Experiences and Experiments in Programming

 Saturday, May 08, 2010

ReMix Atlanta was a great event.  I think there was a good turnout.  Brandon Watson gave a great keynote, an overview of Windows Phone 7 philosophy.  There were some great speakers and I enjoyed conversations with current friends and new friends.

My presentation on Silverlight for the Enterprise went well.  There were a lot of questions about WCF RIA Services and MEF.  I was glad to see the interest in these technologies.  While I am not a heavy user of RIA Services, I see the value and know that it is a great fit for many.

After the presentation, I continued the conversation with a handful of folks for more than an hour.  It was some good conversation with good questions!

I hope everyone that came to the presentation left with some more knowledge and something that inspired them to go out and do some more research into some of the technologies and features we discussed.  Hopefully I got a few more people hooked on MEF!

Saturday, May 08, 2010 9:44:55 PM (Central Standard Time, UTC-06:00)
 Tuesday, April 27, 2010

May 2010 brings two great events to Atlanta, ReMIX 2010 and .NET Rocks Roadshow.

.NET Rocks is setting out on a roadshow to celebrate the lauch of Visual Studio 2010.  If you are a fan of the show, they will be taping  one of the shows in front of a live audience the day before ReMIX on May 7th.   For details and to register, check out the roadtrip site.

On the following day, May 8th, the local developer and designer community, in conjunction with teams from Microsoft, is putting on ReMIX Atlanta 2010. This will feature 3 tracks of the best sessions from the MIX conference, live, with a few treats and surprises thrown in. This will be an amazing conference for a small fee. Register now at http://remixatlanta.org.

The .NET Rocks roadshow is free, and ReMIX Atlanta is bargain priced at $25 (if you register before April 27 – see the site for details).

I am told by Glen Gordon that there are plans to have some of the speakers from MIX come into town, including several folks from the Windows Phone 7 team. I hear they’ll be bringing some devices as well.  And while I can’t compete with the folks from the Windows Phone 7 team, I will be presenting on “Silverlight in the Enterprise”!

Remember to register before the deadline to get the discounted fare!  Hope to see you there!

Tuesday, April 27, 2010 8:36:29 AM (Central Standard Time, UTC-06:00)
 Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Well nothing like being late to the game!  But better late than never.  I am still not quite into my groove after starting my new job.


If you have not heard, the next Alabama Code Camp will be held this Saturday, January 31st.  This code camp will be held in Montgomery, Alabama.  If you are not familiar with what a code camp is, it is an all day conference for developers organized by developers.  The Alabama Code Camp is free so register now!

I am looking forward to it.  I am presenting 3 topics: 2 on Silverlight, 1 on debugging, and I will be presenting an intro to WPF in the Swiss Army Knife series.  That might seem like a long day, but code camps are great fun!

Wednesday, January 28, 2009 10:41:28 PM (Central Standard Time, UTC-06:00)
 Saturday, February 23, 2008

Well I got in to Huntsville last night and went to the speaker's event.  We had a game night...not to mention cookies and other food.  Notice I specifically mentioned cookies!  While I am not a big gaming person, I watched Doug Turnure, Keith Elder, and Jeff Barnes play Rock Band.  They did a lot better than I could have!  As a matter of fact, I think Keith needs more to do since it looked like he must play 5 times a day!  Anyway, it is now day 2 and things have started off great.  There is a large group here so I am sure it will be another overwhelming success!

Saturday, February 23, 2008 9:14:48 AM (Central Standard Time, UTC-06:00)
 Thursday, January 24, 2008

Tonight the Birmingham .NET User Group hosted a Visual Studio 2008 InstallFest and Game Night.  It was very successful and everyone had a great time.

Doug Turnure brought over 3 XBox 360s and we projected them on the wall in a 3 different rooms.  At one point we had Guitar Hero, Rock Band, and Halo 3 going.  All I can say is I am glad we are developers and not band members!

We had some terrific giveaways for attendees including a Microsoft wireless mouse and keyboard, a fingerprint reader, and lots more.

Thursday, January 24, 2008 11:22:08 PM (Central Standard Time, UTC-06:00)
 Wednesday, January 23, 2008

I heard from a good friend and fellow MVP today, Keith Elder.  He is hosting a Geek Dinner in Hattiesburg February 4th!  Sara Ford from Microsoft is going to be there and for those of you who know Keith, I am sure this is to be a terrific night!  Sara is the Program Manager for CodePlex.com.

