Best Of PDC – Overview And Schedule

The Best of PDC events are finally here.  In fact, we held the first of the series on December 12, 2008 in Phoenix.  In this post, I will break down the sessions and provide the updated schedule for January and February. 

Session Abstracts

What to expect with C# 4.0
We will take a look at some of the new and exciting features that are being planned for the next release of C#.  Some of the features that we will look at are dynamic lookup, the ability to program against fields, methods and types without C# static type checker and the new named and optional parameter support.

The Silverlight Control Toolkit
The Silverlight Toolkit is a collection of Silverlight controls, components and utilities made available outside the normal Silverlight release cycle.  This 30 minute session will illustrate some of these new tools.  The session will illustrate the use of the ImplicitStyleManager and the new themes to skin your applications, charting controls, the expander and more.  This session is 100% demo-driven.

REST with WCF and the WCF REST Starter Kit
This session will provide a broad overview of REST support in WCF, including some key new features available in the recently released WCF REST Starter Kit.  The session will begin with a theoretical discussion of what REST is.  It will continue by illustrating WCF support for developing LO-REST and HI-REST APIs.  This session will be largely demo driven, with specific demos demonstrating consuming LO-REST services being consumed by AJAX clients, as well as developing HI-REST services being consumed by Silverlight 2 clients.  This session is 60% demo-driven.

Demystifying Azure
This goal of this session is to provide a framework for understanding the Azure namespace.  This namespace comprises Windows Azure (“The Cloud OS”), Live Services, .NET Services, SQL Data Services, and more.  The session will begin with a discussion of the hi-level features of Windows Azure (“The Cloud OS”), including scalable storage, a rich developer experience, automated service management and service hosting.  The session will then provide a high-level overview of the services available in Live Services and .NET Services.  The session will conclude with a brief overview of SQL Data Services.  This session will demonstrate the use of Azure Table Services, SQL Data Services and will illustrate the Developer Fabric.


The following is the updated list of events around Desert Mountain.  As you can see, we are in the process of scheduling and not all of the dates and venues are set.  The events with a register link are set.  You may also note that there are 2 events in Salt Lake City.  This is due to the capacity of the room at the Microsoft Office in Salt Lake City.  We wanted to ensure that everyone who wants to see the event has the chance.

Albuquerque - January 12, 2009 1:00 p.m. - 5:30 p.m. (register)
Salt Lake City - January 15, 2009 8:00 a.m. - 12:30 p.m. (register) or 1:00 p.m. - 5:30 p.m. (register)
Co. Springs - January 26, 2009 1:00 p.m. - 5:30 p.m. (register)
Denver - January 27, 2009 or January 28, 2009 1:00 p.m. - 5:30 p.m. (registration not available yet)
Ft. Collins - January 28, 2009 1:00 p.m. - 5:30 p.m. (registration not available yet)
Tucson - (date and registration not available)
Las Vegas - (date and registration not available)

Phoenix Recap

I want to give a special thank you to Joe Guadagno.  His herculean efforts were a huge part in the success of the Phoenix event.  Joe worked tirelessly to line up sponsors for the event.  Joe was able to find sponsors for the venue, over $29,000 in free giveaways and even a happy hour after the event.  That was not all… Joe put together and delivered a session.  Great job and thanks for your dedication to the Phoenix community.  I applaud your commitment.

I would also like to thank the sponsors for the event.  A big thanks goes out to for sponsoring the happy hour.  I would also like to thank our other main sponsors TekSystems and Robert Half Technologies.  This event would not have been possible without your generous support.  Below is a full list of folks that donated something to the event:

  • TekSystems
  • Robert Half Technologies
  • CodeSmith Tools
  • Infragistics
  • Nervon
  • Telerik
  • SyncFusion
  • JetBrains
  • ComponentOne
  • Pearson Education
  • Aggiorno
  • Apress
  • Packt Publishing

Lastly, I would like to thank Scott Cate for putting together and presenting his session on the Silverlight Toolkit.  Great job, as always.