Gatherings

sharepoint and cloud

Yaroslav Pentsarskyy is a busy guy. He’s a Technical Specialist with Habanero, Systems Architect at Bluekarbon, SharePoint MVP, author, and a TechDays presenter. He’ll be doing the IE9 Turbo Talk on Tuesday and the Microsoft SharePoint Server 2010 for Developers of Microsoft ASP.NET presentation on Wednesday.

If you can’t catch him at TechDays Calgary (taking place this Tuesday and Wednesday), you’re in luck: Yaroslav will be doing a presentation on Tuesday night at Calspug – the Calgary SharePoint User Group. His presentation: Taking Your Existing SharePoint 2010 Solution to the Cloud. Here are the details:

Topic

Taking Your Existing SharePoint 2010 Solution to the Cloud

Audience

SharePoint application/solution developers and architects

Abstract

In the last year – there has been significant interest in hosting SharePoint solutions in the cloud. There are many vendors out there offering SharePoint 2010 hosting in the cloud. This session will focus on understanding key differences that affect solution development for the cloud. Developers will learn how they can leverage their existing tools to create basic and advanced solutions ready for the cloud.

Time, Place and Other Details

  • When: Tuesday, December 14, 6:00 – 7:30 p.m. (doors open at 5:30)
  • Where: Global Knowledge (formerly Nexient) 2nd Floor Training Centre
    144 – 4 Avenue SW, Suite 200
  • Cost: Free
  • Donations: Calspug is accepting non-perishable food item donation for the Calgary IF Food Bank. Bring something!
  • Food and beverages will be provided

Bonus Goodies

yaroslav book

Yaroslav will be giving away copies of his book, Top 60 Custom Solutions Built on Microsoft SharePoint Server 2010.

Registration

Registration for this event is free – just sign up on the registration page.

This article also appears in Canadian Developer Connection.

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AzureFest

by Joey deVilla on December 12, 2010

AzureFest attendees in Microsoft Canada's MPR room watch Cory Fowler and Barry Gervin at the front of the room.

AzureFest, the get-together where developers and aspiring developers learn how to use and deploy applications and databases to Azure, took place at Microsoft Canada headquarters in Mississauga on Saturday.

Cory Fowler stands beside the big screen in Microsoft Canada's MPR room

The event was held by our partners ObjectSharp and led by Cory Fowler, an Azure MVP. There was a morning sessions and an afternoon session, and my rough estimation of both events put the attendance at around 130 in total.

The AzureFest attendees, working away at their computers.

Each three-hour session consisted of a quick overview of the Azure platform, the distribution of all the necessary developer tools, signing up for an Azure account and using the prototyping-and-wallet-friendly Introductory Special and deploying that old ASP.NET MVC standby app NerdDinner and its associated database to the cloud. The three-hour format covered more practical ground than the typical one-hour conference session and gave Cory and the ObjectSharpies a chance to make themselves available for one-on-one assistance.

Cory taking the AzureFest attendees through one more example

In Case You Missed AzureFest…

If you couldn’t make it down to Mississauga to participate in AzureFest, you can still benefit from the AzureFest session. The ObjectSharpies are recording a version of Cory’s Azure deployment walkthrough and making it available online. Watch this blog for more details.

Try Azure and Get Some Money for Your User Group!

If you’re the member of a Canadian Microsoft User Group, you can help them make a quick $25 which they can use to fund their activities. All you have to do is:

  • Open an Azure account: either the introductory special offer or using the Azure benefit that comes with your MSDN subscription
  • Deploy an application – any application, including pre-written ones like NerdDinner – to Azure
  • Send an email to cdnazure@microsoft.com with the following:
    • A screenshot of your application running on Azure
    • The name of the user group to which you’d like to get $25
    • Feedback about your experience with Azure

This article also appears in Canadian Developer Connection.

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Friday Morning Ritual

by Joey deVilla on December 5, 2010

Biking Downtown

View from the eastbound bike lane at University Avenue and College street, with two cyclists ahead

With Accordion City’s rapid transit being quite prone to delay and the distance from my home in High Park to downtown being just over 7 km (about 4.5 miles), biking downtown is often just as quick as taking the subway. Biking has the added benefit of “free” exercise in addition to getting me from point A to point B, hence my tendency to get to the core via two wheels whenever possible and practical.

