Arkansas, Development, General, ITPro, Louisiana, Oklahoma, Texas, user group

Looking for a User Group?

Then I know the place to go!

For a while now, I’ve been maintaining a list of User Groups that meet in my part of the world – TX, OK, LA and AR.  It’s not a comprehensive list (at least I’m pretty sure it’s not) but I’d like it to be.  It’s essentially a listing of all the user groups I know about, or have heard rumors about that I can find online in my four-state area.  Not to be confused with Community Megaphone, this site is not about events or meetings – it’s about groups.  And, it’s not just about .NET groups – it’s about any technical community user group that meets. There are .NET/Microsoft-friendly groups for sure, but also Linux groups, PHP groups, Node.JS groups, iOS groups, Android groups and others too.

Where do you find it? 


Current features include:

  • Monthly calendar of events showing all user groups
  • Listing of all user groups, by state
  • Details on each user group including meeting location w/ map, upcoming meeting dates/times, group contact and recurring schedule information
  • Map of all user groups

Planned features include:

  • API for querying groups
  • iCal support for one group, some groups, or all groups
  • Blog/Website badges for one group, some groups, or all groups
  • Support for more complex meeting schedules
  • Integration with CommunityMegaphone (presuming I can do some sort of match on user group name, or something)

Apart from these features, and a bit of a face-lift, the new site needs more data! If you know about any groups in your area that are NOT on my list, please drop me a line at with at least the following info:

  1. Group Name
  2. Website
  3. Meeting Day (e.g. 3rd Monday, or 2nd Thursday)
  4. Meeting Times (start/stop)
  5. Contact Name / Email
  6. Meeting Location Name & Address (+phone, if you have it).

Me and my crack team of data entry clerks (a.k.a. my daughter) will get this information posted just as fast as we can. Also, if you see any data errors, especially meeting times/nights – please also let me know that ASAP and I’ll get that fixed up.

Lastly, if you’re interested in helping out with any of the planned changes, or making it look more pleasing than the default template from MVC 4, I’d love to get your help…

Arkansas, Development, Events, ITPro, NWA, Silverlight, TechFest, WP7

NWA TechFest–Friday, March 25th


Coming to the Center for Non-Profits @ St. Mary’s, for the second year in a row, is the fabulous Northwest Arkansas TechFest!

For those new to TechFest, it is a technical conference with a primary focus to provide training/teaching sessions that are immediately beneficial to the broadest range of IT professionals in their day-to-day jobs. They accomplish this with numerous national and international speakers delivering 75 minute sessions across 10 separate tracks. Even though TechFest is a free event, the organizers ask that you support the community and PLEASE bring TWO CANS or TWO BUCKS. All canned food will be donated to the NWA Food Bank and all proceeds will be donated to the The Jones Center.

NWA TechFest is organized again this year by former MVP, current Microsoft Employee and founder of Tulsa TechFest David Walker. The event is always outstanding with amazing content from the areas best speakers. I’ll be there too, presenting in the Silverlight track on Windows Phone 7 Performance Tips and SketchFlow.

If you think you have the right stuff and want to present at NWA TechFest, submit your talk today!.

For more details, visit the NWA TechFest website.

Arkansas, Austin, BootCamp, Dallas, Development, Events, Featured, NWA, Oklahoma, Texas, Training

Unleash Your Coding Genius with Web Camps!

Starting in March 2011, we’re rolling out a series of 12 Web Camps in the Central US. Microsoft’s Web Camps are events designed to teach you all about building websites using ASP.NET MVC, WebMatrix, OData and more. We’ve held Web Camps all around the world over the past few years, but we’re taking them to the next level this year with more of one- and two-day events in Central Region, and one just might be near you.

If you’re near Austin, TX or Chicago, IL, you’ll want to join us for a special two-day Web Camp. We’ll cover ASP.NET MVC in-depth on day one and help you get hands-on on day two, facilitating smaller groups through labs, live-coding exercises, or even collaborating on your apps! If you can’t make a two-day event, never fear! We have a series of one-day camps in March, April, May and June throughout the region.

