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Building a Developer Community

Over the years, I’ve been involved in a number of Microsoft related user groups here in Portland.  For some I’ve just been an attendee, others I’ve spoken at, and a few I’ve even organized and ran.  Here’s a few that come to mind:

  • Portland Area Dot Net User Group (PADNUG)
  • PDXUX.Net
  • Portland Silverlight User Group (PDXSLUG)
  • Portland Windows Phone User Group (PWPUG)
  • Portland Area XNA User Group (PAXNAUG)

It’s been tough having my efforts split up amongst all these technology groups.  In fact, all of these groups except one had a specific technology as part of its name.  What’s scary is that I was thinking of doing this again with WinRT.  Really?

What’s needed here is convergence, not divergence.  I need something that allows me to focus (i.e. simplify) my efforts as a speaker/leader/member and not be overwhelmed.  Let’s be honest though, I’m not the only one who needs their life to be simpler.  Developers need less after-hour meetings to attend.  Recruiters need easier choices for which user groups to attend and sponsor.

I’ve discussed this topic thoroughly (both in public and in private) with various members and influencers in the community.  A consensus has been reached and I now have the following announcements:

  1. The Portland Silverlight User Group has been dissolved.
  2. The Portland Windows Phone User Group has been dissolved.

That was easy.  ;-)  Hah, I wish.

My efforts are now being joined with PADNUG to help transform it into more of a generic “Windows” user group.  PADNUG already caters to ASP.NET, C#, SharePoint, WPF, and WinForm developers.  Who it doesn’t cater to as much are WinRT, C++, Windows Phone, and HTML5 developers.  The focus will be on the platform and in using a variety of technologies that make sense.  While the technologies will change, and the devices we develop for will change, one thing that will not change is that of Windows being that platform on which our applications run.  Whether these apps are in the cloud, or on a PC, or on a phone, they will run on “Windows”.  In my opinion this was the central message that came out of BUILD.  Use what you know, build what you imagine, you know the rest.

So how is this going to kick off?  I’ve already accepted an invitation to join the PADNUG’s board of directors.  Next month I’ll be presenting on Windows Phone Development with HTML5 and PhoneGap at PADNUG.  That topic makes a lot of sense, especially when you consider there is a Windows Phone Camp and an HTML5 Webcamp being held next month.  Next year’s going to be exciting in preparing for WinRT.  However we don’t want to leave anyone to feel left out because of the work they’re doing right now.  There is a need to be forward thinking, but also relevant.  For me, this will be an interesting balance to strike.

So do you have any feedback?  Are you pissed?  Are you relieved?  Could you care less?  Assuming you do care, I encourage you to speak up and share your thoughts.  We’re all volunteers here.  If doing it your way means you’ll willing to pitch in and help, then I’m more than happy to hear what you think.

tags: Silverlight | PDXSLUG | PWPUG | wpdev | PADNUG | winrt

Mobile: The Market, The Web, and Windows Phone's Future

This month we had Jason Grigsby of Cloud Four presenting at the Portland Silverlight User Group. Jason also runs Mobile Portland, and gave a great presentation on the state of mobile, where it's going, and where we might want to strategize our efforts. His presentation was only 53 minutes long. I've watched it twice, and I was even there in attendance (it's really that good).

WHO: Jason Grigsby
Jason Grigsby was one of the project leads on the Obama iPhone Application and helped design the user inferface for the Wall Street Journal's Blackberry application. He founded and organizes Mobile Portland, a local mobile group.

Jason is a co-founder of Cloud Four, a small start-up focused on mobile and web development. He blogs at http://CloudFour.com/blog and provides a frequent updates about mobile as @grigs on Twitter.

TOPIC: The Market, The Web, and Windows Phone's Future
There are few things more frustrating than reading the tech press in the United States try to cover the mobile market. First Microsoft’s mobile efforts are going nowhere. Six months later, it will be bigger than the iPhone by 2015. Say what?

Let's back up for a moment from the day-to-day horse race coverage of Android versus iPhone and look at what the big picture trends are in the mobile market. What makes mobile unique? What makes a mobile product successful? And finally does Microsoft have a chance to get back into the mobile game?

