Northeast Roadshow – March Madness Edition

Updated 12 noon, Feb. 16th – Albany venue added!!!

Updated 10 a.m., Mar 6th – Albany venue cancelled :(

Northeast RoadshowIt's that time again, we're packing up the Griswold-mobile, stocking up on jerky, and refreshing our Starbucks cards for another swing through the Northeast District.

The Northeast Roadshow is an all-day, free event focusing on delivering information you can use as a .NET developer and providing insights on where Microsoft is heading with technologies like cloud computing.

I’m also happy to announce the “Return of Bob.”  Yes, the team is back together:  Chris Bowen, Bob Familiar, and I will be taking our unique blend of technical content and wit back on the road beginning on March 10th.

The Where: Roadshow Venues 

Burlington, VT KnowledgeWave 30 Community Drive Suite 5 South Burlington, VT Tue., March 10 register now!
Albany, NY Autotask 26 Tech Valley Drive East Greenbush, NY Wed., March 11 register now!
Rochester, NY Rochester Institute of Technology Golisano Auditorium Rochester, NY Thur., March 12 register now!
Hartford, CT The Hartford Wallace Stevens Theater 690 Asylum Avenue Hartford, CT Wed., March 18 register now!
Augusta, ME Central Maine Commerce Center Florian Hall 45 Commerce Drive Augusta, ME Thur., March 19 register now!
Waltham, MA Microsoft Office 201 Jones Road Suite 600 Waltham, MA Mon., March 23 register now!

N.B., our Burlington and Hartford sites have changed for this tour.

The What: Roadshow Agenda

8:00 AM – Registration

8:30 AM – "Top Dev": Effective .NET Developer Practices

Aiming to be the top gun that your colleagues turn to when things get intense? Of course you are, but it's not always easy locking onto the practices and tools that can help. We'll zero in on the essential maneuvers: ways to write effective .NET code, analysis and measurement tools, the latest tech from the Patterns & Practices group, testing, Visual Studio techniques, and more. Of course, we don't have a cool 80's soundtrack or motorcycles and jets to ride around the room, but we think helping you avoid the danger zone where other projects crash and burn is a decent substitute.

9:50 AM – Head in the Cloud, Feet on the Ground: An Introduction to Windows Azure

Don't get the blues wondering what cloud computing has to offer, join us as we look toward Windows Azure, Microsoft’s operating system for the cloud, providing a set of core capabilities for hosting scalable web applications and services. The Azure Services Platform builds on that, offering SQL and .NET Services to cloud applications. This session will introduce the concepts of cloud computing and Windows Azure, but keep things grounded by demonstrating porting applications that leverage ASP.NET, WCF, and SQL Server to the Azure environment. By the end of this session, your understanding of cloud computing will soar to new heights!

11:10 AM – Top Things Developers Should Know About SQL Server

Data is every developer's friend. The kind of friend that follows everywhere we go, tells embarrassing jokes, knocks on our door late and stays overnight, eating everything in the kitchen. Okay, so sometimes data can be unruly and we just can't delete it, but SQL Server is here to help. In this turbo session, we'll run through the key things developers should know about programming with SQL Server to not only keep data in line, but to get it off the couch and put it to work.

12:00 PM – "Workin' 9 to (12 then 1 to) 5" - A Lunchtime Look at XNA Development

We've got a day full of proper corporate day job type content, so we'll take a break from all of that at lunchtime to talk about games - your games. XNA is a free game development platform based on .NET that helps to make developing 2D and 3D games for Windows, XBOX 360, and the Zune easy. We'll introduce XNA, show you around the XNA world, then create a simple 2D game from scratch to give you a feel for the mechanics of XNA. So grab some food and join us to learn how you can put those same C# skills that pay the bills by day to creating your own games by night (or lunch.)

1:00 PM – Understanding the Buzz Around F#

You're comfortable with your .NET language of choice, but there's been quite a bit of buzz about the new F# language, and we'll explain why. F# is a typed functional programming language for the Microsoft .NET Framework that also features Visual Studio integration. It can make challenging tasks easier by combining functional programming with imperative and dynamic concepts along with the runtime, libraries, tools, and object model of .NET. We’ll also see how F# can tame the complexity of parallel and asynchronous I/O programming. Come and see what this new "first class" .NET language (available as a CTP now and to ship as part of Visual Studio 2010) can offer your development projects, and join in the buzz.

2:00 PM – At Your Break(ing) Point?: .NET Debugging Techniques

Are F5 and F9 the extent of your debugging repertoire? Not any longer! We’ll get your bug squashing chops in shape with this practical look at documented (and undocumented) features of the Visual Studio Debugger. So you don’t write buggy code? We’ll show you how to debug ours by incorporating the .NET Reference source in your projects. And we’ll cap it off with a teaser of some ultra-cool debugging features coming in Visual Studio 2010. If we’ve done our job, you’ll leave this session *wanting* to write bad code just to try this stuff out!

3:30 PM– Wrapup, Giveaways, and Bon Voyage!