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I wanted to let you know about an event I’ll be speaking at in early April. Along with my good friend and mentor Scott Hunter, “el master’o’ASP.NET,” I'll be presenting at the Web Camps in Dallas, Texas. I’d love to see you there .
Dallas isn’t the only stop for the Web Camps tour . Our other good buddy, Jon Galloway, has worked hard creating this year’s Web Camps content, and has been out on the road promoting all the awesome new stuff we’ve released with the ASP.NET framework and tools. Along with Mr. Hunter, I’ll be presenting demonstrations and content related to all of the awesome topics below:
- Keynote: The ASP.NET Web Platform in Context
- What’s new in ASP.NET 4.5 and Visual Studio 2012
- Building and deploying websites with ASP.NET MVC 4
- Creating HTML5 Applications with jQuery
- Building a service layer with ASP.NET Web API
- Leveraging your ASP.NET development skills to build apps for Office
- Building and leveraging social web apps in ASP.NET
- Building for the mobile web
- Real-time communications with SignalR
- Leveraging Azure and Azure Web Sites
So if you’re an ASP.NET developer, or you’ve been thinking about learning more about the new stuff available in the ASP.NET stack, come on out and join Scott Hunter and I on Friday, April 5 in Dallas, TX. We’ve got a whole series of these events lined up lots of other places, so check out the other areas where we’ll be heading and join us at one of those great events, too.
- March 20 - Oslo, Norway - Cory Fowler
- March 22 – Lisbon, Portugul - Cory Fowler
- March 25 – London, UK - Cory Fowler, Steve Sanderson and Stuart Leeks
- March 27 – Cambridge, MA - Nathan Totten
- April 3 – Copenhagen, Denmark - Jon Galloway and Mads Kristensen
- April 5 – Dallas, TX with Brady Gaster and Scott Hunter
- April 6 – Istanbul, Turkey - Jon Galloway, Tugberk Ugurlu and Umit Sunar
- April 12 – Bellevue, WA - Nathan Totten and Cory Fowler
- April 19 – Sunnyvale, CA - Nathan Totten and Jon Galloway
- April 26 – San Diego, CA - Jon Galloway
Jon, myself, and the rest of the team welcome you to this great series of events. We hope to see you there!
Next week I’ll be speaking at the Web Camps events in India. The web camps series, put together by my trusty teammate Jon Galloway, offers web developers a glimpse into all the new web-related stuff the ASP.NET and Visual Studio teams have been cooking. I’m looking forward to the trip, as I’ve never been further East than Sweden. My team has this habit of coming up with nifty out-of-office emails so I decided to make a map, originally thinking I’d jam the map into an email. The image ending up being pretty huge so I’m sparing the team the extra room in their mailboxes by sharing it here instead.
This should be a pretty neat trip. I’m thankful for the opportunities I get like this to talk about and demonstrate the awesome work the engineers do here. They make that part of the job easy. When you love a product as much as I’ve loved ASP.NET and Visual Studio for this long, the idea of showing folks how to use it and to give them some new tricks is cake. This sort of thing – talking about how awesome our products are and about the awesomer people involved in their creation – is the best part of my job.
What makes that part of job difficult is the missing-of-family while I’m on the road. My wife the most supportive woman you could have the luck to know and I’m the luckiest guy in the world for having her there to support me. My sons always miss me, so that’s the saddest part of every trip, but they know how it works so they’re usually pretty forgiving, as the code below demonstrates. Coming home to this familiar program is without a doubt the icing on the cake.
So tomorrow I’ll start my first trip to the other side of the globe. Wish me luck, and if you’re in the area, come on out to learn some great stuff about ASP.NET, Azure and Visual Studio!
I had a great opportunity last week to work with some Azure community leaders in Redmond at Channel 9 studios to put on Windows AzureConf . These community members travelled from all over the world to put on some great presentations. This post summarizes the event and thanks some folks for all their hard work. The event was a great day, and really gave me an opportunity to do my favorite thing in this role – work with the community to create awesome content for the community.