For more information and to RSVP, go to

I am definitely going to try to make it over.  I hope to see you there!

Wednesday, January 23, 2008 1:43:48 AM (Central Standard Time, UTC-06:00)
 Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Today I did a presentation on WPF at a Microsoft developer training day in Nashville, Tennessee.  I think the presentation went well, but this was a rather interesting trip.

When Mark Dunn asked me to speak at the event, I had all but decided I was going to let one of my co-workers, Brandon McMillon, go instead.  My wife is due with our second daughter any day now.  I knew there was no way I could risk being gone for a night that far away.  Granted, Nashville is not that far, but it is far enough that she could go into labor and deliver in the amount of time it would take me to get back home.  Jeff Barnes, another co-worker was giving the presentation on WCF.  So Brandon said he would drive there and back today if I wanted to give the presentation.  So bottom line, I took the chance and was able to deliver the presentation myself.  I am glad I did.  As usual, it was a lot of fun and I really think the audience showed a good deal of interest in using WPF or Silverlight in some of their current projects!

Shortly after arriving in Nashville, while we were heading to the venue, my wife called.  You can imagine, as soon as I saw the phone number I thought, "You have got to be kidding me".  Luckily, she was just calling to see if we got up there alright.  I got no other calls from her and obviously she didn't go into labor today!  Maybe I will be as lucky with the lottery ticket I bought!

Wednesday, May 30, 2007 9:39:52 PM (Central Standard Time, UTC-06:00)
 Saturday, April 14, 2007

Well I am sitting here in the speaker's room with a bunch of great guys:
Bruce Thomas, Jeff Barnes, Wally McClure, Jeremy Chance, Joe Healy, Brian Hitney, and Keith Elder.  I think these guys have been at all 4 code camps in Alabama.  I thought I would post an update.  So far things are going really good for Code Camp 4. 

The speaker's dinner last night was at Felix's FishCamp.  I had not ever eaten at a Felix's...great food!  Anyway, this code camp introduced a really nice speaker shirt.  I had worked with Doug Greene on putting together a version of the logo for the shirts but did not know what he had planned.  They turned out really nice.  He and Matthew have done a great job on the code camp!

Today it looks like we may have some bad weather coming in.  Hopefully it won't be too bad.  Looks like we have a good turnout today so it should be some good fun.  I am happy to say that for the first time at any code camp, I had my presentation and code done the night before!

One of the things that always happens when you get a group like this together is you wind up with at least a couple good new catch phrases.  For now, I will leave you with my favorite so far: "You can't fix stupid".  How true!

Saturday, April 14, 2007 8:49:43 AM (Central Standard Time, UTC-06:00)
 Wednesday, April 11, 2007

This is really late coming!  The next Alabama Code Camp is schedule for this Saturday in Mobile Alabama.  This one is being hosted by the Lower Alabama .NET User Group.  They are the newest addition to the Alabama User Groups and have been doing really well.  We are all real excited to see their success.  There is a great line-up and some terrific speakers.  Check it out if you have not yet.  And if you can make it, go and register!

I will be giving a presentation at the code camp on WPF.  At this point, I am pretty sure I am changing my original idea to a presentation on some of the new key concepts in .NET 3.0 for WPF.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007 11:21:42 AM (Central Standard Time, UTC-06:00)
 Thursday, January 04, 2007

Registration is now open for Mix07.  If you weren't able to make it to Mix06, you don't want to miss it this year.  I attended Mix06 and walked away with some good information and a lot of things to look forward to.  Since then, I have been working heavily with WPF and exploring where it fits in to some of my current projects and near future projects.

Thursday, January 04, 2007 3:38:06 PM (Central Standard Time, UTC-06:00)
 Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Well the first night of the .NET University in Birmingham was last night.  It went well.  I presented on WPF last night and, while the presentation itself was ok, I had some demo problems!  I am always overly critical of my own presentations and was not real pleased with it last night, but most everyone seemed to say that it went well other than the demo gremlins that seemed to be attacking me!

Doug Turnure was going to present on Window Workflow last night but was very sick (hope you get better soon, Doug), so Mark Berry came over from Atlanta to give the Workflow presentation.  We were real appreciative of him coming over at the last minute.

Tonight, Jeff Barnes is going to present on WCF and Eric Ray is going to present on CardSpace.  It should be a great night.  I'll post how everything went and hopefully get some pictures up.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006 4:52:21 PM (Central Standard Time, UTC-06:00)
 Wednesday, December 06, 2006

We have put up some more information about the .NET University in Birmingham, Alabama this Monday and Tuesday evening.  You can read a little more about it at the Birmingham .NET User Group site.  Or if you want to register, you can click here.

