If only I were

Building Great Software

Posts Tagged ‘Eastern Iowa

Twin Cities Code Camp IV

with 3 comments

Yesterday, I was in the Cities at the fourth Twin Cities Code Camp.  It really was a fantastic experience, likely the the best one yet (I presented at the first two code camps as well). From the presentations I attended I would say that the quality of the presentations was very high. They easily would rival what you get at a paid conference. I also met a bunch of people I had never seen in person which is really cool.

Some of the Iowa crowd that went up was Javier Lozano, Bryan Sampica and Greg Wilson. There were several other attendees from Bryan’s company as well. The Iowa presenters and attendees have grown significantly since the first one where I was the sole Iowan as far as I know.

Some interesting people I met/saw were D’Arcy Lussier, Neil Iverson (Inetium), Brandy Favilla (New Horizons), Robert Boedigheimer, Chris Williams (Magenic), Aaron Erickson (Magenic), Kent Tegels (DevelopMentor), Jeff Ferguson, Chris Johnson, Saviz Artang, John Thurow, Kirstin (Magenic), Nicole and Kristen (New Horizons) and Justin Chase.

My favorite session was Neil Iverson’s PowerShell for Developers.  It was a fast paced live demo that kept incrementally building.  Rarely have I been so engaged in a session. D’Arcy’s MVC vs ASP.Net talk was also really interesting.  We only had about 6 people in the session, so we went around the room and said where we were coming from in our ASP.Net development experience. Then D’Arcy showed us how he typically structures his webforms applications, and we peppered him with questions.  I learned a lot from the session.

My talk was the second of the day in the large seminar room so we actually had about 50 people in the session.  One thing that was cool was that D’Arcy Lussier did an intro talk right before mine, so I got to build off of what he did in the session before. Mine seemed to go pretty well. There were a lot of questions and interest in what MVC brings to web development in the Microsoft space.

Jason Bock did a great job again bringing this all together.  It’s a lot of work coordinating an event like this.

If you liked what you got at the Twin Cities Code Camp you’ll definitely want to check out the Iowa Code Camp.  We’ll be a little bit smaller, but have some top notch presenters, a great facility and will have great prizes as well.  The registration is right on the home page and is as simple as it gets.

Written by Chris Sutton

April 6, 2008 at 9:27 pm

Solon Public Library

with one comment

If you live near Solon, Iowa you’ll want to check out the Solon Public Library.  It is a good facility and has plenty of resources. There is a great audio book library that I use frequently for my 1/2 hour commute up to work. There are meeting/study rooms that your group or club can use for meetings.

There are a whole set of computers that you can use on a timed basis if you don’t have one at home. If you have a laptop there is a free wireless connection that you can connect to as well.

For children, there are Storytime and Babygarten programs weekly.

They are also in envisioning phase of building out the facility and services.  It’ll be interesting to see what new things the library will bring to the Solon Community.

Written by Chris Sutton

March 26, 2008 at 11:13 am

Cedar Rapids 2008 Launch Event

leave a comment »

This Monday, March 17th, is our CRIneta.org Visual Studio/SQL Server 2008 Launch Event.  If you want to learn about the new products and you want to have a great time and win from a huge pool of excellent prizes, then go to CRIneta.org and RSVP to be a part of this event.

Tim Barcz, Greg Sohl, Arian Kulp and I are presenting sessions on Visual Studio enhancements, Linq, IIS 7, C# 3, the new .Net Framework features and the new SQL data types.

We have room for 50 people and 38 are RSVP’d already, so don’t wait too long. We are doing the Launch at the Marriott on Collins road in Cedar Rapids. Check the website for more details.

Written by Chris Sutton

March 13, 2008 at 9:18 pm

Geek Lunch at the Lindale Mall

leave a comment »

Tim Barcz our new CRIneta.org president is starting to coordinate some geek meals up here in Cedar Rapids, IA. It should be good for our tech community because we usually just get together once a month.  Sounds like we might have 10 or so people show up.  Anyway, we are meeting at noon at the Lindale Mall.  Watch crineta.org for when we do this again.

