My SQL Fire Starter Interview

By James at June 05, 2008 03:13
Filed Under: Web Development, Inland Empire .NET UG

When I presented at SQL 2008 Fire Starter last May, my good friend Geoff Emery interviewed me for TechZulu.

So, for your geeky, drawling enjoyment... I give you this....


Inland Empire .NET User's Group 2008 Microsoft Launch

By James at March 12, 2008 09:02
Filed Under: Inland Empire .NET UG

We had our 2008 Microsoft Launch event last Tuesday. When word came down from Microsoft that they were going to have Community Launch Events, I immediately asked for the details. I was told we could have at most, three presenters. In the last year, several members of the user group have really stepped forward to help me with things, and I thought it would be nice to reward them by giving them access to this great experience. So, I wrote a letter back, describing what these people have done, and could they be involved. The answer was "yes". I also mentioned our meeting schedules and our Launch would be a week before Community Launches were supposed to start. Again, they said it wouldn't be a problem. So it was game on. I invited the members I had thought of and away they went.

Well, the "official" training started to trickle out, and there wasn't much there, so these six people, went ahead and created their own content. Launch day came and was I impressed! Here is what the lineup was:

  • George Ande – ASP.NET Ajax with .NET 3.5
  • Sean Dorsett – Visual Studio 2008 Tips and Tricks
  • Volkan Uzun – New features of C# 3.0
  • Steve O’Brien – LINQ
  • Matt Penner – GIS and Spatial Analysis in SQL 2008
  • Cigdem Uzun – Silverlight 2.0

What totally amazed me was how with minimal official training content there was, they each came up with six dead on, concise, to the point, and top notch presentations. Each presentation went about 25-30 minutes, and the amount of questions which were generated, just blew me away. The amount of energy in the room was great. Two recruiters, Armando Lopez from Robert Half Technology, and Brant Jones from San Bernardino County talked about local jobs.

Attendance was great, with standing room only and I'm grateful to Robert Dottl at Riverside Medical Clinic for giving us the bigger room.

Here are the stats:

  • RSVPs: 36 
  • Attendance: 34 - a new IEDOTNETUG Record
  • Non RSVP Attendees: 8
  • First Time Attendees: 11
  • Total Raffle Ticket Sales: 364
  • Number of software licenses (VSTS 2008, SQL 2008, WS 2008, telerik, CodeSmith, ReSharper, Infragistics) won: 38
  • Number of books (O’Reilly, Wrox, Pearson) won: 22
  • Number of job offers mentioned after break: 4
  • Pizza slices left over: 1

Oh, and that's not a typo. This was not Visual Studio Standard Edition given away at the public launches, this is Visual Studio Team Suite!

Pictures of the launch are on Flickr,

Wow, I'm still on a high

Cal Schrotenboer's Presentation to the IEDOTNETUG - WPF

By James at March 02, 2008 11:02
Filed Under: Web Development, Inland Empire .NET UG
Here are Cal Schrotenboer's slides for his presentation to the Inland Empire .NET User's Group on Windows Presentation Foundation, given on June 12, 2007 

IntroductionToWPF.ppt (234.50 kb)

LearnWPF_WCF.ppt (91.50 kb)


Tom Opgenorth's Test Driven Development Presentation

By James at February 19, 2008 11:15
Filed Under: Inland Empire .NET UG

Here is Tom Opgenorth's Test Driven Development presentation to the Inland Empire .NET User's Group given on February 19, 2008 

TDDIntro.ppt (4.06 mb)


The "Code Trip"

By James at November 20, 2007 07:36
Filed Under: Web Development, Inland Empire .NET UG, Microsoft

One of my Microsoft DE friends, Tim Heuer, came up with a great idea a while back, and just formally announced it today... the "Code Trip". What he's gonna do is gather up all the other Microsoft Western State DEs, strap them into a Winnebago, and hit the road, traveling to cities, towns, villages, and trailer parks, west of the Rockies to see what cool stuff developers are doing with Microsoft products.

codetrip-sign-144Personally, I think this idea just rocks, in fact I even told Tim I would be a roadie, but (ahem) I never heard back. C'est la vie, water under the bridge and all that. :)

Anyway, check out to sign up for the RSS feeds, make some suggestions, tell Tim what you think of this crazy idea....

Yo Tim! How about a stop in the Inland Empire?


Latest crazy song in my head Liquid Soul - Evolution - Action Jackson

Sean Dillingham's Presentation "Designing Usable Interfaces"

By James at November 13, 2007 11:10
Filed Under: Inland Empire .NET UG
Here is Sean Dillingham's presentation, "Designing Usable Interfaces" given to the Inland Empire .NET User's Group on November 13, 2007

Designing Usable Interfaces.pptx (9.71 mb)


Brad McGehee's IEDOTNETUG Presentation - SQL Server Profiling

By James at October 09, 2007 11:06
Filed Under: Inland Empire .NET UG
Here is Brad McGehee's slide deck on SQL Server 2005 Profiler and Performance Dashboard, given to the Inland Empire .NET User's Group on October 9, 2007 

Riverside Profiler Dashboard Presentation.ppt (1.50 mb)


I'm a Friend of Red Gate!

By James Johnson at September 18, 2007 21:44
Filed Under: Web Development, Inland Empire .NET UG

One of the Inland Empire .NET User's Group sponsors, Red Gate Software, invited me to become a "Friend of Red Gate". I've used the trial versions of their tools in the past, and they provide licenses to their ANTS Profiler for a raffle prize to the group, and I just have to say, that having access to their entire library is like, so totally cool!

Red Gate makes exceptional database tools, and you should really check them out. And if you need a demo of what they have and how to use them, then just let me know. I'll be more than happy to show you.

As time permits, I'm planning on posting some messages about how I use their tools in my day-to-day work.

James.... Friend of Red Gate

Are forums dead?

By James Johnson at August 18, 2007 15:22
Filed Under: Inland Empire .NET UG

In order to generate more of a sense of community in the User Group, I started the Most Valuable Community Participant and Most Valuable Member program for the group. Basically members can get points for posting on the UG forums and participating in the community. The top three winners will win significant prizes.

So, where is everyone? No one goes to the forums, the last post was three weeks ago. Are forums dead for networking and communication? Is it because we're in the Inland Empire? I sure would like to know.


Homegrown Ajax

By James Johnson at August 18, 2007 15:15
Filed Under: Web Development, Ajax and Javascript, Inland Empire .NET UG
I've been doing a lot of Ajax and Javascript development lately. Recently I gave a presentation to the Inland Empire .NET User's Group on how I use my own libraries and JQuery to build my sites. You can download the slides and source code here. Look for ""

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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