Mobile: The Market, The Web, and Windows Phone's Future from Portland Silverlight User Group on Vimeo.

tags: WP7 | Silverlight | PDXSLUG | wp7dev | Mobile | Mobile Web

2011 will be a big year for PDXSLUG

As many of you know, late in 2009 Erik Mork and I started the Portland Silverlight User Group.  Since then we've had amazing success.  The average monthly meeting attendance is 50+ (that includes many at 80+, and even a Friday night event with 25).

I’m sure all of you remember the buzz surrounding Silverlight 4 last year.  Because of the advancements in Silverlight 4 we saw the overall adoption rate continue to grow.  However, what's really significant was the huge wave of adoption in utilizing Silverlight for intranet LOB applications behind the firewall.  That story is only getting better with the new features coming in Silverlight 5.  One feature that excites me is the new hardware accelerated 3D graphics support.  This has huge potential.  One of the demos Microsoft showed off was a health care application where layers of a body could be stripped away showing skin, muscles, bones, organs, and even a beating heart.  Wow.

Needless to say, we’re expecting this to be a huge year for the Portland Silverlight User Group.  Erik – who is also a Silverlight MVP – will be presenting at our next meeting, which coincidentally is the day of the keynote at Microsoft’s MIX conference (4/12).  That will be a big day, and we’re expecting a large crowd.

We're currently scheduling all our meetings for the remainder of the year, and we're looking for speakers on the following topics:

  • MEF (getting started / strategies)
  • MVVM Light
  • Advanced MVVM
  • Strategies for LOB applications
  • Best Practices for OOB Applications
  • Case Studies (e.g. Health Care Application Demo)
  • Expression Blend Tips and Tricks
  • 3D Support in Silverlight 5 (late fall)

Also, please let me know if you're interested in sponsoring the user group.  All sponsorship opportunities are available (including pizza sponsorship) and are described in our sponsorship agreement.

tags: Silverlight | PDXSLUG

Jeff Paries on Farseer Physics in Silverlight

Jeff Paries, Silverlight MVP and author, presented two weeks ago at the Portland Silverlight User Group on using the Farseer Physics Engine in Silverlight. This was an amazing presentation. I was blown away by what could be accomplished just by wiring up behaviors in Expression Blend. It's as simple as drag and drop, really.

NOTE: We're now recording each PDXSLUG meeting, so if you ever miss one you can check it out http://vimeo.com/pdxslug.

Farseer Physics in Microsoft Silverlight from Portland Silverlight User Group.

tags: WP7 | Silverlight | PDXSLUG | physics | farseer

March PDXSLUG Meeting - (3/8)

WHAT: PDXSLUG - March 2011 Meeting

WHEN: Tuesday, 3/8/2011
6:00 p.m. Pizza (by Vertigo)
6:30 p.m. Presentation
~9:00 p.m. Afterwards at Rock Bottom

WHERE: Webtrends (map)
851 SW 6th Ave.
Portland, OR 97204-1337

WHO: Jeff Paries
Jeff Paries is the Lead Silverlight Developer with Ascentium.

Jeff has a strong background in 3D graphics and animation, and is also an accomplished author and instructor in those areas — he has authored several books and numerous magazine articles related to 3D.

An early adopter of Silverlight, Jeff’s interests lie in developing animation concepts and methodologies within Silverlight. As a developer with design experience, Jeff’s mission is to help bridge the gap between design and development. His book, “Foundation Silverlight Animation” works to further this goal through a user-friendly, scenario-based approach.

TOPIC: Farseer Physics in Microsoft Silverlight
The Farseer Physics Engine is an easy to use 2D physics engine that supports a range of platforms, including Silverlight and XNA. There is a set of Expression Blend Behaviors that can easily be used by simple drag and drop to turn objects into physics objects. The Behaviors are available for both Silverlight and Windows Phone 7. Come and learn how to utilize the Farseer behaviors to create physics simulations, simple games, etc. Also, see how to access physics objects from the code-behind.

Warmup - Using Isolated Storage in WP7
At the beginning of the meeting (6pm) Gary Foubister will be demonstrating how to save and read data from Windows Phone 7 Isolated Storage.

