XDDN around Australia

To try and streamline the XDDN groups around Australia, I have been working with the organisers of the other cities to create a few central locations for everything.
For those unfamiliar with XDDN, it is a usergroup I run that focuses on UX, Design and Development on Microsoft UI platforms. Such as Win8, WinPhone7, HTML5, etc.

The main reason for moving everything to Meetup is that it allows everyone to easily see upcoming events and get automatically notified when new events are created.
Having XDDN on Meetup.com also supports my other goals of getting more people involved with their local development communities. Joining the groups will allow you to easily find other local groups that you may want to attend, such as Agile or Alt.Net groups.
Please join the group for your city, as the old event sites (such as EventBrite) will be slowly decommissioned over the next few weeks.

XDDN Melbourne – April meeting

This month I have organised for Ian Randall (@Kiwipom) to talk at the April XDDN meeting.

I have also created a new twitter account @XDDN_AU from which I will be tweeting all of the sessions for Melbourne, Sydney & Perth. Be sure to follow it.

Register here: http://xddn-melbourne-april2012.eventbrite.com/

Learn about creating great MVVM applications with LESS CODE. Ian Randall will be demonstrating how to use Caliburn.Micro to create cleaner XAML based applications. These techniques will work with WinRT (Windows 8), Silverlight, Windows Phone 7 and WPF.
Caliburn.Micro can be downloaded at http://caliburnmicro.codeplex.com/

Time: 5:30 pm networking & pizza.
6:00 pm presentations start.

Caliburn.Micro – Ian Randall

Caliburn.Micro (http://caliburnmicro.codeplex.com/) is more than just an MVVM library, it’s a client application framework that works every bit as hard for your app that a web framework does: Logging, composition, binding, and much, much more.
This session will cover getting started with Caliburn.Micro and give practical demonstrations of Convention Over Configuration, Actions, Screens & Conductors and will go a bit deeper under the covers (if we get time).

Ian Randall is a software developer for Datacom in Auckland and a XAML geek on the internets. He helps to run the Metro Meetup in Auckland and just spent the last 6 months putting on ‘codemania’ (http://codemania.co.nz). He is currently trying to catch a breath…
He loves Melbourne, partly for the friendly Victorian people, but mostly for @aeoth’s legendary chocolate brownies.

By David Burela

I’m presenting at the Melbourne Windows 8 developer camp

With the approach of Windows 8, Microsoft is organising a number of 1 day developer camps in capital cities all around Australia.
I am helping out with the Melbourne camp this weekend, there are still a few places left if you want to attend.

Date: Saturday 31st March
Location: Microsoft office, Melbourne
Registration: https://msevents.microsoft.com/cui/EventDetail.aspx?culture=en-AU&EventID=1032507239&IO=ImoI4B2Taytfc9qzXGdYAQ%3d%3d

A full list of camps around Australia can be found at http://www.lalaninja.com.au/2012/03/19/windows-8-developer-camps-australia/

By David Burela

I’m speaking at the Melbourne March XDDN

I’m speaking at Melbourne XDDN this month. With the Windows 8 Consumer Preview released, now is the perfect time to reexamine Windows 8. Below are the meeting details:

Register here: http://xddn-melbourne-march2012.eventbrite.com/
Date: Wed 21st March
Time: 5:30 networking & pizza. 6pm presentations start

A tour around Windows 8 – David Burela
Windows 8 has been announced to the public and is being branded as “Windows reimagined”. This introductory session will show some of the new features coming with Windows 8.
A touch first interface, user account syncing via the cloud, “charms”, app to app data sharing, and the ability to use a picture password to log into windows will all be demonstrated.

Getting started with Windows 8 development – David Burela
So you’ve heard that Windows 8 has a new way of applications known as “Metro styled immersive apps”, but what does this actually mean? What is WinRT? Is Microsoft really making developers use HTML5 to create desktop apps? What about your previous investments in Silverlight?
Join David Burela as he helps clarify what the new programming model is and what impact it will have on you. Explanations of WinRT and how to create basic applications will be shown.

By David Burela

Community report: Melbourne Alt.net March 2011 – nServiceBus

This month Jimmy (@pjimmy) gave a talk on nServicebus. He gave two talks that night, the first focusing on the NServiceBus framework, it’s API and the messaging patterns it enables. While the second talk provided a look at how to architect SOA style systems that can be deployed as a collection of autonomous services.

I recorded his first talk giving an overview of nServiceBus, which you can view below.

You can also view his previous lightning talk on being an ‘Agent of Change’ that he did at another Melbourne Alt.Net event.