Remember, you must register and attend all 4 session to get your free t-shirt and certificate.  As an added bonus, we will be giving away a Zune after the last presentation on Tuesday thanks to Doug Turnure!

Wednesday, December 06, 2006 5:57:04 PM (Central Standard Time, UTC-06:00)
 Monday, December 04, 2006

We have confirmed the date, time, and location for a .NET University in Birmingham, Alabama.  On December 11 and 12 from 6PM to 8PM we will be presenting a .NET University.  It will take place at the new auditorium in the new Building 3 of the Southern Progress Campus at 2100 Lakeshore Drive.  As soon as we get the link set up for registration, I will post it here.

The purpose of .NET University is to provide a quick and easy way to get an overview of the new features in .NET 3.0, as well as provide materials for the community to re-present to other technical audiences.

Monday, December 04, 2006 9:08:58 PM (Central Standard Time, UTC-06:00)
 Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Well I don't know if I am late to the game on this or not but Jeff just brought to my attention that the Mix '07 dates and location have been announced.  It looks like it is going to be at the Venetian in Las Vegas again April 30 - May 02!  For anyone who was not able to attend last year, the event was excellent.  A ton of great information!  I hope I will be able to go again this year!  Looks like registration is going to begin sometime in January!

.NET | Events
Tuesday, November 07, 2006 3:31:12 PM (Central Standard Time, UTC-06:00)
 Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Jeremy Chance and I spoke with Doug Turnure at the Code Camp in Montgomery about doing a .NET University run in Birmingham sometime before the end of the year.  Tentatively looks like we might shoot for December 11 and 12.  I will announce the final dates and details when we have more.

Tuesday, October 31, 2006 8:06:48 PM (Central Standard Time, UTC-06:00)
 Monday, October 30, 2006

For anyone that attended my presentations at the Code Camp in Montgomery, as promised, I will get the slide stacks and the code samples out here on the blog in the next day or so!

Monday, October 30, 2006 3:56:07 PM (Central Standard Time, UTC-06:00)

My wife has been very patient over the past month or so with all the work I have been doing at home and late into the night.  So I promised that after Code Camp last Saturday I would rest my fingers and give her and my little princess of a daughter some attention!  Accordingly, I didn't even crack the computer for the rest of the weekend.

But now I thought I would say a couple of things about how this last code camp went.

On Friday night before the day of the code camp, as is customary, the speakers got together to chat prior to the event.  It was a good night.  Jeff Barnes and I carpooled together and after a fairly short drive down south we met the gang at the Montgomery Brewery and Pub.  The band they had was in costume (I think)!  If you were there, you know what I mean :)  We had some food and good company!  Doug Turnure joined us for this code camp for a couple of reasons.  First, Joe Healy had some pressing matters he had to attend to.  Second, Doug will be taking over as DE for our area in December.  So while our thoughts were with Joe, we welcomed Doug into the Wild and Crazy world of Alabama!

As far as the actual Code Camp, I think we have had our 3rd successful Code Camp.  We had some great speakers, some old, some new, but all entertaining and informative!  As I mentioned in a previous post, the inaugural run of the .NET University occurred at this Code Camp and went well.  I think the attendees got a great look at the four technologies headed their way in .NET 3.0!

The word on the street is that the guys down in Mobile at the Lower Alabama .NET User Group are getting reved up on the fourth code camp.  Looks like it might take place sometime around April or May of 2007!  I'm looking forward to that one.  I guess I need to sand-proof my laptop.  I wish those guys luck and look forward to seeing what they come up with.  I anticipate another great success story.  So as we say goodbye to another code camp, we look forward to the future (and the beach) with anticipation.  Maybe I should start working on my presentations NOW!

Monday, October 30, 2006 3:54:35 PM (Central Standard Time, UTC-06:00)
 Wednesday, October 25, 2006

On October 13, Doug Turnure announced the official opening of .NET University for business.  This afternoon Doug announced that the inaugural run of the .NET University will take place at the Alabama Code Camp in Montgomery, AL on October 28.

