OKCodeCamp is almost here! I will be there and presenting!

It’s already here, just nine days away!

They’ve got a great line up and not just because I’m speaking. Out of 10 speakers 7 are MVP’s and then there’s Jason Zander – the General Manager of the .NET Framework Division at Microsoft!

Register today – I’m sure it will fill up fast!

 

Load up and hit the road! It will be well worth it!

 

Here’s a letter with some additional details I just received today from the OKCPro.NET President and OKCodeCamp Director – Raymond Lewallen:

 

First and foremost, I want to thank those who have already registered and will be attending. I also want to thank our platinum level sponsors for helping to make this event possible with a great lineup of top-notch speakers!

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Also coming in as sponsors so far are FarPoint, Wrox and Infragistics, all providing some money and some giveaways as well! Please consider these companies and what they do for our communities and offer for your professional needs.

I hope this email finds you all well and enjoying your summer!  Its finally quit raining here in Oklahoma City and the sun is shining and the weather is in the mid 90s, so its feeling like summer time finally!

We have some awesome giveaways.  Over 2 dozen books, Vista Ultimate, Office Ultimate, Red-Gate ANTS Profiler, CodeRush, Refactor Pro and much more, including suites from FarPoint and Infragistics.  Don’t hold me to this, but their *might* be a Zune in the mix as well!

We were not able to work out a suitable or acceptable deal with the 2 hotels we approached about discounts.  The most we were able to get were $10 discounts, and you would have had to have reserved by the end of this week.

The Crowne Plaza hotel is where we recommend staying.  http://www.cpokc.com/  It has rooms for as little as $99 per night.  There are many, many other hotels in the area though.  Any hotel that is located on NW Expressway in Oklahoma City is going to be easy access to the code camp.  There is also 2 Marriott hotels, one called the Waterford (http://www.marriott.com/hotels/travel/okcwa-waterford-marriott/) and the other (http://www.marriott.com/hotels/travel/okcok-oklahoma-city-marriott/).  All very nice hotels.  Again, anything on NW Expressway in Oklahoma City will be easy access.

We are still looking and working to drive up the attendance, so please pass along the information about the code camp to co-workers and friends!

http://www.okcodecamp.com

Thanks again,

Raymond Lewallen

director@okcodecamp.com

One of the biggest MOSS live sites so far — but just wait! Also, LinkedIn just a MySpace for the Business Community?

I just saw from Nick Mayhew’s blog, which he had found on Mark Harrison’s blog where the UK Health Services just launched a new portal aiming to help the public better take advantage of their services utilizing MOSS 2007. I couldn’t find any where that stated how long they and there technology partners had been working on the project.

This will not last long, my company is currently working on a very large site for a client that will definitely be ground breaking and news worthy. Sadly, I don’t want to release any details yet. My blog readers will be the first to find out about it though! So stay tuned, the site is tentatively scheduled to beta launch August 15th 2008.

More news to come so stay tuned!

I have been meaning to post my two cents regarding Javier Lozano’s recent blog post: Is LinkedIn a MySpace for the Business Community? I really don’t see the comparisons. LinkedIn is really provides value, while MySpace, in my humble opinion, is of limited entertainment value only. MySpace is just a convoluted mess of trash, at least the small amount that I have even looked at it and quickly decided not to go back. LinkedIn however, has easily met my needs as an online address book and more. I had previously only had less than ten contacts, until after Tulsa Tech Fest 2006, when one of the few that I had added as a LinkedIn connection suddenly showed up as having taken a job with Infragistics about six weeks later. That’s when I personally saw one of the great benefits of LinkedIn. As past coworkers and contacts move through out their lives and careers, it makes it so much easier to keep in touch with them! Somehow, I neglected to blog about this back then! In a nutshell, one of our speakers Ed Blankenship was up from Dallas to present with his co-worker Ed Kisinger on Visual Studio Team System where after the event he met up with fellow presenter Ambrose Little, they connected and shortly there after, Ed Blankenship went to work with Infragistics. I found out within a day or two at the most, thanks to LinkedIn. This shows me not only the value of LinkedIn, but also speaking, participating and attending any community event. You never know who you will connect with and where it could led! Potentially your dream job!