Thanks for the Inspiration
My good friend and teammate Jon Galloway inspired a lot of us with what he made possible through aspConf, so we followed he and his team’s been able to do with that event and drew inspiration from the idea during the planning of AzureConf. We had a smaller-sized goal in mind for the first (and hopefully not last) AzureConf than what Jon was able to achieve with aspConf, especially this past year, which was a huge event featuring tons of sessions and presenters.
aspConf was, absolutely, the inspiration behind AzureConf, so when I brought the idea to Jon he had tons of great experience from which I learn, and as always, Jon was happy and eager to give me some advice. I’d like to thank him, Eric, and Javier, and all the other aspConf presenters and organizers for their hard work. Your output was an inspiration to me and the team of people who put on AzureConf, and we thank you for setting an amazing standard to work towards and for all the wisdom and advice you provided during AzureConf’s planning.Thanks for the Support
Scott Guthrie, Channel 9, and countless other people at Microsoft and in the community made AzureConf possible and successful. All along the way, various folks helped in so many ways. Mark Brown gathered videos for filler breaks, Cory Fowler and Chris Risner managed the question/answer features, Hanselman mentioned the event at //build/, James Conard believed I would be able to pull it off and had faith in me to do so, Scott Cate helped with the facilitation, the community blogged and tweeted about the event to build steam...
The list goes on and on and on and I could never name anyone, but you get the point. The team of people who worked to put on AzureConf and make it a success were absolutely vital to it happening. No one who works for Microsoft or who does business with Microsoft is unbusy, so I want to let everyone know who helped, how much I appreciate your doing so. Time is something none of us seem to have any more, but so many people stepped up in so many ways to make the event a success.
Whether you spoke, tweeted, forward a meeting invitation, or mentioned it in your own speaking engagements to help drum up support for the event, your contribution to the event is something that was absolutely vital to the event, so thank you for your time and your help.Thanks for the Effort
Giving our community members a stage to do what they do for a larger audience than normal was the driving force for me behind AzureConf. They work so, so, so hard volunteering to keep the Azure brand’s growth continuing, and we wanted to give them one of those bucket list moments with Windows AzureConf. Anyone who loves Microsoft’s development world probably loves or at least has some interest in what happens on Channel 9, so we figured the best way to thank someone for all the work they do evangelizing Azure would be…
Give them free reign in Channel 9 for a day to evangelize about Azure! Brilliant, right?
We thought so, and brilliance is a good word for what all these guys did. You can see for yourself on the Windows AzureConf Channel 9 event page, where we have all the content* posted for your on-demand viewing pleasure.
For now, I’d like to thank all the amazing speakers who took time out of their work schedules (many lost billable time, too), sacrificed time with their families, and travelled great distances for 1-2 hours in the studio to talk about one of the things they love using – Azure.
- Andy Cross
- Eric Boyd
- Magnus Martensson
- Michael Collier
- Mihai Tataran
- Panagiotis Kefalidis
- Rick Garibay
- Sasha Goldshtein
You guys totally rocked out all day, you were a joy to work with, and you made the event a success with your enthusiasm and willingness to deliver such awesome sessions. Thanks so, so much for all you put into your presentations, and for coming all the way to Redmond to deliver them in person.
* Johnny’s talk was eaten by the hungry honey badgers that roam the Channel 9 studios hunting for prey. We’re going to have him back in the studio on his next trip to Redmond to re-record the session. When it’s done it’ll be posted on the event page.Thanks to the Community
Finally, this post wouldn’t be complete without thanking you guys for watching, tweeting, and lifting us up. The event trended on Twitter for a little while, got some amazing feedback, and overall seemed to have a great, positive impact in the community. I’m so proud of you guys for helping us spread the word about the event. It made it all worthwhile, and sure does bring a smile to my face to have had such great support from the community.
The best part of my job as a Technical Evangelist is working with the community members. Hands down, this is the best way for any evangelist to learn about their product and how it is being used in the wild. The Azure community is a great one, with huge technical depth and experience, and it is my honor to be working on a great community event that highlights what real developers are doing with Azure. I’d like to introduce you to Windows AzureConf, the first all-community Azure event executed by the community at Channel 9 Studios.
