The Fort Smith .NET User Group meets the second Monday of every month.

Meeting location:

ABF General Office
Room 1W.52
3801 Old Greenwood Rd
Fort Smith, AR 72903

(Parking in front of building)

Meeting time is 6:00 PM with presentations starting at 6:30 PM.

For more information or to be added to our email list, please contact

Previous Meetings

February 8th, 2016

Speaker: Blake Davidson
Topic: Using Xamarin.Forms to create write-once user interfaces
Xamarin.Forms is a great way to rapidly produce cross-platform user interface, and maximize code re-use. I'll give you an introduction to the library, and show you a few tools I use.
Speaker Bio:
Blake is currently a Senior Mobile Engineer at ChaiOne where he leverages the Xamarin platform to create cross-platform native iOS and Android apps.

January 11th, 2016

Speaker: David Walker
Topic: Deliver More! From Website to Experience with Sitecore CXM
In this session you will learn what makes Sitecore the first choice for public facing enterprise .NET CMS/CXM projects.
something other than Sitecore, no problem. You will be inspired in many ways even for regular web projects, with Sitecore "it's in there". Come see what you're missing out on. Then, we will conclude with what makes Sitecore a true platform and many of the extension points. David will show you how to integrate numerous third party API's for various reasons, including personalized content.
Speaker Bio:
David Walker is a Sitecore MVP and Associate Director - Digital Services for He has over twenty years of experience in application development and lifecylc management with over eighty percent of that as a consultant. He has been an MCP since 2003, MCAD and MCSD since 2005 and was a Microsoft MVP - ASP/ASP.NET from July 2007 - July 2009, before he joined Microsoft as a Senior Application Development Manager where he mentored numerous Fortune 100 companies on full Application Lifecycle Management and Software Development best practices.
He has delivered over ninety presentations, including events like: Microsoft TechEd, VSLive! Dallas, VSLive! Austin and numerous User Groups, CodeCamps, TechFests and other community conferences.
He was formerly a board member for INETA (Vice President, Speakers Bureau), President of the Tulsa Developers .NET users group, founder and President of the Tulsa SQL Server Group and Tulsa Java Developers Group, and Vice President of the Tulsa SharePoint Interest Group. He has been the Chairman of the region's largest and highly successful technical training event, just finishing its tenth consecutive successful year, He is the founder and current President of the Houston Sitecore User Group.
Since writing his first SharePoint assembly in 2004, he has been focused on Enterprise/Web Content Management Systems. He has worked with numerous CMS systems (proprietary, commercial and open source). He has worked on very high traffic sites, including an eCommerce one with a daily sales volume record of over six million dollars and over one and a half million microsites.

November 9th, 2015

Speaker: Drew Spickes
Topic: Debugging in Visual Studio 2015
Sure, you may know about setting breakpoints and stepping into methods, but how well do you really know Visual Studio’s debugger? Join me for an overview of Visual Studio's powerful debugging tools, including some lesser known techniques and a highlight of what's new in 2015.
Speaker Bio:
Drew Spickes has been developing software professionally for the last 6 years. He currently works as an Analyst/Programmer for ArcBest Technologies in Fort Smith, AR where he lives with his wife and two kids. Every day he strives to do better than he did the day before.

October 12th, 2015

Speakers: Dennis Bottjer and April Dunnam
Topic: Awesomely Simple SharePoint Solutions - Little to No Code Required
There are many sessions on ways to enhance your SharePoint environment with code. But is code always required?
There are many out of the box features and functionality that can bring tremendous value to your SharePoint Environment. You can create awesomely simple SharePoint Solutions with out of the box functionality.
In this session, we will review some of the most useful and often overlooked out of the box features, as well as some easy to implement scripts to make your SharePoint awesome.
Speaker Bios:
Dennis Bottjer, Solutions Architect, ThriveFast LLC
Dennis started his career, years ago, as a help desk professional for an architecture firm and experienced, first hand, the struggle of small business & technology.
Through that experience and his education in MIS at OU, he gained a keen skill as a developer & a passion for designing business applications.
Over the course of 15 years, Dennis moved on to work for several corporations and Fortune 500's like Bank of America, leading teams to develop SharePoint & custom software solutions on a much larger scale.

April Dunnam, SharePoint Developer, ThriveFast, LLC
April Dunnam is a senior consultant at ThriveFast and Vice President of the Tulsa SharePoint User Group. April started her career as an IT Intern as Cherokee Casino.
She was on rotation in the casino's many IT departments when she was assigned to the Development Team. It was there she found her niche and a passion for development and began to focus her efforts on, c# and SharePoint. She went on to complete dual degrees in MIS and Marketing from NSU and won a job at a telecom firm where she quickly worked her way up to SharePoint Developer.
April is an active blogger and routinely participates in professional conferences included School of Dev, Tulsa Tech Fest, and SharePoint Saturdays. For more information, your her blog at Twitter: @aprildunnam.

