Coffee and Code

What I’m Up To This Week

by Joey deVilla on October 25, 2010

It’s going to be a busy week for Yours Truly…

Monday: Windows Phone Deployment Clinic

monday - windows phone deployment clinic

On Monday, I’ll be helping out at the Windows Phone Deployment Clinic at Microsoft Canada HQ in Mississauga (1950 Meadowvale Boulevard, off Mississauga Road, north of Highway 401), where you can book some time to test your apps on a real Windows Phone 7 device. If you’ve got an app and you’re going to be in the area, drop me a line and book an appointment!

(By the bye, that thing I’m standing beside in the photo above is a promo device known colloquially as the “Big-Ass Phone”.)

Tuesday: AndroidTO and TechDays Setup

tuesday - androidto techdays

On Tuesday, I’ll be spending some time at the AndroidTO conference, a gathering of Android developers, where I’ll be minding the Windows Phone 7 booth. Yes, that’s right, Microsoft is a gold sponsor at an Android conference. Why? Because:

  • We feel that if you’re an Android developer, go ahead an build Android apps, but expand your market reach by developing for Windows Phone 7 too! The programming languages and layout markup are similar.
  • If you’re an Android developer, what’s the best OS for doing development? We think it’s Windows 7, which is a great environment for Java. Loads of great Java dev tools run on Windows, and we don’t consider Java to be deprecated.

AndroidTO takes place at the Polish Combatants Hall (206 Beverley Street, just south of College), is free-as-in-beer, and is alas, completely booked solid.

I’ll also be doing some setup for TechDays Toronto, which takes place on Wednesday and Thursday.

Wednesday: TechDays Toronto and Go DEVMental

wednesday - techdays godevmental

Wednesday brings with it TechDays, Microsoft Canada’s cross-country tech conference: two days of great sessions for developers and IT pros who are building stuff with the Microsoft stack. I’m the guy who picked the content for both developer tracks, “Developing for Three Screens and the Cloud” and “Optimizing the Development Process”. I strove for the best mix of both technology-specific stuff like Mark Arteaga’s Windows Phone 7 sessions and Kate Gregory’s Windows API Code Pack presentation as well as practice-of-programming sessions such as “Top 10 Mistakes in Unit Testing” and “Branching and Merging Strategies”. TechDays will occupy me from 7 a.m. until 5 p.m..

From 7 p.m. on, it’ll be Go DEVMental, the student event where we’ll show university and college students what’s possible with Microsoft’s web and mobile platforms. I’ll be doing a presentation on getting starting with game development for Windows Phone with an amusing little live-coded game called “BieberSmash”, starring the bubblegum pop idol of the moment. Go DEVMental is free and open to post-secondary students – just bring your student ID! You’ll get all sorts of goodies, including a DreamSpark token and Visual Studio 2010 Pro.

Both TechDays and GoDEVMental take place at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre’s South Building (222 Bremner Boulevard, right beside the CN Tower).

Thursday: TechDays, Day 2

thursday - techdays day 2

Thursday means another full day of the TechDays conference, to be followed by some very strong whiskey-based drinks.

Friday: Coffee and Code

friday - coffee and code

I’ll be running a Windows Phone 7 Coffee and Code this Friday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Timothy’s at 225 Front Street West (in the Metro Toronto Convention Centre building). I’ll be hanging out at the cafe, working on Windows Phone 7 code on both the emulator and real Windows Phone devices. Want to learn more about Windows Phone 7, see a real-live phone, play some games or test your code? Come on down!

Saturday: ACSE Conference

saturday - acse conference

University of Toronto computer science prof Steve Engels invited me to speak in front of a group of high school teachers at the ACSE (Association for Computer Studies Educators) Conference taking place on Saturday. I’m going to be showing them programming for high school students on Windows Phone as well as with the Kodu game development environment.

…and Sunday?

sunday - zzzzz

Well, it won’t be all sleep. I’ll have to pack for my Monday flight to TechDays Halifax!

This article also appears in Canadian Developer Connection.

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Icons: Coffee plus Windows PhoneInterested in finding out more about Windows Phone 7 development and the opportunities that come with it? Want to see both the Samsung and LG Windows Phone 7 prototypes up close and personal? Want to take a break and have coffee with us?

