Sorry it took me so long to post pictures, but after preparing for and giving 5 talks in the months of May and June, I had some serious catch up to do at work and at home.
With that said, we had a blast at the Heroes launch. We had about 15 attendees and some incredible speakers who shared some of the coolest features in the 2008 product launch line up. The smaller group size really allowed for some great interaction and I think everyone got a lot out of the sessions.
Speaking of sessions, we had 6 back to back sessions is rapid-fire format which never left for a dull moment.
John Bierman, Senior Consultant with Neudesic kicked off the event with a great discussion on the power and flexibility of Lambda Expressions. John is a great public speaker who brought his passion and energy for C# to the room and I think everyone learned how Lambda is really a shortcut syntax for delegates.
Lorin Thwaits, who is a tremendous thought leader, influencer and champion for the Phoenix .NET community gave a great glimpse at how powerful Windows Presentation Foundation is for delivering rich, next generation user experiences to the desktop. Lorin also covered how the XML Browser Application (XBAP) feature can be used to serve up rich clients to internet/intranet users on Windows machines.
And what .NET 3.5 launch event would be complete without coverage of LINQ? Ish Singh, President of AkallTech, a local Microsoft ISV which builds frameworks for helping developers build multi-tiered, object-relational applications provided an in-depth look at how to extend the Language Integrated Query language which provides great flexibility and productivity for dealing with lists and collections.
Kathrin Lord, SQL Server Technical Specialist with Microsoft did a great job sharing all of the new features that are just around the corner with SQL Server 2008. Kathrin did all of her demos of SQL Server 2008 on her laptop which was running Hyper-V on Windows Server 2008. Not only was her session was packed with great information on SQL Server 2008, but she showed how practical Hyper-Visor technology is for hosting multiple virtual machines, even on a laptop.
We wrapped up with a look at new features in Visual Studio 2008 for Windows Communication Foundation, and I showed new features that make hosting, configuring and testing WCF services even easier. With full integration into the Visual Studio IDE, WCF project templates are now first-class citizens, and the ability to cross-target between .NET 2.0, 3.0 and 3.5 makes Visual Studio 2008 the best IDE for working with .NET and WCF, period.
Last but not least, we had some great giveways, including full NFR copies of Windows Vista Ultimate,1 year evaluation versions of Windows Server 2008, full versions of Visual Studio 2008 Standard Edition, discount Microsoft certification vouchers, free subscriptions to TechNet, books and more. Suffice it to say that no one walked away empty handed! As always, a big thanks to Rob Bagby, Developer Evangelist for the Phoenix market for all of his support around community activities such as these.
I'd like to thank everyone for coming as well as our speakers for taking time out of their Saturday morning and afternoon to help share their excitement and knowledge around Windows Server 2008, Visual Studio 2008 and .NET 3.5, and SQL Server 2008.