Events

[MVP Summit 2011] - Memories of Microsoft

Submitted by Robert MacLean on Mon, 03/07/2011 - 07:25

As I sit on the couch of the place I have called home for the last 5 or so days with my bags packed, Rudi trying to cheat at chess and the children of the house going to bed, it is insane to think that it was almost 2 weeks ago I was in South Africa trying to find enough clothes to bring and now it is over Disappointed smile

The first rule of being a MVP is don’t talk about fight club NDA material and unfortunately a lot of amazing (and even some boring) news we learnt this week was NDA.

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So what can I share with you?

  • Microsoft is listening – I have mentioned this before but the sheer volume of input sources to Microsoft is staggering. Some of those sources don’t always have good things to say, but Microsoft does factor that in and it is important. If you want Microsoft to change, tell them – just don’t insult them when you do.
  • Microsoft is a business – It is there to make a profit. So when it pumps hundreds of millions of dollars into research, you can expect it wants a ROI. Being this is a technology blog, what does that mean? WATCH MICROSOFT RESEARCH.
  • MVP’s are smart – I have said before that being a MVP is an award for community work but it is not until you sit in a room with some of them you realise how smart they are, and how well they can shoot:28022011559

To everyone from Microsoft who made this week special and for trusting us with information on project double rainbow unicorn*, thank you for all of it – it has been AMAZING!  Smile


* If you have no sense of humour, project double rainbow unicorn is a joke – no such project exists or at least none I know of.

[MVP Summit 2011] - It's cold

Submitted by Robert MacLean on Mon, 02/28/2011 - 08:09

What I learnt at MVP Summit today?

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It’s COLD, really, really cold. It’s raining and windy, which makes it colder.

This explains a lot about Microsoft & Seattle:

  • Lot’s of micro breweries – cause beer helps with the cold
  • Lot’s of coding – cause it’s too cold to go outside
  • Lot’s of awesome friends – cause nothing rocks like chatting to a friend at a fire in Starbucks
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[MVP Summit 2011] - Touring with the local

Submitted by Robert MacLean on Sun, 02/27/2011 - 09:29

Day 2 of Summit has been a blast as Rudi Grobler (friend of The show) and I, spent the day seeing a different side of Seattle and surrounding as we were shepherded about by Rein Hillman, a local to these parts. Having a local with a car makes a huge difference – you eat and see things that no tour guide will ever tell you. Like:

  • The best Tereyaki: Yummy Tereyaki
  • The biggest geek shop: Fry’s
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  • Some awesome board game shop
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  • A few of the local bars – most were closed though, so no planning on our side.

All in all, a lot of fun and food Smile 

In the evening we headed down to Kent and the ShoWare Center to watch ICE HOCKEY! Which is an insane sport where I do not understand a thing that happened except goals – rest was just too fast and complex for my brain. I wish I had half the skills and reflexes those guys have.

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Time to hit the pillow, tomorrow is all starts and I need my energy!

[MVP Summit 2011] - 3 Minutes & 23 hours

Submitted by Robert MacLean on Sat, 02/26/2011 - 20:23

It is amazing how much can change in 3 minutes, this was the learning from the 1st day of MVP Summit 2011. I arrived in Seattle with Rudi Grobler for MVP summit after 23 hours of travelling which is frankly just ridiculous.

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During that time I did a lot of thinking and reading (thank god for my Kindle) but shortly after arriving in a VERY cold Seattle I had my first 3 minute mind change. I walked out the lovely SEATAC airport and saw SNOW! I get like a kid with snow, but within 3 minutes the cold was just too much and the appeal of the snow wore off Smile

One of things we did was head to the awesome Microsoft Store – this place is just fantastic. They have so much in there but so little feels like a store. It really feels like a place to go an experiment and play with Microsoft tech: There is Kinect stations, Microsoft Surfaces, tablets & laptops running Windows 7 and a variety of Windows Phone 7 devices.

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The 3 minute lesson here if from the store people – having super friendly and knowledgeable really means that it is so much better and easier to buy there. I hope that this fantastic learning in the consumer space is the start of something more at Microsoft.

Finally we hit a place called The Parlor for some beer & pool and run into a Microsoft Team (WinSE – suspect is second edition, since they had a service pack 1 disk "SE" = Sustained Engineering), just guessing but I think it was their ship party.

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After some pool, where Rudi kicked my ass until another friend Rein Hillman arrived (which is when I fought back fantastically) we left and I had my final 3 minute lesson: Walking with your hands in your pockets, cause it is cold, means you need to using something else to stop your fall and your face doesn’t work well.

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Update: Thanks to Chris Johnson to tell me what SE meant.

Dev4Devs - it's coming!