July 13th, 2015

Speaker: Omar Villarreal
Topic: Unknown

May 11th, 2015

Speaker: Brian Sullivan
Topic: Bring Your Own Tools - ASP.NET 5 Goes Cross-Platform
Summary: Web development was a different game back in the early 2000s. Early versions of ASP.NET were aimed at Microsoft’s existing customer base, and even tried to hide the nature of the web from developers who weren’t ready for it. Gradually, the ASP.NET team began to open up, shipping open-source components and eventually open-sourcing much of the ASP.NET platform. The next version of ASP.NET goes even further, providing explicit support for development and hosting on non-Windows platforms. Come see how you can take advantage of the robust and full-featured ASP.NET platform while still using the tools you love: OS X, Sublime, Vim, and others.
Speaker Bio: Brian Sullivan is a principal consultant for Improving Enterprises in Dallas. He got his start in programming maintaining legacy mainframe applications in COBOL at a large trucking company, but quickly realized he needed to find a more productive environment in order to stay sane. He jumped at the opportunity to help transition some of those COBOL applications to .NET, and he hasn’t looked back since. He has been working with Microsoft technologies since the .NET 1.0 days, and is interested in introducing modern web development techniques to the clients he works with. Brian is recipient of the Microsoft MVP award in ASP.NET and a graduate of Harding University.

April 13th, 2015

This month we will have the pleasure to hear from two speakers.

Speaker: David Walker
Topic: DocumentDB - All About The Data, No Tables
Summary: Learn about the powerful NoSQL document database service - Azure DocumentDB and how you can use it in your applications.
Speaker Bio: David Walker is a Sitecore MVP and Sitecore Practice Director for TechAspect. He has over 20 years' experience in application development with over 75% as a consultant. He has been an MCP since 2003, MCAD and MCSD since 2005. He was a Microsoft MVP - ASP/ASP.NET from July 2007 - July 2009, before he joined Microsoft as a Senior Application Development where he mentored numerous Fortune 100 companies on full Application Lifecycle Management and Software Development best practices.
Since writing his first SharePoint assembly in 2004, he has been focused on Enterprise/Web Content Management Systems. He has worked with numerous CMS systems (proprietary, commercial and open source). After his first Sitecore solution in 2007, it has been his preferred CMS platform. He has utilized Sitecore with various types of customers and projects, from private corporate intranets to large-scale, high-traffic, high-volume, ecommerce, multilingual sites. He has worked with clients such as: ESPN, LPGA, USA Triathlon, The Outdoor Channel, Lexis Nexus, 1105 Media, Cox Communications and IBM Global Services.
He has delivered 75+ presentations to the community on a wide range of developer topics. He is currently focused on Azure topics, such as: AzureML, DocumentDb, Azure Search, API Management, Data Factory and the Azure Data/Machine Learning Marketplace.
He is the Chairman of the region’s largest and highly successful technical training event, Tulsa TechFest. He will be hosting the 10th year of this event on August 7, 2015. He has also mentored several other community leaders in running their own technical events.

Speaker: John Tsangaris
Topic: Scrum - One methodology to almost rule them all
Summary: Scrum is a decade and a half old project management methodology that focuses on getting this done the way someone wants it rather than how they ask for it. It attempts to solve the problem of miscommunication, assumption, and other project killing threats. To accomplish this, Scrum presents several concepts, including the definition of done, time boxing, frequent communication, and metrics. While Scrum really rocks and solves many project management related problems, it is not the end all be-all of the project management world. Situations that require large efforts of non-development activity as well as compliance testing can pose management issues if you try to stick to a pure Scrum process. As well, even in a development team environment, processes such as support case handling does not fit well with the Scrum methodology. Moving to Scrum isn’t always a simple decision. It’s a different path for everyone and sometimes requires compromise in the transition as well as in the final process. The important thing is to keep an open mind, open communication, and be open to forward thinking! It’s well known that developers are typically more flexible than other positions when it comes to methodologies, not that we don’t get stuck in our version of, “we’ve always done it this way,” but how do we convince the higher ups that this is the way to go? We will talk about how Scrum benefits everyone, not just developers.
Speaker Bio: John Tsangaris is a Software Engineer for Jack Henry and Associates as well as a Certified Scrum Master. From Law Enforcement to gaming, John’s 17 years of software development experience spans many industries. As well as being enjoying all things geek, he has also spent time as a Police Officer and an amateur writer. Currently, beyond his daily coding regimen, he also volunteers with the Jasper County Sheriff’s Office, Faithful Aid Foundation, and Fellowship Lodge #345, amongst other non-profit organizations. John’s main addiction is development process efficiency. Current projects include a phenomenally awesome task list manager as well as a Facebook sales app.

