Northeast Roadshow

It's that time again!  The latest edition of the Northeast Roadshow is now open for registration - with not just five, but six venues to choose from.   If you have no idea what the Northeast Roadshow is...well, it's an all day, free event in which I and my fellow evangelists, Chris Bowen and Bob Familiar, travel the Northeast District to discuss and demo some of the new, cool Microsoft technology with folks like you.  It's a marketing-fluff free zone, so our hope and intent is that you can put the information to immediate use and get new insights into how to incorporate existing and upcoming Microsoft technologies in your 'day job.'  And did I mention that it's free... with lunch...!

To register, selected the date we'll be near you; maps are available via the venue links below.

Sept. 23 S. Burlington VT KnowledgeWave
Sept. 24 Troy NY Rensselaer Polytechnic InstituteCenter for Biotechnology and Interdisciplinary StudiesBiotech Auditorium
Sept. 25 Rochester NY Central Library of Rochester and Monroe CountyKate Gleason Auditorium
Oct. 3 Augusta ME Riverview Psychiatric CenterSebago Room
Oct. 14 Farmington CT Microsoft CorporationMPR
Oct. 15 Waltham MA Microsoft CorporationMPR A, B, C


Chris and I will be hitting the road this time sans Bob - but don't worry, he'll be back to join us next quarter.  We're experimenting with few changes to the format as well, just to keep you on your toes!  This time we're intermingling shorter "turbo" sessions with the longer, in-depth ones of the past.  As a result we'll be able to bring a more diverse set of topics to you, but still provide the depth in content that you crave.  Here's what's on the menu for this go around:


8:30 Registration
9:00 Understanding the ADO.NET Entity Framework   Show details...

Abstraction is frequently used to create difficult-to-appreciate artwork, but when applied to software, abstractions can improve flexibility, independence, and the ability to compose higher-level concepts. ADO.NET Entity Framework, now shipping as part of Visual Studio 2008 & .NET 3.5 Service Pack 1, helps you create models of your data that enable a familiar object-oriented programming experience. Entities map flexibly to data sources while providing insulation from schema changes at the same time. LINQ makes an appearance as well, using the familiar syntax we’ve seen with LINQ to Objects, SQL, and XML to query entities. You’ve got the picture, so get out there and model some works of art! 

10:30 Discovering Dynamic DataShow details...

ASP.NET Dynamic Data, introduced with the .NET Framework 3.5 SP1 release, breathes immediate (i.e., code-less) life into LINQ To SQL and Entity Framework data models by providing a customizable, template-driven, scaffolding framework. Put on your wizard hat, you now have dynamic power at your fingertips .  

11:15 Exploring Internet Explorer 8Show details...

Ahoy, developers! The release of Internet Explorer 8 is just around the bend. Of course, we’ll pull out the spyglass and take a look over the sea of new consumer features, but what does this next version mean for you as developer, and what should you do to navigate to glory? You’ll see how treasures like accelerators and web slices can be a differentiator for your company, see the new wave of compatibility features and options, and unearth the tools available for developers to make for smooth sailing on the sometimes turbulent web development waters. 

12:00 RoboLunch   Show details...

Grab a lunch and join in as we delve into the world of robotics programming with Microsoft Robotics Developer Studio. Think robotics is mostly for manufacturing systems, toys, and those cool little floor cleaning bots? You may be surprised at how the things we cover may come to affect your professional development life! Perhaps you’ll find yourself saying, "Thank you very luncho, Mr. Roboto!"

1:00 UI, UX, U Confused?   Show details...

One thing not missing from Microsoft’s development offerings is a choice of options. In this session, we’ll compare and contrast the various .NET technologies available for building client experiences (Windows Forms, WPF, XBAP, ASP.NET, Silverlight, and Windows Mobile) to give you some insight in to making the best choices for reaching your applications’ target audience. 

1:45 A RESTed Development   Hide details

REST (Representational State Transfer) is what all the cool developers are using these days to communicate among distributed resources and services.  So that you’re not left standing idly by on the sidelines, we’ll look at the rationales of the approach, why it’s cleaner than SOAP, and how Microsoft has adopted REST in technologies such as WCF and ADO.NET Data Services. 

3:15 Befriending Unit Testing   Show details...

Unit testing could be your new best friend, and we’re here to help make the proper introductions. A practice that ultimately results in reduced overall efforts, unit testing is a focus on crafting test code that verifies your application code isn’t misbehaving. In this session, we’ll focus on what unit testing is, how it can be done, and some of the proven and effective practices you can employ to help your unit tests pay dividends over time. If Humphrey Bogart were a developer, he would have agreed, this is the beginning of a beautiful friendship.

4:00 Wrapup, Giveways, and Bon Voyage!


Some Words of Thanks and Notes on Venues

The seasoned Roadshow "roadies" among you will note that we have a few facility changes due to scheduling conflicts, and of course we have our new stop in the Albany/Troy area.

We'd like to thank the folks at KnowledgeWave for use of their facility in South Burlington, as well as to the Riverview Psychiatric Center in Augusta (yes, we expect to hear plenty of comments about this one!).  While we realize the Augusta location is a bit outside of our traditional Portland site, we hope it will provide an opportunity to engage the community there as well as from Bangor, while keeping our friends from the immediate Portland area.

Center for Biotechnology and Interdisclipinary Studies Thanks to Dr. John Wen, Director, Center for Automation Technologies and Systems and Professor in the Department of Electrical, Computer, and Systems Engineering and Department of Mechanical, Aerospace, and Nuclear Engineering at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, in Troy, New York, for offering us the Bruggeman Auditorium in the state-of-the-art Center for Biotechnology and Interdisciplinary Studies.  Check out their site, this looks like a tremendously cool facility - and they even offer tours!

Kate Gleason Auditorium For our Rochester stop, we'll be meeting in the Kate Gleason Auditorium of the Central Library of Rochester and Monroe County (see photo).  We're hoping to be back at our old stomping grounds at RIT for our next appearance, but this time around there just wasn't the space for us there given our scheduling constraints.  For those of you travelling to Rochester for this event, there is public parking available at the Court Street or South Avenue garages.  The fee for the day is $6.35.

Those of you in the Hartford and Boston areas can just put yourselves on auto-pilot - no need to reprogram the GPS - as we'll be in our familiar Microsoft quarters for the stops in Farmington and Waltham.