Andrew's Blog

Random Thoughts of an ASP.Net Code Monkey

Developer Day Scotland - Session Voting Now Open

March 4, 2008 01:58 by Andrew Westgarth

It's getting closer and I'm probably a little late in posting about this but hoping I catch the eye of a number of developers in the North of England.  Developer Day Scotland is being held in Glasgow on Saturday 10th May and the session voting is now open.  If you are considering attending DDS this is a great way to have a chance to influence the content of the day - so get voting now! - Developer Day Scotland!

Developer Day Scotland - By The Community for The Community - 10th May 2008 in Glasgow

Developer Day Scotland!! - Saturday May 10th 2008

November 27, 2007 04:57 by Andrew Westgarth

Developer Day Scotland Logo Developer Day Scotland has been announced for Saturday May 10th 2008.  This is the first event to be arranged based on the DDD format, but in another part of the UK.  DDS will be held in Glasgow on Saturday May 10th 2008 and will again be a free event with two tracks with a capacity of 120 attendees.  Speaker session submission is now open and the organisers are also looking for sponsors too.  Anyone who is the North East and West of England if you haven't been to DDD in Reading I recommend you put the date in your diary and keep and eye on the DDS website as this is shaping up to being a great event and well worth attending - .  I personally am planning on proposing a couple of sessions for selection and will also be hoping to attend even if not speaking so see you there.  Support this great event!

Back From DDD6

November 27, 2007 04:50 by Andrew Westgarth

On Saturday I attended DDD6 down at Microsoft's UK Campus in Reading.  This was another great event and a great opportunity to catch up with people and make new contacts.  I attended a full complement of sessions and found the day relaxed and useful.  The great thing about events such as DDD is that the agenda is selected by the community, the sessions are proposed by the community and the days are organised by the community.  Also because of the breadth of topics being covered I was able to cover topics which I wouldn't always be able to. 

I started off my day with a session from Dave Sussman on the forthcoming Dynamic Data Controls for ASP.Net.  Dave is a great speaker and is also very honest in his opinions, perfectly accompanied with Phil's opinions too and this gave the session a real life feel and led the audience to make their own minds up on the real use of the tools.  Essentially the people in the room were the first to see this build of the controls, they provide a good way of creating a quick admin site for a database but beyond that as Dave and Phil said, it is unclear where they would be used.

I saw Gary Short present on his Favourite Patterns next, this is a session which I have been looking forward to seeing and I'm hoping to sort out a date for Gary to come and present at VBUG in Newcastle in the New Year.  I enjoyed this session because patterns and practices is an area which I think a lot of developers, myself included, are looking to gain more knowledge and focus in, due to the pressures of time at work this is often where events like DDD can help with delivering content on this type of topic.  I enjoyed the session and look forward to learning more as I get further into the path which Gary has started.

Ben Lamb's session - Being Lazy with PowerShell was interesting and gave a quick roundup of PowerShell and why Developers should care about it.  The power of CmdLets and the control over the shell which PowerShell gives is great and I will be looking to cover a little more of PowerShell as I look at how it can be used with IIS7.

The penultimate session I attended was organised by Colin Mackay and was a Question Time type panel on the subject of Recruitment.  The panel consisted of Sarah Blow, founder of Girl Geek Dinners and Software Engineer, Barry Dorrans, Senior Consultant and Microsoft MVP, Frank Kerrigan, Development Team Lead and Karl Lightfoot, a recruitment consultant.  Colin had a series of questions submitted but also questions were taken from the floor in this hour long session.  This was a session which I had been looking forward to as this is a topic discussed within the Community at length.  Questions covered issues such as balancing evangelism and work; how to get started in the industry; what sort of positions to look for?; Why whiteboards are used in interviews?; Technical Testing methods.  This was great session and interesting to hear the issues from the four perspectives on the panel.  I'm sure this session could have occupied a lot more time.

Finally I attended Barry's session on Web Services? We don't need no web server.  This was a great session, despite Barry's live coding and time issues, and the way in which Barry handled the problems are a lesson to all presenters.  The content quality was as usual high and gave a good grounding on WCF and benefits over Remoting.  It is very difficult to find a good session on WCF as it can be a very dry topic, however this cleared up a lot of confusion and initial quandaries over WCF and I'm looking forward to having more of a look at WCF - especially with PAS on IIS7 - soon.

Overall another great day and well worth the drive down from the North East.

DDD6 - Registration Full in a Day!!

October 25, 2007 06:37 by Andrew Westgarth

I've just been alerted by Gary Short, to the fact that DDD6 Registration is full already!  Wow, full in one day!!  There is a waiting list in operation now, so keep registering - you may still get a chance to get to DDD6.  Important! - If you have registered but find that you can't attend please let Microsoft Events know so they can allocate your place to someone on the waiting list.  This just proves how popular the DDD events are!

