The Developers Guild Hosts 200th Meeting!

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Editor’s Note: This article was originally written and published by Logical Advantage.

On January 24th, 2017, the Enterprise Developers Guild celebrated their 200th meeting with a full house.

The Enterprise Developers Guild (www.developersguild.org) is an independently run, volunteer user group that meets monthly to discuss and share information on a variety of Microsoft-centric technology topics. They offer an excellent way to receive a technical education and meet with peers to get more out of the latest Microsoft platforms, products, technologies, and resources.

The Guild was founded 18 years ago by Bill Jones, who led the group as president for 16 of those years. At the 200th meeting, Jones was awarded a certificate, recognizing the great work he’s put into the group. Dan Thyer, Mark Wilson and Syl Walker of Logical Advantage have all been on the board of the group for over a dozen years, and Logical Advantage was also recognized alongside two other companies for their long-term support of the group.

“A year of school is 180 days, and I feel like we all got way more than a year of education with our monthly meetings,” said Dan Thyer, CTO and Co-Founder of Logical Advantage.

Keep reading to hear from Vice President Syl Walker herself and to learn more about the group’s 200th meeting and the future of the Enterprise Developers Guild.


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LA: What is your role in the Enterprise Guild, and how did you first get involved?

SW: I’m a Vice President, and formerly co-organizer of several Code Camps. I got involved because I was interested in switching from mainframe programming to Microsoft technologies – VB6, back then. A coworker, Bill Plummer, invited me to my first meeting, and I was hooked!

LA: Congratulations on your 200th meeting! What does it feel like to have watched the Developers Guild grow into what it is today?

Syl Walker (SW): “Startled” would be a good word. I looked up, and, somehow, all that work over the years has grown into an organization of close to 1,400 members!

LA: What made the 200th meeting different from the rest? How did you celebrate?

SW: We presented Bill Jones, Jr. with a certificate, honoring his founding and growing the Guild. We also recognized three long-time sponsors: Logical Advantage, Signature Consulting, and TEKsystems.

LA: Why was the Developers Guild first created?

SW: Bill Jones wanted to provide a means for independent consultants to keep current with technology; his–and our–vision is a group that provides peer training. Most of our presenters are local people who have found a technology that they’re passionate about and want to share with other developers.

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LA: What has been your favorite memory with this group?

SW: Not so much one memory – my favorite thing about the Guild is the people – their passion for the craft of designing and developing good software, and their willingness to share that with the IT community. The networking opportunities are amazing.

LA: What do you think has been the greatest success to date?

SW: Staying relevant for almost 18 years! That’s a great success, and we’re not finished yet!

LA: What can participants expect to do or learn from the events, and how can they get involved?

SW: Our presenters will give participants an idea of what a language or technology can do, and hopefully ignite a spark of curiosity to go learn more.

To get involved, come to meetings, ask questions, network with other local developers, find a topic that excites you, and put together a presentation! Most of our presenters are local, everyday developers, with that spark of curiosity!

LA: What else would you like to add?

SW: At the risk of sounding maudlin, the Guild has inspired me to be a better developer, and to keep learning!


The Guild meets the fourth Tuesday of every month, except December, at the Microsoft Office in Charlotte, North Carolina. Free guest parking is available in designated spots at the front of the buildings. Meetings are from 6:00 to 8:00 PM. Food and drinks are free courtesy of our meeting host.

For more information about the Guild, please visit www.developersguild.org, or join their Meetup group.

August Meeting: //Build/ Recap

Join us and Logical Advantage on Tuesday, August 23, at 6:00 PM in the Mt. Kilimanjaro/Mt. Everest rooms of the Microsoft Charlotte Office. Didn’t get your golden ticket to //Build/? Couldn’t get the time off from work to go to San Francisco? Don’t have the bandwidth to wade through all 500+ hours of content on Channel 9? No problem, Jamie Dixon has you covered. In this talk, we will look at the highlights from //Build/, Microsoft’s premier developer conference that occurred last month. We will pick through at all of the announcements, sessions, and labs to find all of the stuff you should care about as a Microsoft developer. In addition, Jamie will give you the DL (“down low” for those of you without a teenager) on all of the hallway and happy hour conversations that he had with the Microsoft teams.

The meeting presenter is Jamie Dixon.

