ad for a movie just at the movie theatre, do you?

Any way, on to the list:


Event Date


Cincinnati Silverlight Firestarter



West Michigan .NET University



Central Ohio Day of .NET



Lansing Give Camp



Kalamazoo X Conference



Stir Trek



Lansing Tech Fest (Open Space)


http://www.LansingTechFest.org (website not up yet)

Cincinnati ORM Firestarter


No URL yet?




Ann Arbor Give Camp



Columbus Give Camp


No URL yet?

Lansing Day of .NET


http://www.dayofdotnet.org (Lansing site not yet)




Learn Lean Processes with LeanDog

Labels: ,

LeanDog is an interesting company. They are located in Cleveland, on a barge. Yes, a barge, on the water. They run an agile shop, and deliver software solutions for their customers.

The great thing is that they open up their space to a whole host of community events. I love it when companies ‘get’ why they should support and adopt the community. Jon, the founder, has an amazing amount of passion for agile practices, and experience helping teams adopt them.

TDD is an amazing practice. It has had a huge impact on how software is developed today. It has shifted how tech teams look at writing software, and has dramatically increased the initial quality of the software, and reduced the long term maintenance costs as well.

The trick with it is that it is very hard to learn, and takes at least six months if you are learning it by reading books and blogs. It is just one of those skills that you need to do with someone to fully get. You can reduce the learning time by doing this. If you are trying to learn TDD you need to find someone to work with, and spend some time with them

LeanDog will be offering some training later this month, "Test Driven Development & Refactoring in C#”. They will cover what TDD is, design and refactoring skills, as well as testing skills that you need.

My two good friends, Nate Hoellein and Corey Haines will be the instructors. The course does cost $1995 for the three days, but that is a small price to pay for being in a room with these two guys for three days. The training is on April 21,22 & 23rd. The cost includes parking, equipment, and food. Dancing bears are extra.

Check out www.leandog.com for all of the gory details.

Windows 7 Beta to RC Guidance



Many people have been running the beta of Windows 7 for a while now, and we have gotten some great feedback. I have been running weekly internal builds since build 7000 went public, and it gets better every time. I, personally, have been loving my experience with Win7.

At some point in the future, we will be releasing a Release Candidate (RC) for Windows 7. Many of you with Windows 7 Beta installed will be sorely tempted to just upgrade to the RC. I can understand why, as I do build-to-build upgrades on my machines every week. It saves all that setting up, installing, and what not that you have to do to take a machine from bare metal to something that is productive for you.


PLEASE, use Windows Easy Transfer, save off your files, and then do a fresh install. We ask you do this mainly so we can test a real world scenario. You CAN do a build-to-build upgrade, but that is not a scenario we are trying to test, and the point of an RC is to get a broad sense of what is going on in the “REAL WORLD.(TM)”

Am I the only one that thinks ‘type mismatch’ from my old Apple IIe basic days when I see the trademark symbol?

When I do build-to-build, it takes a few hours as the files and settings are migrated, so an upgrade doesn’t save you all that much time from a fresh install. When I have been doing fresh installs (at least one of my machines per new build), I have been using Live mesh to do all of the heavy lifting. Here is what I do:

- Install OS

- Join Domain

- Install Office 2007 and VSTS 2008

- Install Live Mesh

- Let is sync for a while

- Install little tools (Live Essentials, ISO mounter, and FoxIt Reader are the first)

- Install twitter client. :)

Another great path we would like you to try is to upgrade from an existing Windows Vista machine. Please report issues via the connect.Microsoft.com site. This allows us to channel the feedback to the correct team, and allows you to see what other people are reporting.

Copy the contents of the ISO to a flash drive, and install off of that. It’s super fast.

A few notes that all of your should already know:

- Don’t run BETA software on any machine that is important to your productivity.

- Don’t do an upgrade on a machine before you have backed up the important data.

To get the scoop on this whole scenario, and the instructions for doing a build-to-build upgrade, check out http://blogs.msdn.com/e7/archive/2009/04/07/delivering-a-quality-upgrade-experience.aspx.

PS. The good news is that it will contain IE8RTM and be able to run the Azure SDK.