Colorado Springs GiveCamp

Colorado Springs is moving up!  Thanks to new to our community volunteer Gabriel Villa we have our first (annual?) Give Camp scheduled for Martin Luther King, Jr. weekend, January 14-16, 2011.

What is a Give Camp?  It’s a weekend where developers, of all shapes, sizes and skillsets, come together in the name of giving back by developing software for charities.  We need developers, designers, business analysts, project managers, DBAs.  If you play a role in the software lifecycle, I’m talking to you.  (really different skill sets, I’m looking to make at least one CRM-to-xRM solution that weekend myself)

For a local charity it’s a chance to get a smallish but important software project done and implemented in a weekend by a group of qualified professionals.

For sponsors, it’s an opportunity to make a small contribution with a huge impact.  We have national sponsors like Microsoft, Discount ASP.NET and Infragistics and local sponsors like my company is donating space for the weekend event.

What do we need from you?

  1. Spread the word, tweet, blog, like us on Facebook.
  2. Donate your time, that weekend and/or in advance to evaluate the charities/projects and do some requirements gathering.
  3. Donate some money (or the equivalent, we need food) for the weekend’s expenses.  There won’t be many, mostly food/coffee/soda for the folks sweating and makin’ software.
  4. Contact local charities, send them our way, we want to help them.
  5. Work on your own local give camp .

Colorado Springs GiveCamp

PDC10 Live- in Denver and free

Yes, it is a copy and paste.  Why spend time re-writing something just to say the same thing.  PDC is sold out, so the next best thing is watching it live from a location near you.  You get the community benefit and the PDC content.  Sure you can watch from your couch with your fuzzy slippers, but this is still kinda cool.  Read on, links as you scroll.


Live Broadcast & In-Person Session

PDC10 is now sold out, but you can still join in on the excitement via the live stream and in-person delivered sessions. Attend this event on October 28, 2010; this year’s content will focus on the next generation of Cloud Services, client & devices, and framework & tools. You can get the highlights of PDC without heading to Redmond.

This year’s groundbreaking event will include live streaming of the keynotes, as well as concurrent live streaming of sessions. All content will be available on demand within 24 hours of recording. Be a part of it by attending a local area event or by watching online.

Microsoft PDC10:

Join the PDC mailing list for the latest news on upcoming PDC events and special discount offers:

Space is limited, register soon! For agenda & session detail, please visit the local event registration page.


PDC10 Live

No, I do not provide childcare at my technology events...–my editorial at SQLServerCentral

SQLServerCentral, a fairly stereotypical nerd site full of great info on your subject matter of choice, this one is SQL.  How you ask did I of all people get asked to write an editorial for these guys?  My big mouth of course, are you surprised?  It goes back to a conversation I had with Steve Jones, from the site while chatting at a conference a while back.  He is publishing a series of guest editorials on the topic of women in technology and the differences between men and women in the tech world.

To read the full editorial, you will have to sign up for the site, free registration.  You can opt in or out of anything you want, you won’t get spammed by them.

My favorite line is the closing one “A woman can be your equal and if you spend too much time grumbling under your breath, she will quickly become your superior.”

No, I do not provide childcare at my technology events... – SQLServerCentral

I got an email from a reader named Alistair.  I have his permission to post it here, I offered to link to his site/blog/twitter and he said there was not one to point to.  I truly love and respect the opinions of others, I don’t mind being challenged in what I believe, I welcome it.  After the email below, I replied, he replied and I feel we actually both believe the same things.  (there is also an active discussion going on at the site, really enjoying watching the discussions, have a look yourself)

Dear Julie,

I hated your editorial (Editorial - No, I do not provide childcare at my technology events...) .

I actually find the best colleagues at work are women with children – they give 110% when they are there but they often have that fixed appointment when they need to go and fetch the kids so just have to get the urgent job done by then – a helpful distinction with singles of either sex who have nothing important in their lives at all to go home too so are hard to get to focus.

I also hate it when women seek to earn points but trying to appear even less humane that their male colleagues.

Work is what we do to pay our way and make a contribution to society it is less important that people and family – yes it is a BOTH AND but people & humanity first – always.

I personally would like to see a greater family emphasis in work and at tech events – having children in and around might SANE us all up as techies ion a group tend to behave like emotional retards anyway – having real children close by might make us better.

I was at SQL Bits this week in York when I got a message that my 10 year old was playing hockey the following day 400 miles away – I was stuck at a techie social where video gaming was the main draw and had another day of conference – I lost all heart to be there any longer.

Sorry – I just felt a strong need to reply, direct.

I have bookmarked your site – I am sure there is much for me to learn!

(we have exchanged a couple more emails, he’s a good guy, we agree on more things than we disagree on, who knew!)

Virtual User Groups MacGyver things too

For the most part we have the virtual user group meeting down pat.  Every now and then we’ll have a technical difficulty but we have learned what to watch out for and can usually prevent that.  Today’s meeting really tested us.

Our speaker, Sandhya Vankamamidi, was very well prepared and I know of no better person to teach us about Process Dialogs in CRM 2011, she was part of the team that made it.  She wanted to upload her slide deck early (removes those screen resolution issues), but had trouble connecting to the meeting.  She emailed me the deck, I loaded it.  No worries, right.  We have more than an hour and a half before the meeting starts, we’re looking good.


She still cannot connect to the meeting.  She contacts Live Meeting support and gets into the meeting.  This is still an hour before we start, we have time.

Once she is in, she has no audio controls, having firewall issues.  Is it my firewall?  Her firewall?  Some magical firewall in the sky?  We tweak and adjust and still no audio.  Here’s where MacGyver would be proud…  she called my office in Colorado from her office in India.  I put her on speaker-phone at my desk and put my external microphone at the phone.  That’s how you were able to hear her (and why you probably heard my typing and things now and then in the background).  We tested it here, sounded good, we’re solid right?


I intro the meeting, pass off to Sandhya.  She gets a few slides in, only one person grabs us in Q/A panel saying she’s too soft, looking good.  Then she tries to demo.  Some communication error between her and my Live Meeting gave us a little bit of her screen about every 5-30 seconds.  Do you know how long 30 seconds is when you have content planned that won’t load?  So we use the Q/A panel and answer questions to fill the space, hoping we will get the screen to load.  No such luck.  We do this little song and dance a few times before giving up on the demos.  So we got a developer-based user group meeting on a shiny new technology with no demos.  Sandyha and I will make a training-type recording and get it to the group soon.

For a meeting that was, from my perspective, rather chaotic, we still had 169 attendees that stayed most of the meeting.  And a very active Q/A discussion.  And we’re not getting killed on Twitter for our technical difficulties.  Smile .

The recording of our little dog and pony show is linked on the event page below.

A big thank you to Sandhya for being so gracious when the technical difficulties made her presentation not go as planned.  I really appreciate it and I know our group members do also.


XRM Virtual User Group - CRM 2011 Process Dialogs- Beginner