Sponsors: While you are at it, consider visiting our premium sponsors that make these meetings possible:

tags: WP7 | Silverlight | PDXSLUG

February PDXSLUG Meeting - (2/8)

WHAT: PDXSLUG - February 2011 Meeting

WHEN: Tuesday, 2/8/2011
6:00 p.m. Pizza (by Vertigo)
6:30 p.m. Presentation
~9:00 p.m. Afterwards at Rock Bottom

WHERE: Webtrends (map)
851 SW 6th Ave.
Portland, OR 97204-1337

WHO: George Clingerman
George isn't really much of anyone. George is just a family guy who loves to play around with game development in his spare time. He's not an expert and he's no professional, but he has fun and he's been awarded the Microsoft XNA MVP award for his contributions to that community for the past five years.

By day George is a coder, he used to do .NET but recently switched it up and now works out of a Linux shop doing Perl development just to see if he could (they haven't fired him yet so he seems to be catching on quickly!).

While George is busy having fun with XNA he runs a small tutorial site called XNADevelopment.com, helps out on the App Hub forums, manages a blog on GeeksWithBlogs, wrote an Xbox LIVE Indie Game for small children and recently just wrapped up a book for Wiley called Professional Windows Phone 7 Game Development: Creating Games using XNA Game Studio 4 which just goes to show you they'll ask just about anyone to write a book.

TOPIC: WP7 & XNA - Because all developers want to be game developers right?
It's rumored that Windows Phone 7 allows you to develop applications using Silverlight (you've heard those rumors right?) but did you know there's another powerful framework available for the phone? A framework that provides a way for many to fulfill a life long dream? With the XNA framework .NET developers can finally quickly and easily build games not just for the PC and for the Xbox 360 but also for Windows Phone 7! Finally, you can look your childhood self in the eye, the one that sat doodling in math classes dreaming of someday making a game like Pong but even better, pull out your WP7 device and show past you the XNA game you wrote while nodding your head sagely saying, "That's right past me, future us rocks!"

Come learn how you can fulfill your dreams with a quick introduction to the XNA framework and the basics of getting started with simple 2D game development.

Warmup - Programming against the Game Loop
At the beginning of the meeting (6pm) George Clingerman will present some of the challenges business developers have learning to program against the game loop among other topics he's sure to babble on about.

Sponsors: While you are at it, consider visiting our premium sponsors that make these meetings possible:

tags: WP7 | Silverlight | PDXSLUG | XNA

Silverlight Firestarter / Bus Trip - Recap

I’ll be the first to admit that this post is a little late coming, but honestly it’s taken a while for me to absorb everything and recover from that event.  I think everything can be summed up in one word, WOW.

Mini-MIX Conference

I was joking beforehand that I thought the Silverlight Firestarter would be like a miniature MIX conference.  If you ask me now, then I’ll tell you that’s exactly what this event turned out to be.  The swag was almost identical to what you’d get at MIX.  Meh.  The people were a smaller subset, but all the core players were there (e.g. Rick Barazza and Mike Wolf weren’t there, but Dave Wolf did an awesome job representing for the rest of Cynergy).  Scott Stanfield was there, as were a bunch of the folks out of Vertigo’s Portland office (they came up on the bus).  I was a little surprised that Vertigo didn’t have a demo in the keynote, although to be fair, the keynote did seem to focus on line-of-business scenarios.  As far as folks from Microsoft, everyone was there that you would have expected.

Keynote

Scott Guthrie hit it out of the park.  Please watch the keynote now if you haven’t already.  I absolutely loved that the first thing Scott did was address the “elephant in the room”.  No, Silverlight is not dead.  Not even close.  Scott talked about three technology pillars that Microsoft is focusing on (HTML5, Silverlight, WPF).  Every developer out there should take note that this is what they should be focusing on now as it will easily carry them for the next 5 years and most likely beyond.

There were lots of cool demos about what’s coming in Silverlight 5.  You should note that this is only what Microsoft was ready to show right now.  I’m expecting more announcements and demos at MIX about stuff they haven’t even hinted at yet.  I’m also expecting to see a beta version of Silverlight 5 at MIX11.  I think Scott Guthrie hinted at that when he announced the timeframe.  I’m very comfortable with the fact that Microsoft won’t be releasing Silverlight 5 until late 2011, probably at PDC11.  This is going to be a huge release for Silverlight.  In order for us developers to be ready when it comes we need to first get cracking on Silverlight 4 right now.  Seriously.  Go buy Pete's book and start reading it either today or tomorrow, but make sure you get it finished before MIX11.

Networking

This whole event felt very similar to MIX.  I spent a lot of time catching up with folks and meeting new faces.  The Silverlight community is fairly small and easy to be a part of.  It’s a very welcoming community.  In think the coolest part of it is just that, it’s a community.  I don’t see there being groups within groups, i.e. a super-elite group that is hard to break into.  Everyone is very approachable and happy to help you out.  At PDC10 I got to talk to a lot of people.  This time around I got to talk to even more.

Bus Trip

Ahhh, the bus trip.  Each time I think of it I just shake my head and can’t believe it actually happened.  I don’t know of any other company that would charter a bus for a user group to bring 40 of its members up for a full day of technology training.  I’m still surprised that it actually happened.  A huge thanks goes out to John Papa and Brian Goldfarb for having the vision and for being so kind.  We had 45 people registered for the bus trip, of which 38 showed up at 4:30am.  That’s completely unheard of, especially for a free event.  Typically the drop off rate for a free event is like 30%, and we had less than 20%.  Time after time, I am utterly amazed at the support and turnout we get from the Portland Silverlight community.  Scott Stanfield mentioned to Erik Mork and I that we have something special and unique here.  I agree.  Hopefully I can capture and share whatever that is so this success can be experienced elsewhere.

Final Thoughts

Watch the keynote.  Silverlight is not dead, and don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.  If there is any way you can attend MIX11 in person, then I recommend you take advantage of that opportunity.  At the very least, be sure to watch the MIX11 keynote live as well as many of the sessions.  The three technology pillars you should be focusing on now are Silverlight, WPF, and HTML5.  Be open minded and start learning all three.

 

tags: Silverlight | PDXSLUG | SLFS10

Firestarter Bus - Swag for First 40 on the Bus

I blogged earlier about the free bus ride from Portland to Redmond for the upcoming Silverlight Firestarter.    We'll be leaving at 5am sharp and don't want to leave anyone behind, so the question is how do I motivate you to wake up early so you don't miss the bus?  How about we give away swag for the first 40 people to show up and get on the bus?  Consider it done!

The bus ride is sponsored by Microsoft, the Portland Silverlight User Group, and the Portland Windows Phone User Group.

tags: WP7 | Silverlight | PDXSLUG | PWPUG | SLFS10

Scott Stanfield on HTML5

Scott Stanfield, CEO of Vertigo presented two weeks ago at the Portland Silverlight User Group on HTML5. We had a packed room with 80+ attendees for this amazing presentation. Scott has a unique perspective on HTML5, having built his company primarily on Silverlight.

NOTE: We're now recording each PDXSLUG meeting, so if you ever miss one you can check it out http://vimeo.com/pdxslug.

Scott Stanfield on HTML5 from Portland Silverlight User Group.

tags: Silverlight | PDXSLUG | HTML5

HTML5 Crash Course w/ Scott Stanfield on 11/9

Scott Stanfield will be in town for the next Portland Silverlight User Group meeting and will be talking about HTML5.  Confused?  Don't be.  I'm pretty sure Scott hasn't gone over to the dark side completely, but I've got a list of questions that will help me get to the bottom of this.  (j/k)

I'm expecting a great discussion on why and when to choose HTML5 vs some other plugin architecture (e.g. Flash/Silverlight).  This is a meeting you'll be sure you don't want to miss.

 

WHAT: PDXSLUG - November 2010 Meeting

WHEN: Tuesday, 11/9/2010
6:00 p.m. Pizza (by Vertigo)
6:30 p.m. Presentation
~9:00 p.m. Afterwards at Rock Bottom

WHERE: Webtrends (map)
851 SW 6th Ave.
Portland, OR 97204-1337

WHO: Scott Stanfield
Scott Stanfield is the CEO of Vertigo Software, Inc., a Microsoft Gold Partner specializing in designing and building unique software. Scott is a proud member of the Microsoft Regional Director community and participates in the Microsoft Partner Architect Council. He is a frequent public speaker, keynoting for Microsoft and other industry events. Before starting Vertigo in 1997, Scott worked at Pixar in Point Richmond, California, which happens to be the current home of Vertigo. Scott holds a BS in Computer Science for Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo.