On November 14, 2012, Microsoft will be hosting Windows AzureConf, a free event for the Azure community. This event will feature a keynote presentation by Scott Guthrie, along with numerous sessions executed by Azure community members. Streamed live for an online audience on Channel 9, the event will allow you to see how developers just like you are using Azure to develop applications on the best cloud platform in the industry. Community members from all over the world will join Scott in the Channel 9 studios to present their own ideas, innovations inventions and experiences. These presentations will provide you the opportunity to see how your peers in the community are doing great things using Azure offerings like Mobile Services, Web Sites, Service Bus, virtual machines, and more. Whether you’re just learning Azure or you’ve already achieved success on the platform, you won’t want to miss this special event. For more information on Windows AzureConf or to register for the event, please visit http://windowsazureconf.net .
Some great community members will be participating in the event, and they’ve got some mind-blowing sessions lined up that demonstrate everything from attaching the Netduino microcontroller to Azure, to writing your very own Windows 8 application that uses Azure as a data-storage layer or middle tier.
If you’re wondering how you can roll Azure into your own enterprise, or if you’re a startup wondering how it can help you bootstrap your young business, Windows AzureConf is for you. You’ll see how other community members are making use of Azure to be more successful than ever, and how they’re solving real-world problems by using cloud computing.
Last week I had the pleasure of attending a few community events in Europe. The trip was fantastic, with some talks to be done in front of various groups throughout Belgium and Sweden. In this post I will summarize the event, provide some links to the slides I created, and thank all the great people who made the trip one of the more memorable.Belgium Nerd Dinner & User Group
I flew from Seattle to Belgium Sunday/Monday, and arrived to find my new friend Panagiotis awaiting my arrival at the airport. Panos is not only an amazing Azure developer with skills to make even the most hardened cloud developer whimper in terror, but he’s a certifiable race car driver. The Belgium User Group is one of the most hospitable I’ve had the pleasure of knowing, and Panos is the welcoming party for their group. He picked me up, drove me to dinner, between meetings, and all the while talked Azure.
Our first stop was dinner at a local brewery (yes, we did eat dinner) known throughout the region and beyond for its well-cooked meals and of course, Belgian brews. We sipped a few, talked about the upcoming conferences, and of course, discussed various things we’re all doing or wanting to do using Azure and ASP.NET. Some of my favorite Tweeple (forgive me) were in attendance at the dinner and the user group meeting Tuesday night. Mike Martin and Kris van der Mast, who I need to thank for bringing me over and for putting on such a great event were there to support me at the event, as well as Kristof Rennen, Bram de Buyser, and Xavier Decoster, who I found myself talking with about MyGet throughout the remainder of the week. MyGet is an awesome service that extends the already-awesome NuGet service by adding in build functionality, private and subscription-based feeds, and all other sorts of good stuff. My chat with Xavier inspired me to really take a deeper look at MyGet throughout the week, and their level of support and commitment to helping me understand and implement as many of its features as possible is amazing.
The topic of the Belgium User Group on Tuesday night was a deep dive into Azure Web Sites. I recounted some of the lessons Nir Mashkowski has taught me from hosting him on Web Camps TV, and answered quite a few questions about the Shared tier enhancements. The deck contained a few links to these shows and other resources, and as usual some of my own humor (or whatever you call it). If you’d like to peek at the deck, download it here .Sweden .NET User Group
On Wednesday morning I flew from Belgium to Stockholm, Sweden, to give a developer-focused talk on Azure Web Sites. Hosted at the gorgeous Connecta office in Stockholm, Sweden, the Sweden .NET User Group was full of programmers who are learning how to use Azure Web Sites to solve their web development and hosting challenges. I was greeted by Jimmy Engstrom, who shares a hand in leading the group. Jimmy is delving into all sorts of interesting areas with embedded technology, so he and I found ourselves talking about Netduino, .NET Gadgeteer, and shared stories of our inventions and ideas with one another. The other half of probably the most adorable geek-couples I’ve met, Jessica Engstrom, was also in attendance at the event. Together they told a great story of sitting in front of their computers frantically trying to get tickets to this year’s Build conference. The Engstroms and myself, along with my new Finnish friends Karl Ots and Teemu Tapanila, talked until late in the evening after the user group about Azure, Windows Phone, new hardware, and all other kinds of geekery. I’m sure Jimmy, Karl, and Teemu and I will be trading embedded-development tricks over email from now on.
