Meetings

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 info@fsdnug.org.

Previous Meetings

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
Topic: ASP.NET MVC
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 INETA.org 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 (http://iedotnetug.org) Most Valuable Member award for 2008-2009. He moved to Texas with his wife and young daughter in August 2009.

http://twitter.com/CoderDennis

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 http://chriskoenig.net/, via email at chris.koenig@microsoft.com, or via Windows Live Messenger at chris@koenigweb.com.

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 http://www.michaelcodes.net or his tweets at http://twitter.com/michael_johnson.
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.