In Calgary This Week

Calgary Tower in the sunsetCreative Commons photo by Angela MacIsaac. Click to see the original.

Seven cities down, one to go. This year has been our biggest TechDays tour, spanning the cities of Vancouver, Edmonton, Toronto, Halifax, Ottawa, Montreal, Winnipeg and this week, Calgary. Among other things, it’s the city that Developer Evangelist John Bristowe calls home.

All of us are looking forward to seeing everyone there, especially Damir!

Damir gives a big thumbs-up

This article also appears in Canadian Developer Connection.


Scenes from TechDays Winnipeg, Part 1

Most of the DPE team (including boss-man John Oxley) are in Winnipeg this week to run TechDays. In between my responsibilities as the guy in charge of the developer sessions, I’ve been running around snapping photos and thought I’d share some with you. Here are my pics of the presenters in both developer tracks, "Developing for Three Screens and the Cloud” and “Optimizing the Development Process”, with some extra shots of the hallways between sessions.

We had Mike Diehl presenting Real-World Patterns for Cloud Computing:

01 Mike Diehl

Meanwhile, in the “Local Flavours” track, D’Arcy Lussier talked about Windows Phone 7 development:

02 Darcy Lussier

And over in the “Three Screens” room, Kelly Cassidy showed his audience how to Jump into Silverlight and Become Immediately Productive.

03 Kelly Cassidy

For the second session of the day, Mark Arteaga shared his Windows Phone 7 knowledge in the first of a two-part series of sessions on Windows Phone.

04 Mark Arteaga

And in the back were these troublemakers:

05 Speakers

Out in the hallway, Rick Claus and Damir Bersinic chatted with Jason Miller:

06 Rick Damir Jason

Over in the “Optimizing” track, we had Aaron Kowall dropping TFS science on his audience:

07 Aaron session

08 Aaron Kowall

Rick and I walked the lunch audience through Windows Phone 7’s features:

09 Rick Lunch

After lunch, Miguel Carrasco showed people how to Build Web Sites Fast Using Visual Studio 2010:

10 Miguel Carrasco

Should “Tron Guy” ever retire, I nominate David Wesst to take his place:

11 David Wesst PowerGlove

Here’s Dylan Smith, talking about Branching and Merging Practices:

12 Dylan Smith

Dylan was followed by Bruce Johnson, who covered Getting Your Return on Investment with Microsoft .NET Framework 4

13 Bruce Johnson

14 Bruce crowd

David, who was still wearing the PowerGlove, talking about Windows Azure:

15 David Wesst

Amir Barylko covered the Top Ten Mistakes in Unit Testing:

16 Amir Barylko

And at the same time, my coworker John Bristowe presented Visual Studio 2010 Tips and Tricks:

17 John Bristowe

This article also appears in Canadian Developer Connection.


Donate to the Food Bank at TechDays Winnipeg, Get a Free T-Shirt!

food bank

winnipeg harvestWe Microsoft Canada evangelist types love a good cause, and we can’t think of a better cause than feeding people, especially during the holiday season. That’s why we’ve had food drop-off boxes at all TechDays events, including TechDays Winnipeg, which takes place tomorrow and Wednesday. Bring a non-perishable food item to TechDays, and we’ll collect it and give it to Winnipeg Harvest, the local food bank.

Better still, we’ll sweeten the deal: if you drop food off at our donation box, we’ll give you the much-in-demand “I Have Standards” IE9 t-shirt! Do some good, and get some swag – that’s a pretty nice deal, isn’t it?

This article also appears in Canadian Developer Connection.


TechDays Winnipeg / Coffee and Code Winnipeg This Week!

Winnipeg skyline at duskWikimedia Commons photo courtesy of "Wpg Guy". Click to see the original.

This week, the gang and I will be in Winnipeg for TechDays (Tuesday, December 7th and Wednesday December 8th) to bring the knowledge from TechEd North America 2010, MIX10 and PDC and to catch up with our developer, IT Pro and manager friends.

