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Random Thoughts of an ASP.Net Code Monkey

SharePoint User Group and VBUG North East Meeting - September 10th 2007!! - Updated

September 3, 2007 16:53 by Andrew Westgarth

Yes, thats right the next VBUG meeting in Newcastle, is a joint venture by both VBUG and the SharePoint User Group and is being held on Monday the 10th September 2007.  We are very pleased to be having Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007 MVP - Spencer Harbar - presenting two topics for us.  The topics Spencer will be covering are:

  • Server Farm Architecture and Design (Key Influencers, models etc) Update: This session introduces the fundamentals of MOSS Farm design including server roles, topology constraints and design goals which are paramount for delivery of a secure, available and scalable MOSS hosting platform. Each server roles? unique characteristics will be covered with their associated trade-offs. In addition, three common models will be presented with a discussion of their strengths and weaknesses.
  • Top 10 Tips for a SharePoint Development Environment (Tools, Utilities, etc) Updated: This session will present 10 essential tips, tricks, tweaks or utilities for making your SharePoint Development easier and quicker. All tips can be used equally in a Virtual Machine or on a ?real? server. Many of the tips are also useful for systems administrators working with SharePoint 2007

The meeting is being held at the BT offices, Unit 7, Room 3, Innovation Place, Delta Bank, Newcastle-Upon-Tyne, NE11 9DJ - for a map go to http://local.live.com/?v=2&sp=Point.t4t652gvtvyw_NE11%209DJ%20(postcode)%2C%20United%20Kingdom___&encType=1

To register for the event please go to the VBUG website - SUGUK & VBUG- 'Sharepoint' with Spencer Harbar

If you are a SharePoint Administrator, Developer or just want to find out more about MOSS, please come along all are welcome.

SQL Bits! - DDD Eye for the SQL Guy

September 3, 2007 16:45 by Andrew Westgarth

The SQL Community are having their first Community conference on Saturday 6th October 2007 at Microsoft's Reading Campus.  There will be 20 sessions in 4 tracks (BI, DBA, Development and Katmai) all at a cost of £0.00 - yes thats right, nothing - it's FREE!!  Registration is open now however registration is filling quickly and there's only room for 350 people.

Register on the SQL Bits site and then select 10 sessions you would most like to see, Tim Leung, VBUG Vice Chairman has a session proposed - "Getting Started with SQL Server Reporting Services".  There are many great sessions there so if SQL is your bag, get yourself registered and get along to what looks to be a great event.  By voting you are helping to shape the conference agenda.  After voting you will receive the conference registration URL.  To register go to http://www.sqlbits.com/information/PublicSessions.aspx

BarCamp mobileCampLondon

August 15, 2007 11:14 by Andrew Westgarth

I was sent a mail today informing me of a BarCamp event running in London, concerning mobile development.  This has always been an area of intrigue for myself and something I've wanted to have a look into for a while (especially as I now have a Windows Mobile 6 XDA Orbit - very cool device). Indeed I'm looking forward to hopefully catching Tony Whitter's session at the Annual VBUG Conference in October.

The BarCamp event is on Saturday 29th September in London and for more details go to http://www.barcamp.org/mobileCampLondon 

If mobile development is of interest and you are in London, or going to be, or will make the trip for this event, check it out.  Also for other BarCamp events check out http://www.barcamp.org

Categories: Events
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Win a ticket to TechEd Developers with NxtGenUG and Microsoft.

August 6, 2007 10:16 by Andrew Westgarth

NxtGenUG is offering one lucky winner a ticket to Microsoft?s premier European developer conference : TechEd Developers in Barcelona : November 5th - 9th 2007. To be in with a chance to win the ticket register on the NxtGenUG site and enter the TechEd ticket treasure hunt. [Terms and conditions apply]. Visit the NxtGenUG TechEd home page for more details... http://www.nxtgenug.net/TechEd07/default.aspx

VBUG - Ruby On Rails with Dave Verwer

July 17, 2007 01:43 by Andrew Westgarth

Last Wednesday we had an excellent session in Newcastle presented by Dave Verwer and hosted kindly by Northern Rock. The subject was Ruby On Rails and I really enjoyed the session and the feedback from the attendees indicate that they felt the same. This was a very informative and interesting session. I knew very little about Ruby or Rails and have now learned enough to get going - time permitting. The main thing I took away from the concept is that the structure makes it very simple to do things write, i.e. basic structures for Unit Tests etc are created so there's no excuse really for not implementing them.

To get the slides and to find out more about Dave visit his site - http://daveverwer.com/2007/7/16/slides-from-my-presentations.

I have some pictures of the event and will upload them to Flickr and put up a link soon.

DDD5 - A Great Day, A Surge and an Outage

July 17, 2007 00:30 by Andrew Westgarth

You may look at the title of this post and wonder what on earth I'm on about! Well this is my first post since DDD5 and there's a story behind why.

DDD5 was a great day and had been eagerly awaited by many including me, as this was biggest speaking engagement so far! I woke up early on the Saturday morning, raring to go only to find that the lady who was due to cook breakfast at the B&B Dave McMahon, Fellow Speaker, and I were staying at, had not turned in (we later found she was not well). So we headed off to DDD to get prepared and briefed. I was on first in Chicago 2! When I first saw the agenda about eight weeks ago, I was surprised to see my session was so popular. This was both very pleasing but daunting too.