The presentation went well and the participants allowed me to go a little longer in the presentation than I’d planned (thanks!). Like the Belgian User Group, this group had many questions and suggestions on how Azure Web Sites could be improved and gave me some great insight into what how our community is enjoying the Web Sites offering and also gave me some ideas on how it can be an even greater platform. I showed off some interesting new features for Visual Studio 2012 web developers my good friend Sayed Hashimi is putting together, and got some great feedback for the publishing team on new feature ideas. If you’d like to grab a copy of the slides I used for the talk, you can grab them here .CloudBurst 2012
Thursday and Friday in Stockholm would provide a great ending to an already-inspirational tour, at the CloudBurst 2012 conference. Organized by Magnus Martensson and Alan Smith and hosted at the Microsoft Sweden office in Stockholm, CloudBurst was absolutely full of amazing presentations that were streamed live by Swedish-based, Azure-backed StreamShed . Alan Smith put on an amazing talk in which he used 256 cores in Azure to do ray-tracing, and he tied in a Kinect device to add to the awesomeness of his demonstration. A video explaining his solution is available on Channel 9 if you’re interested in how he achieved amazing results in a multiple-instance Azure Cloud Service. His talk, along with a few amazing data-centric talks by the ever-eloquent (and hilarious) Nuno Godinho, a pair of absolutely inspirational talks on enterprise architectural patterns by Charles Young, a great Service Bus presentation by Christian Weyer, and the final talk of the event by Magnus on Continuous Delivery with Azure Web Sites, all demonstrated for me that the European community is pushing the envelope of what’s possible with Azure. The most comical session of all was put on by my good friend Maarten Balliauw, who covered how to Brew Beer with Azure. Maarten also helped me work through a few MyGet questions throughout the week and maintained the level of support I’ve already raved about. He also saved the day, as my alarm clock decided to go into “silent mode” the last day of the trip. I awoke to the sound of Maarten banging on my door saying “dude we’re having breakfast where are you?!?!?!” (Thanks, buddy!)
I had a demo explosion during my session right at the end, but the audience was gracious enough to hang out during the break between my session and the next so that I could reboot and re-run the code (I’d locked up some processes, apparently). My session outlined the development of a Cloud Service monitoring application, which was released just yesterday as the newest Azure Evangelism Team code sample, known as CloudMonitR . If you’d like to grab a copy of the slides I used during the talk, you can download them here .
The enthusiasm and motivation on the part of these conference attendees to really raise the level of understanding in their communities around Azure is inspiring. I engaged in quite a few conversations during the event that indicated to me just how excited everyone is around Microsoft’s new commitment to being open in the cloud computing space. These communities are genuinely appreciative of our direction with Azure, Windows Phone, and so many other areas. I anticipate much more from the CloudBurst team and look forward to – hopefully – being a part of CloudBurst 2013 next year.Summary
This trip was inspiring. I am continually motivated when I attend these community events, as I get to see how Azure is being used by our creative community members. The enthusiasm these folks have for Microsoft is contagious, and my involvement with these community leaders and technologists is definitely the best part of my job. This tour, along with so many other sessions and meetings with our dedicated community members, reminds me of what’s possible when we work together to create the best products in the marketplace. It is easy to succeed when you have the best communities in the marketplace, who support us and educate us, and welcome us with such enthusiasm.
Thanks, Europe! Keep staying classy!
So I'm at the airport awaiting the boarding call and wanted to take a second to update everyone. My teammte Jon Galloway has done a great job of talking up the upcoming web camps schedule . You can find out about it more at the Microsoft DevCamps Site specific to the web camp events . This is an exciting time for the Microsoft Web Stack, and Jon, myself, and quite a few other talented developers and speakers are going to be hitting the road to talk about all things web. If you're in Brussels on Thursday, we'd love to have you there, so come register for the event online.
This is my first series of Web Camp events since joining Microsoft, and I can honestly say I'm super-excited about the content we'll be distributing, presentations being put on, and about the opportunity to work with so many talented speakers and event coordination folks.
Learn a little more about the web camps by watching the Channel 9 Web Camps TV Introduction .