Submitted by Robert MacLean on Thu, 01/20/2011 - 09:13
Update: Event moved to the 5th March 2011 - details: http://blogs.msdn.com/b/southafrica/archive/2011/01/18/devs4devs-returns.aspx

Dev4Dev’s, my favourite event, is coming up soon! It is a free event which happens at Microsoft offices on a Saturday morning where you get to see a variety of topics! The key points that make this awesome:

  • Each presentation is 20min long – so all meat in the topics with no fluff!
  • Even though it is as Microsoft, it is not Microsoft – some fantastic non-Microsoft technologies has been shown before.
  • It’s developers presenting to developers – so no marketing nonsense.
  • You can apply to present in one of the slots – so if you want to present at bigger events (TechEd, DevDays etc…) this is a great way to get on the radar of those who make those decisions!

All the details at: Devs4Devs Returns

For me this is the first one I will miss as I will be in Seattle for MVP Summit Sad smile

Finally an AWESOME competition for South African Developers

Submitted by Robert MacLean on Wed, 01/12/2011 - 10:12

logoI often find too many competitions from Microsoft ignore the southern tip of Africa or focus on specific markets, like education with the great ImagineCup event. Finally us hard working developers get a great competition: Internet Explorer 9 Top Developer Competition

This competition wants* developers to either create an awesome IE 9 add-on or light up a web site with some of the new awesome IE 9 features – so if you a web dev, html monkey, C++ or .NET developer you can take part!

The prize? A trip to PDC – the conference were two years ago everyone got hand build super laptops and last year Windows Phone 7 devices**, not to mention it is where the top Microsoft development speakers meet!

So get coding, you only have until March!!

Some things you may want to check out:

* Side note: “The competition wants” really sounds like the competition is a living entity and will punish you if you don’t do this… it isn’t and it won’t.

** My guess for this year at PDC is giving everyone tablets - just looking at what was announced at CES.

Bring your hard drive to Community Night

Submitted by Robert MacLean on Mon, 12/13/2010 - 12:48

Blue Male Student in a Graduation Cap, Reading a Book and Leaning Against a Stack of Books Clipart IllustrationIf you are coming to tomorrow’s community night, you want to bring your hard drive along because I will have some stuff to fill it up with:

Plus I hear that some prizes may be given away at the events too Winking smile

CommNight December - Some interesting events

Submitted by Robert MacLean on Tue, 12/07/2010 - 10:07

Happy Blue Man Partying With a Party Hat, Confetti and a Bottle of Liquor Clipart IllustrationIn the middle of the company parties, you should take one night off to do some fantastic learning and networking at CommNight (Community Night) on the 14th December! You can read about all the details on the Microsoft DPE Blog.

There are two groups which I want to highlight which will be at CommNight:

S.A. Developer

S.A. Developer is a user group for developers and in December will be hosting the following topics:

  • Tool of the month: This short (10min to 15min) session is where someone can present their favourite developer focus tool or add-on.
  • Unit Testing WPF & Silverlight – Tools & Techniques: Silverlight and WPF can be used to create truly immersive UI experiences for users.  Testing these UI components and the logic around it can become complex – especially when using frameworks like PRISM.  Join us in this session as we take a look at a few tools and techniques that can be used when unit testing WPF and Silverlight applications. 

Really looking forward to this session!

Information Worker

Information Worker is a user group for those in the IW space, not just developers but everyone even people who job just involves Excel and Outlook! This month we are looking at:

  • Lync – Microsoft’s Unified Communication System
  • Windows Phone 7 – What does this give the IW user? Things like Office and SharePoint integration will be discussed

Windows Phone 7 Training Event

Submitted by Robert MacLean on Wed, 11/03/2010 - 08:35

logo_windows_phone_vRudi Grobler, known for his love of WPF, Silverlight and Windows Phone 7, has organised a FREE training event focused on Windows Phone 7! This event will run on the 5th Feb 2011 but space is VERY VERY limited.

The idea is to give you key information via presentations, learning via hands on labs and fun via playing with REAL devices!

You can get all the details and register at: http://sadev.wufoo.com/forms/windows-phone-7-jump-start-feb-2011/

More details about the event will be announced over the coming weeks so follow Rudi’s blog for more!

Tech·Ed Africa 2010 - Slides, scripts and demos for my talks

Submitted by Robert MacLean on Thu, 10/21/2010 - 10:02

Tech·Ed Africa 2010 ended on Wednesday and it was a great event. Thanks to everyone who came to my sessions and came up to me after and between sessions to chat. I felt very honoured to be able to meet and share with you :D

This post is for those who want the slides or demo information. I have completed versions of the demos below (in the zip file) and the script for each demo which gives you the step by step process I used (in the docx file).

APS302 – Intro to Workflow Services and Windows Server AppFabric

Other content for this session:

APS309 – Windows Server AppFabric Caching What it is and When you should use it

Other content for this session:

APS310 – WCF Made Easy with .NET 4 and Windows Server AppFabric

Other content for this session: