Inland Empire .NET User’s Group–December 13, 2011-Woody Zuill and Llewellyn Falco

By James at December 14, 2011 11:42
Filed Under: Inland Empire .NET UG

Woody and Llewellyn are two of the best presenters I have seen. Hands down. They are funny, intelligent, bright, and can really boil down a difficult subject into it’s barest essentials , making it easier to grok. On Tuesday December 13, 2011, Woody and Llewellyn presented “Testing Microsoft Technologies” to the user group.

Unit testing has become a industry wide best practice. But many Microsoft technologies propose quite a challenge when testing attempting to unit test them. In this talk, Llewellyn will go through the techniques he has personally developed to unit test the following Microsoft API’s:

· Entity Framework
· Datasets
· RDLC Reports
· WinForms

Attendance: 30

Raffle Prizes: 30


Inland Empire .NET User’s Group–November 8, 2011–Mike Roth

By James at November 09, 2011 11:42
Filed Under: Inland Empire .NET UG

Mike Roth is a long time friend and uber-software architect. On Tuesday November 8, he presented to the group, “Tales from the Trenches: Real World Use of MVC and EF”. In this session we will build parts of a start up that was built this month! In this talk we will focus on how to get your business from nil to something using MVC and EF. We will talk about hurdles and technology and appropriate use of things that are seldom covered in other MVC talks. We will be focusing on Model Binding, Filters, PGR (Post Get Request) method as well as diving deep in to unique solutions to common problems as Mike goes over the basis that he used for his start up.

Attendance: 22

Raffle Prizes: 30


Inland Empire .NET User’s Group–October 11, 2011-Craig Bernston

By James at October 12, 2011 12:37
Filed Under: Inland Empire .NET UG

On Tuesday Octover 11, 2011, my friend and fellow MVP, Craig Bernston talked about “Software Gardening” with the IEDOTNETUG.

Creating great software is not like construction. It's more like gardening. In this session you will learn about important software gardening concepts such as soil, water, seeds, light, pruning, insecticide, weeding, and more. Along the way you'll see processes, concepts, tools, and techniques that you can use in your software gardening project. By applying the ideas presented in this session, your software will be lush, green, and vibrant.

This presentation really opened the doors to a great new way to develop software.

Attendance: 25

Raffle Prizes: 30


Inland Empire .NET User’s Group Meeting–September 13, 2011–James Johnson

By James at September 14, 2011 12:34
Filed Under: Inland Empire .NET UG

On Tuesday, September 13, 2011 I presented to the User Group with a title of “A real world web app with ASP.NET MVC”. MVC is the latest web development technology from Microsoft and requires a bit of a reset from what you know about web forms development. There are lots of examples for building MVC apps available, but not many on "real world" applications. In this presentation we will dig deep into the inner workings of an MVC web site and cover Authentication, Models, View Models, Database operations with Entity Framework, how to do file uploads with MVC, and some groovy stuff with jQuery. All the pieces needed to build a real world application.

I thought the presentation went really well.

Attendance: 28

Raffle Prizes: 30


Inland Empire .NET User’s Group–August 9, 2011–Bill Sheldon

By James at August 10, 2011 12:31
Filed Under: Inland Empire .NET UG

On Tuesday August 14, 2011, my good friend and fellow MVP, Bill Sheldon presented on “Building Business Applications with LightSwitch” to the IEDOTNETUG.

Need a new distributed business application? Concerned that creating a new rich application requires learning more than one new technology? WCF, Silverlight (XAML) and Entity Framework – the Microsoft business application stack consists of a series of technologies that didn’t exist 3 years ago. Have you mastered all of them? If not perhaps LightSwitch is for you. Microsoft has announced that this tool will be or was (depending on when you are reading this) released on July 26th. This session will show you how LightSwitch provides you with an abstraction above low level technologies like WCF, EntityFramework and XAML. LightSwitch allows you to build and customize new applications which use these technologies. Instead of spending your time in the weeds trying to figure out how to set up your WCF service. Learn how you can leverage LightSwitch to generate boilerplate code while you focus on the business requirements.<br />Internationalization<br />This session will take you through some of the built in features of Visual Studio 2010 for managing multiple languages and cultures. The session looks to help explain the difference in how the operating system treats the language and culture settings and demonstrates many of the built in features for supporting multiple languages and cultures when using .NET

Attendance: 27

Raffle Prizes: 30


4th Annual Most Valuable Member Event

By James at July 14, 2011 11:24
Filed Under: community, Inland Empire .NET UG, Non-Technical, user groups


Oh, how I love the Inland Empire .NET User’s Group. So much so that 4 years ago, I started the Most Valuable Member competition which allows the members of the group to compete against each other by gaining points for contributing back to the group and to the development community. For example, write a review for a book you won at a raffle and get 500 points. Give a presentation at a Code Camp and get 1000 points. Help to setup or tear down after a meeting for 200 points. Get a Microsoft Certification and receive 500 points. The list itself is quite large and these are just a few examples.

So, you may be wondering, “why would a person want to compete, what’s in it for them?” How about a backpack stuffed with over $25,000 in software licenses, books, and other swag for the winner, and similarly stuffed backpacks for the 1st and 2nd Runners Up. Add on top of that, a special catered event to commend you, and being publicly recognized as an outstanding member of the .NET Development Community.

Tuesday, July 12th 2011 was the Inland Empire .NET User’s Group 4th Annual Most Valuable Member Event. It was held at the San Bernardino Hilton, and was just a ton of fun. It took a lot of planning, and I wouldn’t have been able to do it without the fantastic help of several sponsors – Red Gate, Telerik, Microsoft, Infragistics, DevExpress, EmailVerify, Pluralsight, O’Reilly, Apress, Pearson Publishing and Wrox.

60 people attended and were treated to live music by my kids, William and Amy, a sit down dinner of Chicken Marsala with cheesecake for dessert, tons of raffle prizes – everyone left with something – and three great presentations from Craig Shoemaker, Seth Juarez, Steve Paplanus and Dustin Hothard.

While people were coming in and signing up, they were treated to music from William and Amy, who had been practicing for several weeks prior. At 6:30 the festivities began with me talking about the group over the past year where I mentioned some highlights over the past year. They were:

  • Watching the interactions and eavesdropping on the conversations that took place during the Tuesday night meetings
  • Seeing how the members have developed new skills
  • Getting to meet new people and watch them develop into active user group members
  • Enjoying seeing how member’s careers have changed and grown


Then I presented some interesting bits of data from the past year:

  • 11 Speakers
  • 18 Sponsors with over $86,000 in books and software licenses raffled off
  • 70 books reviewed
  • 800 slices of pizza and 600 cans of soda and water consumed


The presentations started off with Craig Shoemaker speaking on HTML 5 Offline Data Storage. Craig is such a great speaker and his presentation really shined.

Seth Juarez was next and spoke on Artificial Intelligence and Machine Language. Seth is a dynamic and funny speaker and his talk was dead on.

Next up was a video presentation from Lynn Langit giving an update on the SmartCare project in Zambia and our sister user group over there,

To round out the presentations was Dustin Hothard and Steve Paplanus talking on “Teaching Kids Programming”. They took a team approach when speaking on the great work that is doing for getting kids involved in development at an early age.

After a short break and more music, it was time to announce the MVM awards.

The first award for 2nd Runner Up went to Ayyappan Nagender.

The first MVM Award goes to a user group member, who quietly has become one of the cornerstones of the user group. He attends every meeting, except when he is visiting family in India, eagerly offers to teach classes, gives outstanding presentations and has a unique sense of humor. On many occasions he has donated his raffle prize to someone in the group who doesn't have the software, and is a dedicated user of the Book Review program often taking a book as a prize instead of a piece of software. With 5700 points the Most Valuable Member 2nd Runner Up is Ayyappan Nagender.”

Then the award for 1st Runner Up went to Oscar Azmitia.

“The next MVM award goes to one of the smartest people I know. He is quietly unassuming about his knowledge, while loving to share his ideas and techniques. He has participated in the user group by presenting on Windows Phone technologies, and teaching in the Windows Phone 7 Unleashed events the user group has put on. As a young man, this person has a ton of potential with many great rewards ahead of him; it will be a great thing to see what he will accomplish. With 6680 points the Most Valuable Member 1st Runner up is Oscar Azmitia.”

Then the moment we had all been waiting for, MVM for 2010-2011, Dustin Davis

"There are many words to describe the Most Valuable Member of 2010-2011, but the main one which comes to mind when thinking about him is "doer". I honestly don't know where he gets the time to do all the things he does, from working as a production developer, writing blog posts, frequently tweeting and giving countless presentations. He has presented to the user group several times, taking it upon himself to teach the .NET beginner's section of the user group meetings, participating in the Windows Phone 7 Unleashed events, attending and presenting at Code Camps, and becoming the latest volunteer for the International .NET Association as Communications Director. One thing he "did", and I will always remember this, is out of his own pocket, he had IEDOTNET shirts made, so other members of the group could participate in the Most Valuable Member process by wearing a piece of User Group clothing. I am honored to count him amongst my close friends and with 17690 points, the Most Valuable Member of 2010-2011 is Dustin Davis."