If you’ve been meaning to meet the “field specialists” on Microsoft Canada’s Developer and Platform Evangelism team, TechDays Winnipeg is the perfect time and place to do so, because all the evangelists will be there:

  • Christian Beauclair, ISV Breadth Evangelist based in Ottawa
  • Damir Bersinic, Platform Evangelist based in Toronto
  • John Bristowe, Developer Evangelist based in Calgary
  • Rick Claus, IT Pro Evangelist/Destroyer of Worlds based in Ottawa
  • Yours Truly (Joey deVilla), Developer Evangelist based in Toronto
  • Frederic Harper, Developer Evangelist based in Montreal
  • Ruth Morton, IT Pro Evangelist based in Toronto
  • and John Oxley, our manager/cat-herder based in Toronto

We’re also holding a Coffee and Code on Thursday, December 9th at the Second Cup at 100 Osborne Street from 11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.. Come on down, meet up with me, talk Windows Phone 7 or anything else that comes to mind!

We’re looking forward to seeing you there!

This article also appears in Canadian Developer Connection.


TechDays Halifax: November 2nd and 3rd

Theatre mural in Halifax

We’re in Halifax this week for TechDays! Here’s what we’re up to this week:

  • Tuesday, November 2nd, 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.: TechDays, Day 1
  • Tuesday, November 2nd, 6:30 p.m. – 9:30 p.m.: Go DevMental
  • Wednesday, November 3rd, 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.: TechDays, Day 2
  • Thursday, November 4th, morning: Presentation at Nova Scotia Community College
  • Thursday, November 4th, 2:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.: Windows Phone 7 Coffee and Code

Watch this blog for updates and goings-on!

Entrance to TechDays Halifax

This article also appears in Canadian Developer Connection.


TechDays Halifax: November 2 – 3

techdays halifax

TechDays, Microsoft Canada’s cross-country technical conference for developers and IT pros, heads to Halifax next week! So far, we’ve been to Vancouver, Edmonton and Toronto, and now it’s time to head out east.

TechDays Halifax will take place on Tuesday, November 2 and Wednesday, November 3 at the World Trade Centre (1800 Argyle Street). As with TechDays in every other city, there’s a lot going on:

  • CloudCamp on Monday, November 1. On the day before TechDays, we’re sharing our venue with the folks behind CloudCamp, the unconference on cloud computing. To find out more about CloudCamp, check out the registration page.
  • TechDays proper takes place on Tuesday, November 2 and Wednesday, November 3. We’re talking about 60 sessions on programming, systems administration, Microsoft technologies and “best practices” (I hate the use that term, but I’m at a loss for another phrase that captures its meaning). We take the content from big-ticket conferences like TechEd North America, MIX and PDC, give it to “local heroes” to present, bring it all to a city near you and charge a few hundred (instead of a few thousand) bucks.
  • TechDays Gives Back! We’re asking TechDays attendees to bring a non-perishable food item to the conference. All food will go to a local food bank.
  • Go DEVMental happens at the TechDays venue on the evening of Tuesday, November 2 – it’s our student event! If you’re a post-secondary student looking to get into web or phone development, you’ll want to catch Go DEVMental, where we’ll show you what’s possible with Microsoft tools and technologies, and you’ll walk away with a DreamSpark membership and fully-functional copies of Visual Studio Professional 2010 and Expression Blend. It doesn’t cost anything to attend; you just have to be a post-secondary student (with the ID to prove it. To attend, register here!
  • We’ll be holding a Windows Phone 7 Coffee and Code during the afternoon of Thursday, November 4 at Just Us Café on Barrington (1678 Barrington Street) from 2 to 5:30 p.m. Come on down, see Windows Phone 7 devices up close and personal, and if you’ve got an app that you want to test on a real device instead of the emulator, this is your chance!

See you next week!

This article also appears in Canadian Developer Connection.