Samsung "Taylor" Windows Phone 7 Prototype I’m holding a Coffee and Code with mobile developer Mark Arteaga and mobile expert Anthony Bartolo in downtown Toronto at the Starbucks at King and Yonge this Thursday from noon to 7 p.m. (4 King Street West, right on top of the subway station). We’ll be at or near the big conference table they’ve got in the back. For those of you who aren’t familiar with it, “Coffee and Code” is an event where I take advantage of my status as a mobile worker and work out of a work-friendly cafe, where I’m reachable, findable and approachable. If you’ve got any questions about Microsoft, software development, the industry, the tech scene or just about anything else, this is a perfect chance to ask me!

This is a Windows Phone 7 Coffee and Code, and I’m bringing a couple of Windows Phone 7 people along with me. If you were at last year’s TechDays conferences, you may have seen them: Mark Arteaga, who’s written many apps for the old-school Windows Mobile and now writing apps for Windows Phone, and Anthony Bartolo, who’s been working in the mobile industry longer than a lot of my peers have been working. Come join us for a coffee (or tea, or lemonade) and some tech talk!

Catch Mark’s blog entry about this upcoming Coffee and Code here.

Anthony has also written a blog entry about Coffee and Code here.

This article also appears in Canadian Developer Connection.

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Just Us Cafe logoThis afternoon (Wednesday, November 4th) from 2:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. Atlantic time, I’ll be holding a Halifax edition of “Coffee and Code” at Just Us Cafe on Barrington (1678 Barrington). My coworkers Damir Bersinic and Rodney Buike will be joining me. Come on down and chat with us about Microsoft, the tech industry in general, the job market, accordions, whatever!

(If you’re a developer who’s interested in building a cloud computing-based application on Windows Azure, you might want to come down for this one, as I might have an offer that you might find difficult to resist. Just sayin’.)

There may be plans for dinner and accordion-and-beer-fueled mayhem this evening, so if you’re into that sort of thing, drop me a line.

This article also appears in Canadian Developer Connection.

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Halifax Bound

by Joey deVilla on October 30, 2009

halifaxTechDays, Microsoft’s cross-Canada conference for developers and IT pros took a break in October, but returns in November to complete its tour of the five remaining cities. As leader of one of the conference tracks it means that I’ll be on the road, hitting these five cities over the next couple of months:

  • Halifax: November 2nd and 3rd
  • Calgary: November 17th and 18th
  • Montreal: December 2nd and 3rd
  • Ottawa: December 9th and 10th
  • Winnipeg: December 15th and 16th

If you’re a programmer or IT pro who works with Microsoft tools and technologies or is thinking about doing so, you’d do well to check out TechDays. You can find out more at the TechDays site, or you can always drop me a line.

If you’re in Halifax and would like to catch up, I’ll be holding a Coffee and Code at Just Us Cafe (1678 Barrington) on Wednesday, November 4th from 2 to 6 p.m. Come by, have a coffee and a chat!

I’ll be landing in Halifax this weekend, and chances are I might be looking to do something on Saturday night…

This article also appears in Coffee and Code.
Related articles appear in Canadian Developer Connection and Global Nerdy.

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Your First Warning: Vancouver, September 11 – 18

by Joey deVilla on September 3, 2009

Photo of downtown vancouver at night, captioned: "September 11th - 18th / Vangroovy", with arrow pointing to Fairmont Waterfront hotel

I’m going to be in Vancouver from the afternoon of Friday, September 11th until the morning of Friday, September 18th. I’m there first and foremost to manage the “Developing for the Microsoft-Based Platform” track of the TechDays conference, then to meet up with the local tech community, but also to enjoy the city I fondly refer to as “Vangroovy”.

Here’s what I’ll be up to:

Coffee and Code Vancouver: Saturday, September 12th

"Monkey" latte art

My coworker John Bristowe and I will be holding Coffee and Code on Saturday, September 12th from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. (Pacific time, of course) at the Take 5 Cafe on Granville (429 Granville, near Hastings). We’ll be there to talk about TechDays, The Empire and the tech industry in general – but it won’t just be geeky stuff; we’ll provide scintillating conversation about accordions, the Calgary Flames, deep fried snack foods, “Am I metrosexual or not”, life, the universe and everything. I will have the accordion with me, so tunes are definitely on the menu!

