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MS TechDays 2011 – Summary

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MS TechDays 2011 – Summary

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Microsoft TechDays 2011 event was held at 18th of May 2011 in Skopje, Macedonia. There were five sessions, covering several development areas.

Sessions List

  1. Building Web Sites with Orchard (Hajan Selmani, MKDOT.NET UG)
  2. Building Business Applications with Visual Studio LightSwitch (Dejan Dimitrovski, MKDOT.NET UG)
  3. Community Session – SharePoint 2010 Service Applications (Darko Milevski, MKDOT.NET UG)
  4. Agile Development with Visual Studio 2010 and TFS 2010 (Karl Davies-Barrett, Microsoft)
  5. Developing for Windows Phone 7 – End to End (Filip Kerazovski, MKDOT.NET UG)

Mr. Karl was talking at the keynote. His keynote speech was excellent. His speech was inspiring, motivating and he simply brought us more enthusiasm about future of development with Microsoft technologies (Thank You Karl!).

Now, I would like to go with short overview of each presentation, so that those who weren’t there will know what did they miss.

Building Web Sites with Orchard (me)
As you may already know, Orchard is free, open source, content-driven management system built by Microsoft. It is built on top of ASP.NET MVC 3 with Razor view engine and is the most extensible CMS I have ever been working to date (I have experience with DotNetNuke, Umbraco, Joomla, Wordpress and few other similar systems).
In my session, I have tried to show attendees what they can do with Orchard. Firstly, I passed the idea behind Orchard, why you can’t say “it’s yet another CMS”, but an open source CMS that is for everyone (end-users, designers, developers, IT Pros) and can help you quickly and with the speed of light bring your website up and running. Even though Orchard is still young (currently v1.1) , it has many features, so I covered part of its features by creating website. We have passed through content, content types, widgets, zones, layers, parts, user and role management, blogs, modules & installing modules from gallery, working directly from command prompt by running bin/orchard.exe. I have also installed interesting modules, like twitter feeds. We made also localization and translation. Besides all that, I’ve been working with WebMatrix tool, so attendees who haven’t seen WebMatrix in action, have had chance to see it. I also showed the Orchard solution and code structure.
As I said, Orchard is completely extensible and is very great to start with. Soon we will have Orchard localization / translation in Macedonian (Македонски) language. I’m working on it.

Website: http://orchardproject.net

I was very glad that I had some interesting questions during and after the session. Which proved that the presentation was interesting for the attendees.

Building Business Applications with Visual Studio LightSwitch (Dejan Dimitrovski)
I have started digging in Visual Studio LightSwitch somewhere in September/October 2010, but I hadn’t chance to dig more and see it’s capabilities. In this session, we were all amazed! Dejan built complete application in about 30 – 40 minutes, showing the real Visual Studio LightSwitch’s capabilities for building Business Applications. I have heard some guys in the audience saying ‘wow’ when Dejan showed that you can build and run your app only by working with mouse! (and one or two lines of code) :)
I likes everything LightSwitch can do for us. The thing I liked the most was the runtime designer, but other features aren’t far behind, indeed! It’s still in beta and it’s already amazing! I’m looking forward to dig much more inside it in the following period! Thank You Dejan for the Excellent presentation!

Community Session – SharePoint 2010 Service Applications (Darko Milevski)
Up to now, I have had little chance to play with SharePoint, and also I have attended several sessions, few of them held by Darko Milevski. I said him in his blog, if someone makes me start developing with SharePoint, it will be Darko, definitely. Again, he showed some interesting stuff on what you can do with SharePoint 2010. Service Applications seems very great. Darko explained very well the logical concept behind Service Applications. With his presentation, attendees were able to see the significant architectural improvements in SharePoint with Service Applications model. Great job Dare!
P.S. Before making complex calculations again (eg. 2+3?), first move the app on the cloud ;)! hehehe…

Agile Development with Visual Studio 2010 and TFS 2010 (Karl Davies-Barrett)
I’m working with Agile Development and Scrum methodology, but when someone like Karl is talking on such topic, you will always hear something you didn’t know, something new or at least advice that is priceless. Karl was great in both, in his keynote session, as well as this one. It is invaluable experience to have chance to listen Karl’s sessions and learn directly from someone with 15+ years experience in IT, someone who who works in Microsoft Corp. He showed what you can achieve with VS.NET 2010 and TFS 2010, and how you can accelerate the Agile development using both of these technologies. Excellent presentation! Thank You Karl!

Developing for Windows Phone 7 – End to End (Filip Kerazovski)
Even though I’m expert in Web Development, I’m also a big fun of Development for Mobile, so when I have extra time, I read something about it or playing with it (looking forward to make my first Mobile app very soon). This was very attractive session for me because I wanted to see something I didn’t know since I’m preparing myself for getting into WP7 Development too (besides Web Development with ASP.NET, which is my primary focus). Filip works with me in same company and has his office desk right near me, so I already knew part of his speech. However, in this session he showed amazing stuff that I didn’t see previously. He managed to finish an app in front of the audience in about 30minutes, showing the push notification concept and using MVVM pattern, he built WP7 app with some interesting voting features. Moreover, he made the push notifications to go from his custom made website, through a WCF service and the Push Notification service, up to the Smart Phone. Great presentation, indeed! Thanks Filip.


I would also like to say THANK YOU to Dimitar Grozdanov (Technology Strategist at Microsoft) who helped us prepare for the event and, together with Karl, were great hosts of the event.


Networking with other Professionals

I was very glad to see other developers, IT professionals, consultants, trainers, business people and many other in the event. I’m especially glad that I saw some friends and acquaintances whom I haven’t seen for a while. Besides the speakers, I also saw and had some talks with Vlatko (latek), Ivan Acev, Mile, Tosho, Boban and some other people I respect for what they do in their professional life! I must also mention that I meet Daniel Joskovski, with whom I had talk few times during the event. He is really very nice person and it was my pleasure to meet him there. There were few of my co-workers, who attended all presentations - thanks guys. Also, very big thanks to all ladies and gentleman who get in touch with me to talk about popular issues in ASP.NET Web Development and .NET in general, or have had some interesting questions about Orchard CMS.

Thank You

Thank You everyone for the great event, and once again Thank You Microsoft, for bringing us all together in such events which give attendees great opportunity to get to know more about Microsoft technologies and see why Microsoft technologies are the best choice for Developers, IT Professionals, Designers, Business people / companies and End Users.

If you were on the event, please do let me know your feedback by commenting to this post.

Thank You,


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