February 9th, 2015

Speaker: Matthew Reily
Topic: Intro to IoT using .NET Micro Framework and Netduino
Summary: What is this IoT thing I keep hearing about? How can I get started making these "things"? If you have a desire to tinker with stuff and make them blink, move, and respond to physical inputs plus love you some .NET, then this talk is for you. We will go over what IoT is and how you can use your .NET skills to get started immediately.
We will discuss the Netduino device and what it can do. This talk will also give a quick intro into Azure websites and how we can leverage them in our devices. We will also go into a brief discussion of the .NET micro framework and some of the limitations you might encounter.
This talk will include several demos of projects using the .NET micro framework, Netduino devices, and Azure services.
Speaker Bio: Matthew Reily is an aspiring software craftsman who has a deep passion for learning and discussing new development technologies and practices. Matthew has worked diligently sharpening his skills for the past 15 years and has worn many hats. He has helped develop and deliver world class software, managed a couple of DevOps teams, and even spent a few years running his own consulting company. He loves to spending time with his family, running ultra-marathons, and working on his next IoT projects.
Matthew is currently perfecting his craft as a software architect for InterWorks, Inc.

January 12, 2015

Speaker: Blake Davidson
Topic: How Agile Development Saved My Marriage, and Made Me an Inch Taller
Speaker Bio: Blake is a Senior Mobile Engineer at ChaiOne where he develops apps using Xamarin.

November 10, 2014

Speaker: David Mohundro
Topic: Inconceivable Threading - I do not think it means what you think it means
Summary: With the Task Parallel Library and async/await, we can see multithreading used throughout the .NET Framework; however, it is often used poorly or incorrectly. For 80% of the cases, there are really only two reasons you might want to use multithreading. We'll look into these two cases and we'll also build our own async/await so that we'll have a better understanding of what async/await give us.
Speaker Bio: David is a software developer, architect, and craftsman. He has been in the software industry for over 10 years, though he has been a technology enthusiast much longer. David's experience is primarily with Microsoft technologies such as the .NET Framework using both C# and VB.NET as well as PowerShell, but he has also worked with web technologies such as JavaScript, HTML, and CSS. He also enjoys experimenting and learning new languages.

October 13, 2014

Speaker: Kaelin Schaper
Topic: Delegates
Summary: Take coding to the net level with delegates. I believe delegates are way underutilized. We'll talk about what they are, we'll look at how to code them, and we'll lear what frequent situation they work great in.
Speaker Bio: N/A

September 9, 2014

Speaker: Paul DeCarlo
Topic: Build Once For Windows Phone and Windows 8
Summary: When you build cross-device applications you want to build it once, have it work across all devices and deliver the best user experience. With Windows 8 and Windows Phone 8, the WinRT kernel means that building across devices has never been easier. There are 2 important concepts we need to embrace in order to build the best cross-device applications. We will give you best practices for sharing code, focusing on portable class libraries. Then we'll show you how to optimize the interfaces to most appropriately target your app for the best user experience while leveraging that shared code. We will also show how to extend this code further to touch Android devices and theoretically IOS.
Speaker Bio: Paul DeCarlo is a Developer Platform Evangelist for Microsoft and founder of WinCoder LLC, a growing software development company with a focus on Windows Phone and Windows 8. He has built multiple successful brands in both the web and mobile space and enjoys sharing his experiences building both software and businesses with upcoming students and professionals. Paul obtained his Master's in Computer Science at The University of Houston and regularly engages students in the South Central United States with talks / workshops concerning modern application development and also provides presentations to professional developers out of the Microsoft office in Houston Texas.

