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Random Thoughts of an ASP.Net Code Monkey

Review and Slides: VBUG EVO Launch, Newcastle, Tuesday 20th January 2007

February 2, 2007 13:09 by Andrew Westgarth

On Tuesday evening, John Price and I delivered the VBUG North East EVO (Exchange, Vista and Office) Launch Event. Big thanks go to John Price for presenting with me, sharing the work, providing great support, delivering a great presentation and travelling from the East Midlands, it was very much appreciated John, Thank You! Thanks must also go to John Timney for arranging the venue and to BT for providing the venue.

We had a good turnout and the topics we covered were well received. Plenty of swag was distributed. We covered Windows Vista and the 2007 Microsoft Office System.

Admittedly there was an awful lot of content and there was possibly too much to cover in one session. I will bear this in mind for any future launch events and indeed, in my own presentations. Thanks go to those who attended, I hope you all enjoyed the event and if you have any questions about the EVO Launch, previous or upcoming events, or questions about VBUG please email me on

The slides are available in both pptx (Office 2007) and ppt (Office 2003-97) formats:

I look forward to seeing you at the next event in late March, early April, further details to follow soon.

WebDD - It's almost here!

February 2, 2007 01:30 by Andrew Westgarth

Well WebDD is tomorrow, and I am really looking forward to it. The list of speakers is great and I'm really looking forward to seeing Scott Guthrie speak. Scott's Blog is immense and a great source of information for ASP.Net Developers such as myself and he regularly posts in the ASP.Net forums and even finds time to answer many many emails, mine included, wow!

I saw a talk similar to Scott's two parter delivered at Tech Ed - see my post earlier - delivered by Matt Gibbs and it was great, I'm interested to see the differences in Scott's Talk. Also I am looking forward to seeing talks on Accessibility and Usability, two areas of great interest to me since my University days. WPF/E is being covered too and this looks very interesting and definitely worth a look, in fact there is so many good sessions I'm still not sure of what I'm exactly going to see. The schedule is on the WebDD site. If you're attending say hi.

Advanced Security Training for ASP.NET Developers

January 16, 2007 23:47 by Andrew Westgarth

The guys at NxtGenUG are teaming up with Dinis Cruz once again to offer an excellent two day security training course. The course will cover topics such as security principles, .Net Framework Architecture, Threat Modelling, Vulnerabilities, Secure Coding and many more. Dinis Cruz is a very passionate security expert and is very keen on training developers to develop secure applications and to do everything they can to prevent attacks. He is a very passionate speaker and I have had the pleasure of seeing him at a number of events and have enjoyed the information he has presented and I learn a lot every time I see him present. This is a course well worth taking a look at. For more details please go to If you attend the course why not let me know how you get on?

WebDD BackNetwork

January 9, 2007 23:30 by Andrew Westgarth

For the WebDD there is a Backnetwork setup. This is a social networking site and has been set up to accompany the WebDD Conference. More details can be found on the WebDD website. You can register yourself on the Backnetwork and create a profile and contact network. Also any posts you make on Blogs and images you put on flickr should be tagged WebDD so that the Backnetwork site can scan and link to them.

WEBDD - 3rd February 2007 - Registration Now Open!

January 9, 2007 00:59 by Andrew Westgarth

As previously posted on this blog, Phil Winstanley announced Web DD. This is a FREE event run on a Saturday at Microsoft in Reading. Sessions and speakers have been announced and some of the headline speakers include Scott Guthrie, Dave Verwer and Hristo Deshev.

The great news is that registration is now open, it is expected that this will fill up as quickly as the DDD events, so register quickly to secure your place at this much anticipated event! I'll be there so say hello!

Windows Vista and Office 2007 UK Developer Launch - 19th & 20th January 2007

December 8, 2006 15:15 by Andrew Westgarth

There is to be a two day Vista and Office 2007 Developer Launch event at the Microsoft UK Campus in Thames Valley Park, Reading on Friday 19th January 2007 and Saturday 20th January 2007. The two days enable developers to see the new features in the Vista and Office and on the Saturday, there will be an opportunity to gain some hands on experience developing applications for both.