By David Burela

Community report: Melbourne Azure Bizspark camp 2011

Last weekend I helped out at Melbourne’s “Windows Azure Bizspark camp”. It was a 3 day event aimed at fostering innovation while also training small start ups in how to pitch an idea and seek funding.
You may remember that I participated in the last Bizspark camp, and came runner up with my application ‘Beachy’. It was the same event but this time it was on Windows Azure instead, and I was helping out rather than being an attendee.
More basic information about the event is on the Australian Bizspark website.

My involvement over the weekend was to assist each of the teams with their ideas, giving advice & assistance with any Windows Azure, Silverlight and Windows Phone 7 based questions. At the same time I would also sit down with each team and get them to talk me through their business ideas. Getting them to focus on the one or two key points that they would pitch to the judges, and not just rely on the fact that they “wrote a lot of really cool code”. Where I could I tried to get them to focus on what exactly they would show the judges on the final day, and to be sure to polish around those key points.

I was also impressed to see that one of the largest gaming websites (ign.com), did a blog post on what Bizspark and the Bizspark camp were http://www.ign.com/blogs/kiera2/2011/02/05/whats-a-bizspark/

All the photos from the event have been uploaded to my Flickr account with a Creative Commons license if anyone would like to use photos of themselves

Day 1: Training the teams in Windows Azure

The first day consisted of a compressed training day for all the participants. Graham Elliot and Mitch Denny delivered training covering Azure basics (Windows Azure Compute, Management, Diagnostics, Storage, SQL Azure, App Fabric). The slides from the training day have been uploaded to the internet for anyone to download and go through themselves.

Another useful training guide if you wish to go through it yourself is to use the latest Windows Azure training kit.


Day 2 & 3: App development & start-up training

The rest of the event was mostly allocated to the teams, to let them build their applications. Most of the teams were 2 people with a few of the larger ideas having teams of 3. All of the teams went to find their own space around the Microsoft office and worked on the projects. They all worked really hard while there at the office, and judging by the bags under a few eyes the next morning, many of them obviously pulled all nighters back at their own places. This was meat of the event, the teams needed to build enough of the application in order to have something to show to the judges the next day. But they needed to be focused and disciplined, there wasn’t enough spare time to waste on things that wouldn’t be shown. They needed to decide what they were going to demonstrate to the judges the next day and focus on enabling enough of their app to demo.


Of course, there was a pizza lunch to keep the attendees going!


Industry talks

During those 2 days, Catherine Eibner organised 2 speakers to come and talk during the lunch times. This helped to try and break the day up a bit and give the attendees a chance to clear their heads.


On the Saturday Ross Hill (twitter: @RossHill) talked to the attendees about the importance of networking when creating your own start-up. Events are important and enable you to meet the type of people that you need to help you get your start-up off the ground. Ross co-founded one of the most successful entrepreneurial networking events The Hive which runs in Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane. I recommend you attend the hive if you live in one of those cities and are interested in the entrepreneurial spirit.

I didn’t record Ross’ talk unfortunately, but I did manage to get some of the URLs he listed of other good events to attend

Jack Delosa’s talk

On the Sunday, there was a talk by Jack Delosa (@JackDelosa) who runs a group called Entourage which “is a movement which encourages and facilitates entrepreneurship in the 18-35 demographic”.  More information about Entourage can be found at http://www.the-entourage.com.au/

Everyone on Twitter was amazed at how much information he was able to cram into 45 minutes. He was able to distill down the basics of what anyone who is thinking of creating a startup needs to know, from the idea, raising capital, creating your Business plan/Information Memorandum/executive summary.

This is a MUST WATCH video for anyone thinking creating their own start-up company.

Jack Delosa


Final afternoon

On the final afternoon, some of the judges set in a room and allowed each of the teams to have a chance to do a practice pitch. This allowed the teams to have a first run, and get feedback on the sorts of things they should focus on when doing the final pitch to the judges. This in itself was a valuable experience for all of the attendees.

All the judges arrived and the teams took turns to do their 5 minute pitch, and then have a chance for 5mins of question time from the judges.

Idea pitch by http://Rome2Rio.com

The judges then spent half an hour debating amongst themselves, trying to determine the winner.

Awards ceremony


The final winners were:

  1. http://Rome2Rio.com
  2. http://blog.mapdojo.com/
  3. TrendFrendz

The winners of the social networking awareness competitionIMG_2943

Everyone talking after the event has finished

Videos of the pitches

I recorded all 11 pitches from the teams, which I will upload slowly over the next few weeks.

Other coverage of the Azure Bizspark camp

By David Burela

Community report: Melbourne cloudcamp 2010 – Quest software

Here is another lightning talk from the 2nd Melbourne cloudcamp for 2010. It was done by Guy Harrison (@GuyHarrison) from Quest software www.quest.com/toad

This is a repeat of his Sydney talk where he talked about how they are changing their SQL tool ‘Toad’ to work well with the new cloud databases and  how they enable doing cross database queries and migrations.


By David Burela