MADExpo 2011 was great. I met some new people, had some engaging conversations, saw some amazing presentions, and overall was humbled by the level of expertise in the room. I'll summarize my thoughts on the event and my experiences in this post.
My mind was completely and totally blown by Joshua Blake's presentation on NUI. I'd never seen a Surface PC before the presentation and was even more amazed by it than I'd imagined.
I got to meet Chris Walker from Secret Labs, and we had an awesome conversation. His genuine appreciation to myself and others who have evangelized Netduino was obvious, the kind of appreciation that makes it so worthwhile to spend the time learning, tinkering, and hoping that NETMF's current steam engine can continue. Chris confirmed how busy he's been with the growth of NETMF and Netduino, talked about some awesome possibillities in the future for the platform, and packed up and left to drive 8 hours back to NYC where he had more work to do. That sort of commitment to one's craft and company is inspiring.
Speaking of inspiring. Phil Japiske gave a presentation on testing legacy code that everyone who has to work in a brown-field project, ever, should see. His presentation style is something an aspiring speaker like myself can learn from and emulate (not to mention some gorgeous slides). We had an interesting conversation afterwards regarding corporate direction, focus, and getting spread too thin, and I feel pretty schooled afterwards. His experience and willingness is amazing.
I also really enjoyed seeing a deep dive in how to use SpecFlow and a few other tools to do some awesome BDD by Jimmy Bosse . I'd just given my own BDD presentation, which contained a shallow dive into using SpecFlow, so it was awesome to sit tight and be schooled on the same thing by someone as knowledgeable as Jimmy.
Of course, not everything was perfect. My own presentations on Netduino and BDD were good, but definitely plagued by a few technical issues. I appreciate my attendee's patience and hope that, in spite of a few issues, you learned some stuff and that my session elevated not only your knowledge, but your interest in learning more about the topics. I'll provide links to the presentations below.
Thanks so much to the sponsors and organizers for putting on the event and giving me the opportunity to present. I enjoyed myself, learned a lot, was humbled by how much I still have to learn (thank goodness!).
Tonight I attended the local Enterprise Guild's ASP.NET MVC presentation by Brian Hitney . I don't know if I've ever given a review of a colleague's presentation (so this might suck) but I feel one's in order. Brian's doing his best in this area for Microsoft to spread this and other information and I want to take a moment to recognize, suggest some critique of, and applaud his efforts.
Brian's an excellent speaker and a major contributor to the .NET and Microsoft community in the southeast. He was patient, careful, and did his best to keep things on track without pandering to or disregarding the audience when they requested more information be given to specific areas of interest. He has a way with any collection of subject matter; he adds humor to the presentation, keeps the pace moving along, and overall seems to feel really cozy in front of a crowd. A truly good presenter knows the value in saying something akin to "I don't know, dude, that's an interesting point you bring up," and Brian's not afraid to do just this thing. I think that may be his biggest strength as a developer evangelist - he doesn't preach and he isn't a know-it-all.
I got the impression that most of the people in the audience tonight benefitted from the presentation, which covered some fundamental aspects of the MVC "idea," rather than focus on some of the lower-level points concerning the actual execution of a coding experience using the ASP.NET MVC framework. So when Brian made it clear that the presentation would be covering the "why's" and not the "how's," I have to admit my colleague and I had a mutual eye-roll. MVC isn't an easy concept to grasp, I know. It took me about 3 years to really understand how it's supposed to work. Even now I still struggle with some of the innerworkings of the approach. So that portion of my review is, I admit, somewhat selfish in nature. I would've like to have seen more low-level discussions of the technicalities.
During the initial chat, Brian brought up Inversion of Control and Dependency Injection . I think a better approach for Brian when dealing with these more complex and abstract concepts would've been to defer to the audience's willfullness to learn more on them; maybe say something about them being important ideas that are "outside the scope" of the presentation (because, well, they are outside the scope of a presentation like this ). Instead, Brian gave a few examples of IoC and/or DI. One in particular was to use the event model - a button-click event handler, to be precise - as an example of IoC. I don't claim to be a guru at IoC, but I am positive that I can't think of how IoC could be represented via such an example. I really can't, and I tried. My co-worker agreed with me on this matter, too, so I know I'm not nuts (or that I have a partner in my misunderstanding of something ). That's my one major "you didn't capitalize the 'N' and the 'E' and the 'T' when you put '.NET' on your resume'"-type complaint with Brian's presentation. My guess is that Brian understands all of these ideas quite well and could discuss them rather fluently under the appropriate context. In that, when he put them on the slide he had excellent intentions that completely escaped him when he was in front of a crowd of geeks. It happens.
