Thanks to all who came out to the Phoenix Connected Systems User Group 1 Year Anniversary party!
I want to quickly recap the evening and then close out with our take-aways and action items. If I missed anything, please let me know.
We started off with a nostalgic year-in-review, highlighting each of the talks that were delivered over the last 12 months, including:
June 2009 – Scott Cate
An Insider's Look at CloudDB
May 2009 – Rick G. Garibay
Building Transactional Distributed Services with Windows Communication Foundation 3.5
April 2009 - INETA Sponsored Event – Robert Green
Client Application Services
March 2009 – Todd Sussman
Expose and Consume Web Services from Anywhere with the .NET Service Bus
February 2009 – Brendon Birdoes
A First Look at Microsoft ESB Guidance 2.0 for BizTalk Server 2009
January 2009 – Rob Bagby
Exposing and Consuming Resources with REST in WCF
November 2008 – Rob Wisehart
An Introduction to Windows Workflow 3.5
October 2008 – Rick G. Garibay
Building Service-Oriented Applications with WCF
September 2008 -Todd Sussman
Architectural Overview of BizTalk Server 2006 R2
Ausgust 2008 Todd Sussman and Rick G. Garibay
Putting The "A" into Service Orientation
Again, a BIG thank you to all of the speakers who dedicated themselves and their time to give something back to the community. You can find most presentations and sample source code on the PCSUG website here: http://pcsug.org/Home/Events
Next, we moved on to awards.
The First Annual PCSUG Sustaining Sponsor Award went to Rob Bagby at Microsoft Corporation. Rob has been instrumental to the success of the PCSUG and has been a sponsor and partner from day one. Always the pragmatist, it is Rob who has helped us to calibrate our message to gain the widest reach and to keep it simple. In addition, Rob has been kind enough to dedicate even more of his personal time to sponsor our location, arriving at 5:00 pm to help with setup and sometimes staying as late as 8:30 pm to tear down. Rob’s leadership and commitment to the PCSUG, local and worldwide community has been profound and we are proud to present him with this award. Due to extenuating circumstances, Rob was unable to accept the award in-person, so I had the honor of doing so.
The next award went to Jeff Stowe. Jeff has been an inspiration to the Phoenix community as far back as I can remember. If there is a Microsoft-focused community event, you can count on Jeff being there to support the leaders, ask questions and just be a part of the community. When starting a new user group, it is incredibly inspiring to know that no matter what the topic, you can count on Jeff being there. As a result, it was Todd and my pleasure to award Jeff with the PCSUG Sustaining Member Award. Thanks again Jeff!
After some much needed pizza and cake, we were ready to get to work, so we conducted a retrospective over the last 12 months and discussed what went well, what didn’t go so well, and what we can do better over the next 12 months.
We got some great feedback from everyone along with some new ideas for what we can do better going forward. Some of these initiatives include:
- Alternating Foundational and Scenario-Driven sessions every other month. The idea being that there is a need for foundational content on Connected Systems’ related technologies and at the same time, we want to continue with our goal of delivering scenario-based-take-home-and-try-it-tomorrow content. The challenge has been that for scenario-focused sessions, we learned that we often lose folks who are new to a technology like WCF or BizTalk early on, so by staggering sessions we should be more successful at reaching as wide an audience as possible.
- Another suggestion was to play with the idea of elastic content that starts off at level 200, goes for 45 minutes, then do a break and jump to 300+ level content. This would give the group both a foundational coverage of the topic as well as the opportunity to bail out or stay for the deeper coverage. I am interested in your thoughts around this approach, so please contact me and let me know what you think!
- Tapping into colleges and continuing education providers. As stated in our mission statement, our goal is share the message of Connected Systems technologies and why we feel that the move from imperative software development to declarative and model-driven development is a profound one. What better way to incubate these ideas than within the academic community? This, year we will try to develop a channel with local educators like ASU, Devry, MCC and UAT to ensure that their CS programs have an open invitation to participate in our community.
- Alternate Media. Let’s face it. Its hard to get people off the couch. I firmly believe that there is no substitute for in-person collaboration. Do we increase our reach with alternate media like podcasts, screencasts and recorded sessions on the PCSUG website or does this discourage in-person interaction? We’ll ponder this tough question over the next few months.
Moving on to topics, these are the topics the community would like to see over the next several months:
- Windows Azure
- Compute and Table Services
- SQL Data Services
- .NET Services
- A closer look at Enterprise Service Bus (ESB) technologies like N-Service Bus and Neuron ESB.
- Oslo & M – You’d likely like to see M broken out.
- WCF 3.5 – you want to learn about WCF so you can apply it today and also take a look at what’s new in WCF 4.0
- WF 4.0 – why the change? What’s new, better, different? Where should you start if you are new to WF modeling?
- Understanding the progression from imperative code, to declarative and model-driven software ala objects to components to services to composable services.
- BizTalk 2009 ESB Toolkit 2.0
We are also looking very closely at the possibility of moving our meeting to Interface Technical Training. We are currently discussing this with J. Michael Palermo and promise to make a decision as soon as possible to minimize any venue change disruptions.
We are also looking for sponsors for pizza and sodas. In exchange, we’ll put your logo on our website on the www.pcsug.org/events page and our sponsor thank you slide during the introduction of the presenter/topic. Please contact me if you are interested in sponsoring a meeting.
I think that just about covers it. If I missed anything, or you have any other ideas for what you’d like to see over the next 12 months, please drop me a line.
Thanks again to everyone for making our first year a success!