Jamie Dixon has been writing code for as long as he can remember and has been getting paid to do it since 1995. He was using C# and JavaScript almost exclusively until discovering F# and now combines all three languages for the problem at hand. He has a passion for discovering overlooked gems in data sets and merging software engineering techniques to scientific computing. When he codes for fun, he spends his time using Phidgets, Netduinos, and Raspberry Pis or spending time in Kaggle competitions using F# or R.

Jamie has a BSCS in Computer Science and a Master’s in Public Health. He is the former Chair of his town’s Information Services Advisory Board and is an outspoken advocate for Open Data. He also is involved with his local .NET User Group (TRINUG) with an emphasis on data analytics, machine learning, and the internet of things (IoT). He is the author of Mastering .NET Machine Learning.

Jamie lives in Cary, North Carolina with his wonderful wife Jill and their three awesome children: Sonoma, Sawyer, and Sloan. He blogs weekly at jamessdixon.wordpress.com and can be found on Twitter @jamie_dixon.

The meeting is sponsored by Logical Advantage.

Our mission is to partner with our clients to provide strategies and solutions that maximize the ROI of Enterprise Asset Intelligence and Human Capital Development. Learn more at www.logicaladvantage.com.

Please RSVP so we know how much food to order.

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June Meeting: Garbage In Garbage Out GIGO

Join us and Logical Advantage on Tuesday, June 28, at 6:00 PM in the Multi-Purpose Room (MPR) of the Microsoft Charlotte Office. Inspired by a true story. Garbage In – how bad data can still get in to modern databases. Garbage Out – how that bad data can crash your production Line of Business (LOB) application. Elaine Cahill will demonstrate practical applications of defensive programming concepts with C#, JavaScript, T-SQL, stored procedures, web forms and razor views using ASP.NET and SQL Server. This is an excellent refresher course for seasoned developers and extremely useful for junior developers and students.

The meeting presenter is Elaine Cahill.

Elaine Cahill received a Bachelor of Science from North Carolina State University in 2008 — Go Pack! Microsoft Certified Professional 2000. Microsoft Certified Solution Developer Visual Studio 6.0 2001. Experienced manager and full stack .NET/SQL developer 10+ years. Work experience using web forms, MVC, C#, SOA, jQuery, HTML5 and a bit of everything in between. American Citizen but grew up in Manchester, England.

The meeting is sponsored by Logical Advantage.

Our mission is to partner with our clients to provide strategies and solutions that maximize the ROI of Enterprise Asset Intelligence and Human Capital Development. Learn more at www.logicaladvantage.com.

Please RSVP so we know how much food to order.

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March Meeting: Practical Sass/SCSS for Web, Mobile, & Desktop Development

Join us and Logical Advantage on Tuesday, March 22, at 6:00 PM in the Multi-Purpose Room (MPR) of the Microsoft Charlotte Office. Sass is CSS with superpowers. It has been actively supported for 9 years. In this session we’ll cover Sass basics: installation, pre-processing, variables, nesting,  partials, importing, mixins, extending, and operators. Topics will be taught by creating a real-world application layout; we’ll cover common UI scenarios you face everyday in your development. You’ll quickly grasp the value and simplicity of Sass/SCSS. We’ll compare how developers write CSS today, and the benefits of using Sass/SCSS over plain CSS.

The meeting presenter is Karl Shifflett.

Since 1989 Karl has architected and developed desktop, web, and mobile software for: retail, warehousing, manufacturing, small-medium city governments and water authorities, Tax Assessment, and DIY projects. He worked at Microsoft as a Program Manager on the WPF and Silverlight Designer Team for Visual Studio 2010, as a Program Manager for the patterns & practices team on Prism and Web Guidance projects.

His passions are Cross-platform development, Aurelia, Nodejs, ES6, Electron, WPF, ASP.NET, AngularJS, Cordova, IoT, Ionic, Firebase, creating Visual Studio tools, software architecture, designing frameworks, and mentoring.  You can follow him on Twitter at@kdawg02.

The meeting is sponsored by Logical Advantage.

Our mission is to partner with our clients to provide strategies and solutions that maximize the ROI of Enterprise Asset Intelligence and Human Capital Development. Learn more at www.logicaladvantage.com.

Please RSVP so we know how much food to order.

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January Meeting: Introducing Aurelia

Join us and Logical Advantage on Tuesday, January 26, at 6:00 PM in the Multi-Purpose Room (MPR) of the Microsoft Charlotte Office. It seems like the landscape is constantly changing for front-end frameworks and what we will be looking at is no different. However, this may be one of those frameworks that you take a look at and decide that it is just the right thing. It incorporates ES6 and pieces of ES7 and makes developing in JavaScript a pleasure…well, almost.

