2011 Meetings

Code First Development with Entity Framework

  • December 3, 2011

In this talk we dive into the code first approach using Entity Framework and specifically how to develop test first and architecturally sound EF code. This talk will morph and twist, so bring your questions and plenty of geek points.

Cancelled due to Improving Company retreat

  • November 6, 2011

There will be no meeting in November, as most Improving folks will be in Vegas for the company retreat on Nov 3. See you in December.

Envision. Explore. Evolve – Ideas to Prototypes in minutes using SketchFlow

  • October 1, 2011

SketchFlow (included with Expression Blend) is a great tool to build rapid click-through prototypes of your ideas before they bloom into powerful applications. Explore different variations of the ideas without investing too much of your time. Get instant feedback from your clients who can play with your high-fidelity prototypes using the free Sketchflow Player. And best of all, you don’t have to throw away your work. Grab the reusable assets and use them in your production application.
In this session, we’ll take an idea and check out a live demonstration on how quickly we can build a prototype out of it. This will be fun.

Connect with your Kinect

  • September 4, 2011

The Microsoft Kinect peripheral is the fastest selling gadget of all time, selling more than 9,000,000 units in its first 60 days. With the release of the Windows SDK beta for Kinect, there has never been a better time to learn about this new and innovative peripheral and explore where your imagination takes you.

From Delegates, to Lambdas and Expression Trees: Your guide to writing elegant code in C# .NET 4.0

  • August 7, 2011

This talk takes you from the delegate syntax from .net 2.0 to actions and funcs. Then it dives deep into creating elegant code using lambdas. Gives you an understanding as to how to implement expression trees for some cool and quick framework development inside your organization. This talk does not require any understanding of delegates and goes from the beginner to intermediate level.

Simplifying Package Management with NuGet

  • July 2, 2011

It’s one of those headaches that you knew you had but, until now, never had a name for. It’s package management. If you’re a .NET developer and you’d like to take control of how you and your organization maintains, shares and uses application libraries, you owe it to yourself to take a look at NuGet, Microsoft’s answer to Ruby Gems. NuGet goes beyond simply adding references to your project and allows for fully automated configuration and setup of third-party libraries directly from within Visual Studio using either the GUI or Powershell. NuGet allows you to not only search through an ever-expanding catalog of application packages but also to discover new ones that can help you and your team be more productive. In this session, we’ll start by discussing package management from a high level, move on to installing, configuring and using NuGet form within the IDE and finally we’ll discuss how you can build your very own NuGet packages and distribute them either through the official NuGet stream or your own private repository. By the end of the session, you should know all that you need to know to start taking advantage of this powerful and long overdue tool.

EntityFramework 360 – CodeOnly 4.1

  • June 5, 2011

While most enterprise applications are object-oriented, the data upon which they depend is not. Unfortunately, binding these two platforms together can result in significant amounts of lost productivity and a less than optimal solution. Come see how you can resolve this recurring theme with the newest release of the Microsoft ADO.NET Entity Framework.  In this session, we’ll

Building a Testable Data Access Layer

  • May 7, 2011

All developers understand the theoretical value of unit testing, but with data driven applications, figuring out how to create tests can be hard. In this session, you will learn how to design and build a data layer that can be tested. We will introduce data layer architecture practices and methodologies that make testing possible, and cover the basics of unit test mocking. You will also be guided through various types of testing, including unit, integration, and functional testing. Leave this session with the basics needed to start creating tests for application data layers, including those powered by LinqToSQL and Entity Framework.

Practical Behavior Driven Development and ASP.NET MVC

  • April 3, 2011

Amir will show you how you can leverage Behavior Driven Development concepts to drive development of an ASP.NET MVC application.  Continuous testing, test driven development, and “red, green, re-factor” are all important techniques with practical applications.  We’ll start with a crash course on BDD, and then see how we can bend NUnit to our whim to develop an MVC application using a behavior driven approach.

Beginner’s Introduction to Building Websites with ASP.NET MVC

  • March 3, 2011

Have you been wanting to create a website using ASP.NET MVC but weren’t sure how to get started? In this discussion we will go through the process of making a site using ASP.NET MVC. We will talk about the principles behind the framework, setting your web code up for testability and making simple ajax calls. We will also be using Entity Framework 4 Code First CTP 5 and Nuget, so if you haven’t yet seen how these work, you might learn something about them as well.

Rapid Mobile Development with Konnector

  • February 6, 2011

Everybody wants a mobile presence but who has the time (or the money) to learn an ever-expanding set of development platforms?  Join us as Casey Watson provides a detailed introduction to Konnector, a mobile development framework that allows you to rapidly build native, cross-platform mobile applications while leveraging your existing web development assets.  We’ll start by taking an in-depth look at the current state of mobile development options then move on to discussing the “how” and “why” of Konnector.  Finally, we’ll dive right in and build a Konnector-powered mobile project from the ground up.

Embedded devices with the .NET Micro Framework

  • January 2, 2011

The .NET Micro Framework works best for devices that are low-cost, resource-constrained, single- or limited-function, and often connected. In this talk you will learn how to control hardware inputs and outputs using the .NET Micro framework and the FEZ Panda microcontroller. Possible inputs/outputs include sensors, RS-232, USB, microphones, other controllers, wireless transmissions, lights, motors, speakers and almost any electronic device you can think of. A brief introduction to electronics/circuits will be included at the beginning of the talk so no prior experience is necessary but being familiar with electronics and .NET programming will help.

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