As some of you may be aware, yesterday (Saturday 10/3/2009) the ASP.NET MVC Firestarter Event was held here in NYC. This event, hosted and organized by Microsoft, was a free day-long event intended to help .NET WebForms developers begin to come up-to-speed on the Microsoft ASP.NET MVC Framework. As mentioned on this blog prior, I was tapped by one of our area Developer Evangelists, Peter Laudati, to help prepare some of the materials for the event and also to lead several of the sessions.
Thanks to the other Participants and Organizers
I want to take just a quick second to say ‘thanks’ to everyone who participated in helping to make this event come off. Obviously as a Microsoft corporate-sponsored event I’m sure there was probably an army of people behind the scenes that was mobilized to handle all kinds of logistics issues from booking the ballroom at the Grand Hyatt to making sure the lunch menu had enough choices for everyone, but I want to give a specific shout-out to the following people who really collaborated well to make this event work…
Sara Chipps (Independent Developer), Co-Presenter
Stepping up and running point on the topics of Rendering Markup, Partial Views and User Controls, and Integrating AJAX into your MVC applications as well as working closely with me to be one half of our joint ‘build-a-quick-MVC-app-to-edit-data’ session that filled the bulk of the afternoon’s agenda, Sara was indispensible in helping to prepare content for our joint session, providing feedback and input during the authoring process, and spending her valuable time rehearsing our joint-delivery together.
Its always great to get to collaborate with someone who shares my passion for software development as well as the importance of sharing their knowledge with others to help them improve their own skills.
Peter Laudati (Microsoft), Co-Presenter
One of the several Microsoft Developer Evangelists for our region, Peter did the presentations on C# 3.0 Fundamentals as well as introducing the attendees to the inner workings of the ASP.NET MVC Routing infrastructure and then took people through understanding the role of Controllers in the framework.
Peter was also invaluable in helping shape the overall structure for the event and gave the rest of us presenters very helpful feedback about areas in which we could improve the delivery of our content.
Asli Bilgin (Microsoft), the Face of Our Online Presence
Also a Microsoft Developer Evangelist for our region, Asli helped to moderate the Q+A system in the LiveMeeting, used chat and Twitter to help remote LiveMeeting attendees having technical issues find ways to resolve them, and frequently reminded all of us to always repeat the question when raised by the live audience for the benefit of those attending remotely.
When you’re presenting to a room full of people, its easy to lose sight of the fact that there’s also an online audience you need to consider (and tend to the needs of) and Asli was very helpful in making sure that dealing with the complexities of trying to present to a live in-person audience while trying to respond to remote LiveMeeting attendees didn’t completely overwhelm those of us doing the speaking
Anonymous AV Guy
Even though we introduced ourselves to each other early in the morning before the event started, since I’m so bad with names I have absolutely NO IDEA what this guy’s name was but I would be completely remiss if I didn’t give him a shout-out for his efforts.
Whether replacing the batteries in the wireless microphones at mid-day as a pre-emptive measure so that they didn’t die in the afternoon or rapidly assembling a replacement radio mic when the feedback from Sara’s mic threatened to torpedo her presentation on Rendering HTML Markup, this guy (who will sadly have to remain anonymous!) gets major props in my book for being experienced enough in his job to handle all of that with total professional calm.
Nice to meet all of You!
For those that I met at the event for the first time, let me say a quick ‘nice to meet you’ and I hope that you were able to find value in the content. The point of the day certainly wasn’t to supplant the need for training in ASP.NET MVC but instead to give some introductory overview of the ASP.NET MVC Framework and some ideas about what the experience is like in using it to develop web sites in ASP.NET. From my side, it seemed like the event went well, but I suppose we won’t really be able to say that until we see what the event evaluation forms say when they are all collated and analyzed
The good news is though that since I don’t get paid anything by Microsoft for my efforts, there’s no impact on my annual performance review even if all the evaluations come back with “I learned nothing, the event was terrible, the speakers were awful, and that guy Steve should never be allowed to present at any other events no matter what.”
As many of you know (and still more asked online all day yesterday) the entire day’s sessions were delivered in real-time via a giant LiveMeeting session that was also recorded live. I don’t have any firm info on where to go for the recordings if you want to watch them but couldn’t attend the event in real-time yesterday, but once I have this info I will post it here. In the mean time, you might keep a watch on the http://msdnevents.com site for further info there.
PowerPoint Slide Deck
If you just want the PowerPoint slide deck, you can download it from my site here.
If you find that you want the sample code as used in the ‘demo’ application building session, you can download that from my site here.
That’s A Wrap!
I had a fun time participating in the event and I hope attendees were able to get some value out of it – ASP.NET MVC is entirely too complex a framework to cover every aspect of it in a single day, but hopefully our efforts have been able to give more people a better understanding of the moving parts, the ideas behind it, and the principles and values that the framework tries to support.