Day One (Friday) will include sessions detailing various new features of each platform and how to take advantage of the new products, and the keynote will be delivered by Sanjay Parthasarathy, Vice President of the Developer and Platform Evangelism Group at Microsoft. Day Two (Saturday) is a day in which delegates will have an opportunity to write some practical code against the products, Vista in the morning, and Office 2007 in the afternoon.

For more information and to register see the following link -

For those who cannot make it to Reading for the in person launch there is also going to be a very extensive online launch. You do not need to register for the online event just go to the above URL and you will be able to view the sessions online.

Podcasts - 4 Chaps from Blighty and NextGenUG

December 6, 2006 00:51 by Andrew Westgarth

The Four Chaps From Blighty have started publishing a Podcast. The Four Chaps in question are Guy Smith-Ferrier, Steve Scott, Brian Long and Steve Tudor. They are the latest to produce a Podcast and very entertaining it is too. Their first Podcast covers how to give great presentations and in the latest one they discuss the recent Developer Day.

Another great series of Podcasts are produced by Richard Costall and Dave McMahon of NxtGenUG. Their Podcasts usually include a number of interviews and views on all that is happening in the community. The series has become compelling listening and well worth a listen, I have even had the pleasure in receiving a number of mentions and have been interviewed on a couple of occasions too.

Go and look them both up!


December 4, 2006 21:30 by Andrew Westgarth

At DDD4 on Saturday it was announced that there is to be a Web Developer Day held at Microsoft UK, Reading on Saturday 3rd February! This is going to be a days event for all Web Developers and Designers and will cover topics such as CSS, AJAX and User Experience. This should be a great event and I am really looking forward to it! As a web devloper personally, I'm really looking forward to mixing with the community and learning from their new experiences. Phil Winstanley is organising it and from what he's told me it is really shaping up to be great. More news will be released and I'll post the registration details as soon as I hear about them. In the meantime why not subscribe to the rss feed - to keep up to date with announcements.

Developer Day 4!

December 4, 2006 21:20 by Andrew Westgarth

This weekend I went down to Microsoft UK, Reading, for Developer Developer Developer Day 4. This is a day run by the community for the community and is hosted by Microsoft but is completely the community's event. This is an excellent event and I have managed to attend DDD2, 3 and 4. I really enjoy it and although it is a 600 mile round trip for me to go to Reading and back I find the trip very worthwhile. The format of DDD is a day of technical seminars by community Speakers and at DDD4 topics covered included - How to Write Crap C#, Enterprise Library, WF, Microsoft Robotics Studio, Securing apps and comms in ASP.Net, Asynchronous Processing in SQL Server 2005 to name but a few.

This time we also had Grok Talks at lunchtime which gave attendees to present on a topic for ten minutes covering something they're into and think is pretty cool. This was the first time this had been tried and was very well received. Topics included Microsoft Windows Vista Speech - which is very cool, Writing apps for Media Centre, DIY Certifcates and Http Modules. This was a very welcome addition to the day and gave delegates a chance to have a go at speaking.

There will be more DDDs in the next twelve months and I suggest adding the DDD Feed to your aggregator to keep an eye out for announcements as they appear.

An Code Monkey Goes to Tech Ed 2006 - Day 3 - INETA Dinner

November 11, 2006 00:36 by Andrew Westgarth

Last night I had the pleasure of attending an INETA dinner held in the maritime museum in Barcelona. The setting was excellent as was the food. The best bit of the evening was the company I was in. I was amongst a large amount of the community leaders from the EMEA region. This included (to name just a few), UK, Ireland, Sweden, Spain, Norway, Romania. This was an excellent night for me to meet other leaders in the community and to build up contacts and to put names to faces. The evening also helped me to find out what other User Groups are doing throughout EMEA for their members and to see how active the community movement is in EMEA. I had a great night and a big thanks to all those who I met and spoke with for making the experience so enjoyable.


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