August 11, 2014

Speaker: Mark Rackley
Topic: Overview of Development in Office 365
Summary: A big component of Microsoft's Mobile First, Cloud First strategy is Office 365 and SharePoint Online, but what does this mean for the average .NET developer? Are your skills still relevant? What are your options for development in this new world? Come join the conversation as we take a take a look and discuss the implications and learn about what our development options are.. plus what skills you as a .NET developer should be focusing on.
Speaker Bio: Mark is a Senior Consultant for CapSpire, LLC with more than 19 years of experience designing and developing software solutions. Mark's daily responsibilities include forging the direction of solution architecture and development projects for clients while providing the best solutions for clients' unique problems. As a globally recognized SharePoint geek, Mark is an active blogger, presenter, author (and bacon aficionado) who is eager to lend his real-world knowledge of SharePoint to all who need it.
In addition to speaking at various SharePoint conferences, Mark is the organizer of SharePoint Saturday Ozarks and can be found speaking at as many Saturday events as his professional and family life will allow. Mark engages his audiences with humor, real-world stories from the trenches, and practical solutions. For more information, read his blog at

July 14, 2014

Speaker: Casey Watson
Topic: Building Massively Scalable Applications with Windows Azure
Summary: You've heard of the cloud. You've heard of Windows Azure. You have a general understanding of what it is but you still don't fully understand how or why you would want to use it. If this sounds like you, you owe it to yourself to attend this session and get a foundational understanding of what exactly Windows Azure is and how you can leverage it in powerful ways in your new and existing .NET applications. In this session, Casey starts by covering some basic, high-level cloud-related topics to give you a solid foundation in cloud development, then moves on to how Windows Azure implements these ideas and makes them easily consumable to .NET developers. Finally, you will have the opportunity to dive in with Casey and build applications from scratch that leverage several important Azure features such as Azure storage and service bus. Bring your questions about Windows Azure to this highly interactive session.
Note: Please be sure to sign up for a Windows Azure account at before the session. If you want to follow along with the interactive sessions also be sure to bring a laptop with Visual Studio 2012 or 2013 and the Windows Azure SDK 2.2 or 2.3 installed. You can find the Windows Azure SDK at
Speaker Bio: Casey Watson is a passionate software architect, President of the North Dallas Cloud Computing Group, dedicated husband and proud father. Casey believes that is the responsibility of every serious developer to constantly "sharpen their saw" through both reading and community involvement and is a strong advocate of SOLID development practices. Over the last eight years, he has been focused primarily on the .NET platform but has recently taken a keen interest in cloud development both on Amazon's EC2 and Microsoft's Azure platform. Casey is heavily involved in the local development community having spoken at several user groups and conferences across the South Central region of the United States including Agile.NET, Dallas Days of .NET and TechX20. When not learning about, speaking on, writing about or building software, he can be found spending time with his family, updating his Twitter status (@_caseywatson), or enjoying an ice cold bottle of Blue Moon.

June 9, 2014

Speaker: Will Anderson
Topic: Design Patterns
Summary: Please join us for a discussion on design patterns. In this session, we'll talk about what design patterns are, why they're important, common design pattern categories, and some tips on avoiding pattern-mania. The session will include a detailed look at the command, simple factory, and strategy patterns and common sense advice on when to use (and avoid) patterns in your applications.
Speaker Bio: Will Anderson has been developing software professionally for eight years. He currently serves as an architect at ArcBest Technologies in Fort Smith, AR. Will lives in Van Buren with his wife and what feels like three thousand children.

May 12, 2014

Speaker: Drew Spickes
Topic: Clean Code
Summary: Do you yearn to write more maintainable code with fewer bugs? Are you struggling with legacy systems that only seem to get more unwieldy as they are modified? Writing clean code can help to ease your headache and simplify your development workflow. Join me for a practical exploration of clean code. We will make a deep dive into examples of how to write clean code and how to clean up dirty code.
Speaker Bio: Drew Spickes has been developing software professionally for the last 5 years. He currently works as an Analyst/Programmer for ArcBest Technologies in Fort Smith, AR where he lives with his wife and two kids. Every day he strives to do better than he did the day before.

April 14, 2014

Speaker: Alex Williams
Topic: Polymorphism
Summary: Conditional logic and mis-placing of concerns can cause your code to be hard to extend, test and maintain. In this talk I'll be showing you how polymorphism can improve your code quality of life.
Speaker Bio: I've lived in Arkansas for a year now and have been a developer for two and a half years working in Ruby, Rails and JavaScript. I've been employed at Acumen Brands for almost a year. I enjoy playing guitar, listening to music and learning new programming patterns and digging through source code.

March 10, 2014

Speaker: Greg Dunn
Topic: Mobile Game Development using Unity
Summary: Have you ever wanted to develop games, but didn't know where to start? Unity is a cross-platform game engine with a built-in IDE. It can be used to develop games for web, desktop, gaming consoles, and mobile devices. Join Greg Dunn for an introduction on game development using Unity.
Speaker Bio: Greg has been a professional programmer for almost 20 years and currently runs his own show as content creator at HowToBuildGames and as a freelance developer at Unseen Things, Inc. Prior to that he was lead dev and 3D technical artist at The Danse Multimedia. Greg recognized opportunities when the iOS app store opened and got involved almost from the beginning, working initially in Objective-C but quickly turned to Unity 3D for all his web and iOS apps about 5 years ago. He has personally developed and shipped over a dozen iOS apps and games since the app store opened (and helping out on a few others as well). Greg attended Louisiana Tech University, and he is a recent newcomer to NWA.