Flair003Join Clark Sell and Brandon Satrom for a special WebMatrix and ASP.NET MVC Web Camp you don’t want to miss. No matter your expertise in web development, these Web Camps are the perfect opportunity to get hands-on experience and ‘unleash your coding genius’.

Our interactive sessions will:

  • Introduce ASP.NET MVC, ASP.NET Web Pages and WebMatrix; discuss possible uses of these
  • Explore new features of ASP.NET MVC 3
  • Take a dive deep into jQuery
  • Facilitate an in-depth discussion on when to migrate ASP.NET WebPages applications to ASP.NET MVC
  • Discuss configuration and deployment of web applications.

This event is a unique opportunity, partnering classroom learning with hands-on-labs, and leveraging experts to help you build new and exciting websites.

1-Day Event Agenda:

Start Time Duration Topic
9:00 AM 10’ Welcome and agenda for the day
9:10 AM 50’ Web Stack Introduction
10:00 AM 50’ Building a Site in WebMatrix
10:50 AM 10’ Break
11:00 AM 60’ ASP.NET MVC Introduction
12:00 PM 60’ Lunch
1:00 PM 60’ Migrating from WebMatrix to ASP.NET MVC
2:00 PM 60’ jQuery Introduction
3:00 PM 1.5 hours Instructor-Led Labs
4:30 PM 10’ Evals

Two-Day Event Agenda

Start Time Duration Topic
Day 1
9:00 AM 60’ MVC Fundamentals
10:00 AM 60’ Data Access and Modeling with Entity Framework
11:00 AM 15’ Break
11:15 AM 60’ Metadata, Validation and Localization
12:15 PM 45’ Lunch
1:00 PM 60’ MVC and Ajax, jQuery Templating, jQuery Globalization
2:00 PM 60’ Using Dependency Injection and Global Action Filters
3:00 PM 15’ Break
3:15 PM 60’ Testing and Custom Validation
4:15 PM 45’ Q&A and Evals
Day 2

8:30 AM

2.5 Hours

Smaller Working Groups/Development

11:00 AM 15’ Break
11:15 AM 60’

Smaller Working Groups/Development

12:15 PM 45’ Lunch
1:00 PM 3 Hours Smaller Working Groups/Development
4:00 PM 30’ Q&A and Evals

Locations (Space is limited, so sign up now):

Date City, State Speakers Registration Link

March 7 & 8, 2011

Austin, TX

James Senior, Scott Hanselman, Brandon Satrom, Clark Sell

March 17, 2011

Clive, IA

Javier Lozano

April 27, 2011

Franklin, TN

Brandon Satrom & Clark Sell

April 29, 2011

Columbus, OH

Brandon Satrom & Clark Sell

May 16, 2011

Irving, TX

Brandon Satrom & Clark Sell

May 18, 2011

Little Rock, AR

Brandon Satrom & Clark Sell

May 20, 2011

St. Louis, MO

Brandon Satrom & Clark Sell

May 24, 2011

Brookfield, MN

Brandon Satrom & Clark Sell

May 25, 2011

Waukesha, WI

Brandon Satrom & Clark Sell

May 26 & 27, 2010

Chicago, IL

Brandon Satrom & Clark Sell

June 2, 2011

Southfield, MI

Clark Sell

June 2, 2011

Tulsa, OK

Brandon Satrom

All of the above registration links can be found in this link bundle as well:  Of course balloons on a map are cool too:

Space is limited so sign up now.

Arkansas, Austin, Cloud, Dallas, Development, Events, Houston, Little Rock, Oklahoma, Texas, Tulsa

Windows Azure Bootcamps

Windows Azure Boot Camp is a two day deep dive class to get you up to speed on developing for Windows Azure. The class includes a trainer with deep, real world experience with Azure, as well as a series of labs so you can practice what you just learned.


