One Day of VS 2012 & Windows 8 with .NET Rocks!

Get ready to dive in and immerse yourself deep in Visual Studio 2012 and Windows 8! .NET Rocks is traveling across the country teaching developers how to use Microsoft’s new development tools and will be in Palatine, Illinois, tomorrow, September 29th. Carl Franklin and Richard Campbell are the heart and soul of .NET Rocks and they are traveling across the country stopping in major cities hosting events on Visual Studio 2012 and Windows 8. Tomorrow’s event has several great speakers lined up and will be a one track event focused on Visual Studio 2012 and Windows 8. For more information about the speakers, session and registration, check out

As Carl and Richard travel across the country, they are staying in their RV for the duration of their road trip. Surprisingly, this is the second time they’ve done this! Two years ago they hopped in a different RV and made their way across the country holding live .NET Rocks events. And with the release of Visual Studio 2012 and Windows 8, they decided it was time to hit the road again.

Tomorrow’s event is completely free and will include lunch. Registration begins at 8:30 AM and presentations start at 9:00 AM. The day will conclude between 5:30-6:00 PM with questions and giveaways. Following the event, everyone is invited to join the speakers at the Ram Restaurant and Brewery in Schaumburg, Illinois to continue conversations about development, tech and whatever else becomes a hot topic.

8:30 AM to 6:00 PM

Harper College
Wojcik Conference Center
1200 West Algonquin Road
Palatine, IL 60067

For more information and registration, check out

Win Big at That Confererence Midwest Hackathons

It’s June, and That Conference is just around the corner. Which conference, you ask? That Conference! That Conference is a 3 day developer conference taking place in the Wisconsin Dells, August 13th-15th. At That Conference you will learn and geek out on everything Mobile, Web and Cloud with over 1,000 fellow campers, including me. Leading up to That Conference, hackathons are taking place in multiple Midwestern cities where you can code and compete for street cred and great prizes . Not only can you win big, but your city’s reputation is on the line and needs you to be the next big deal. That Conference is searching the Midwest for the best developers and the top two teams from each city will compete at That Conference to win the audience’s vote. So your city’s reputation really is on the line. Developers, you should prepare, develop some great ideas, rest up, caffeinate and get ready to dominate the upcoming That Conference Hackathon’s. The first hackathon begins today in Chicago.

200 S. Wacker, Suite 1500
Chicago, IL 60606
Start: Saturday June 9, 2012 at 1:00pm
End: Sunday June 10, 2012 at 5:00pm

N27 W23957 Paul Road
Pewaukee, WI 53188
Start: Saturday June 23, 2012 at 1:00pm
End: Sunday June 24, 2012 at 5:00pm

9555 James Ave. South, Suite 245
Bloomington, MN 55431
Start: Saturday June 23, 2012 at 1:00pm
End: Sunday June 24, 2012 at 5:00pm

That Conference – From The Clouds #1

That Conference - Summer Camp for GeeksWelcome to the first installment of “That Conference – From the Clouds”. I am honored to be the Track Chair for That Conference’s Cloud Track. I will be working with you, the attendees, to bring interesting and informative Cloud sessions to our Summer Camp for Geeks.

Cloud is a huge and growing space with a lot of surface area across technologies and platforms. As a result, Cloud has become a huge market opportunity for vendors and this leads to lots of marketing hype. Today, there are many Cloud products and services to choose from, and while most of them fit, there are some that stretch the Cloud quite a bit.

Cloud Litmus Test

So how do you know what is and isn’t Cloud? What is the Cloud Litmus test? When I consider whether something should be classified as Cloud, I look for the five essential characteristics embedded in the National Institute of Standards and Technology’s (NIST) definition of Cloud.

“Cloud computing is a model for enabling ubiquitous, convenient, on-demand network access to a shared pool of configurable computing resources (e.g., networks, servers, storage, applications, and services) that can be rapidly provisioned and released with minimal management effort or service provider interaction.”

The Five Essential Characteristics of Cloud

  1. On-Demand, Self-Service: Consumers can provision computing resources as needed without requiring human interaction with a service provider.
  2. Broad Network Access: Resources and services are available anywhere using common communication standards.
  3. Resource Pooling: Resources and services are available for multiple consumers using a multi-tenant model. They are assigned and unassigned to consumers based on demand to achieve resource leveling and economic benefit.
  4. Rapid Elasticity: Resources and services can be provisioned and released rapidly and in some cases automatically to accommodate demand. This often gives the illusion of infinite scale.
  5. Measured Service: Usage can be monitored, controlled, and reported for consumers. Often services are billed on a pay-per-use or consumption model.

When considering vendors, products and services that claim to be Cloud, this is the Litmus test that hold them against.

Cloud Confusion

Last month, I spoke in Silicon Valley at Cloud Connect Santa Clara. I saw many thought provoking sessions and speakers. And the expo floor was full of vendors showing off their offerings and making big announcements. When I see vendors marketing Cloud, they fit into lots of categories. Here are some examples:

  • Networks and Connectivity
  • Infrastructure, both hardware and software
  • Storage, Backup and DR
  • Data Centers and Hosting Providers
  • Development and Testing Tools
  • Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) Providers
  • Platform as a Service (PaaS) Providers
  • Software as a Service (SaaS) Providers
  • Orchestration, Monitoring and Management Tools
  • Consultancies, Professional services firms and Integrators
  • And then, Other

It’s pretty easy to see how Cloud can get cluttered and confusing quickly. Developers are often concerned with a small subset of these categories, but it’s difficult to wade through the marketing to determine what vendors have something interesting to explore further.

Cloud @ That Conference

At That Conference, Cloud will be interesting and informative for attendees. To do that, we have to collaborate. So I’ll leave you with three questions.

  1. What would you like to see and hear more about?
  2. What technologies, platforms and vendors are interesting?
  3. What questions do you have?

Please provide your thoughts and continue the conversation in the comments below or on twitter.