February 10, 2014

Speaker: Brian Sullivan
Topic: What's New in ASP.NET in Visual Studio 2013
Summary: The web ships fast, but Microsoft developers have usually had to wait two to three years for updates to their tools. That's starting to change as the ASP.NET team ramps up its release cadence, with new features coming every few months. As exciting as it is, all that new stuff can be hard to keep up with. Come get an update on the latest web technologies from Microsoft as Brian explores the new features for web developers in Visual Studio 2013. This will be a whirlwind tour; we'll cover everything from OWIN and the Katana project to Entity Framework 6 updates and the new ASP.NET Identity model.
Speaker Bio: Brian Sullivan is a principal consultant for Improving Enterprises in Dallas. He got his start in programming maintaining legacy mainframe applications in COBOL at a large trucking company, but quickly realized he needed to find a more productive environment in order to stay sane. He jumped at the opportunity to help transition some of those COBOL applications to .NET, and he hasn't looked back since. He has been working with Microsoft technologies since the .NET 1.0 days, and is interested in introducing modern web development techniques to the clients he works with. Brian is recipient of the Microsoft MVP award in ASP.NET and a graduate of Harding University.

January 13, 2014

Speaker: Randy Walker
Topic: SQL Server Scripting
Summary: Loading from text files using BCP, parsing rows with cursors, temp tables, and crazy sub-queries!
Speaker Bio: A MicroISV owner for 7 years, Microsoft MVP for 5 years, former Board member for INETA, co-founder of the NWA .Net User Group and founding mentor to the Fort Smith .Net User Group, Randy Walker has dedicated his life efforts towards fostering the software development community and discipiling young men for Christ.

November 11, 2013

Speaker: Clay Hester
Topic: The Space Commander’s Guide to Designing Services for Change
Summary: Service-orientation is a software system design approach that utilizes distributed systems which collaborate to accomplish processing goals. Mastery of the technologies, infrastructure and the choices involved in building service-oriented systems is only part of the concern of the system’s architect. Often the more impactful choices are the decisions governing what the disparate service responsibilities will be. Lucky for us, determining the responsibilities of components of a system is an engineering problem older than any modern computing technology and not unique to software. We will examine the evolution of one such well known non-software system and apply what its evolution can teach us to form a guideline for making service responsibility and system decomposition choices.
Speaker Bio: Clay Hester serves in the role of a software project architect as part of the Application Architecture Practices team at Data-Tronics Corp. in Fort Smith, AR. He has served in the role of lead developer, architect, and/or project manager for the development of distributed software systems in the .Net environment since 2005. In addition to being very proficient at drawing boxes and arrows and conceptualizing abstractions, Clay is really good at naming things effectively while using as few characters as possible.

October 14, 2013

Speaker: Logan Mclain
Topic: How SignalR is Turning the Internet Upside Down: An Unexpected Journey
Summary: ASP.NET SignalR is a somewhat new library for ASP.NET developers that makes it incredibly simple to add real-time web functionality to web applications. This session will provide an introduction to SignalR. We will take a look at how to develop with SignalR, as well as some of the underlying implementations that SignalR uses.
Speaker Bio: Logan McLain is a Christian. He grew up in Searcy, AR and graduated from Harding University with a degree in Computer Science. Logan has worked at Data-Tronics Corp. for the last 3 years. As a member of the Infrastructure Support team he has worked on client application hosting platforms, a custom built enterprise Service Bus, and a customized Intranet Content Management System. He, along with his brother, founded Hope Technologies LLC, a freelance company specializing in web and mobile solutions. He enjoys learning, singing, playing tennis, gaming, spending time with his wife and family, and talking about all things technical.

September 9, 2013

Speaker: Michael Johnson
Topic: Applied Single Page Apps with Durandal, Breeze, and Bootstrap
Summary: Interest in Single Page Applications (SPAs) is booming, but getting started can be intimidating. In this session we will walk through applying ASP.NET MVC, Breeze, Durandal, Knockout, Require, Toastr, and Bootstrap to a simple line of business style application.
Speaker Bio: Michael Johnson is a senior software developer at SSW Holding Company, Inc. in Fort Smith, AR. Michael has over 12 years of experience developing desktop applications, websites, and services using Microsoft technologies. Michael is also involved in the .NET community and is part of the Fort Smith .NET User Group leadership.

