Andrew's Blog

Random Thoughts of an ASP.Net Code Monkey

Retired from the MVP Program–Got a New Badge

July 31, 2014 02:09 by Andrew Westgarth

On Monday 28th July 2014, I retired from the Microsoft MVP Program after 7 years!  The MVP Program is a fantastic honour and privilege to be a part of and I have interacted with many, many fantastic peers and community members over the years. 

I’ve had to retire because I have joined Microsoft as a Program Manager on the Microsoft Azure Websites Team, a very exciting and interesting opportunity for me!  I’m looking forward to getting up to speed quickly and working with my new team.

I’ll still be as active as I used to be in the community, workload permitting, and look forward to seeing many of you at NEBytes and DDD North as it’s business as usual with both of those.

An Invite to the Palace!

July 2, 2014 01:15 by Andrew Westgarth

Being introduced to The Queen

Last month I was extremely surprised and honoured to receive an invite to a UK Technology Reception with The Queen and The Duke of Edinburgh at Buckingham Palace on Monday 9th June 2014.  The reception was hosted by The Duke of York and I was among 350 guests from all over the UK Technology industry invited to this fantastic occasion.  I received my invite for the work I’ve done in the community with user groups such as NEBytes and events such as DDD North and Imagine Cup North East, which is very humbling as I love the work I do in the community and think of it more as a hobby than actual work, many thanks to everyone in the community who has supported the events, students and our fantastic user group here in the North East!

My Invite to the UK Technology Reception at Buckingham Palace

I joined other representatives from the North East Technology Community, David Dunn – CEO of Sunderland Software City, Kevin Beales – CEO of Sunderland based Test Factory, Mike Fish – Managing Director of Dontyne Systems, Ajay Sood – Managing Director of Orchid Software and Workcast Director Gerrard Callaghan, among many others.  We were all privileged to be introduced to both The Queen and The Duke of Edinburgh and we discussed the UK Technology Industry with our peers throughout a very pleasant evening.  An experience I am very proud of and very grateful for the opportunity, certainly one to remember and what a great picture to put in the family album!

DDD North 2014 Announced

June 25, 2014 02:00 by Andrew Westgarth

This morning I am delighted to announce that DDD North 2014 will be held at the University of Leeds on Saturday 18th October 2014.  DDD North is a free one day technical event for developers. This is the fourth Developer! Developer! Developer! Community Event ever ran in the North of England and we are delighted to be hosted at the University of Leeds following on from our three previous events with registrations rising over 425 last year! DDD North is a day of learning, discussion, contribution and involvement in the community in the North East, North West, Midlands and Scotland. The goal of DDD North is to provide free technical education with the added benefit of the networking possibilities with peers and the development of relationships across the .NET Industry!

DDD North 2014 is now open for session submissions so get them in now!! – http://www.dddnorth.co.uk/sessions

The timeline for the event is as follows:

  • Session submissions open now till 00:00 on Friday 22nd August 2014
  • Session voting begins at 00:01 on Friday 22nd August 2014 and closes at 00:00 on Friday 29th August 2014
  • Agenda will be published (subject to speaker confirmation) at 08:00 on Monday 1st September 2014
  • Registration will open at 10:00 on Monday 1st September 2014

For more information and to stay up to date check out www.dddnorth.co.uk and follow the event on Twitter – http://www.twitter.com/dddnorth

DDD North 2013 Announced and Session Submission Open

July 1, 2013 13:00 by Andrew Westgarth

On Saturday I attended the inaugural DDD East Anglia and took the ideal opportunity to announce the details for this year’s DDD North!  The event has been in the planning stages for a while and work continues apace.  I’m delighted to announce that we will be returning to the University of Sunderland on Saturday 12th October 2013 for DDD North.  The University of Sunderland’s Sir Tom Cowie’s Campus at St.Peters’ is a fantastic venue and was a fantastic place to study when I was studying for my degree many years ago.  We are working hard with the University of Sunderland, Sunderland Software City and Sunderland City Council to make sure this is the best DDD North yet! 

dddMedDDD North has launched a new site at http://www.dddnorth.co.uk and improvements and functionality is being added hourly at present as we ramp up our efforts.  The DDD North Call for Speakers is now open and will remain open till early-mid August before voting will commence so get your session submissions in now!  We’d love to see some new speakers submitting sessions as the original premise of DDD Events was to encourage and introduce new speakers.

DDD North is a free event and would not be so if it were not for the support of our fantastic sponsors.  If you know of any business or groups who would like to sponsor DDD North, we have a range of packages available and are open to discussions about suggestions, please get in touch using the contact form.

In the meantime keep an eye on www.dddnorth.co.uk for more news and sessions being added daily.  I look forward to seeing you at DDD North 2013 at the University of Sunderland!

DDD North 2012 Accommodation Suggestions

August 28, 2012 04:18 by Andrew Westgarth

As we are under an hour away from registration opening for DDD North 2012, which is being held at the Bradford University School of Management I thought it would be useful to put together a few links to help with accommodation choices.  This list isn’t extensive as last year’s event as it was held in my home town, but I will keep adding to this list based on comments and recommendations.