College Street is a good east/west thoroughfare for bikes. It’s mostly level, many parts of it have a dedicated bike lane, there’s lots to see and some good places to stop by if you have the time, and during the day, it doesn’t get as congested as some of the east/west streets further south.

I shot the photo above at the corner of College and University. The eastbound bike lane on this part of College at the time I took it – around 8:30 a.m. on a Friday – is usually quite full. I was at the head of a pack of bikes, with these two cyclists ahead of me and another half dozen or so clumped behind me. Most of the cyclists appeared to be students or people who worked in places with casual dress codes, although I saw a couple of guys in suits with their right pant legs strapped (so as not to get caught in the gears) and with executive-type leather laptop bags slung over their shoulders.

Greg Wilson’s Nerd Breakfast

A long booth at Fran's diner, with assorted Toronto nerds drinking coffee and conversing

The reason I was biking downtown was to attend Greg Wilson’s weekly nerd breakfast. I first met Greg via email when he was doing some editorial work for Dr. Dobb’s Journal (back when it was still available in dead-tree form) and asked me to write a couple of book reviews, then in person through DemoCamp and various activities he organized when he was one of University of Toronto’s best-loved computer science profs.

He’s since left academia and is working on his own, and that’s why he holds these weekly breakfasts. Escaping the Land of Cubicles and working on your own has many perquisites, but one of the big downsides is the isolation. Greg holds a Friday morning breakfast gathering at Fran’s near Yonge and College as a way of staying in touch with his peers, and it’s become a Friday morning ritual for local nerds both student and professional, indie and corporate.

If you’re a techie local to Toronto and want to catch one of these breakfasts or become a regular, I’m sure Greg wouldn’t mind if you simply dropped by. We’re usually at the back of Fran’s on Fridays from 8:30 a.m. to 9:15-ish.

This article also appears in Canadian Developer Connection.

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Technologic’s Inaugural Gathering

by Joey deVilla on December 3, 2010

technologic logo

Last night, I helped my friends at Unspace with the inaugural session of Technologic, their new monthly series of gatherings that’s part cocktail party, part mini-conference, part salon (in the sense of bright people getting together informally to share ideas rather than in the hair salon sense).

Unspace's "pinball room", filled with nerdy partygoers.

The event was held at their office, which is located in Toronto’s Queen West, a neighbourhood that mixes boutique-type shops, resto-bar/night club type-places and a number of start-ups and tech consultancies.

Unspace's boardroom, converted into a bar, filled with nerdy partygoers

Unspace have strong ties to the Toronto developer community and a reputation for putting on some of the best indie developer conferences around, having set the bar rather high with RubyFringe and FutureRuby. Technologic is but one of their big plans for the coming year, and these plans are going to make Toronto’s developer scene even more interesting. Better still, they’ve invited me to help out with these events whenever I’m available. Looks like I’m going to be the Microsoft go-to guy at these events, as well as someone you talk with about development, the industry, or whatever else you like.

Unspace's kitchen, with the catering crew preparing food

There were no pizzas, box lunches or other food typical of developer gatherings. They did charge a cover, but it went to good use – they got a catering service to make use of their kitchen (Unspace’s office could easily be converted into a very sweet downtown condo) and crank out some excellent hors d’oeuvres: chili meatballs, chorizo sausage, egg rolls, mushrooms and goat cheese in pastry and my favourite: puff pastry filled with bacon custard. I will have to atone for my dietary sins in the gym this weekend.

Unspace's bullpen, cleared of desks and filled with Technologic attendees

The photos above and below show the Unspace bullpen. Normally it’s packed with desks and bookshelves, but they cleared the room in order to create a makeshift standing-room-only conference space, with a riser at one end of the room functioning as a stage. With the initial drinks and food served, the attendees were herded here so we could start the presentation portion of the evening.

Unspace's bullpen, cleared of desks and filled with Technologic attendees

It started off with a quick intro by Unspace partner and master planner of all events social, Meghann Millard:

Meghann Millard onstage

And with the quick intro out of the way, Reg “raganwald” Braithwaite took to the stage for the first lightning talk.

