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Importance of Community Connections: Network with your peers. Act Now. Vol 13-9 | May 6, 2010
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If you haven’t read Paul Hoffman’s book, The Man Who Loved Only Numbers - do so! It’s the biography of mathematician Paul Erdös (pronounced “air-dish”), who led an unusual and colourful life. Erdös’ greatest contribution to his field may have been proving by example that mathematics was more than problems and solutions, but also a social activity. He was so well-known for his social networking that mathematicians created the “Erdös number” , the “collaborative distance” between any person and Erdös that works in the same way as the “Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon” game.

Software development is mathematics’ distant cousin, and it too is a social activity. In our field’s short history, great things have happened when developers got together to share their passion, from MIT’s Model Railroad Club to after-work gatherings at Silicon Valley taco joints to the Agile Manifesto to “-Camp”-style events that have been taking place all over Canada. Yes, you can socialize online, but there’s something special about meeting in person; that’s why we have the saying “you had to be there”.

We all have a personal Erdös number defined by the connections we make based on our passions and interests. Erdös’ impact on his field came from all his connections, and so can your impact on our field and your career. Get out there and connect with other developers, whether it’s at your local user group , DemoCamp or one of these upcoming events:

Future Play 2010 (May 6 — 7, Vancouver)

Web Camp (May 7 — 8, Toronto)

MeshU / Mesh Conference (May 17 — 19, Toronto)

MonDev — Open Source Week Montreal (May 24 — 28, Montreal)

Make Web Not War (May 27, Montreal)

Prairie Developer Conference (June 2 — 3, Regina)

TechEd North America (June 7-10, New Orleans)

and of course, TechDays 2010 . (this fall, in 8 cities across Canada). Keep an eye out for special discounts offered to TechNet enews subscribers soon!

Get out there and make connections!

Try Visual Studio 2010 today
Silverlight 4 — What’s New
Microsoft Patterns and Practices’ Enterprise Library 5.0
Developer Blog IT Architect Blog IT Manager Blog UX Blog IT Pro Blog

NEWS IN A FLASH

Buy Expression Studio 3 now for 40% off ERP* and upgrade to Expression Studio 4 later for FREE!

Microsoft® Expression® Studio helps you to create compelling designs for standards-based Web sites and rich desktop applications for Microsoft® Silverlight™ and .NET. The Expression Studio suite of tools includes: Microsoft® Expression Blend® with SketchFlow, Expression Web, Expression Design, and Expression Encoder. * You must be a licensed user of one of the following products to be eligible for the discounted price: Any Adobe Creative Suite product, Microsoft Visual Studio 2005 or later, any Microsoft® Office product, or any Microsoft Expression product. 
Join the experts. Explore the potential. Dev Tools Power Hour webcasts

Happening most Tuesdays from now through June, Microsoft experts will lead one-hour webcasts to demonstrate how you can make the most of Microsoft-based technologies for Developers, including Microsoft® Visual Studio® 2010. Missed one? No problem—all Power Hour webcasts will be archived to view at your convenience.
The Ultimate Coder Battle Returns!

The FTW (as in “For the Win” or “For the Web”) competition challenges you to write a web application for Windows/IIS or Windows Azure or port an existing one to either of these platforms. We’re offering prizes for the best PHP app on IIS or Azure , the best app in any language running on Windows Azure and the best Open Government app . Submissions must be entered by Monday, May 17th at 8:00 a.m. Eastern and the finalists will duke it out at the Make Web, Not War conference on Thursday, May 27th in Montreal!
EnergizeIT Post Event Resources are now available

EnergizeIT 2010 resources are available in one central location for you to easily access the content, resources, and additional links discussed during the EnergizeIT presentations. Videos of each session will also be made available soon.
The most widely used software in the world is now made for the cloud

Twenty million businesses and over a billion people use Microsoft cloud services. We and our partners are committed to delivering a broad set of enterprise-ready products and services that build on what you already know. We're all in. Learn more.
Visual Studio 2010 and .NET Framework 4 Training Kit

The Visual Studio 2010 and .NET Framework 4 Training Kit includes presentations, hands-on labs, and demos. This content is designed to help you learn how to use the Visual Studio 2010 features and a variety of framework technologies.
Building Windows Phone Applications with Silverlight, Part 1

