Andrew's Blog

Random Thoughts of an ASP.Net Code Monkey

Tech Ed Developers 2007 Day 0 - Back in Barcelona

November 4, 2007 14:45 by Andrew Westgarth

Klm Plane from Newcastle to SchipholToday I traveled to Barcelona for Microsoft Tech Ed Developers!  This is my second trip to Tech Ed and I am equally excited about this opportunity and looking forward to playing a part in the UK Community element of Tech Ed.  Tim and I are representing VBUG and it's members at Tech Ed and we are both looking forward to meeting and chatting with many UK developers and making new friends and contacts over the course of the next week.  I flew from Newcastle to  Barcelona with KLM via Schiphol and the flights weren't as bad as I'd feared as I have in the past suffered greatly with pain in my ears on landing but so far it's not been to bad.  Also we managed to see a cracking sunset as we flew over Holland on our way to Barcelona.  I hope to provide a series of Blog Posts from Tech Ed during the course of the week.  If you're out at Tech Ed, Tim and I will be spending a lot of our spare time in the Community Lounge within the Exhibition Hall so come and say Hi.

Sunset over Holland From PlaneSunset over Holland From Plane

VBUG Conference featured on NxtGenUG Podcast 43 - The One With Bruce....

November 4, 2007 14:44 by Andrew Westgarth

The latest podcast, Number 43 -, from Dave McMahon and Richard Costall, from NxtGenUG, features interviews from the VBUG Conference.  Dave interviewed Keynote Speaker, Ken Spencer and they discuss the Microsoft Regional Director Program and the keynote and sessions which Ken presented at the conference.  Dave catches up with delegates Mark Whitelock and Martin Sarosi from Engica, he talks to Rob Macdonald about the conference agenda and Dave chats with Tim Leung and I about our first conference as Vice Chair and Chair respectively, and our thoughts on the conference and VBUG.  This podcast along with their other productions are well worth listening and subscribing too.  Tim and I turned the tables on Dave after our interview and the results of that will be found on the forthcoming inaugural VBUG Podcast coming very soon...  watch this space!

VBUG: Daniel Moth Comes to Coventry on Thursday 1st November

October 29, 2007 14:04 by Andrew Westgarth

danielmoth On Thursday 1st November Daniel Moth will be in Coventry covering Visual Studio 2008 for Web Developers so if you are in or based in or around Coventry why not go along on Thursday and listen to Daniel, who is an excellent speaker and this session is well worth attending.  Registration is free and the details are:

Topic: VBUG: Visual Studio 2008 for the web developer” with Daniel Moth

Visual Studio 2008 (formerly code named “Orcas”) brings with it a host of features for the web developer. In this session, we demonstrate the benefits you can get out of the Visual Studio toolset when working on your existing ASP.NET 2.0 projects as well as for new ASP.NET 3.5 projects. There are many improvements in the IDE so we’ll need to focus on JavaScript Intellisense and debugging improvements, the new designer, CSS enhancements and a few more.

Location: Coventry City Council's Corporate Training Centre, Mill Lane, Coventry. CV1 2LQ

Price: FREE

For more information and to book online go to:

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.

Students! - Web 2.0 Competition

October 24, 2007 15:04 by Andrew Westgarth

Sarah Blow, organiser of the Girl Geek Dinners has a great competition running, but time is running out to enter as the prize is two conference tickets for the Web 2.0 Expo in Germany from the 5th to the 8th November.  This competition is open to Female University Students in the UK.  This is an excellent opportunity and this looks to be an excellent conference with a great line up of speakers including Tim O'Reilly and Kathy Sierra.  For more information and to enter go to the Girly Geekdom Blog -

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

NxtGenUG - Now in Southampton

September 21, 2007 11:00 by Andrew Westgarth

Woke up this morning, checked my mail and had this release from NxtGenUG about a new region for them in Southampton, great for the UK Community!

Then there were 5! Two months, two new regions, first Cambridge now Southampton. Yes, the Next Generation User Group (NxtGenUG) is expanding (again) and this time they're heading South.  The latest and warmest region of NxtGenUG is Southampton.  The region is being organised and run by John McLoughlin and Rick Allen two local guys who have sourced a venue, projector, screen, pizza, swag and speakers all on their ownsome - all that a User Group needs or could ask for!

As ever when a new NxtGenUG region opens they insist on having a 'Launch' extravaganza, and this one is no different!  The event will be held on 18th October 2007 at St Andrew's Hall, Southampton.  The main speaker for the evening is top UK Community speaker Guy Smith-Ferrier speaking on Astoria and there will be a SQL Nugget from Dave 'Readyboost' McMahon.  Pizza and Swag will be present also in abundance. All the details of the meeting are at, and you can register for the event as always through the NxtGenUG website. Don't miss out on this event which kicks off at 6.30pm and finishes at 9.00pm, as there is only ONE launch meeting after all.


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