And since I don’t like to ever leave anyone out, the following people were mentioned and received a special bag of prizes for participating in the MVM competition over the past year, Jim LaVine, Brent Harris, Henry VanderLeest, Matt Penner and Jimmy Aldape.

Highlights of the evening

  • Getting to hear Amy and William sing
  • The food
  • Watching the camaraderie of the members
  • Seeing that several attendees brought their significant others to the event – a very nice touch

Videos of Amy and William

Baby I Love Your Way

Hotel California

Hey Soul Sister

Why Won’t You Answer Me?

Time for a nap, then on to planning next year’s event.


Inland Empire .NET User’s Group–June 14, 2011–Mike Vincent

By James at June 15, 2011 12:30
Filed Under: Inland Empire .NET UG

On Tuesday June 14, 2011, my good friend and fellow MVP, Mike Vincent presented on “The Role of the Software Architect: Technology, Process and People” to the IEDOTNETUG.

What does the role of the Software Architect really imply? Why do organizations need architects? That’s what this session is all about.  It’s a lot more than UML diagrams. Architecture is technology, it’s user experience, it’s communication, it’s bridging between a business vision and implementation of a system. Architecture is about making new and existing systems work well together, to be extensible, to be maintainable. Architecture is process, it’s agile, it’s negotiation and bargaining, it’s about bringing people together and facilitating the implementation of systems that work well, it’s about delivering business value.

Attendance: 25

Raffle Prizes: 32


Inland Empire .NET User’s Group–May 10, 2011–Oscar Azmitia

By James at May 11, 2011 12:27
Filed Under: Inland Empire .NET UG

In this session we will focus on topics that are specific to this platform and learn the foundational concepts behind Windows Phone 7 so you can start all your apps using the same base code. We will build on top of the knowledge you already possess to address concepts and tips to make your development faster.  We will go through the steps of making an application touching on phone specific concepts such as maintaining your data alive, managed navigation, tomb stoning your application and isolated storage. After this session, you will feel comfortable to create your own ideas into applications and publish them into the marketplace; you will realize how fast and simple you can make an app that can be useful to others and maybe earn some extra money.

Oscar is a really good presenter and the session was well received.

Attendance: 30

Raffle Prizes: 30


Inland Empire .NET User’s Group-March 8, 2011-Dustin Davis

By James at March 09, 2011 11:17
Filed Under: Inland Empire .NET UG

My good friend, and IEDOTNETUG Member Dustin Davis, came to present to the group with a talk titled, “Aspect Oriented Programming”. AOP allows you to write code that handle cross-cutting concerns, and while at the beginning, it seemed more “black boxish” than it should, by the end of the presentation, everyone in the audience was getting the hang of it.

Dustin is a Microsoft Certified Technology Specialist (MCTS) and has been developing on the Microsoft stack exclusively since 2005. Dustin spends his days as a lead developer, his nights as a consultant and independent contractor.

Attendance: 27

Raffle Prizes: 30


Inland Empire .NET User’s Group Meeting–February 8, 2011–Craig Shoemaker

By James at February 09, 2011 11:09
Filed Under: Inland Empire .NET UG

Craig Shoemaker from Infragistics came to present “ HTML5 for Today and Tomorrow to the IEDOTNETUG on Tuesday February 8, 2011. Craig is a really great speaker and showed the group all the different, and new, tags available to developers when building HTML5 apps.

Craig Shoemaker is a software developer, podcaster, blogger and New-Media Evangelist for Infragistics.

Attendance: 20

Raffle Prizes: 30


About the author

James James is a five time and current Microsoft MVP in Client App Development, a Telerik Insider, a past Director on the INETA North America Board, a husband and dad, and has been developing software since the early days of Laser Discs and HyperCard stacks. As the Founder and President of the Inland Empire .NET User's Group, he has fondly watched it grow from a twice-a-month, early Saturday morning group of five in 2003, to a robust and rambunctious gathering of all types and sizes of .NET developers.

James loves to dig deep into the latest cutting edge technologies - sometimes with spectacular disasters - and spread the word about the latest and greatest bits, getting people excited about developing web sites and applications on the .NET platform, and using the best tools for the job. He tries to blog as often as he can, but usually gets distracted by EF, LINQ, MVC, ASP, SQL, XML, and most other types of acronyms. To keep calm James plays a mean Djembe and tries to practice his violin. You can follow him on twitter at @latringo.

And as usual, the comments, suggestions, writings and rants are my own, and really shouldn't reflect the opinions of my employer. That is, unless it really does.

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