Scenes from May’s Metro Toronto .NET User Group

Better late than never! Here are a couple of pictures I shot at the Metro Toronto .NET User Group in late May, where I presented my walk-through of ASP.NET MVC, Canada’s Next Top Model View Controller.

Colin Bowern opened the session with some quick announcements about upcoming events as well as other .NET user groups in the Greater Toronto and surrounding areas:


He then introduced me, and I got started with my presentation. I did a quick walkthrough of the basic concepts behind MVC (that is, the Model-View-Controller design pattern), after which I introduced a special guest who I brought along with me: Paul Doerwald. Paul’s a Ruby on Rails developer, and he gave the audience a quick demonstration of building a Ruby on Rails project from scratch:


Bringing in a Rails guy to speak in front of a .NET crowd was a little unexpected, but I thought it was important to show them the inspiration behind ASP.NET MVC, whose creators acknowledge Ruby on Rails’ influence on their framework. I think that they benefited from this outside perspective, and it worked on Paul as well – he was impressed by the size of the crowd, the nice settings (the Metro Toronto .NET User Group has a nice arrangement to use the conference rooms at the Manulife office building), the extent and organization of all the .NET user groups in the Toronto area and even the male-female ratio (while the women were still vastly outnumbered by the men, the percentage of women at the User Group was still high in comparison to some open source gatherings).

Much of my presentation was a walk-through of building the basic structure of the NerdDinner application featured in the book Professional ASP.NET MVC 1.0 and online at, with plenty of additional commentary by me, explaining in further detail why things were done a certain way. I encouraged the audience to download the free chapter from the book and actually build the application themselves; after all, the best way to learn is to do.

I had a wonderful time presenting in front of the very attentive and appreciative crowd at the Metro Toronto .NET User Group and would like to thank the audience for watching, Paul for helping out and the organizers for inviting me. I’d love to do it again sometime!

As for ASP.NET MVC, watch this space for more articles and code examples!