Reg Braithwaite giving his presentation

Reg’s talk was titled Bullshit, and it was about how many of the popular beliefs held by computer programmers may just be that. Sure, we believe that object-oriented programming makes us more productive than structured programming, but can we actually prove it? Or that you can be more productive or less error-prone or some other superlative in programming language X than programming language Y? Or that pair programming produces benefits other than preventing you from constantly checking your email or idly following Digg/Reddit/Hacker News links?

As you can see in the photo below, taken during Reg’s presentation, the topic gave them considerable food for thought:

Reg Braithwaite's audience, a packed room of nerds, as seen from the stage area

Next up was Unspace partner Pete Forde, who talked about one of Unspace’s current projects, a web application that lets people who make TV shows and films find music for the soundtracks based on criteria like style and mood.

Pete Forde showing off the screens from the music web app

The application makes great use of HTML5 to create a slick yet usable user interface that would’ve been all but impossible in web pages only a little while back.

I got called into my role as “Guy who can kill time onstage while the big presenter sets up” and a couple of jokes and a performance of the Oompa Loompa Service Pack 2 song later, Rails core team/Merb Guy/jQuery core team guy Yehuda Katz took the stage for the big presentation, titled Explaining What You Do.

Yehuda Katz giving his presentation with a slide in the background that reads "Explaining What You Do"

This was a non-technical talk for techies and focused on explaining to laypeople – specifically, the creatives and “suits” with who we work or who are our clients – what it is we do and what the technology we work with does. All too often, we techie types take a techno-snobbish, high-priesthood kind of attitude and expect laypeople to learn about our world, all the while refusing to learn about their work. Yehuda’s talk was about the first step in fixing that relationship and explaining our work to laypeople so that we can work with them better. I certainly hope that it’s not the last time he gives this talk – there are a lot of developers who need to hear this message.

The bar at Technologic

With the presentations done, it was back to the cocktail party / salon aspect of the night, with good food and drink, good conversation and great people to share both with. A number of people asked me for a quick Windows Phone 7 demo, a request that I’m always happy to oblige, and I helped point people with questions about various Microsoft tools and technologies (namely ASP.NET MVC and Azure) in the right direction. It’s also good just to hang out with the folks who make Toronto’s tech scene fun, interesting and motivating.

Kudos to Unspace for putting on a great event! When I find out the details of January’s Technologic, along with the other things that Unspace is planning, I’ll let you know – I’d love to see you there!

Want to Find Out More About Technologic?

technologic site

Check out their site at technologicto.com, and also keep an eye on their Twitter account (@technologicto) as well as their hashtag (#technologicto).

This article also appears in Canadian Developer Connection.

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TSOT’s Ruby/Rails Project Night — Next Tuesday!

by Joey deVilla on January 4, 2008

Bruce Lee, wearing a TSOT t-shirt and holding Ruby on Rails nunchuks.

Don’t forget: TSOT’s first Ruby/Rails project night takes place next Tuesday! Admission is free, but space is limited, so sign up now!

The Quick Version

TSOT Ruby/Rails Night
Tuesday, January 8th, 2008 (and the second Tuesday of every month)
@ TSOT’s office — 151 Bloor Street West (on the south side, just east of Avenue Road)
11th floor
Door open and food at 5:30 p.m.
Presentations start at 6-ish
FREE ADMISSION (but limited space)
To register, please email joey.devilla@tsotinc.com

About TSOT

TSOT is a Toronto-based start-up that develops — look out, here come the buzzwords — social networking applications using Ruby on Rails. Our first applications are FraternityLive and SororityLive, social software built specifically for people in fraternities and sororities. Both apps are currently being tested with a userbase of thousands of university students and alumni, and we expect to release them in early 2008.

About Ruby/Rails Project Nights

We believe that it’s good for Toronto to have a healthy developer ecosystem — it’s good not only for us as a Toronto-based development shop, but also as a group of developers who are passionate about the work we do. We’d like to see Toronto as “Silicon Valley++” — with the vibrant high-tech scene, but with all the amenities that make Toronto a better place to live than the Valley (such as not being a dreary 50-mile stretch of suburbia and having decent places to go at night).

Hence our contribution to the local developer scene: TSOT Ruby/Rails Project Nights, which will take place on the second Tuesday of every month. They’ll feature in-depth presentations by developers working on interesting projects — primarily Ruby and Ruby on Rails — along with drinks and munchies and a chance to socialize with your fellow developers. They’ll be hosted by Yours Truly, TSOT developer and DemoCamp regular Joey “Accordion Guy” deVilla.

