North East Bytes - Microsoft Technology Usergroup in the North East of England

Thoughts from the Launch

With the February 2010 event announced last week it’s about time that I write up the review of the Launch event.  At the moment the details for the February event are only on the events page as until we have the review of the last event we can’t advertise the next event on the home page.

Having over 80 attendees at the first event was fantastic and not something that I think any of us at NEBytes expected.  Speaking to some of the DDD organisers last week they were very impressed with the attendance.  The more people who attend the better, as we can start to think about bigger events – which can only be good for the North East Dev and ITPro communities.

One of the complaints we had for the event was that it was a little long.  Three speakers is not the usual format that we’re aiming for (two speakers is the plan) so this won’t be a problem going forward.  Except for next month – three speakers but two sessions!

Steve Smith had the honour of being the first speaker at a NEBytes event (well second if   Jon counts with the introduction).  He did get a “I’ve spoken at NEBytes” sticker but it wasn’t a gold one highlighting that he was the first speaker.  An enlightening talk covering “Highlights and Features of SharePoint 2010” launched the NEBytes era quite nicely.

Certainly the highlight of the evening for me, as a developer, was the “Silverlight – 2 Years, 4 Versions, Where Are We?” by Mike Taulty from Microsoft UK.  A brief run through the history of Silverlight was followed by a run through of the features added in Silverlight 4.  I’ve seen Mike speak a few times and it’s good to see – he’s very passionate about what he does and his talks are something that I always look forward to.  Due to only having an hour to cover an awful lot of material it did in a few places feel a little rushed.  Whilst there isn’t a specific slide deck for Mike’s talk if you look at the Silverlight in 77 Slides post on his site you’ll get the full 77 set of slides that were cut down for the session up here.

A late arrival changed the running order at the last minute (I think he just wanted to be last!) and the final speaker of the evening was James O’Neill talking about Hyper-V.    It was probably the four laptops that he was carrying about weighing him down.  An entertaining talk – even for the non-ITPro crowd – was only hampered by some of the laptops he was using not working as they should (the presenters curse strikes again!).  Some of the things that you can now do with virtualisation on Windows Server is really cool  and it certainly got me thinking a how all of what is being done in that space is leading the way with Windows Azure.  Just don’t ask James about VMware.  Just don’t!

I thought it was a good event and it was great to see you all.  With the, mostly positive, feedback we’ve received (don’t worry it will be an online form shortly) we’re got a great feeling on where NEBytes can go.

We (well not Andy and Jon as they’re at the MVP Summit in Seattle) hope to see as many of you as possible at the event in February.  A different building, a bigger room (it was a little cramped last time) and two excellent talks should make for a good time.

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