You can register for Coffee and Code Vancouver on its event page.

TechDays Vancouver: Monday, September 14th – Tuesday, September 15th

TechDays 2009 Canada banner

TechDays is Microsoft Canada’s cross-Canada tour, where we highlight what you can do with currently-available Microsoft tools and tech that you probably aren’t doing yet. We take the content from the infinitely more expensive TechEd North America conference (admission fee USD$2000), update it, and have local techies present it near you at a price you can afford (CAD$299 if you caught the early bird rate, CAD$599 otherwise). You get great content at a great price, and we get to make contact with tech communities across the country. Think of it as “Geek Global, Spend Local”.

TechDays Vancouver will be happening at the Vancouver Convention Centre, which is also the venue of…

Demo Ignite Camp: Monday, September 14th @ 7:00 p.m.

Demo Ignite Camp banner

Since we had the Vancouver Convention Centre booked for two days, it meant that we had these big rooms lying fallow on the first night. I wanted a pajama party for accordion players, but since that idea got nixed, I called on Boris Mann and suggested we hold a DemoCamp-style event. The end result: Demo Ignite Camp!

Thus far, we’ve got 5 out of 8 presentation slots filled:

  1. Joey deVilla’s Ignite Presentation: Do the Stupidest Thing That Could Possibly Work.
  2. Avi Bryant will demo Clamato, a Smalltalk dialect that operates within the JavaScript runtime.
  3. Dima Berastau will demo RestfulX, a RESTful framework for Flex and AIR applications.
  4. Carson Lam will demo TransitDB, his Vancouver transit information web app, which won the PHP FTW competition earlier this year.
  5. The folks from Ayogo will present their iPhone games built using the PhoneGap cross-mobile-platform framework.

I’m more than happy to drop my Ignite presentation to make room for a demo or Ignite by someone local. I’m already hosting, and Demo Ignite Camp is about the Vancouver tech scene, not me!

For more information, see the Demo Ignite Camp event page.

Launch Party Vancouver, Wednesday, September 16th

Launch Party Vancouver logo My fellow TechDays coordinators and I will be attending Launch Party Vancouver, which is:

…a lively mixer for the city’s brightest entrepreneurs, tech junkies, and bloggers, who are doing it, have done it or want to make their ideas happen here. The goal of the event is to connect BC’s growing community of Internet and new media leaders with investors and other trailblazers across Canada and abroad.

Founded by local entrepreneurs,  LPV is not your typical networking event. There are no presentations or panels to be found.  But what you will discover are the individuals responsible for making Vancouver one of the greatest start-up cities in Canada.  Every event features local, early stage new media companies strutting their stuff and sharing their ideas with the community.

It’s happening at Circa Resto Lounge from 6:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m.; tickets are available via EventBrite.

This article also appears in Canadian Developer Connection.

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If it’s Friday, it must be time for another Toronto Coffee and Code! This one will take place at the usual location – the Dark Horse Cafe, 215 Spadina – and will run from 1 p.m. to 6 p.m..

coffee_and_code_1

Coffee and Code is my Friday afternoon ritual (a phrase that my classmates at Crazy Go Nuts University will find hauntingly familiar) in which I work out of a cafe and announce that I’ll be there. I’m making myself available as both a Developer Evangelist working for Microsoft Canada and a member of the Toronto Tech Community to answer your questions, take your comments, bounce ideas off or just chat with. Come on down, have a coffee (or tea, or juice) and say hi!

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A Busy Week

by Joey deVilla on July 27, 2009

This article also appears in Canadian Developer Connection and Global Nerdy.

It’s gonna be a busy week for me — there’s a lot going on!

Damian Conway

Monday: Damian Conway and The Missing Link

On Monday evening, I’ll be catching Damian Conway’s presentation, The Missing Link. There’s nothing quite like a Damian Conway presentation – they’re equal parts computer science, mathematical digression, history lesson, physics lecture, pop-culture observation, Perl module code walkthrough and stand-up comedy routine.