There were a few technical items of note during the presentation. The first was when Brian created an ASP.NET MVC project in VS2K8. When the "do you want to create a test project" screen was presented and the MS Test the only option in the "what type of test project do you want to create" drop-down, Brian said "If you install NUnit you'll see it in here too." I have both VS2K8 installed and NUnit, and I don't see an NUnit option. So I conclude that there's some additional schnizzle that I need to download and install to tie NUnit to VS2K8, that I haven't yet read that particular blog post (note no link, feel free to hook me up in the comments), or that his statement was incorrect. Brian? Bueller? Anyone? What is it? How do I get NUnit to appear in that list?
Later occurred what I think was the only major and potentially heinous blunder of the presentation. A question was raised about the variance between ASP.NET MVC's behavior on IIS6 and IIS7. It was late in the presentation when an audience member asked about the differences between the two server versions. The meeting was in a new room, started late, and had a huge crowd, so I'm sure Brian was exhausted and ready to call it quits. So, when this question was asked, Brian's answer was simply to state that there was no difference in the way the routes had to be set up and that it'd all work just fine under either version. I'd been bitten by this variance myself (and I have a complete lack of being able to keep my trap shut) so I raised my hand and commented that this wasn't the case. For the record, I said this not to call Brian out and make him look like a dimwit but rather to make sure the correct information was given to the audience. I mean, that's why we're all there, and it is called a community group so I figure that's the best thing one could do in the situation. I specifically mentioned the approach taken in the Kigg framework, and how it seemed to accomplish this for both versions pretty elegantly. The crowd seemed generally cool with this and we moved on, Brian relatively unscathed. No harm, no foul, but I urge (read: plead with ) Brian and the rest of the evangelists - don't forget that many of us in the community hinge on most of the things you say. If you tell me it works, I think it works, and when it doesn't work I think it's something I did. When I find out it's something you guys did and that I've wasted many hours trying to make something work that just isn't supposed to work, I want to forget I ever loved coding I get so irritated - nothing plagues a coder like time lost on poor documentation, so just keep doing your best to keep the facts straight. The whole with great power comes great responsibility speech is implied here.
My favorite moment during the presentation was when Brian talked about the collection of form data in the "new MVC way." He specifically mentioned getting back down to basics and dealing more directly with the Request object. I'm a huge fan of this, and of removing a lot of the gunk between me and my HTTP protocol, so I was all about this commentary. Additionally helpful was his code example demonstrating form-collection using the BindingHelperExtensions class. This has been one of the things I've not yet learned how to do with MVC - dealing with forms. I've been more focused on link-based approaches using MVC and on JSON transmission, so the traditional forms approach had been something that'd eluded me. Brian's example of this was great.
Overall, a good presentation. I would like to see a round two of this presentation (or to provide it, as sometimes the requirement of teaching something enables/forces you to learn it pretty well) or to be provided something comperable to Brian's presentation on a more technical, "how-to" level. I look forward to his evolution as a DE, his upcoming travelling show with some of the other guys in his squad, and to learning more about ASP.NET MVC.
well, i'm flying home today from the vslive conference, where i was able to learn a little - not a lot, mind you - about some new ms technologies. i also got to meet my boss for the first time (we have a virtual team across the country so we don't readily get to meet one another or work together in "meetspace"). in general, the conference was pretty good. some amazing demos were given like:
- a guy strapped to an EKG and heart monitor that sent signals via SOAP to a tablet pc client in real-time, demonstrating some of the new attributes we'll get when indigo comes out
- a nice demo of team system demonstrating what we used to hear about as whitehorse
- some interesting demonstrations of the sql 2005 technologies
- mouth-watering c# version 2 samples demonstrated by richard hale shaw, who i think may have been the best presenter at the conference (and a pretty good musician to boot)
- a horrible, somewhat offensive speech and critique by an oracle guy