  1. Intro to Cloud Computing and Azure
  2. Web Roles
  3. Messages and Queues
  4. Using Azure Tables
  5. Using BLOB Storage
  6. Worker Roles
  7. Diagnostics and Service Management
  8. SQL Azure
  9. Connecting with AppFabric
  10. Cloud Computing Scenarios
  11. Available Resources

What do I need to bring?

During the boot camp you will have opportunities to practice what you learn with labs. Having all of your software ready will make it easier to dive into the yummy goodness of exploring the labs. The lab files package will be given to you during the event .If you want to have everything loaded into a virtual PC that would be even better

In order to run these labs you will need to bring:

Windows Azure Boot Camp Schedule

If you can’t make it to the in-person events, there are a number of online resources to help with your Azure studies:

Arkansas, Austin, BootCamp, Development, Events, Houston, Little Rock, Oklahoma, Texas, Tulsa, WP7

Windows Phone 7 BootCamp Coming Soon!

Start Dreaming. Start Building.

Picture1There has been a tremendous amount of buzz and excitement in the developer community as we get ready to launch Windows Phone 7. There have been over 300,000+ downloads of the Windows Phone 7 developer tools as developers are eager to take advantage of this next wave of computing. To help you along the way, my team is sponsoring a number of *free* Windows Phone 7 Boot Camp training events across the area. The purpose of these boot camps is to provide guidance around building apps and games that target Windows Phone 7 and lead  you down the path to start earning money in the Windows Marketplace.

Training and Hands-on Labs

Throughout the day, we’ll dive deep into the Windows Phone developer tools along with the services and components that allow you to light up your apps on Windows Phone 7. Bring your laptop! In the afternoon, we’ve set aside time for people to walk through various hands-on labs and give them an opportunity to get their hands dirty with the tools. We’ll have experts on hand to answer your questions as well.

Prerequisites for the Hands-on Labs

Unfortunately training machines will not be provided. You are welcome to bring your own machine with WiFi capability. To prepare for the labs, please download the Windows Phone Developer Tools and Windows Phone 7 Training Kit prior to the event. (Note: please check the system requirements on the Windows Phone Developer Tools download page)

App Testing – Bring your XAP!

Have you been working hard over the past few months building the next Angry Birds or the next great Social App? Bring your XAP (or your source code) and we’ll provide an opportunity for you to test it on a real device!

Windows Phone 7 Boot Camp Agenda

8:00 am – 8:30: Registration Opens

8:30 – 12:00pm:

  • Overview of the Windows Phone 7 Platform
  • An In-Depth View of Building Applications for Windows Phone 7 with Microsoft Silverlight
  • WP7 + Data

12:00 – 12:30pm: Lunch

12:30 – 2:30pm:

  • Building Games for Windows Phone 7 with XNA
  • Making Money with the Windows Marketplace

2:30pm – 5:00pm:

  • Hands-on Labs and App testing

Sign me up!

The event is FREE – to register, all you need to do is click on a link representing one of our cities below:

 Columbus, OH 9/07/2010
 Grand Rapids, MI 9/14/2010
 Waukesha, WI 9/14/2010
 Cleveland, OH 9/15/2010
 Little Rock, AR 9/15/2010
 St. Louis, MO 9/16/2010
 Detroit, MI 9/21/2010
 Austin, TX 9/22/2010
 Des Moines, IA 9/23/2010
 Tulsa, OK 9/28/2010
 Memphis, TN 9/29/2010
 Houston, TX 9/30/2010
 Knoxville, TN 9/30/2010

My colleagues over on the East Coast are running a series of Windows Phone training events as well. Check them out!

(Thanks to Dave Bost for letting me copy some of his content for this post)

Arkansas, Cloud, CodeCamp, Development, Events, ITPro, NWA, Windows

NWA CodeCamp

logoSaturday, October 23, 2010 –

In the fine tradition of other great CodeCamp events across the world, the Northwest Arkansas developer community has announced their next CodeCamp, scheduled for October 23rd at the Tyson World Headquarters in Springdale, AR.  The event is free to attend, and there are several great tracks being planned including software development, project management, IT professional and more!


