I stepped out the front door and watched my breath turn to ice crystals in the moonlight…the sun hadn't risen yet. As I walked to the garage, my shoes crunched loudly on the packed snow and when I opened the car door, the metal-on-metal shrieking of cold-friction gave my skin goose bumps. The temperature was -13F below zero and it was a Saturday morning. What on this earth would compel a man to leave a warm bed and face such bitter cold on a weekend?
Answer: The Twin Cities SharePoint Camp hosted by New Horizons of Minnesota!
The event was on Saturday, January 24, 2009 and almost 200 brave souls gave up their Saturday and defied the brutally cold weather to attend. I had used SharePoint at a client's site and have seen numerous posts about it on Asp.Net forums where I am a moderator. But I wanted to learn more.
The seminars were very good and well received by the audiences. A common thread was how difficult it was to accomplish small things in large organizations…I had no idea what they were talking about.
The presenters used self deprecating humor and invited audience participation and feedback in the seminars. There was lots of interesting and useful give-and-take between the presenters and audience. The SharePoint community is a fun group. Much information was exchanged.
The presenters wore matching snazzy red and black shirts; I thought they looked professional. A few, apparently, do not shave on weekends…maybe they were protesting being required to wear matching outfits like MacDonald's employees.
I had never seen such a high percentage of women at a technical event. Around 30 percent of the attendees were women. It was a welcome change from most technical events. Maybe they attended because they have a thing for men in uniform.
Most of the seminars were not mere Power Point presentations but were live demonstrations on setting up and running SharePoint applications. If you've ever presented/demonstrated software to a group, you know how dangerous this can be. As to be expected, there were a few glitches, but it actually demonstrated the knowledge and expertise of the presenters when they were able to effectively work their way through the problems.
I now know enough about SharePoint to talk about it intelligently. But, to be honest, the most useful information I took away was in one of the free magazines given out ('Code' Jan/Feb 2009). There was an excellent article called An Introduction to jQuery, Part 1 by Rick Strahl …I couldn't wait to get home so I could start playing with it (see below).
Of course there was the usual swag:
Initially, JQuery syntax looks as cryptic as Regular Expressions, but once some of the fundamentals are understood, it becomes much easier. Being able to select elements by using CSS selectors is great if you already know CSS.
Here is my first jQuery code:
// ---- After document is loaded, run this -----
// ---- MyJScript -------------------------
// get all TextBoxes with class MyInput
var TextBoxes = $(".MyInput");
// if any TextBoxes are blank, set the
// background color to yellow
if (this.value == "")
this.style.backgroundColor = "yellow";
I hope you found this helpful or at least interesting.