April 8, 2013

Speaker: Drew Spickes
Topic: Practical LINQ
Summary: LINQ has been a popular feature of .NET since its release with .NET 3.5 in 2007. We will be exploring its strengths and weaknesses from a practical perspective with plenty of code examples.
Speaker Bio: Drew Spickes has been developing software professionally for the last 4 years. He currently works as an Analyst/Programmer for Data-Tronics Corp. in Fort Smith, AR where he lives with his wife and 8-month old son. Every day he strives to do better than he did the day before.

January 14, 2013

Speaker: Kaelin Schaper
Topic: Test Driven Development Quickstart Guide
Summary: What do you think of when you hear the phrase Test Driven Development? Have you ever tried it and never quite got off the ground? We'll demystify and validate TDD while demonstrating a conceptual framework for approaching how to write tests. Even if you don't want to do TDD (and that's ok!), I hope to have motivated you to think about how to be a better developer.
Speaker Bio: Kaelin works at Data-Tronics and is an all-round awesome guy!

October 11, 2010

Speaker: Tom DuPont
Summary: The ASP.NET MVC Framework is a web application framework that implements the model-view-controller pattern. Based on ASP.NET, it allows software developers to build a Web application as a composition of three roles: Model, View and Controller. This architecture lends itself very well to developing dynamic Web 2.0 applications that require only AJAX callbacks to the server.

This session will provide an introduction to ASP.NET MVC development and Web Application Architecture. Participants will see how they can leverage their existing ASP.NET skills and tools to create applications that will run on a single webpage. The presentation will also include a discussion of cross-browser considerations, tips and tricks for leveraging .NET 3.5's anonymous types for serialization with JSON, and demonstrations for both the ExtJS and JQuery frameworks.
Speaker Bio: Tom DuPont lives in Dallas, Texas, where he is the Vice President of CodeSmith Tools, LLC. Tom is a .NET developer, specializing in C#, ASP.NET MVC, and JavaScript. Tom has a bachelor's degree in Computer Science and Software Engineering from the University of Texas at Dallas. In his spare time he enjoys long rides across the country on his motorcycle.

September 13, 2010

Speaker: Matt Hinze
Topic: Inversion of Control
Summary: Join Matt Hinze to talk about inversion of control, object-oriented principles, software architecture and how to develop quality software very quickly. In this intermediate to advanced level live coding session, Matt will present the basics of IOC in C# and dive deep into interesting usage patterns.
Speaker Bio: Matt Hinze is a Principal Consultant at Headspring in Austin, Texas. As a Microsoft Certified Trainer, Matt has been successfully delivering technical courses to software developers since 2005. Meanwhile he is a full time developer and architect working in the trenches on major software projects. Passionate about software and programming, Matt is a leader in the developer community and presents technical talks to community groups and at conferences. Matt is an ASPInsider and Microsoft MVP for C#. Matt is an author of ASP.NET MVC2 In Action from Manning Press.

August 9, 2010

Speaker: Dennis Bottjer
Topic: Stop Drowning In Technical Debt!
Summary: Technical Debt is a metaphor introduced by Ward Cunningham to describe the result of “Quick and Dirty” Software Design.   Eventually, software projects will incur either accidental or strategic Technical Debt.  What is the price of accumulating to much technical debt?  How do we measure our Technical Debt?  How do we pay down our Technical Debt?  This session will provide the answers to these questions through a balance of presentation and real-world examples using various code analysis and metrics available within Visual Studio 2008.
Speaker Bio: Dennis J. Bottjer is a solutions architect, consultant, teacher, blogger and speaker.  As a three time Microsoft ASP/ASP.NET MVP, he specializes in SharePoint and Web Development.  Dennis has over 12 years of industry experience with an emphasis on the Financial and Banking Sectors.  As an associate for a Fortune 100 Financial Services Company, Dennis was a key contributor during the development of an underwriting system and fulfillment system.  Dennis builds community by regularly participating in user groups and community events.  He has been a user group president and is currently an membership mentor.  Dennis lives in Tulsa, OK with his wife Carrie, daughter Kate, son Will and two cats.

