Contents tagged with Community News
Dallas GiveCamp came and went this last weekend. It was my second GiveCamp and was very rewarding. Our team created a site for the Tarrant County Birth Network. Jon and I quickly explained the resulting web site and sat down, but I forgot to present and thank the team. So this is a very weak attempt to thank them after the event.
Thanks to the Dallas GiveCamp team for a fun weekend.
Jonathan Keith - Developer
Nick Coombs - Developer
Rick Michaels – Developer
Sridhar – Very helpful floating developer
- Shannon Blackwell - The very active charity representative
- Jaime Grassi - Business Analyst
Vince Blasberg (myself) – Developer
The GiveCamp weekend was very unusual, thankfully. There were many challenges from the first moment until the last. In the end we at least accomplished one big thing. We enabled the charity with a CMS that will grow as their needs grow. They now have a huge network of .Net developers around the world that can easily develop and support them. When they switch over to the new site, there is no doubt the requirements document will grow and there will be developers like our team to help them.
What is the Tarrant County Birth Network?
The Tarrant County Birth Network is a community organization to provide information about, and advocacy for evidence-based, Mother-Friendly care for expectant Tarrant County families seeking a healthy, informed, and enjoyable pregnancy and birth.
What is GiveCamp?
GiveCamp is a weekend-long event where software developers, designers, and database administrators donate their time to create custom software for non-profit organizations.
I hope to see everyone there next year.
The Dallas XAML User Group is holding their second meeting on April 6th 2010. We will be spending most of the time on our laptops practicing data binding techniques for WPF and Silverlight. The completed samples are uploaded and ready to review before the meeting. The theme for samples is a GoldWing reseller. Can you guess which sweet Orange motorcycle that I own and love to ride around Texas, Oklahoma, and Arkansas with my wife?
I finally got back into user group management after 2 years away from leading the Dallas C# SIG. Now I’m having fun getting a Silverlight/WPF user group going strong for the Dallas / Ft. Worth community. Our first meeting was March 3rd at the Improving Enterprises offices in North Dallas. We had about 25 to 35 attendees in the first meeting and it went well. We covered the most important topic that everyone should understand well – data binding.
So I chose the XAML user group so we can get together for a common group improvement in the Dallas / Ft. Worth area and learn cross-technology information that we can use now. It is not a lecture hall. The great thing is that we’ll provide hands-on experience with most every meeting. The goal is to get the experience that we can use the next work day. I unfortunately broke that rule by speaking all through the first meeting, but next month is part two with more hands-on data binding.
The differentiation is this group concentrates on XAML, not Silverlight or Windows Client alone. What we learn in one area, we gain for all areas. That includes the Silverlight for Windows Phone 7 coming later this year. Next year it may be Windows Phone 8, 9, or whatever.
I started developing WPF seriously almost a year ago. I experienced the painful learning curve. Anyone who reports that there isn’t a big learning curve either thinks in XAML before it was developed, is on the Silverlight or WPF development team, or has already conquered the learning and forgot the pain. So I wanted to share the pain or make it easier for others – same thing. I have found that the more I learn and use good disciplined techniques, the more interesting and rewarding development is again.
A few months ago, I was sitting in the iPhone development session at the Dallas C# SIG. After the meeting, the audience was polled for future topics. After a few suggestions, Silverlight got the big hands up. That makes sense because it’s still the hot topic for many Microsoft developers. So I surfed around and found that there aren’t enough user groups to help in this area. I polled a few local group leaders and did the work to start the group. This week I got a telerik controls licence and improved the site with some great controls, namely the RadHtmlPlaceholder control. It provides a Silverlight control to show HTML in an IFrame-like area. On DallasXAML.com, the newsletters and resource pages display in HTML because Silverlight just isn’t there yet. I’m looking forward to a Silverlight XPS viewer with flow documents. There are some good commercial version available, but this is a non-profit group.
The DallasXAML.com site points to many other resources such as podcasts and webcasts. I would rather give them the credit than try to out-do them. So check out the DallasXAML user group site and attend our meetings if you can. We meet the first Tuesday of the month.
DallasXAML User Group Leader
I compiled these Azure Platform Services related resources and distributed them to the Cloud Computing User Group in Dallas on 01/21/2009.
MSDN Introduction Articles and Walkthroughs
Channel 9 Videos
It feels great to get back in action like when I was always running the Dallas C# SIG. Now I'm helping Mike Holdorf and Rob Vettor run the CCUG in Dallas. The first meeting is finally here (tomorrow). This invite says it all.