Recruiting in IT - Recruited, or Recruiting - Had Many Problems?

October 24, 2007 15:14 by Andrew Westgarth

In the past year I have been involved in a number of conversations with fellow UK Developer Community Members about the subject of Recruiting in IT and primarily the problem of getting the right people in to fill positions in our organisations.  Colin Mackay has proposed a session for the forthcoming DDD6 and this has been voted on to the agenda.  Colin now needs your help with questions for the panel.  The details of the session, have been sent to me by Colin for more details read below.

A panel of experts will answer the audiences questions on the subject of recruitment chaired by Colin Mackay. This session is for you if you are looking for a job and want to find out what companies are looking for. You are trying to hire someone but don't know what to look for. You have been burned in the past and don't want to repeat the experience. You have a question about recruitment no one else seems to have an answer to.

There will be a question box on the day for you to post your questions, but if you want to email in advance, you can email your questions to Submissions by email close at 23:59 on the 23rd November.

The panel is:

Sarah Blow: Founder of Girl Geek Dinners and software Engineer at Cardinal Health.  She has grown up around technology and HR with parents in both industry sectors and works closely with Women & Technology and companies to create a better understanding about how women may be recruited in different ways to men.

Barry Dorrans: Senior consultant for Charteris PLC and Microsoft MVP. When interviewing he takes the red pen and becomes intellisense for whiteboards.

Frank Kerrigan: Development team lead for Erinaceous Insurance Services in Glasgow. His team writes enterprise applications for internal customers using C# and SQL Server. Frank has been in devolvement and support of enterprise systems for 15 years.

Karl Lightfoot: Recruitment Consultant that for the last 9 years day in day out has only been recruiting developers in the Midlands region for the largest IT Recruitment consultancy in the UK. He has successfully recruited for large and small corporations through different market states of the supply / demand of talented Developers from Visual Basic 3 to .Net 2005.

DDD6 - Registration Now Open!!

October 24, 2007 04:58 by Andrew Westgarth

Craig Murphy just alerted me via his Twitter feed that Registration has opened for Developer Developer Day 6 on Saturday 24th November 2007 at Microsoft Campus in Reading, UK.  Make sure you register fast for this excellent event - last time registrations filled within four days!!!

I'm registered so go to - and register now - I'll see you there!!

DDD6 - Session Voting Now Open

October 12, 2007 09:47 by Andrew Westgarth

Session voting is now open for DDD6, go to the website now and select up to 10 sessions that you would like to see on the agenda for DDD6 -

DDD6 - Final Call for Speakers

October 8, 2007 13:06 by Andrew Westgarth

DDD6 will be held on Saturday 24th November 2007 and currently the comittee are accepting session submissions from Speakers.  The deadline for submissions has been extended but will end at 18:00 on Thursday 11th November 2007, yes this Thursday!!!  If you are interested in submitting a session for DDD6 please fill in the form on the DDD website -

I delivered a session on IIS7 at the last DDD and it was a very enjoyable and rewarding experience, to be stood in Chicago 1 delivering content to my peers and community colleagues was a tremendous buzz.  Unfortunately I haven't had time due to other commitments to prepare anything but DDD6 but plan to for DDD7 next year.  DDD is a great way for aspiring speakers to try it with an understanding and appreciative audience, the key thing about DDD events is Community.  These events are run by the Community for the Community

Developer Developer Developer 6 - Date Announced

September 19, 2007 00:06 by Andrew Westgarth

Yes that's right folks, there's a load of new content on my blog, and plenty more coming.  One of the most important dates for your diary is the next Developer Developer Developer Day conference which has been announced for Saturday 24th November 2007 at the usual venue of Microsoft TVP in Reading, UK.  I've been looking forward to this event since the last event in June.  Make sure you put the date into your diaries and keep an eye on the Developer Day site for more news.

NxtGenUG Podcasts - How To and DDD5

July 17, 2007 01:06 by Andrew Westgarth

Recently Richard Costall and Dave McMahon gave a presentation at Community Leaders Day - an event for Community Leaders at Microsoft TVP, UK - on the subject of Podcasting. Indeed they even recorded a Podcast, showed us how to publish it and edit it Live in the session. They have made the podcast available to all and if it's something you are interested in I recommend a listen -

While at DDD5 Dave McMahon caught up with me for an interview on IIS7 and my experiences of starting to speak on the circuit at national and local events. This podcast also contains interviews with attendees, speakers and organisers of DDD5, excellent work once again - to listen to the DDD5 podcast use this link - also why you're there why not check out their other podcasts


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