New Northwest Arkansas SQL Server User Group

Hey I wanted to make sure everyone is aware that a new user group in Northwest Arkansa is about to have its first meeting. Please note that this is a lunch meeting!

The first ever NWASQL meeting is scheduled for Wednesday, May 14th from 11:30 am to 1:30 pm.

Pizza will be provided and there will be several drawings for Microsoft products and other prizes!

Primary Topic: What can we expect from SQL 2008? (Boyd Evert: Speaker)
Location: Connolly Consulting, 2703 SE Otis Corley Drive, Bentonville, AR 72712
Map: http://76.215.122.46/nwasql/directions.aspx

Agenda and details are available on www.nwasql.org

If you can please be sure to show up to support this new group! It's all about community!

Nwa Technology Summit in Planning

Hey, everyone, just wanted to put out a quick post about an event that is being planned in Northwest Arkansas in July. The Northwest Arkansas Technology Summit is going to offer several tracks covering topics for developers and topics of interest for the Wal-Mart vendor community. We are currently in the beginning stages of planning and will need a ton of help. If you are interested in volunteering please contact myself or Randy Walker, you can also post to the forums on the NWA .NET User Group Site. This will be the first big event in NWA our group has put together, please help us make it a success. I'll post more details as they become available.

Gary Geddes - Nwa .NET User Group

Gary Geddes, Stratigic Security Advisor for Microsoft will be presenting at the Nwa .NET User Group meeting on May 6, 2008 (That's tonight).

The meeting is usally held at the NWACC Corporate Learning Center in Fayetteville, but since this is a joint meeting with the local ISSA group the venue has been changed to the Tyson Discovery Center.

Space is limited so be sure to register!

Gary's BIO
Gary Geddes is a Strategic Security Advisor for Microsoft Corporation based in Austin, Texas. As a member of the Microsoft National Security Team, Geddes provides security guidance and advisory services to the largest companies in the south central US. He has over 15 years of hands-on security experience and specializes in security architecture for the large enterprise. Prior to joining Microsoft, he served as a Vice President of Professional Services at Internet Security Systems and held senior security positions at Archer Technologies, EDS, and the Department of Defense. He is active in ISSA, ASIS, and the Information Security Forum.

JP BoodHoo Updates the BDD Test Naming Macro

If you like me have been inspired to 'develop with passion' by Jean-Paul S. Bhoodhoo you have probably been using the BDD Test Naming Macro that he distributes in his Nothin' But .NET classes. He has made an update that increases the speed of the macro.

Get the update here.

Thanks JP!

Open Spaces and the Fish Bowl

Recently I became aware of the concepts used in conference and meeting that I am falling in love with. The Open Spaces conference style and the Fish Bowl Dialog utilized by ALT.NET in their recent conference.

Chris Patterson, a collegue, has posted about his experience at the ALT.NET Open Spaces event, titled Open Spaces In Practice. I was extremely impressed with his description of the Fish Bowl meeting style. He has posted on his blog about the experience. I am going to try this in a few meeting, our user group and some of my team project meetings.

While researching I found the Unconference Blog by Kaliya where she has post regarding Unconference. Methods: The Fish Bowl Dialog. Her blog is focus on unconventional style meetings and conferences as the description of her blog stats:

The name "unconference" arose to describe conferences that step outside of the more traditional model -- that is, presentations selected months beforehand, sponsors buying speaking slots, boring panels of talking heads, and high fees.

So, of course I check out the ALT.NET Open Spaces Conference site. I love the description of the Open Spaces Conference style:

Whoever shows up is the right group. Whatever happens is the only thing that could have. Whenever it starts is the right time. When it's over, it's over.

An Open Space conference's agenda is decided upon by the conference participants during the opening of the event.

I have been in contact with Chris and want hope to utilize this style of dialog in my team meetings, and would love to put on an Open Spaces conference in Northwest Arkansas. I have been talking to everyone I know about this and trying to learn more. I will continue to post more info as I learn more.

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