Planning is well under way for an even bigger and better Tulsa Tech Fest 2007! You will not want to miss it!

ASP/ASP.NET MVP Award!

I am now an MVP for the Visual Developer – ASP/ASP.NET technical communities! My wife will tell you it was a lot of work. πŸ™‚

Since everyone is limited to the same time constraints as everyone else, 24 x 7 x 365 – family, work and occasionally sleep, I am continually looking for ways to be more effective with my time and reach a larger community with as close to the same amount of time as I have been able to contribute  in the past.

I will be taking Julie Lerman’s excellent and experienced advise (as she just hit MVP Year # 5!) and continue doing what I do and if Microsoft likes it I will find out next July. I look forward to working with her and every one else on the INETA Speakers Bureau of the next two years, as today also marks the official start of my role on the INETA Board of Directors as the VP Speakers Bureau, I am sure we will get the web site updated soon. Bill Wolff did an excellent job for quite awhile, and I found that I am also following in the steps of Scott Bellware as well!

Just this week I learned that I have the honor of having my session to present “Putting it all together with .NET 3.0: Presentation, Services and Workflow” chosen for VSLive! Austin (November 12-15), so I will see you there!

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Where to go instead of PDC?!?

Jon Box recently posted this question on his blog – Where do I go instead of PDC? (Since it was canceled this year.) He lists the big events that are happening more and more frequently. One that he left out is the Heartland Developer’s Conference $150 for Oct 18th & Oct 19th in Omaha, Nebraska. They consistently have what looks like an awesome event that I, as an event planner, use as a measuring stick to how well I am doing. Of course, he mentions DevLink.NET, which John Kellar and I have a healthy competition always cooking as well, after all, he and Michael Wiley are the whole reason I really pushed myself and went from “one of these days” to actually putting on the first Tulsa TechFest last year. They are always a tough act to follow.

In my opinion, to answer Jon’s question would simply be that everyone should go to all of them that they possibly can. The very same applies to the normal .NET User Group meetings in your areas. It benefits everyone. The more that attend, the bigger speakers, more sponsors and prizes. Everyone benefits when everyone shares their individual experiences and perspectives.

OKCodeCamp is shaping up to be a great first time effort and not just because I’ll be speaking there. As one of our members pointed out (just more friendly competitive fuel) – it should have been OKCCodeCamp — which means it currently is okcOdeCamp. πŸ™‚

Of course, I am partial, but Tulsa TechFest is going to rock this year. It only being our second one, those that attended last year will be amazed at the differences between the two events. Not wanting to give a whole lot of specific details away just yet, here’s just a few:

As Jon mentioned, Jason Zander – General Manager for the .NET Framework will be delivering the very opening keynote.

Sean Alexander – Director of Microsoft Silverlight

Michael Scherotter – Microsoft Developer Evangelist from San Francisco

Markus Egger – Publisher of CoDe Magazine and President and Chief Software Architect of EPS Software Corp.,!

Wally McClure – host of the ASP.NET Podcast

Jeffrey Palermo bringing a “Party with Palermo Tulsa TechFest Style

Bill Vaughn – SQL Server Guru of no equal and author of numerous SQL books!

Ambrose LittleInfragistics Codemunicator

The list definitely goes on and on.

Stay tuned to the web site for more updates very shortly. You can look at the details of last year’s event and get an idea of what will be happening this year because a very high percentage of the speakers from last year have been contacting us ready to do it again. That speaks a volumes to the success of last year.

Oh, and Jon, we’d love for you to come and speak as well. πŸ™‚

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Microsoft Web Experience Events – Not Coming Anywhere Near Me!

Microsoft is hosting free Microsoft Web Experience events at the Los Angeles Microsoft office on June 8th and the Denver Microsoft office on June 15th. They will be presenting information on building the next generation user experience on the web. They are providing breakfast and lunch, hosting a reception with beer and wine, and attendees are automatically registered in a drawing for an XBox 360 and a Zune that will be given away at each event. For more information, visit http://kaevans.sts.winisp.net/Shared%20Documents/webexperience.aspx.