TOPIC: HTML5 Crash Course
It's been nearly a decade since the last big changes to HTML, which frankly weren't all that interesting. But this time it's different. With all the excitement around the latest features and browsers, it's time to take a closer look, especially if you've been heads-down on Silverlight, like I have been. If you haven't had time to look into the HTML5 family of technologies, it's time to start.

Warmup - Connecting to the Cloud With Windows Phone 7
At the beginning of the meeting (6pm) Gerald Aden will present his strategies for connecting to the cloud with Windows Phone 7.

Sponsors: While you are at it, consider visiting our premium sponsors that make these meetings possible:

tags: WP7 | Silverlight | PDXSLUG | HTML5

PDXSLUG - 9/14 - O'Data, Where Art Thou?

Last week at the Portland Silverlight User Group we had our monthly meeting.  Unfortunately the speaker we had lined up fell through and was not able to make it, so I was given the opportunity to fill in.  As a side note to other user group leaders out there, make sure you never cancel a meeting.  Here's some basic rules that I try to follow in recovering from these situations.

  1. Invite solid speakers in the first place
  2. Try to find a backup speaker
  3. Consider yourself as a backup speaker
  4. Try again to find a backup speaker
  5. Consider a working session (hackathon)
  6. Never cancel a meeting

The original speaker was going to cover WCF Data Services and OData.  Not wanting to disappoint the expectations of the audience I decided to continue with that same topic.  Let me just say that I had a blast preparing and giving this presentation.  I've uploaded the slides and demos to my blog and they can be downloaded here.

tags: PDXSLUG | OData | WCF Data Services

PDXSLUG - 8/10 - Building toolable Silverlight applications

Next Tuesday (8/10) the Portland Silverlight User Group will be meeting out at the Intel Ronler Acres Auditorium (RA1) to listen to Adam Kinney and Karl Shifflett show how to build toolable Silverlight applications that enable the developer/designer workflow.  If the topic and speakers aren't reason enough to attend, then consider the fact we have killer swag we'll be giving away.

  • 1 MSDN Ultimate subscription valued at over $200,000
  • Website Spark subscriptions valued at over $100,000

Look forward to seeing you there!


 

WHAT: Portland Silverlight User Group - August Meeting

WHEN: Tuesday 08/10/2010
6:00 p.m. Pizza (by Vertigo)
6:30 p.m. Presentation
~9:00 p.m. Afterwards at On The Border

WHERE: Intel Ronler Acres 1 (RA1) Auditorium (map)
2501 NW 229th Ave.
Hillsboro, OR 97124-5506

WHO: Adam Kinney & Karl Shifflet
Adam Kinney is a creative developer with a strong focus on UI technologies including HTML, CSS, Canvas, Processing, Flash, WPF and Silverlight. He enjoys working in the space between design and development teams enabling the best results from both sides. Having spent the last five years as an Evangelist for Microsoft, Adam also enjoys sharing his knowledge and helping others learn new UI technologies and tools. Recently leaving Microsoft, he is currently working on a variety of interesting projects and experiments with the crew at Pixel Lab and posting tutorials on his personal site: http://adamkinney.com.

Karl Shifflett is a Program Manager at Microsoft working on the WPF and Silverlight Designer since August of 2008. Before Microsoft, Karl was a software architect, former Microsoft MVP and Code Project MVP. He has been designing & developing business applications since 1989 and transitioned to .NET in March of 2003. In April of 2007 he joined the list of WPF fanatics & evangelists. He is a member of Team Mole that delivered the Mole Visualizer for Visual Studio to the world. He is the author of the very popular XAML Power Toys; loves WPF and Silverlight LOB and is developing a passion for Windows Phone 7 and ASP.NET MCV. You can read his blog at: http://karlshifflett.wordpress.com/.

TOPIC: Building toolable Silverlight applications that enable the designer developer workflow
Warning: We won’t be 20 seconds into this session before mashing the gas pedal to the floor. After looking at the XAML tools Blend & Cider, we’ll dive deep into toolable application design. Toolable applications not only enhance the initial development experience but also provide benefits to long term application maintenance. An additional benefit is the enabling of the designer developer workflow. See the two roles played out in the presentation as they collaborate without clobbering each other.