So here is how it is going to work.  If you are not registered yet for the Code Camp, do that first.  Click here to register for the third Alabama Code Camp.  Once you have done that, or if you were already registered, there is a separate registration for the .NET University.  Click here to register for .NET University at the Alabama Code Camp.  You do not have to register for .NET University to attend any of the sessions.  However if you do register and you attend each of the sessions that are a part of .NET University (there are four), you will receive a t-shirt and a "graduation" certificate!  If you want to see what the t-shirts and certificates look like, you can see them on the .NET University Alumni Page.  This is going to be great fun and some really good information.  I am proud to be presenting the WPF .NET University session and expect to see everyone there!

Don't worry if you can't make it to the Code Camp.  There will be plenty of other opportunities to attend a .NET University.

The mission of .NET University is to give a good technical overview of what is new in .NET 3.0 (formerly known as WinFX).  The .NET University consists of four sessions: Windows Presentation Foundation (WPF), Windows Communication Foundation (WCF), Windows Workflow Foundation (WF), and Windows CardSpace.  These are the four new technologies introduced in .NET 3.0.  If you are trying to get up to speed on what is coming soon in .NET 3.0, this is definately the way to do it!

Wednesday, October 25, 2006 9:27:24 PM (Central Standard Time, UTC-06:00)
 Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Well the registration for the third Alabama .NET Code Camp is now open!  Each Code Camp here in Alabama has been larger than the last.  This appears to be no exception!  This is shaping up to be the largest code camp yet in Alabama.

The 3rd Alabama .NET Code Camp will be held in Montgomery, Alabama at Auburn University Montgomery.  It will be on October 28th.  Registration will be from 7:00AM to 8:00AM.  We will kick things off with a keynote from the one and only Joe Healy (If you don't know Joe, you should!) and Bruce Thomas of Simplify.  Bruce was the lead organizer on this one and Bruce always does a great job so I know this is going to be a grade A Code Camp.

I have been on the planning committees for the Alabama Code Camps.  The committee is made up of a group of absolutely terrific and dedicated individuals.  I am proud to work with them!  As always we have some great speakers lined up and some terrific presentations.  We have presentations currently lined up on ASP.NET, Windows Mobile, SQL Server, Visual Studio, Vista and .NET 3.0, and lots more!  I will be doing some presentations on Windows Presentation Foundation (formerly Avalon).  And Jeff Barnes will be doing some presentations on Windows Communication Foundation (formerly Indigo).  Check out the list of sessions for more information.

I anticipate that it will fill up fast so get on out to the site and register today!  I will see you there!

Tuesday, September 26, 2006 2:26:29 PM (Central Standard Time, UTC-06:00)
 Tuesday, September 12, 2006

The 3rd Alabama .NET Code Camp will be held in Montgomery Alabama on October 28th.  A call for speakers is open so if you are interested in speaking, visit the site and signup!

Tuesday, September 12, 2006 12:59:48 PM (Central Standard Time, UTC-06:00)
 Tuesday, May 30, 2006
While at the Huntsville Code Camp, some of the community leaders from Alabama got together with Wally McClure to do an ASP.NET Podcast roundtable discussion.  We talked about what is going on in Alabama community-wise.  If you don't subscribe to the ASP.NET Podcast, you should.  Here is the podcast from our discussion.

Tuesday, May 30, 2006 12:16:03 AM (Central Standard Time, UTC-06:00)
 Sunday, April 30, 2006
I finally got to posting my presentations from the Huntsville Code Camp.  Sorry it took me so long.  They are on my projects page.

Sunday, April 30, 2006 9:28:16 PM (Central Standard Time, UTC-06:00)
On a brighter note, this weekend was the Softech Celebrity Shootout.  The company I work for, Softech Development, was the title sponsor for the Softech Celebrity Shootout benefitting The Joe Cribbs Youth Foundation. We have signed up for the title sponsorship for the next 2 years.  We had a great time!  I got to play golf Saturday with Hines Ward.  I got to meet a lot of the celebrities and got quite a number of signatures.  It all took place at Ross Bridge Resort...very relaxing!  My wife and my room overlooked a waterfall near the pool.  Most of the time we were in our room, we had our balcony door open to hear the sound of the water.  I think I could definately do that on a regular basis.

Sunday, April 30, 2006 9:25:16 PM (Central Standard Time, UTC-06:00)
 Sunday, April 23, 2006
Yesterday we bid a fond farewell to the second Alabama Code Camp. It was a wonderful success. The speaker line-up was top-notch, the attendance was high, the presentations were informative, and the fellowship was great! A number of people asked if I would post my slides and examples so I will post them shortly.