July 12, 2010

Speaker: Todd Anglin
Topic: HTML 5
Summary: The Rich Standard: Getting Familiar with HTML 5
HTML 5 may take some time to find full support in all major browsers, but you may be surprised to discover how many of HTML 5's features are available today! HTML 5 is the next generation standard for web applications, and it promises to give plug-in based RIAs a serious challenge. In this demo heavy session, you'll see HTML 5 in action and learn what you can do with today's browser support for the new standard. If you're building rich web applications and you've never touched HTML 5, this session is a must see.
Speaker Bio: Todd Anglin is Chief Evangelist for Telerik, a provider of development tools and user interface components for .NET. Before joining Telerik, he worked for a large Fortune 200 financial services company IT shop where he learned the way of the “Enterprise” – big budgets, big projects, legacy systems, and incessant measurement. He now leverages this Enterprise experience to help Telerik make components that make the lives of all developers as easy as possible. Todd is an active author and speaker in the .NET community, focusing on web development technologies, a Microsoft MVP, founder and President of the North Houston .NET Users Group, and an O'Reilly author.

May 10, 2010

Speaker: Dennis Palmer
Topic: XML is Everywhere!
Summary: XML, XHTML, XAML, app.config, web.config, Office Open XML, WiX, RSS, SOAP and sometimes REST. These days it's getting rare to find a software application that does not use some form of XML. It's everywhere! Remember ages ago (back in 2001) when you wrote your own xml parser? Hopefully you've been using XPath and the .NET classes inside System.Xml like XmlDocument and XmlNode for the last few years. But that's so 2003.

With the 3.5 release of the .NET Framework and Visual Studio 2008, there is a whole new way of working with XML. Whether you're creating, editing or consuming XML, you need to know LINQ to XML and the XML Literals within Visual Basic. But don't take my word for it! Kathleen Dollard on Hanselminutes show #152 said, "If you code in any language and do not understand XML Literals in VB9, you're selling yourself short. Go learn about it... It's a really powerful mechanism."

We'll cover LINQ to XML, how to enable XML Intellisense, and using VB XML Literals for dynamically generating XML.

Demos will include:

  • Data binding with LINQ to XML queries from the Twitter API.
  • Windows Installer XML (WiX), which was the first Open Source project to come out of Microsoft.
  • XML Literals View Engine for ASP.NET MVC.

While this technology was introduced with Visual Studio 2008, the code and demos will be shown in Visual Studio 2010.

Speaker Bio: Dennis cut his coding teeth by teaching himself BASIC on a Texas Instruments TI-99/4A computer in the early 80's. His earliest memory of debugging a program was when he found that his mother had typed the letter O instead of the digit 0 in a hexadecimal string that defined the graphics of a program she copied from the listing in a magazine.

After discovering Delphi 1.0 during college, he went to work on a fax broadcast system and other telephony projects.

In the late 90's he worked with a few record labels to put software on their music CD's. This included Windows screen savers of album art work and a music player that scrolled the lyrics of each song across the screen -- all written in Delphi.

After that, he spent about 5 years doing web development in PHP (even working with a PHP MVC Framework) before discovering ASP.NET and C#.

He remained somewhat proud of the fact that he had never worked with Visual Basic until starting his current job where it is the company's language of choice for developing Microsoft Office customizations for the legal industry. Even though he still gets lost when looking at VB6 code, with the advent of LINQ to XML and XML Literals in VB9, he is happy to be a VB.NET developer.

In his spare time, he is learning Python, Silverlight, iPhone development and returning to C# for some ASP.NET MVC projects.

Dennis was recognized as the 2nd runner up for the Inland Empire .NET User Group ( Most Valuable Member award for 2008-2009. He moved to Texas with his wife and young daughter in August 2009.

Resources: Dennis' blog entry about the meeting

April 12, 2010

Speaker: Shan Pesaru
Topic: Usability-Driven Design for Developers
Summary: You've probably heard phrases like "easy to use", "user friendly", and "intuitive". Usability is everywhere around us and the less you notice it the more effective it is. As developers, we are often forced to play the designer role in our projects whether we like it or not. This presentation will teach you how to design and develop effectively while keeping the user in mind. We'll cover everything from layout and navigation to good button design and interface feedback. You'll leave this presentation with a sense that even the simplest user enhancements can make an impact and positive impression on your supervisors, users, and customers.
Speaker Bio: Shan Pesaru is CEO and lead engineer at Sharp Hue, Inc. of Fayetteville, Arkansas. Shan presents web-related small business topics for local Chamber of Commerce organizations and the Arkansas Small Business & Technology Development center. Sharp Hue specializes in helping small businesses with the visual appeal, usability, and search engine optimization of their web sites. Sharp Hue uses Microsoft ASP.NET, SQL Server, and Windows Server hosting technologies along with a unique business process for design, programming, and search engine optimization. The unique process lends to professional and user-friendly web sites that are affordable for small business clients.