Sponsors: While you are at it, consider visiting our Premium Sponsors that make these meetings possible:

tags: Silverlight | PDXSLUG | Blend

PDXSLUG - 4/13 - Creating Great UX with Expression Blend

Hey guys, tomorrow the Portland Silverlight User Group (PDXSLUG) will be meeting at WebTrends.  Corrina Black, a UX Designer on the Microsoft Developer Division team will be talking about how to create great user experiences with Expression Blend.

We build software products with certain features, and our competitors come along and include those same features.  Eventually the only way we can distinguish ourselves from our competitors is by creating great user experiences.  This is how the iPhone leapfrogged both Windows Mobile and the BlackBerry, and how the Xbox became the dominant gaming console.

IMHO, this session is a must-attend, regardless of whether you are a designer or a developer.  And even if you don't use Microsoft tools, you can still benefit because creating a great UX is independent of platform (Adobe vs Microsoft vs Java vs Objective-C).

Hopefully I'll see you there.


 

WHAT: Portland Silverlight User Group - April Meeting

WHEN: Tuesday 04/13/2010
6:00 p.m. Pizza (by Vertigo)
6:30 p.m. Presentation
~9:00 p.m. Afterwards at TBD

WHERE: Webtrends (map)
851 SW 6th Ave.
Portland, OR 97204-1337

WHO: Corrina Black
Corrina Black grew up sketching pictures and cartoons, but didn’t turn to design until she discovered the Web and taught herself to design and code simple websites. She focused instinctively on user flow, interaction, and attractive solutions. Corrina is currently a UX Designer on the Microsoft Developer Division team. To broaden her impact, Corrina pursued a software engineering degree to combine with her passion for user experience design. For Corrina, user experience is what matters. A product that doesn’t solve a problem, is difficult to use, and doesn’t draw the user in, regardless of how amazing the technology, will fail.

TOPIC: Creating Great UX with Expression Blend
Corrina will do an intro to Blend and walkthrough the process of creating a great user experience; this will involve SketchFlow because detailing and iterating on user flow, layout, and animations and transitions prior to full-scale implementation is key to great UX design and this is done in tools like SketchFlow. She will also likely walkthrough the process of building a simple application in Blend to show the core functionality of Blend (maybe create a phone application).

Warmup - The Reactive Framework (Rx) in Silverlight
At the beginning of the meeting (6pm) our own Eric Sterling of Vertigo will be giving a short introduction to Rx. Have you had trouble writing asynchronous code (including unit testing code)? If so, Rx offers a compelling and syntactically attractive way of handling events.

Sponsors: While you are at it, consider visiting our Premium Sponsors that make these meetings possible:

tags: Silverlight | PDXSLUG | Expression Blend

Seesmic Stickers

Two weeks ago I saw a tweet where the folks at Seesmic were offering free stickers.  Being a die-hard Seesmic fan myself, I decided to hit them up and see if they would kick in some stickers for the Portland Silverlight User Group.  Needless to say, Loic did not disappoint.  Here's the catch though, I only have 80+, and I'm only going to hand them out one at a time.  If you want one then you must show up to our next user group meeting.  We are meeting this Friday, 6pm at WebTrends (map).  Shawn Wildermuth will be here answering all your Silverlight questions.  The folks at Vertigo are providing the free pizza and soda.  I will be handing out Seesmic stickers.  Look forward to seeing you there.

tags: Silverlight | PDXSLUG | Seesmic

Portland Silverlight User Group

Last spring Erik Mork and myself started talking about the difficulties I was facing with PDXUX.Net and what it's future should be.  The group had shrunk in size and was starting to average an attendance of 12-15 people.  I wasn't sure if the problem was location, or speakers, or the fact that the group had too broad of a focus.  Erik thought the group was just too ahead of its time.  I decided to stop having group meetings while I tried to figure out whether it should continue on.  The sad thing is, no one complained.

Shortly after the release of Silverlight 3, Erik suggested that PDXUX.Net should evolve into the Portland Silverlight User Group.  It's amazing how long we spent thinking up names until we settled on that one.  We thought this group could start in November where we would have a big-name speaker come to town to kick off our event.  The two problems with that idea were 1) I was already scheduled to speak on MVVM during the November PADNUG meeting, and 2) the speakers we were soliciting would be at PDC.  We knew my MVVM presentation would draw a lot of folks (80+) and didn't want to compete against that.  Instead we decided to use that as an opportunity to publicize our December kickoff.  Somehow Scott Stanfield heard we were starting this user group and wanted to get involved, and before I knew it we had our big-name speaker.