If you’re up for an entertaining and enlightening presentation by one of the bright lights of the open source world and you’re going to be in Toronto tonight, you should catch this one. There’s no charge for admission and no registration process – just show up at University of Toronto’s Bahen Centre for Information Technology (40 St. George Street, west side, just north of College) at 7:00 p.m. and head to room 1160 (the big lecture theatre near the back of the first floor).

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Tuesday: DemoCamp 21 with Special Guest John Udell

DemoCamp Toronto 21: Tuesday, July 28th Tuesday evening brings the 21st edition of DemoCamp, which I like to describe as “show and tell for the bright lights of the Toronto-area tech community”. It’s a chance for people, from hobbyists working on a pet project to enterprise software developers building something globe-spanning to show their peers their projects in action or share an idea. It’s put together by my fellow Microsoftie David Crow (who’s also in Microsoft Canada’s Developer and Platform Evangelism group); I cost-host the event with Jay Goldman.

This one’s going to be a special one for a couple of reasons. Firstly, this will be the first DemoCamp held at the Rogers Theatre. Second, Jon Udell, Microsoft Tech Evangelist extraordinaire, will be there.

The presentations on the schedule are:

  • You can’t pick your neighbours, but you can pick your neighbourhood!
    Saul Colt, Zoocasa
  • ArtAnywhere : Where Lost artwork meets Empty walls
    Christine Renaud, ArtAnywhere
  • Bringing Social Media to Contractors
    Brian Sharwood, HomeStars
  • Create a BlackBerry/iPhone Mobile App in 5 Minutes
    Alan Lysne, Cascada Mobile
  • Stories Told Together – Introducing Social Cards
    Shaun, MacDonald, MashupArts
  • WeGoWeGo.com: semantic search for city events
    Dan Wood, WeGoWeGo.com
  • Guestlist – online event management
    Ben Vinegar, Guestlist
  • guiGoog: Advanced Visual Power Search
    Jason Roks, GuiGoog

Alas, this event is sold out. I’ll take notes and post them on this blog.

Wednesday: Science 2.0

what_we_need_more_of_is_science

The Science 2.0 conference takes place on Wednesday afternoon. Its topic: how the web and computers can radically change and improve science. It takes place at the MaRS Centre and the presentations are:

  • Choosing Infrastructure and Testing Tools for Scientific Software Projects
    Titus Brown
  • A Web Native Research Record: Applying the Best of the Web to the Lab Notebook
    Cameron Neylon
  • Doing Science in the Open: How Online Tools are Changing Scientific Discovery
    Michael Nielsen
  • Using “Desktop” Languages for Big Problems
    David Rich
  • How Computational Science is Changing the Scientific Method
    Victoria Stodden
  • Collaborative Curation of Public Events
    Jon Udell

As with DemoCamp, this event is a popular one and is sold out. I’ll take notes and blog the conference.

Thursday: Windows 7 Blogger Event

I’ll be helping out at a gathering of Toronto bloggers on Thursday, where we’ll be showing them Windows 7.

Friday: Coffee and Code

coffee-and-code-2 If it’s Friday, it must be time for Toronto Coffee and Code! It’s the day when I set up shop at a cafe – usually the Dark Horse – and work from there, making myself available to answer questions, hear your opinions and comments and chat. I’ll talk about Microsoft, our tools and tech, the industry in general, whatever!

This Friday’s Toronto Coffee and Code will take place at the Dark Horse Cafe (215 Spadina) from 1 p.m. to 6 p.m.. Feel free to drop by!

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Other Stuff Going On This Week

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  • Along with the other people on the team, I’m helping out with the preparatory work on the TechDays conference, which will be taking place in seven cities across Canada this fall.
  • I’m also working on ongoing series of articles covering stuff like coding fundamentals, ASP.NET MVC, mobile and some other stuff that I have to keep on the down-low for the time being.
  • And it’s not too late for me to start working on the ASP.NET MVC presentation that I’m doing with ObjectSharp’s Barry Gervin at the Toronto edition of Stack Overflow’s DevDays conference in October.

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