Don't miss the opportunity to be at the first local meeting of the Cloud Computing User Group.
Windows Azure is Microsoft's cloud computing platform. At this meeting, you'll hear about Microsoft's vision of Software + Services and what it can mean for you. As part of this presentation, you'll see a demo of how a cloud application is developed and deployed.
January 21, 2009 from 6:00 - 8:00 pm
7000 North Highway 161
Las Colinas Campus
Irving, TX 75039
Please take a moment to register here so we can plan properly. Pizza will be served at 6:00 and the presentation / demo will begin shortly after.
The "We Are Microsoft Charity Challenge 2009" event was a great success this year. So many dedicated, community-spirited people contributed their time. The biggest thank you goes out to Toi Wright from the Dallas ASP.Net User Group. She literally put her life into it. She put her husband in the volunteer group also. Now that's thinking. Chris Koenig dedicated some serious time to the event and a portion of Microsoft's funds. Much of that time just might have been spent using twitter with Peter DeBetta, solving the Rubik's cube in minutes, and playing with the Duncan YoYos. It's a tough job...
The TFS portion of the event went great thanks to the footwork of John Burns from Notion Solutions and Paul Hacker from SaaS Made Easy with Chris Koenig doing some team project admin work. The business analyst team spent plenty of time reviewing and entering the requirements in TFS before developers arrived.
Then the weekend started!!
After all of the charities were introduced and the teams gathered, I gave a 45 minute demonstration to some of the group members on everything that was needed to use TFS work items and source control. Others that gave training were Gabe with Telerik for Sitefinity, Matt with Verio for hosting, and Scott Dockendorf from Telligent for Graffiti. All of the teams were ready to create and deploy truly RAD applications at this point. Teams from several consulting companies showed up such as Sogeti, Telligent, Match, and 3 teams from Pariveda.
There were about 20 charities that were given a two day turn-around from design to delivery. Some of the sites were great because they leveraged content management systems such as Graffiti, Sitefinity, DotNetNuke, and Mojo Portal. There were a few that hand rolled the ASP.NET site because it best fit the requirements.
- The Mountain Dew went dry on the first night. It birthed a new development framework, the MDF - Mountain Dew Framework - the amount of Mt. Dew to get from Design to DAL to Delivery or similar.
- The chocolate covered coffee beans needed pennies to get them out of the dispenser so we took the top off and ate them anyway. (What's in your wallet? Not pennies - I'm sure)
- The bowl of Hershey's kisses took all weekend to drain. We were all eating healthy...Right.
- The Dickey's Barbeque didn't last even with a second delivery.
- Some great "We Are Microsoft" blankets were distributed to the true Night Owls, but they were really a batman costume for some.
- Some found out that they couldn't deploy at the 11th hour - but hip-hip-hurray for PowerPoint.
- A chicken (foam mascot) came before the egg - so that debate is FINALLY over and solved. (See the "proof" on Facebook)
- The value of a User Experience / Design professional was felt by all teams. Some brought their own from places like Arkansas. There will be more UX pros at next year's event.
- Awards were given to memorable people and their "special" talents. I was awarded the "Best TFS Ninja". Thanks everyone - I did my share of work - TFS style.
- Charities were overjoyed to get feature-rich web applications that they can maintain themselves for years to come.
- Fun was had my all !!!
To get the real-deal-feel for what the atmosphere was like, there are at least 187 photos and 18 videos located at: http://www.facebook.com/groups/edit.php?members&gid=25590171916#/event.php?eid=44676024865
"We are Microsoft" is this weekend!!! This event is all about giving a helping hand using our special talents to build solutions for non-profit organizations. If there's more team work than that, please let me know.
For the second year, Toi Wright, along with many others have put on this event in Dallas, Texas. What she needs now are some stand-by developers in case some organizations have projects that don't have enough developers, DBA's, testers, etc.
Notion Solutions and the very TFS-talented Paul Hacker from SaaS Made Easy, has setup and hosted a TFS server and is eager and ready to keep the development going. Here is the mention for Notion Solutions.
Notion Solutions to Provide TFS (With Paul Hacker Hosting it...)
I'll be there with another Notion Solution-ite, John Burns, through much of the weekend to provide TFS Training, TFS support, and some development assistance. When not doing that, I'll probably help others build unit tests, web tests, and good grief - maybe some code.
So how about it? Want to sacrifice a weekend for some great causes? Sign up, show up, code up, and go home on Sunday.
I just published the monthly Dallas C# SIG newsletter. Check it out if you want to know what's going on at the group. We have some great meetings ahead.