Data Sources and Data Binding in WPF Talk in Redmond

On Monday night I spoke at my first .NET users group here on the Microsoft Campus. It was the Visual Basic .NET Developers Association meeting that’s here in Building 40/41 Steptoe room behind the cafeteria. It’s held every last Monday of the month so if you are in the Seattle area then you should check it out, they’ve got a great lineup of Microsoft speakers from the VB team presenting.

I have to say I was slightly more nervous than the usual user group meeting because the audience was about half Microsoft employees and there were 4 MVPs in the room including the organizer Robert Green. Bill Vaughn, Rocky Lhokta, and Ted Neward were also there. I was also being filmed so there was this big video camera in the back of the room — made me feel a little bit like a press release ;-). But by the time I got to my second slide I calmed down and fell into my normal presentation rhythm. And having such high caliber audience made for a lot of great discussions — really engaging with a lot of participation.

I started the talk with basics of data binding to a variety of data sources and then we moved to more to data access discussions and n-tier architecture issues. It was similar to the talk I did at Bay.NET in SF last month but I focused this time completely on WPF and didn’t show any Winforms at all. This allowed us to have more time for architecture discussions and I think it worked out well. It was a fun meeting and nothing blew up so that was nice too ;-).

I think the coolest part was when I got a question form a gentleman in the crowd and I asked him what kind of applications he was building and he said “CodePlex“. He was a developer on the CodePlex team — cool! I told him to say HI to Sara. At the end I also had a Silverlight question that I didn’t know the answer to but it turned out that Beatriz from the WPF team was in the audience ready to help me out. At the end both she and Rocky told me that my presentation was well done and accurate. It was great to hear from the experts that I did well and didn’t **** anything up. :-)

I’ve attached the presentation and code samples.