If you are passionate about a topic you feel the Northwest Arkansas technical community would be interested in, please submit it at The cutoff for speaker registration is October 1, 2010 or when all sessions are filled. Speakers interested in presenting must register on the site and fill out the information for your presentation. We will have many certified professionals presenting at this event, but we are especially looking for local talent.

Topic ideas:

1) .NET 4 and related technologies (themed)
2) Current .NET development topics
3) Non .NET technologies (yes, these are accepted!)
4) UI Design and business related topics

Code camps are volunteer driven events that are free for attendees. As such, speakers are expected to provide for their own travel arrangements. If you are affiliated with an organization that would like to sponsor Northwest Arkansas Code Camp 2010, please contact

I’ve submitted 2 sessions – hope to see you there!

Arkansas, Austin, Dallas, Events, Houston, Little Rock, Oklahoma, Texas, Tulsa

Windows Phone 7 Bootcamp

startscreen_printAre you ready to gain access to the latest tools, turning your hobby into a source of revenue, or expand your network?

Stop dreaming. Start building. Join us for a new series of Windows Phone 7 Bootcamps where you can get an inside track on how to be part of the next step of Microsoft’s mobile strategy and get hands-on training for building Silverlight-based applications.  These free, live learning sessions explore the latest tools, discuss tips and technologies, and provide access to Windows Phone 7 experts.

ATTEND these special events and learn about:

  • the Windows Phone 7 platform
  • building Silverlight Applications for Windows Phone 7
  • submitting your application to the Windows Phone 7 Marketplace

WinPhone_v_webTake advantage of this opportunity to explore with a Hands-on Lab where you can leverage the Windows Phone 7 Experts and your peers as you build your Windows Phone 7 Application.

Dallas, TX

August 4

Little Rock, AR

September 15

Austin, TX

September 22

Tulsa, OK

September 28

Houston, TX

September 30

Events run from 8am–5pm

Seating for the live event is limited, so register today.

Arkansas, Events, NWA

CodeJam Comes to NWA

In case you’ve been living under a rock, you might not know that the Northwest Arkansas area hosts an AMAZING developer community that has become exceptionally active over the last 2-3 years. Along with this week’s NWA TechFest, This weekend will host their first (and hopefully frequent) CodeJam.  The CodeJam is designed to help the local developer community develop web applications for their upcoming events, which include NWA GiveCamp and the NWA CommunityCamp.  If you’re interested in helping them build out these applications to support their upcoming events, head over to Jay’s blog and get all the details as well as the link to register:

Arkansas, Cloud, Development, Events, ITPro, NWA, TechFest, WP7

NWA TechFest is Almost Here!

The time has come to add another fine event to the TechFest family – Northwest Arkansas TechFest 2010


Map picture

Scheduled for Thursday, July 8th at the Center for Nonprofits in Rogers, Arkansas, NWA TechFest is a community-organized, community-staffed technical conference with a primary focus on providing training/teaching sessions that are immediately beneficial to the broadest range of developers and IT professionals in their day-to-day jobs. They accomplish this with numerous national and international speakers delivering 75 minute sessions on topics that range from Architecture, Development, IT Pro, Project Management and more!

As a proud member of the TechFest family, NWA TechFest asks only that each attendee bring 2 cans of food to be donated to the NWA Food Bank or 2 bucks to be donated to the Jones Center.


Zain Naboulsi, John Weston and I, along with 25 of our closest friends, will be presenting sessions across the 8 different tracks. I myself will be delivering 2 sessions at NWA TechFest – one on building Silverlight Applications for Windows Phone 7, and one on the SketchFlow features in Expression Blend 4.

Follow these links to stay connected to what’s going on with NWA TechFest 2010!

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