For our December meeting with Scott Stanfield presenting we had 80+ folks show up.  This was held clear out in Hillsboro at Corillian/CheckFree/Fiserv (map).

In January we had Mike Downey come and share his story of joining Microsoft and switching from Flash to Silverlight.  This time we held the meeting downtown at WebTrends (map) and had 70+ people show up.

At the end of January we organized a Silverlight Hackathon.  Kimberly Wallmark had suggested this on the Silverlight/PADNUG mailing list and the community response was overwhelmingly in favor of it.  The hackathon was held on Sunday, January 31st at Souk where we had 40+ people show up to code/learn between 1-6pm.

Our next meeting is on Friday, February 19th, again at WebTrends (map).  This will be Q&A session with Shawn Wildermuth.  Shawn's mind will be overflowing with top secret information he'll have just learned at MVP Summit.  If you're interested at all in Silverlight, then you'll definitely want to attend this meeting.

Overall I have to admit that the success of the Portland Silverlight User Group has exceeded my wildest expectations.  We have a lot of interest from other potential speakers who want to be a part of the magic that is happening here in the northwest.  Thanks for your attendance and support.  As you folks continue to attend and be a part of this user group, Erik and I are commited to making it our top priority to have premium speakers.  We want this to be the best Silverlight User Group in the world.  With your help we can be.

tags: Silverlight | PDXSLUG

Shawn Wildermuth speaks at PDXSLUG (2/19)

WHAT: Portland Silverlight User Group - February Meeting

WHEN: Friday 02/19/2010 - (Yes, Friday is Correct)
6:00 p.m. Pizza (by Vertigo)
6:30 p.m. Presentation
~9:00 p.m. Afterwards at TBD

WHERE: Webtrends (map)
851 SW 6th Ave.
Portland, OR 97204-1337

WHO: Shawn Wildermuth
Shawn Wildermuth is a Microsoft MVP (C#), member of the INETA Speaker's Bureau and an author of six books on .NET. Shawn is involved with Microsoft as a Silverlight Insider, Data Insider and Connected Technology Advisors (WCF/Oslo/WF). He has been seen speaking at a variety of international conferences including SDC Netherlands, VSLive, WinDev and DevReach. Shawn has written dozens of articles for a variety of magazines and websites including MSDN, DevSource, InformIT, CoDe Magazine, ServerSide.NET and MSDN Online. He has over twenty years in software development regularly blogs about a range of topics including Silverlight, Oslo, Databases, XML and web services on his blog (http://wildermuth.com).

TOPIC: Silverlight Conversation and QA w/ Shawn Wildermuth
Do you have questions about Silverlight? Shawn's the person to ask. He's full of Silverlight knowledge, and he's coming to Portland to have a conversation with us. Shawn is extremely well known and respected in the Silverlight community, and it's going to be a real treat to have him. If you want to have a complex and nuanced discussion about Silverlight, join us for this meeting.

Warmup - Operating System in Your Browser Window
At the beginning of the meeting (6pm), Marc Schulper will show us how to write Silverlight applications for a web based operating system.

Sponsors: While you are at it, consider visiting our Premium Sponsors that make these meetings possible:

tags: Silverlight | PDXSLUG

Slides and Examples from PADNUG Presentation on MVVM

Thanks to everyone who showed up and particpated during my MVVM presentation at PADNUG on Tuesday night.  We had a large turnout (80+) and it was a bit intimidating.

The slides and examples are posted at http://kelly.whitepdx.com/mvvm/.

I can see there's a lot of interest in this topic.  Things are definitely picking up in the industry for work opportunities for using WPF and Silverlight (thanks Win7!).  If you want to learn more about this topic, please download the slide deck and check out the links to additional resources.  Just a word of caution, it's going to take some effort to learn MVVM, so be prepared to invest yourself in it.  Also, I was talking with Erik Mork and others about having a follow-up MVVM presentation as part of the new Portland Silverlight User Group.  Stay tuned for more information regarding that.

tags: PDXSLUG | PADNUG | MVVM