Wally McClure did a podcast with some of the Alabama code camp coordinators and user group leaders. Actually, this was the first podcast that I have been involved with. It was a great time! Wally also posted some pictures from the Code Camp.

My three presentations seemed to go well. A number of attendees said they enjoyed the presentations and walked away having learned something new and useful. Ultimately that is what really matters...if someone can walk away from one of your presentations having learned something new or having been entertained.

Sunday, April 23, 2006 9:44:18 PM (Central Standard Time, UTC-06:00)
 Friday, April 21, 2006
Well the trip up today was rainy but we got here in Huntsville for the Code Camp about 6PM.  We got settled in and then headed down to a local club called The Station.  A handful of speakers and Code Camp coordinators got together tonight.  It was a lot of fun.  David Silverlight brought some T-shirts with Community Credit and DevFish logos.  It was a nice night to just chat about "stuff".

We are back in the room now and working on finalizing presentations for tomorrow.  We have had 2 slots for speakers open up.  I have been trying to see if I might have time to throw another presentation together.  Maybe I am crazy...of course that is not new news!

Friday, April 21, 2006 10:51:20 PM (Central Standard Time, UTC-06:00)
 Wednesday, April 12, 2006
I am a little late with this.  The registration for the Alabama Code Camp is now open.  Registration actually opened up on 04/10 but the broadcast email did not go out till today.

You can Register Here

Here are some quick stats:
  • 200 attendee slots open
  • 123 miles from Nashville
  • 100 books for giveaways
  • 95 miles from Birmingham
  • 28 unique sessions
  • 37 speakers
  • 7 MVPs sharing knowledge
  • 8 book authors presenting
  • 4 Microsoft presenters
Go to the Alabama Code Camp site to learn more!

Wednesday, April 12, 2006 2:09:52 PM (Central Standard Time, UTC-06:00)
 Thursday, April 06, 2006
I am a member of Internet Professionals Society of Alabama (IPSA). Today's meeting is on Digital Imaging and it is obviously a hot topic since attendance has been limited. Although I was late getting my RSVP in, someone had to cancel so I am going to be able to go. Digital Imaging, while not code, is a huge part of web design that facilitates the web experience! I am looking forward to it.

Thursday, April 06, 2006 8:50:19 AM (Central Standard Time, UTC-06:00)
 Saturday, March 11, 2006
I have said before that I enjoy the graphical side of web design as much as I like the code.  I had thrown together a nice header for last year's Code Camp in Alabama, so I was asked to put one together this year.  Joe Healy has gotten it put on the web site.  Everyone seems to think it turned out ok, so I guess I am satisfied. Take a look. Thanks Joe!

Saturday, March 11, 2006 10:35:22 PM (Central Standard Time, UTC-06:00)
 Monday, March 06, 2006
I have been mentioning the visibility and discussions around AJAX and how it seems to be one of the more popular points of discussion. Interesting observation today. I said that I was planning on attending Mix06. Well I was looking at some of the pre-discussion going on out on MSDN's channel 9.  Looking at the number of views per topic, AJAX has 7,449 views.  The closest number of views to that is Windows Presentation Foundation with 3161.  Interesting...

Monday, March 06, 2006 12:51:49 PM (Central Standard Time, UTC-06:00)
I am working on some presentations for the next Code Camp in Alabama.  The next one will be in April and will be held in Huntsville.  I am looking forward to it.  So far I have submitted a presentation on CSS2 and ASP.Net.  I would also like to do a chalk talk on some of the Web 2.0 technologies.  I am hoping to get some ideas from some of the discussions at Mix06.

Monday, March 06, 2006 12:52:46 AM (Central Standard Time, UTC-06:00)
 Saturday, December 03, 2005
Well I did not have my blog up and going in time to report on the first Birmingham .NET User Group meeting in November.  Long story short, it went really well.  Turnout was great.  Our next meeting was scheduled for December 13, the same day as the "Best of" launch event in Birmingham.  After speaking with some of the folks from Microsoft in Atlanta, we are going to turn our meeting on the 13th into a Pub Club after the launch event.  I suspect after listening to presentations all day, most folks will enjoy just a laid back meet and greet!
I am really looking forward to watching the Birmingham .NET User Group continue to grow.

Saturday, December 03, 2005 10:58:25 PM (Central Standard Time, UTC-06:00)
Who Am I - Todd Miranda
MVP Visual Developer - ASP/ASP.NET
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