Northeast 2008-09 Winter MSDN Roadshow in Vermont!

The Best Darn Microsoft Evangelist in the biz, Chris Bowen, brought his troupe of geek freaks and coding acrobats to Vermont today for the Northeast 2008-09 Winter MSDN Roadshow. Actually, it was just Chris and fellow evangelist Jim O’Neil, but they were a forceful presence and only seemed like an entire troupe.

Sessions included WPF, Workflow Foundation, using REST and ADO.NET Data Services with Silverlight, and a session on using JQuery with ASP.NET AJAX.  I honestly felt it was the best MSDN Roadshow EVER!  I’ve been reading up on JQuery and getting interested, but was still foggy on its usefulness.  Then Chris pointed out the main feature differences between JQuery and AJAX, created a few JQuery functions in Visual Studio and all doubt of JQuery’s utility was gone.

It was good to see another session on WPF now that I’ve had the opportunity to work with Silverlight XAML for a bit.  WPF is not so foreign anymore and I hope to find a reason to spend more time working with WPF before too long.

Workflow Foundation was interesting and Jim’s presentation was excellent, but I should have been true to my plan to skip out on the session and do some Christmas shopping instead.  I’m pretty sure I won’t be doing any WF anytime soon.

I thought the day’s best takeaway would have been my newfound appreciation for JQuery, but it turned out to be the creation of REST services in Jim’s Silverlight Data Access presentation.  I didn’t know there was a REST Starter Kit on CodePlex, but I plan to be investing CPU cycles in it soon. 

The force to move more to the client is strong with this one, Obi Wan, and today’s Northeast MSDN Roadshow was exactly what I needed right now.

Oh, did I say the best takeaway today was learning about creating REST services?  Forget that, cause the TRUE best takeaway from today were the new spongy blocks Chris threw at us for asking questions.  The squishy balls were great, but the spongy blocks are FANTASTIC!  Below are my precious.

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A long time developer, I was an early adopter of Linux in the mid-90's for a few years until I entered corporate environments and worked with Microsoft technologies like ASP, then .NET. In 2008 I released Sueetie, an Online Community Platform built in .NET. In late 2012 I returned to my Linux roots and locked in on Java development. Much of my work is available on GitHub.