As I say I’ll keep adding this as I uncover more options.   For the agenda and more details about DDD North 2012 please visit http://bit.ly/dddnorth2

Categories: Events | DDD North
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FREE DDD North Geek Dinner Sponsored by Devexpress

October 5, 2011 01:33 by Andrew Westgarth

After enjoying a great day at what we hope will be a fantastic first ever DDD North, please join us to enjoy a fantastic Geek Dinner at the Sunderland Stadium of Light.

Developer! Developer! Developer! North

Thanks to the fantastic folks at Devexpress we are able host a free Geek Dinner for 120 people!! We hope this will be a fantastic opportunity for speakers and attendees to chat and relax after a fun filled day of great technical content at DDD North

Devexpress

Please join us at the Sunderland Stadium of Light after Developer! Developer! Developer! North for drinks in the Sports Bar and then we will move onto enjoy a fantastic meal and relax with friends and reflect on the day.

The menu is fixed but the choices are below:

Carvery Choices (2 of the following)

Topside of English Beef

Loin of English Pork

Menu

2 Roast Meat Carvery with Yorkshire Puddings, Home Made Stuffing, Market Vegetables and a Rich Roast Gravy

Vegetarian Main Course Option

Chunky Thai Green Curry with Kai Pow Dumplings and Savory Rice

Chef's Dessert/Whole Fruit Selection

Please indicate when booking your ticket if you would like the vegetarian option. If you have any other dietary requirements please indicate too so we can do our best to cater for your requirements.

PASSWORD FOR THE REGISTRATION FORM IS devexpress

Register for DDD North - Geek Dinner Sponsored by Devexpress in Sunderland, United Kingdom  on Eventbrite

Travelling to DDD North? Directions

October 2, 2011 16:34 by Andrew Westgarth

Developer! Developer! Developer! North is this coming weekend in Sunderland, UK and is being held at the David Goldman Informatics Centre on the Sir Tom Cowie Campus at St. Peter’s on the banks of the river Wear.  There are many different ways to travel to the University and here are some guides on how to get to the campus.

By Train

Sunderland is well connected by a national rail service.  Grand Central trains run direct from London Kings Cross daily.  East Coast run services into Newcastle Central Rail Station, from here you can take the METRO direct to Sunderland in approximately 30 minutes.

By Air

Newcastle International Airport is the closest airport to the University.  The Airport is linked to Sunderland via the METRO system and is about a one hour journey time.

By Car

From North or South follow the A19 towards Sunderland and leave the A19 onto the A1231 heading for Sunderland.  For the Sir Tom Cowie Campus at St. Peter’s follow the brown directional signs for the National Glass Centre which is also located within the St. Peter’s Campus.

For Satellite Navigation Directions please use the postcode SR6 0DD.

For this Saturday only – the University has given us FREE Car Parking.

By METRO

Alight at the St. Peter’s station, go down the stairs, cross the main road at the Pelican crossing and follow the signs to your destination.  There is a metro map and journey planner at www.nexus.org.uk

By Foot

If you are staying on the Sea Front it is a short walk along the coast line and riverside to the campus.

http://www.bing.com/maps/?v=2&cp=t4kc5pgwk5f6&lvl=16&dir=0&sty=b&cid=F697BCD4BD5A1C5A!2194&eo=0&where1=SR6%200DD%2C%20Sunderland%2C%20Sunderland&form=LMLTCC

Map picture

Looking for Somewhere to Stay at DDD North?

September 4, 2011 07:42 by Andrew Westgarth

As the agenda is being formalised now and registration for DDD North opens tomorrow I thought it might be useful to publish some information about accommodation for DDD North.

DDD North is being held in Sunderland, which is a city on the North East coast and has a stunning coastline, so why not stay on the coast with a fantastic sea view?  Take it from one who lives here, this is one of the reasons I love living in the North East.  So I have put together a selection of hotels and guest houses to get you started in finding great value accommodation.

The first on the list is the Roker Hotel, which is likely to be the focal point for meetings outside of the University as it has a large and well stocked bar!  All of the guest houses listed along with the Marriott are within walking distance of the Roker Hotel and the majority are within walking distance of the University Of Sunderland where DDD North is being held.

In addition there are plenty of other guest houses in the area and there is also a Travelodge in the city centre which is about 15 minutes walk from the University.

I’m adding a few more options in case those above fill up!

In addition there are two Premier Inns which are 15 mins drive to the University of Sunderland where DDD North is being held

DSC_0142 (2)

DDD North–Saturday 8th October 2011–Session Submission Open!

July 26, 2011 15:20 by Andrew Westgarth

I’m very pleased to announce that Session Submission has opened for DDD North, the first Developer! Developer! Developer! event to be held in the North East!

DDD North will be held at the University of Sunderland on Saturday 8th October 2011 – http://www.developerdeveloperdeveloper.com/north.  We are looking forward to hosting a fantastic free community led event where you the community define the agenda.  So what are you waiting for, get your session submissions in now!!

Stay up to date with DDD North through the twitter account – http://twitter.com/dddnorth and with the hashtag #DDDNorth.

dddSunderlandWPathenon



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The opinions expressed herein are my own personal opinions and do not represent my employer's view in anyway.

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