What I’m Up To This Week

It’s going to be a busy week for Yours Truly…

Monday: Windows Phone Deployment Clinic

monday - windows phone deployment clinic

On Monday, I’ll be helping out at the Windows Phone Deployment Clinic at Microsoft Canada HQ in Mississauga (1950 Meadowvale Boulevard, off Mississauga Road, north of Highway 401), where you can book some time to test your apps on a real Windows Phone 7 device. If you’ve got an app and you’re going to be in the area, drop me a line and book an appointment!

(By the bye, that thing I’m standing beside in the photo above is a promo device known colloquially as the “Big-Ass Phone”.)

Tuesday: AndroidTO and TechDays Setup

tuesday - androidto techdays

On Tuesday, I’ll be spending some time at the AndroidTO conference, a gathering of Android developers, where I’ll be minding the Windows Phone 7 booth. Yes, that’s right, Microsoft is a gold sponsor at an Android conference. Why? Because:

  • We feel that if you’re an Android developer, go ahead an build Android apps, but expand your market reach by developing for Windows Phone 7 too! The programming languages and layout markup are similar.
  • If you’re an Android developer, what’s the best OS for doing development? We think it’s Windows 7, which is a great environment for Java. Loads of great Java dev tools run on Windows, and we don’t consider Java to be deprecated.

AndroidTO takes place at the Polish Combatants Hall (206 Beverley Street, just south of College), is free-as-in-beer, and is alas, completely booked solid.

I’ll also be doing some setup for TechDays Toronto, which takes place on Wednesday and Thursday.

Wednesday: TechDays Toronto and Go DEVMental

wednesday - techdays godevmental

Wednesday brings with it TechDays, Microsoft Canada’s cross-country tech conference: two days of great sessions for developers and IT pros who are building stuff with the Microsoft stack. I’m the guy who picked the content for both developer tracks, “Developing for Three Screens and the Cloud” and “Optimizing the Development Process”. I strove for the best mix of both technology-specific stuff like Mark Arteaga’s Windows Phone 7 sessions and Kate Gregory’s Windows API Code Pack presentation as well as practice-of-programming sessions such as “Top 10 Mistakes in Unit Testing” and “Branching and Merging Strategies”. TechDays will occupy me from 7 a.m. until 5 p.m..

From 7 p.m. on, it’ll be Go DEVMental, the student event where we’ll show university and college students what’s possible with Microsoft’s web and mobile platforms. I’ll be doing a presentation on getting starting with game development for Windows Phone with an amusing little live-coded game called “BieberSmash”, starring the bubblegum pop idol of the moment. Go DEVMental is free and open to post-secondary students – just bring your student ID! You’ll get all sorts of goodies, including a DreamSpark token and Visual Studio 2010 Pro.

Both TechDays and GoDEVMental take place at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre’s South Building (222 Bremner Boulevard, right beside the CN Tower).

Thursday: TechDays, Day 2

thursday - techdays day 2

Thursday means another full day of the TechDays conference, to be followed by some very strong whiskey-based drinks.

Friday: Coffee and Code

friday - coffee and code

I’ll be running a Windows Phone 7 Coffee and Code this Friday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Timothy’s at 225 Front Street West (in the Metro Toronto Convention Centre building). I’ll be hanging out at the cafe, working on Windows Phone 7 code on both the emulator and real Windows Phone devices. Want to learn more about Windows Phone 7, see a real-live phone, play some games or test your code? Come on down!

Saturday: ACSE Conference

saturday - acse conference

University of Toronto computer science prof Steve Engels invited me to speak in front of a group of high school teachers at the ACSE (Association for Computer Studies Educators) Conference taking place on Saturday. I’m going to be showing them programming for high school students on Windows Phone as well as with the Kodu game development environment.

…and Sunday?

sunday - zzzzz

Well, it won’t be all sleep. I’ll have to pack for my Monday flight to TechDays Halifax!

This article also appears in Canadian Developer Connection.