Written by Chris Sutton

February 15, 2008 at 11:58 am

The twitter bird

leave a comment »

So twitter is part interesting, complete waste of time and useful. Watching the threads of conversation stream through Witty or the web interface can give you some great insights but can be exhausting if you try to constantly follow every thread.

One minute you might hear about how frequent a .Net developer’s wife’s contractions are, the next Scott Bellware may elucidate his followers with some wise-sounding statement and in the background there is general chatter about how the Seattle Code Camp is going.

The key is to follow the right people and generally just watch the conversations. When you have the time you can put in your 2 cents or update people with what you’re up to.

Whether you love it, tolerate it or just hate it; likely the most common thing you will see is the twitter bird. I hope they can bring the beat back more often considering how often the service goes down (but hey, it’s free so they can get away with that right?). I’ve been wondering what exactly they are “shuffling” around.

Twitter Bird

So now I ask you, how much more inane can blogging get considering I’m blogging about twittering?

Written by Chris Sutton

January 27, 2008 at 4:34 pm

Posted in Technology, Thoughts

Tagged with ,

Iowa Code Camp – Spring 2008

leave a comment »

We are planning our first ever Iowa Code Camp.  It’s going to happen at the University of Iowa’s Conference Center in Iowa City on Saturday May 3rd.

The details are coming together nicely and we already have about 1/2 of our speakers in place.

Our current sponsors are:

  • University of Iowa
  • Microsoft
  • And several others are in the works

We are currently looking for more sponsors to provide some good food, drinks and prizes.

If you are interested in helping in any way, leave me a comment and I’ll make sure to pass your information on to the right person.

Javier has already posted the Code Camp on bostondotnet.org

A New Year in Iowa

with 2 comments

2008 is here and it’s freezing (about 4° F, without wind chill) cold. I pulled out my snowshoes today and hiked for about 40 minutes into a strong headwind. It was a good hike, but I had to duck into a culvert a couple of times to keep my face from freezing. I hope to be outside much more this year (biking, canoeing, hiking, fishing and snowshoeing).

On the tech front I’m going to blog more consistently. Iowa doesn’t currently have many prolific tech bloggers, so I think its time we banded together. Here are a few of the Iowan techies I know: Tim Barcz, Javier Lozano, Arian Kulp, Nick Parker, Tim Gifford and Bryan Sampica.

We are planning the first ever Iowa Code Camp possibly on Saturday March 1st.  There will be more to come on this. If you are interested at all in helping out, please contact me and I’ll get you plugged in. The website is certainly not ready, but I’ll be working on it as I have time.

CRIneta.org held even in attendance and stabilized a bit this year. I’ll likely be president again this year; I’d like to keep the stability and grow the group in 2008. We’ll bring in two Ineta speakers and might get to bring a third national speaker if things work out with one of our sponsors. We’ve also had an excellent experience with our local speakers and want to keep them presenting (Javier, Arian, Nick, Mike Jackson, Eric Johnson and Bryan).

Happy new year.

Written by Chris Sutton

January 1, 2008 at 9:53 pm

CRIneta Meeting – Arian Kulp and LINQ

leave a comment »

If you are interested in learning the direction that Microsoft is going with data access you really should come out to our meeting tonight in Cedar Rapids, IA (if you live in the region of course).

Arian Kulp is going to be showing us the ins and outs of how LINQ works – how to query, filter and update data. Btw, Arian wrote the LINQ Hands on Labs for the 2005 PDC, well over 2 years before its official release, and probably long before most of us were aware the technology was being developed.

Written by Chris Sutton

December 3, 2007 at 3:46 pm

Solon Spartans Win 2A Football Championship

with 3 comments

Solon just completed an incredible 13-0 season winning the state championship earlier today. I was able to watch most of the game on TV and the Spartans clearly dominated the game by scoring early an holding the lead.  Congrats to the team.

Written by Chris Sutton

November 17, 2007 at 8:40 pm

Posted in Iowa

Tagged with , ,

Solon Spartans Dominating Central Lyon

leave a comment »

We didn’t go up to UNI to see the 2A football championships, but we are watching on TV. It’s about 8 minutes into the game and we are up 14-0. This is really exciting for our team.

Go Spartans!

Written by Chris Sutton

November 17, 2007 at 10:05 am

Posted in Iowa

Tagged with , ,