I feel the need to post a comment about the Edmonton .Net User Group before I comment about the meeting we had last night.
About the Edmonton .Net User Group:
I have to say that I have been sincerely impressed with this new incarnation of the Edmonton .Net User Group. They have made a significant effort to bring in some highly regarded speakers like Richard Campbell (co-host of, arguably, the net’s first podcast, Dot Net Rocks), Jean-Paul Boodhoo (featured on one episode of Dot Net Rocks and two episodes of DNRTV), and Jean-Luc David (author or co-author of many .Net-related books such as Professional Visual Studio 2005 Team System), to name a few. The list of speakers and topics has been impressive, to say the least. I have only missed one event (sorry Mr. Rod Paddock [Editor in Chief of Code Magazine], the Oilers had a play-off game that night) so far and I don’t want to miss out on the opportunity to learn new things and ask questions of these truly remarkable presenters. This is no TechEd with 200+ people in attendance for each presentation. This has typically been around 30 people; making this event equatable to seeing your favorite band at a neighborhood pub. It just doesn’t get any better.
To top off the great lineup of presenters, the organizers have obviously worked very hard to get sponsorship for the events. They have consistently given away free items to all attendees, the likes of copies of asp.net PRO magazine and other items, as well as given away door prizes, including many very high quality publications such as Code Complete Second Edition (worth upward of $45 CAD) and MCAD/MCSD Self-Paced Training Kits (worth upward of $65 CAD). All for the enromous price of NOTHING… just attendance. Awesome learning plus the opportunity at valuable free stuff? I don’t see why you WOULDN’T attend.
My thanks and appreciation are sincerely given to those involved in keeping this user group relevant.
About the Meeting August 25th:
Last night’s meeting had Donald Belcham presenting on code generation, specifically, the use of the tool, MyGeneration. I have to admit that my experience with code generation has, in the past, left a bad taste in my mouth. I’ve even been known to say an unfavorable word toward the Visual Studio Forms Editor from time to time when it (used to) overwrite code formatting (Web Forms) or settings made through code instead of through the visual editor (Windows Forms). So, coming in to this presentation, I was skeptical.
Donald did a great job showing the ins and outs of MyGeneration. The first part of the presentation was a bit elusive to me as he discussed the functionality of the tool (there were many screens in the tool I didn’t understand the purspose for until he got into the demo) but as soon as he got into the demo, thigns became very clear to me. The presentation was very well made and you can tell that Donal speaks of these things from expereince with many code generation tools he has used (or created) in the past. The presentation didn’t sway my position that code generation is still not for me in an enterprise situation but, under other circumstances, I would consider using a tool like this to get me past the monotony of much of the repetitive coding you just have to do as a developer.
Good job Donald! Thank you for being the first local presenter to stand up in front of our young user group!