I had a good attendance in my session on IIS7 for ASP.Net Developers. The topic seemed well received, some swag, namely the famous Microsoft socks, was distributed to quite an interactive crowd, for 9:30 on a Saturday morning. Lee Dale has a post on his experience in the session and during DDD5 - http://leedale.wordpress.com/2007/07/01/ddd5-at-microsoft-tvp-reading/ and Guy Smith Ferrier also passed on his compliments about my session - http://www.guysmithferrier.com/trackback.aspx?Entry=131. I got a major buzz from speaking at DDD and there in lies the surge behind the title. I didn't realise the adrenalin buzz I got from delivering my session, I was totally wired. I realised this when my body went in to shutdown during Richard Fennell's session on Visual Studio Team System. This was a great session and reminded me of the great features available for project and code management in TFS, this is the first time I'd seen a session on VSTS since the VS2005 launch events. My sincere apologies to Richard if it looked as though I was dropping off on the front row in his session, I was just consumed by a complete drain of energy after my session. Richard your session was great and I really enjoyed it.

The rest of the day was very enjoyable as ever and these events are definitely a must attend ever more evident by the speed in which registration is filled. This year less than 5 days!! I went to a very light and thought provoking session by Dave Sussman on CSS and it was good to see I had been having the same issues as many others but that my knowledge was also better than I thought! I also managed to see an interesting and light session on the SDK that BT have released - a session entitled How to make a Phone Ring with one line of code! - For more details on the SDK visit the BT site - http://web21c.bt.com.

I also managed to see Barry Dorrans' session on Information Card - http://idunno.org/archive/2007/06/30/an-introduction-to-information-card.aspx. This was the first time I've managed to catch this session, and it was very interesting and great to learn more about an area I knew very little about. Barry's sessions are always very informative and he manages to strike a good balance between content and humour and keeps audiences enthralled throughout.

On the Friday before DDD5 myself and numerous other Community Leaders met with Microsoft DPE to discuss the community needs, how we could all work together and learn from each other. These are very useful days and it is worth noting the massive support we are given by the team at Microsoft and indeed throughout the UK Community. By working together we hope to be able to service the needs of developers nationwide.

The slides and demos for my session - IIS 7 for ASP.Net Developers can be downloaded using the following links:

FrontPage Server Extensions for IIS7

June 12, 2007 15:14 by Andrew Westgarth

A query I had at the VBUG Leeds meeting last Wednesday was on the subject of FrontPage Server Extensions(FPSE) for IIS7. There is a beta of these available currently and they will work with Windows Vista and Longhorn Server Beta 3 (or should that now be Windows Server 2008 Beta 3?). To download them use this link: http://www.iis.net/downloads/default.aspx?tabid=34&g=6&i=1460

For further information on the reason why FPSE were not included with Windows Vista and Longhorn Server Beta 3 see Robert McMurray's Blog where he has two detailed posts about the FPSE for IIS7:

Bill Staples also has the details on his Blog, which is another blog worth reading for information on IIS7
Categories: ASP.Net | Events | How To | IIS | VBUG
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Slides and Demos from IIS 7 Talks in Newcastle and Leeds

June 12, 2007 14:54 by Andrew Westgarth

First off, my sincere apologies to both groups for not having posted these earlier, things have been a bit manic and I've had major issues with an update I made to the Blog on Sunday which forced me to rollback :-(.

On Thursday 31st May I presented this topic, IIS7 for ASP.Net Developers, at VBUG Newcastle. This was my first experience of presenting a non-launch event on my own. This was daunting and requires lots of hard work - more than even I imagined! The presentation went well, I thought, although I had a lot of issues with my demos, thanks to all who attended for being so understanding.

Last Wednesday, I ventured down to Leeds, to deliver the same session for VBUG Leeds. After driving down to Leeds after work, a couple of phonecalls and wishing I still had Sat NAV in my car I managed to arrive at the venue! The session went well with lots of questions, interaction and feedback from all attendees. I tried a new method of structuring my Demos and this went a lot better than in Newcastle. My thanks to Andy Marshall, VBUG Leeds Coordinator and his group for an enjoyable evening.

This has been a great learning experience for me and very rewarding and is helping me to shape the talk as I receive feedback and learn from my experiences. Thanks to all attendees for listening to me and thanks for your feedback, this is a very useful feature of the meetings and one I actively encourage as a coordinator and even more so now as a speaker.

The slides are available as a pdf and the demos are available in a zip file format, any questions please let me know.

Selection of Links

June 1, 2007 00:10 by Andrew Westgarth

At tonight's VBUG session I mentioned a number of things to go and look into. Here are the links and I'll post some detailed thoughts soon.

DDD5 Agenda Up and Registration Open

June 1, 2007 00:05 by Andrew Westgarth

The agenda for DDD5 on Saturday 30th June has now bee published and registration is now open for further details go to www.developerday.co.uk.

I will be delivering my IIS7 for ASP.Net Developers session, thanks to those who voted for me, looking forward to the event.



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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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