The First Night: Next Tuesday, January 8th

This first Ruby/Rails Night will feature presentations by a couple of Ruby/Rails local heroes on their current Ruby/Rails projects:

The doors will open at 5:30, the first presentation will start at about 6, and we hope to wrap up the evening by 8:30 or 9. We’ll provide food and drinks, and if there’s enough of a demand, we can always go out to a nearby pub afterwards. There’s no cost to attend (but be advised that seating is limited).

If you’ve been thinking about making a Ruby or Rails presentation (perhaps you want to rehearse for RailsConf 2008!), we’d like to have you present it at one of our project nights!

Add TSOT Ruby/Rails Nights to your list of New Year’s resolutions!

How Do I Register?

Registration is free, but space is limited. To register for the upcoming Jan 8th gathering, please email joey.devilla@tsotinc.com

For More Information

For more information about TSOT Project Nights, please contact:

The event is also listed on Upcoming.org.

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Here’s a quick reminder about TSOT’s upcoming Ruby/Rails night, which takes place on Tuesday, January 8th, 2008:

Bruce Lee, wearing a TSOT t-shirt and holding Ruby on Rails nunchuks.

TSOT Ruby/Rails Night
Tuesday, January 8th, 2008 (and the second Tuesday of every month)
@ TSOT’s office — 151 Bloor Street West (on the south side, just east of Avenue Road)
11th floor
Door open and food at 5:30 p.m.
Presentations start at 6-ish
FREE ADMISSION (but limited space)
To register, please email joey.devilla@tsotinc.com

For more details, see this entry or this page on Upcoming.org.

{ 0 comments }

Bruce Lee, wearing a TSOT t-shirt and holding Ruby on Rails nunchuks.

The Quick Version

TSOT Ruby/Rails Night
Tuesday, January 8th, 2008 (and the second Tuesday of every month)
@ TSOT’s office — 151 Bloor Street West (on the south side, just east of Avenue Road)
11th floor
Door open and food at 5:30 p.m.
Presentations start at 6-ish
FREE ADMISSION (but limited space)
To register, please email joey.devilla@tsotinc.com

About TSOT

TSOT is a Toronto-based start-up that develops — look out, here come the buzzwords — social networking applications using Ruby on Rails. Our first applications are FraternityLive and SororityLive, social software built specifically for people in fraternities and sororities. Both apps are currently being tested with a userbase of thousands of university students and alumni, and we expect to release them in early 2008.

About Ruby/Rails Project Nights

We believe that it’s good for Toronto to have a healthy developer ecosystem — it’s good not only for us as a Toronto-based development shop, but also as a group of developers who are passionate about the work we do. We’d like to see Toronto as “Silicon Valley++” — with the vibrant high-tech scene, but with all the amenities that make Toronto a better place to live than the Valley (such as not being a dreary 50-mile stretch of suburbia and having decent places to go at night).

Hence our contribution to the local developer scene: TSOT Ruby/Rails Project Nights, which will take place on the second Tuesday of every month. They’ll feature in-depth presentations by developers working on interesting projects — primarily Ruby and Ruby on Rails — along with drinks and munchies and a chance to socialize with your fellow developers. They’ll be hosted by Yours Truly, TSOT developer and DemoCamp regular Joey “Accordion Guy” deVilla.

The First Night: Tuesday, January 8th

This first Ruby/Rails Night will feature presentations by a couple of Ruby/Rails local heroes on their current Ruby/Rails projects:

The doors will open at 5:30, the first presentation will start at about 6, and we hope to wrap up the evening by 8:30 or 9. We’ll provide food and drinks, and if there’s enough of a demand, we can always go out to a nearby pub afterwards. There’s no cost to attend (but be advised that seating is limited).

If you’ve been thinking about making a Ruby or Rails presentation (perhaps you want to rehearse for RailsConf 2008!), we’d like to have you present it at one of our project nights!

Add TSOT Ruby/Rails Nights to your list of New Year’s resolutions!

How Do I Register?

Registration is free, but space is limited. To register for the upcoming Jan 8th gathering, please email joey.devilla@tsotinc.com

For More Information

For more information about TSOT Project Nights, please contact:

The event is also listed on Upcoming.org.

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