TechDays 2009 – we’ll have seven Regional Directors speaking!

Did you know we’ll have six, no seven different Regional Directors will be speaking at this year’s TechDays in Antwerp? As I’ve blogged before, TechDays 2009 will take on 10th, 11th and 12th March 2009. We will have more than 70 technical sessions, including three pre-conferences on the 10th of March. Check out the full pre-conference agenda for developers: SharePoint development wit .NET Framework 3.5 (be amongst the 250 first to register and get a Infragistics NetAdvantage Icons – Office Basics license).

Now back to the title of this post: did you know seven different Regional Directors will be speaking at the event? Well we had six confirmed for sessions and now that we have started working on the developer keynote a seventh has confirmed!

Who? Of course our three Belgian Regional Directors will be there: Gill Cleeren, Peter Himschoot and Gregory Renard. In addition to the Belgian RDs we have two more from Europe: Ingo Rammer and Christian Weyer.

And if that is not enough for you, we even have two from America: Stephen Forte from the US and Joel Semeniuk from Canada.

Almost can’t believe we were so lucky to have all of them signed up for the event. Check out their sessions, in addition to the sessions you can expect the Belgian RD’s to have something to do with the keynote. But that’s all I’m saying for now, I don’t want to get in trouble with Hans who will be announcing more about this later on 🙂

These are their sessions:

WCF Tips & Tricks (Christian Weyer)
The Windows Communication Foundation (WCF) is now 2.5 years old. It is known as a generic communication framework. But the more generic a framework is, the more complex it becomes. And the more features it offers, the more likely it is that developers oversee the important and mighty ones.
Christian Weyer shows you his favorite list of WCF tips and tricks to ease the pain - all gathered from practical customer projects experience from the past years. Come and try to find your very own personal favorite.

.NET Services: Infrastructure building blocks in the cloud (Christian Weyer)
Applications communicating over the Internet or being provided in the cloud need certain infrastructure functionalities. Authentication, authorization, powerful communication options and support for workflows seem to be a common need. Microsoft's .NET Services - as part of the overall Azure Services platform - offer exactly all this with their Access Control Service, Service Bus and Workflow Service. In this session Christian Weyer sheds a light on how these services fit into the Azure picture, how they work and fit together in a practical manner, based on first experiences in customer projects.

Fastest To Market: RAD Web Applications with ASP.NET Dynamic Data and Entity Framework (Ingo Rammer)
For some applications, time to market is simply critical. If your application is heavily-data driven and backed by a well-designed database schema, you could help yourself a lot be looking at the dynamic duo of ASP.NET Dynamic Data and the ADO.NET Entity Framework. Together, these two technologies allow you to build data driven websites ... quicker than anytime before. In this session, Ingo Rammer will show you how to combine the flexibility of ASP.NET with these new features for quickly building  data-driven web sites. (And yes, it even allows you to simply embed a few RAD pages in your big, existing ASP.NET application).

Azure - A Lap around cloud-hosted services (Ingo Rammer)
Cloud computing is one of the central topics of a lot of current high-level discussions in the IT space. In this session, Ingo Rammer will show you the cloud-based features of Windows Azure which allow you to extend your on-premise applications and services to the cloud. You will learn about cloud-based hosting, deployment, about the different roles of projects and how you can leverage Azure's storage services for blob, structured data and queue storage. In addition, you will learn how you can run parts of the cloud-hosting infrastructure (the so-called "Dev Fabric") on your development PC for debugging purposes. This session is heavily code-based and will give you a very clear, developer-centric overview of this new and exciting platform.

Under the hood in Silverlight's controls skinning framework (Gill Cleeren)
While Silverlight offers us a lot of controls to build business applications, you might feel the urge to change them even more to suffice the needs of your application. A round button perhaps? Or a non-rectangular textbox? It’s all possible with the Silverlight skinning framework. In this session, you’ll see how to overhaul the look of your controls as well as create your own from scratch.

Databinding in Windows Presentation Foundation: from the beginning to the end (Gill Cleeren)
Databinding always sounds a bit intimidating. It’s the concept of attaching objects to a user interface and letting the technology take care of what to display where. WPF has a lot of capabilities in store to make databinding really easy and to help you build data-driven applications a lot faster. In this session, we’ll tackle everything that databinding offers us, from the fundamentals concepts to the advanced topics. With a lot of demos woven into the session, you’ll walk away with the knowledge you need to more efficiently use WPF.

Best Practices for Managing Project with Team System (Joel Semeniuk)
Based on his book " Managing Projects with Microsoft Visual Studio Team System" Joel Semeniuk will provide a deeper look into the challenges and exiting opportunities of managing projects using Team System.  This session will explore some best practices and tools that you must have when managing virtually any size team.

Lean Principles, Agile Techniques, and Team System (Joel Semeniuk)
Lean Software Development, inspired by Lean Product Development, is asking us to look at how we approach software and focus our efforts on eliminating waste. In this session we will explore the 7 key principles of Lean Software Development as well as map these principles to agile development and management tools and techniques that you can use today.  In this session we will also show you how tools found in Visual Studio Team System can support your lean processes.

Live Mesh and Live Framework: Make your application’s data available anywhere and anytime (Peter Himschoot)
How to make your data available everywhere, online or offline? Microsoft Live Mesh with the Live Framework solves this problem by providing a framework that syncs your data across all your applications, devices, your friends and on the web. In this session you will learn about the benefits of this approach and see how to program against the Live Services from any device, platform, runtime, or programming language.
Note: check out Peter’s article on Mesh for a sneak peak into this session.

Data Access Hacks and Shortcuts    (Stephen Forte)
Struggling with Data Access? Who isn’t? Come and see some Data Access hacks and shortcuts that will make your life easier! In a high energy demo-only session, Stephen shows: how a mere mortal can pass a custom .Net collection to a stored procedure, improves your LINQ queries with Lambdas and expression trees, making complex data models easier to manage in the Entity Framework, creative Sliverlight databinding, LINQ to REST, and transforming your database back end to get enormous performance and productivity enhancements. This is data access for the 21st century! Speaker will also provide guidance along the way about ORMs, LINQ, and EF and encourage Q&A.

The Daily Scrum (Stephen Forte & Joel Semeniuk)
One of the most popular Agile project management and development methods, Scrum is starting to be adopted at major corporations and on very large projects. After an introduction to the basics of Scrum like: project planning and estimation, the Scrum Master, team, product owner and burn down, and of course the daily Scrum, Stephen (a certified Scrum Master) shows many real world applications of the methodology drawn from his own experience as a Scrum Master. Negotiating with the business, estimation and team dynamics are all discussed as well as how to use Scrum in small organizations, large enterprise environments and consulting environments. Stephen will also discuss using Scrum with virtual teams and even an off-shoring environment. The session will finish with a large Q&A on best practices.

Building RESTful Applications with Microsoft Tools (Stephen Forte)
REST (Representational State Transfer) is becoming one of the mostly used ways of exposing and consuming data-centric services. Looking at the evolution of WCF, ADO.NET and cloud computing, REST is here to stay.  In this session we discuss ADO .NET Data Services and see how we can REST enable your application. Then you will learn how to leverage existing skills related to LINQ and data access to customize the behavior, control-flow, security model and experience of your data service. Then switching gears we will focus on consuming of REST services from any platform (including Ruby on Rails) using Visual Studio and LINQ to REST. We will then see how to enable data-binding to traditional ASP.NET controls as well as Silverlight. We will conclude with developing offline applications with the ability to sync back to the online data service.

Check out the rest of the developer sessions and agenda on the TechDays site.

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