December 2008 Area User Group Meetings

I hope everyone enjoyed the long Thanksgiving weekend. Whether you spent the holiday in a tryptophan-induced slumber after eating all of that turkey, joined the hordes of bargain-hunters on "Black Friday," or fought the traffic traveling to and from family in a distant location, sometimes being back at your desk is a welcome relief. Here is a summary of local event happenings in our area and a listing of all the local user group meetings this month.

MSDN Developer Conference 

The Microsoft PDC was back in October, yet I'm still trying to digest all of the information that came out of that huge event (Windows Azure, Live Services, Windows 7, .NET 4.0, Visual Studio 2010, etc., etc.). If you want to learn more about all of these technologies from a developer perspective, be sure to visit the official PDC Web site. There, you can download or stream all of the keynotes and breakout sessions from the conference. They make for great lunch-time viewing from your desk.

Watching the recordings is useful, but it's not interactive. You can't ask any questions you have that come to mind. On January 20, you have your opportunity to learn about the latest developer technologies coming from Microsoft at the MSDN Developer Conference in New York City. We're bringing the best of the PDC back east! Tell your tech friends and co-workers as they won't want to miss this event. If you can't make it to NYC on January 20, check out one of the other 10 cities the MSDN Developer Conference will be visiting. Register for the New York event (or other cities) here.

MSDN "Suburban" Roadshow

Want an earlier preview of Windows Azure and Microsoft's cloud computing platform? Join Bill Zack and me at one of our MSDN "Suburban" Roadshows. We kicked off our first one at SetFocus's headquarters in Parsippany last month covering Azure and Silverlight 2. This month we'll hit more of the tri-state area with upcoming stops in NYC on December 5, and East Windsor, NJ on December 11. Details on the "Suburban" Roadshow here.


On Saturday, December 6, She's Geeky, a technology conference for women, will be coming to the Microsoft offices in NYC. She's Geeky is a neutral, face-to-face forum for women who like to geek out. Attendees include women involved in all aspects of technology, including those who like to use geeky tools, not just coders, programmers, and engineers. You don't even have to be from the computer industry. You just have to be a woman who identifies as a geek. If you're any of these things, visit for more details.

ASP.NET MVC Fire Starter 

The following weekend on December 13, there will be an ASP.NET MVC Firestarter in Central Jersey. Previous MVC Firestarters in NYC and Philadelphia filled to capacity and received great reviews. Now we're filling the barrel in between with a stop in central Jersey. Join me, Jess Chadwick, Todd Snyder, and others for a full day of learning about the new MVC framework for ASP.NET at the Infragistics office in East Windsor, NJ. Here's the registration information and details.

We all have our own sources of information for how we learn about Microsoft technologies. MSDN is "the" site for official product information and documentation. However, these days, a lot of great information ends up on blogs, including blogs run by some of the product teams at Microsoft. This information can be hard to discover unless your favorite search engine finds it. Check out this new "blog of MS blogs". It keeps an eye on more than 200 Microsoft team blogs and then provides a monthly summary of some of the most interesting posts out there. I've found it useful; maybe you will too.

Don't forget about your local community user groups! There are over 25 groups in our metro area, providing free opportunities to come out and network with your peers after work, eat free pizza, and learn about new technologies from experts in the field. Rumor has it that there may be two new groups forming in NYC soon: One focused on Cloud computing, the other on WPF and Silverlight.

And now, the listing:

New Jersey

User Group Name Location Date Topic & Speaker
NJ MS Developers Group Iselin, NJ 12/4/2008 Advanced Entity Framework – Oleg Kofman, Microsoft
Northern NJ .NET User Group (N3UG) Parsippany, NJ 12/9/2008 DotNetNuke: Community, Content, Collaboration – Steve Fabian
Central NJ .NET User Group East Windsor, NJ 12/11/2008 ASP.NET MVC Framework – Jess Chadwick
Central NJ .NET Dojo Group East Windsor, NJ 12/4/2008 ASP.NET MVC by example
NJ SQL Server User Group Parsippany, NJ 12/16/2008 NJSQL Idol!!! – 10 speakers, 10 minutes of demos each.  Let the games begin!  Winner will receive a MSDN License! See site for details.
NJ SharePoint User Group Iselin, NJ
12/17/2008 TBD – Check site for details.