Building Windows Phone Applications with Silverlight, Part 1 . Together with part 2, these sessions give an overview of the functionality for Silverlight applications that is unique to the Windows Phone application platform. Part 1 will cover new input paradigms including multi-touch, software keyboard, accelerometer, and microphone, as well as the APIs to leverage phone applications like e-mail, phone dialer, contact list and more.  Go to part 2.
Programming Microsoft Office 2010 Videos On Demand

Available on demand starting on May 24. This online series will show how a developer can extend Office 2010 products by using an application such as Word as the basis for custom applications — called Office Solutions — to take advantage of the existing interface which is already familiar to users. It includes information on how to customize the functionality and interface of an Office application, and how to manipulate the data contents in code. Register today.
Make Web Not War Conference. May 27, Montreal

Make Web Not War: It’s Microsoft Canada’s cross-platform web development conference showcasing great tools and technologies for building web sites and applications. Jointly sponsored by Microsoft, PHP Quebec and open source communities across Canada, this conference is about embracing today’s heterogeneous world and bridging the gaps across platforms, communities and developers of all trades and backgrounds.
IT World Real Voices Roundtable: Business Intelligence-Friday, May 7-1PM-EST

Join us Friday, May 7 for an informative and insightful discussion on Business Intelligence and Microsoft SQL Server and what they can do for your organization. Every Real Voices attendee will be registered for a chance to win a copy of Windows 7 Register Today! Real stories. Real challenges. Real results.
Ideas
Scott Berkun: How to Innovate Right Now

Gary Haran: 5 Actions That Made Me Happier

Ben Kaufman: 7 Tips for Rapid Iteration

Adam Connor: Perceived Affordances and Designing for Task Flow

See more...
Alternative Languages for .NET
IronRuby 1.0 has been released! This .NET implementation of Ruby is compatible with Ruby 1.8.6 and can run Ruby on Rails up to version 2.3.5. It comes in 2 varieties — one that runs on top of .NET 4.0 and one that runs on top of any version of .NET starting with version 2.0 SP1. Download it, get your hands on the “pickaxe book” or why’s Poignant Guide .
IronPython  recently released IronPython 2.6.1, which provides a number of bugfixes as well as two versions — like IronRuby, one version runs on top of .NET 4.0, while the other runs on any version starting with 2.0 SP1. Like Ruby, Python is a dynamic language that’s also fun to use — download it, open Dive Into Python .
Phalanger is a PHP compiler for the .NET framework. The latest version, released in March, is compatible with PHP 5.3.1 and has functions from newer versions of PHP, automatically integrates with IIS and also offers Visual Studio 2008 with Intellisense support.
Visual Basic
What’s New in Visual Basic 2010 . There’s been a lot written about all the new things that went into C# with the new Visual Studio, but what about the language that’s Microsoft’s been working with from its very beginning? This article covers the co-evolution of Visual Basic and C# and new features of Visual Basic of IDE and framework.
Visual Basic Code Samples . I find the best way to learn how to write code is to read code. Luckily, we’ve got lots of Visual Basic code for you to read, tinker with and learn from, from simple examples to LINQ to parallel programming to development of Office and SharePoint.
Moving from WinForms to WPF . Ged Mead is starting a series of articles in VBCity to help out developers of Visual Basic who want to learn WPF but don’t know where to start. This article walks you through the basics of building WPF-based applications.
Oddities
A Singularly Impossible Plurality . Ken Cox harnesses Entity Framework 4’s pluralization capability (if you’ve been to the EnergizeIT “Client to the Cloud” demos, you’ve seen this in action) and WCF services to build a little web app that gives you the singular or plural form of a word you enter.
Precision and Accuracy of DateTime . Eric Lippert looks at DateTime struct of .NET and asks whether it’s accurate and precise, which he explains are two different things. By the end, you’ll know why “How much time has elapsed?” and “What time is it?” are two different questions.
Seven JavaScript Things I Wish I Knew Much Earlier in My Career . Here’s a useful collection of little tidbits from Smashing Magazine that will make your JavaScript programming life a little bit easier.
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