March 8, 2010

Speaker: Brian Sullivan
Topic: Introduction to Object-Relational Mapping with NHibernate
Summary: Object-Relational Mappers (ORMs) have started to make their way into mainstream .NET development with the advent of LINQ-to-SQL and the Entity Framework from Microsoft. Before that, though, there was NHibernate. Based on the Java Hibernate project, NHibernate is one of the most mature .NET ORMs in the marketplace. The Fluent NHibernate project builds on this to make NHibernate a breeze to configure. In this presentation, Brian will discuss the pros and cons of ORMs in general, and demonstrate how NHibernate can take the pain out of writing your persistence layer.
Speaker Bio: Brian Sullivan is a developer analyst for Praeses, LLC in Shreveport, LA. He has been working with Microsoft technologies for about 5 years, and is interested in increasing the exposure of agile techniques and methodologies in the Microsoft developer community. He is a graduate of Harding University in Searcy, AR.

January 11, 2010

Speaker: Chris Koenig
Topic: ugPDC: Best of PDC Tour
Summary: Join Developer Evangelist Chris Koenig for a whirlwind tour of the major announcements from PDC '09. We'll look at the changes and improvements to Windows Azure, new features introduced in Silverlight 4.0, and Visual Studio 2010/.NET 4.0.
Speaker Bio: Chris Koenig is a Developer Evangelist with Microsoft, based in Dallas, TX. Prior to joining Microsoft, Chris worked as a Senior Architect on the Architecture Strategy Team for The Capital Group in San Antonio, and as an Architect, Developer and Development Team Lead for the global solution provider Avanade. As a consultant, Chris worked with a variety of clients from many vertical markets, ISVs and other solution providers on enterprise-class Windows and web-based applications. Today, Chris focuses on building, growing, and enhancing the developer communities in Texas, Oklahoma, Louisiana and Arkansas. Chris is a devoted husband and father of four awesome children who keep him very busy. In his spare time, Chris serves as Scoutmaster for his oldest son's Troop, and Committee Chair for his youngest sons' Pack. Chris also enjoys traveling, cooking, camping and playing guitar. You can contact Chris through his blog at, via email at, or via Windows Live Messenger at

November 9, 2009

Speaker: Michael Johnson
Topic: ASP.NET MVC from Basics to Tip and Tricks
Summary: ASP.NET MVC is a new framework for developing website applications utilizing the model-view-controller pattern. How does it compare to ASP.NET WebForms? There is nothing wrong with ASP.NET WebForms, but ASP.NET MVC allows for clean lightweight code while giving you more control. In this session we will cover what I learned developing a site for Wolff Wire Office Organizers using ASP.NET MVC.
Speaker Bio: Michael Johnson is a software developer at SSW Holding Company, Inc. in Fort Smith, AR. Michael has over 10 years of experience developing desktop applications, websites, and services using Microsoft technologies. Michael is also involved in the .NET community and is part of the Fort Smith .NET User Group leadership. You can follow Michael on his blog or his tweets at
Resources: Michael Johnson's Blog Entry

October 12, 2009

Speaker: Jimmy Bogard
Topic: Testing the Last Mile with UI Testing
Summary: The ASP.NET MVC framework greatly improved the web testability story in .NET, allowing for testing of the various components of MVC including controllers, filters, binders and more. But testing these components in isolation still doesn't prove that your site works as a whole. Action methods tested by themselves don't prove that the view shown has the correct information on it, or that links work as expected. For these types of tests, an end-to-end, browser-based test is needed. But just as it is difficult to test APIs not designed for testability, views not designed for testability can lead to brittle, difficult to understand tests. In this session, we'll look at the popular UI testing frameworks, and pros and cons of each. We'll also look at design for UI testability in our MVC application, and how we can greatly ease our testing burden with design techniques in our views. Finally, we'll look at UI test design as a whole, and examine how we can develop a complete UI testing strategy that eliminates the difficulty in testing the last mile.
Speaker Bio: Jimmy Bogard is a principal consultant at Headspring Systems. He is an agile software developer with six years of professional development experience. He has delivered solutions from conception to production for many clients. The solutions delivered by Jimmy range from shrink-wrapped products to enterprise e-commerce applications for Fortune 100 customers. He is also a Microsoft Certified Application Developer (MCAD) and is an active member in the .NET community, leading open-source projects, giving technical presentations and facilitating technical book clubs. Currently, Jimmy is the lead developer on the NBehave project, a Behaviour-Driven Development framework for .NET, AutoMapper, a convention-based object-to-object mapper and the facilitator of the Austin Domain-Driven Design Book Club. Jimmy is a member of the ASPInsiders group, and received the "Microsoft Most Valuable Professional" (MVP) award for ASP.NET in 2009.