I just wish we could have one even half way close to us – Dallas even? Kirk Allan Evan's blog post makes it sound like they are marketing it to a small list of customers. I can think of a few who are deserving (like my employer!) πŸ™‚

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Zain Naboulsi rocked Tulsa – MSDN Event and TulsaDevelopers.NET

Zain Naboulsi rocked Tulsa! After presenting for four hours at the MSDN Event on Windows CardSpace and Microsoft AJAX. I had imagined that he would have been at least a little tired. But was the TulsaDevelopers.NET users group pleasantly surprised.

He came in and delivered an awesome presentation on WPF with some Silverlight thrown in. He did an excellent job of incorporating the latest and greatest like Expression Blend. He also brought to light the fact that as developers we need to not get so comfortable in the new found user interface capabilities that WPF provides and be sure to continue digging deeper. We need to continue growing our knowledge of the underlying architecture at least as much as we always have – does anyone remember bitblts and all the other crazy graphical hacks that we have had to do in the past?

So, fair warning OKC. When Zain comes to do your MSDN Event on Thursday you are in for a real treat!

He kept everyone excited and interested through out the whole day!

Synergist : Why XML in Silverlight is Significant

Michael  Scherotter was definitely an awesome add to Microsoft’s Silverlight team! Check out some of the awesome things he’s done in the past with XML/XSLT and what he’s working on now with MindJet’s MindManager XML export and XSLT transformation to XAML in a post he called “Create a Silverlight Map”. – Very awesome stuff! Plus, don’t just be a spectator – join in the fun, he just added a Groove workspace on the project!

You must check out his Silverlight Ribbon UI for web sites demo – www.xmldocs.net be sure to hit the Test tab and see the RSS feeds group! Very awesome.

Synergist : Why XML in Silverlight is Significant

Sitecore Certified Developer Level II

I attended a three day training class last week and after taking the exam I am now a Sitecore Certified Developer Level II. I must say that I am even more impressed with its capabilities and features as a Content Management System. It is a terrific web site framework that can allow you to deliver web sites faster that inheritably offer the site administrators the ability to update content. I start asking the typical questions though, how many large site with high traffic are using it.

There are just a few features that are missing that makes it less easy to use. First, you can only run it as an IIS web site and not in a virtual directory. Since IIS on XP only allows one site running at once this can be a pain in the rear and installation on Vista is not well documented and caused me considerable amount of grief. More and more web sites today have heavy requirements for personalization and social networking features and this seems to be an area that it is lacking in. Finally, it needs to be easier to run unrelated web sites using one installation of Sitecore to make it applicable to a hosting provider scenario.

I continue to get more excited about Microsoft Office Sharepoint Server (MOSS) the more I learn and use it as an application framework. It has so many features out of the box that I can take advantage of allowing me to focus on the real needs of my clients.

Excellent Adobe Flex 2.0 Presentation was a big eye opener

This past Monday, Nathan Phelps gave an excellent presentation on Adobe Flex 2.0 for the Tulsa Java Developers Group. I was totally amazed out how similiar it is and fundamentally like Silverlight (formerly code named Windows Presentation Foundation/Everywhere (WPF/E). I see the pros and cons from both architectures. Once Silverlight is fully released and is truely cross-platform as it is planned, then in my opinion it will have many benefits that will surpass Flex. Flex has the power of Flash transformations and can be utilized on lower end graphic cards. Silverlight has a subset of the .NET CLR running on the client side, allowing things like asychronous webservice calls, whereas Flex's webservice calls are sychronous. When the whole goal of these new application frameworks is responsive and immersive user interfaces that seems like a major drawback.

XAML and Flex's MXML markup languages have a lot of similiarities though. Now that Flex's price entry point has been reduced through their Open Source offerings it does make it more of a competitive technology, but the .NET CLR capabilties cannot be beat.