New York

User Group Name Location Date Topic & Speaker
NY Enterprise Windows User Group New York, NY 12/4/2008 TBD – Check site for details.
NY PC Visual Basic SIG New York, NY 12/3/2008 SharePoint Development with Web Parts
Long Island .NET User Group Melville, NY 12/4/2008 Topic 1: Advanced Performance Monitoring using SQL Server 2008 Data Collection and Management Data Warehouse – David Ford, Hedgehog 
Topic 2: Developer Productivity Enhancements in SQL Server 2008 – Rob Jackson, Microsoft
NYC SharePoint User Group New York, NY 12/3/2008 Content Types: How & Why to Leverage Them – Daan DeBrouckere, Crow Horwath
NYC Connected Systems Group New York, NY 12/1/2008 NYC SOA Launch event to learn about Microsoft’s New & Upcoming SOA Solutions
NYC .NET Meetup Group New York, NY 12/16/2008 Three discussion groups:
Group 1: GUI 
Group 2: Alt.NET
Group 3: Industry
NYC .NET Developers Group New York, NY 12/18/2008 Developing Business Applications with Microsoft Cloud Services – Bill Zack, Microsoft
NY Metro SQL Server User Group New York, NY TBD TBD – Check site for details
International Association of Architects (IASA) NYC New York, NY 12/16/2008 TBD – Check site for details
NYC VSTS User Group New York, NY (NEW GROUP!) 12/4/2008 Testing Best Practices with VSTS – Shahidul Islam
NYC ALT.NET New York, NY (NEW GROUP!) 1/28/2009 
No meeting this month for holiday break.  Next meeting January 28, 2009


User Group Name Location Date Topic & Speaker
Fairfield/Westchester .NET User Group Stamford, CT 12/2/2008 WPF Means Business – Michael Hennessy
Fairfield/Westchester .NET SQL Server User Group Stamford, CT 12/10/2008 Data Access Smackdown – Stephen Forte
Connecticut .NET User Group Farmington, CT 1/13/2009 Starting January 13th, 2009, CT.NET meetings will be held on the 2nd Tuesday each month.
Fairfield County Share Point User Group Fairfield, CT TBD TBD – Check site for details
Fairfield/Westchester Share Point User Group Stamford, CT TBD New Group! TBD - Check here for updates


User Group Name Location Date Topic & Speaker
Pittsburgh .NET User Group Pittsburgh, Pa 12/9/2008 WPF: Looking Through The Prism – Jeremy Jarrell
Philadelphia SQL Server User Group Fort Washington, Pa 12/10/2008 Topic 1: Fusion IO (sponsor)
Topic 2: Data Modeling – Jay Bulter
Topic 3: “Advanced SSIS Coding Techniques” – Vince Napoli
Lehigh Valley .NET User Group Center Valley, Pa 12/15/2008 Advanced Techniques for Everyday Development – Edwin Aames
Central Penn.NET Harrisburg, Pa 12/6/2008 CODE CAMP!!! – Harrisburg University of Science & Technology

Next regular meeting on January 20th, 2009
Philly.NET Malvern, Pa 12/17/2008 TBD – Check site for details
.NET Valley Nanticoke, Pa 12/18/2008 TBD – Check site for details
Philadelphia Area SharePoint User Group Malvern, Pa TBD TBD - Check site for updates
Philly Office Geeks Malvern, Pa TBD TBD – Check site for updates
Philly Alt.NET Philadelphia, Pa TBD TBD – Check site for updates


User Group Name Location Date Topic & Speaker
Delaware .NET User Group Newark, DE TBD TBD – Check site for updates
Northern Delaware .NET User Group Newark, DE TBD TBD – Check site for updates

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