We will take a look at what Aurelia has to offer and how you can get started building our rich enterprise applications. We will also identify some of the cool features ES6 provides in building your applications.

The meeting presenter is Matt Duffield.

Matt Duffield is a software architect designing and developing enterprise applications. He runs a small consulting company, Duffield Consulting. He specializes in enterprise solutions using the latest and greatest technology available. He also provides training and mentoring on .NET, WPF, Windows 8/10 development. He is also a Microsoft MVP in Windows Development. You can read his blog at mattduffield.wordpress.com and follow him on Twitter at @mattduffield.

The meeting is sponsored by Logical Advantage.

Our mission is to partner with our clients to provide strategies and solutions that maximize the ROI of Enterprise Asset Intelligence and Human Capital Development. Learn more at www.logicaladvantage.com.

Please RSVP so we know how much food to order.

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October Meeting: Async and Await on the Server

Join us and Logical Advantage on Tuesday, October 27, at 6:00 PM in the Multi-Purpose Room (MPR) of the Microsoft Charlotte Office. By avoiding the client side discussions around the UI and parallel processing, we can focus on the environment in which most of us live and have both an introduction and deeper dive into how it all works. This talk’s about how we can all use the feature RIGHT NOW to write better performing code.

The meeting presenter is Doug Jones.

Doug Jones has been developing software for about a decade. He is currently a developer at Lending Tree and has spent most of his career in financial organizations. He has been a proud member of the Enterprise Developers Guild for many years now, and most importantly, he has learned the wrong way to do things so you don’t have to!

The meeting is sponsored by Logical Advantage.

Our mission is to partner with our clients to provide strategies and solutions that maximize the ROI of Enterprise Asset Intelligence and Human Capital Development. Learn more at www.logicaladvantage.com.

Please RSVP so we know how much food to order.

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July Meeting: A Database Driven Elegant Solution for Replication

Join us and Logical Advantage on Tuesday, July 28, at 6:00 PM in the Multi-Purpose Room (MPR) of the Microsoft Charlotte Office. Replication is a tool in the relational database realm to keep two databases in sync. It is used to set up a child server to use a report server or to allow individual users to maintain subsets of data for their use without impacting other user’s data. Replication may take the form of transaction replication which moves data on an individual command basis in one direction, merge replication which moves the data in both directions and snapshot replication which takes a point in time snapshot of the data and moves it in one direction. In this talk, you will learn the ins and outs of SQL Server replication and how to more effectively set up replication using database driven methodologies. You will also receive information on some of the gotchas they may face in using replication.

The meeting presenter is Eric Notheisen.

Eric Notheisen sees himself as a businessman who solves business problems using automation. He is a Dot NET application developer with over 35 years experience in hardware and software technologies and 20 years experience in Windows and Web application development. He has held positions as an consultant, application developer and system/application architect. Eric is currently a application development consultant with TekSystems on contract with the Compass Group in Charlotte, NC.

Eric has been on the faculty as an Adjunct Instructor at Central Piedmont Community College in Charlotte, NC and the Community College of Aurora in Aurora, CO teaching software development and e-commerce topics. He holds four academic degrees from both the Community College of the Air Force and the University of Northern Colorado. He is certified as an MCP in Visual Basic, CLS in Lotus Notes. He received an Excellence in Innovation award from CGI for his development of a database driven rules engine.

Eric served in the US Air Force for almost 22 years and retired in 1987.

Eric and his wife Diane live in Fort Mill, SC.

The meeting is sponsored by Logical Advantage.

Our mission is to partner with our clients to provide strategies and solutions that maximize the ROI of Enterprise Asset Intelligence and Human Capital Development. Learn more at www.logicaladvantage.com.

Please RSVP so we know how much food to order.

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Future Path Technology Scholarship

Future Path Technology Scholarship

Logical Advantage, a Premier Sponsor of the Enterprise Developers Guild, has established the annual Future Path Technology Scholarship. The $3,000 scholarship will be awarded to a Mecklenburg County high school senior who has been accepted to a North Carolina college or university to study computer science or a related technology degree. The intent of the scholarship is to recognize a local student who has demonstrated a passion for technology.

The application period is open now, and will close on February 18th at 5:00 PM. To learn more about the scholarship and to download the application, click here.

Please share with anyone who might be interested.

September Meeting: AngularJS-beyond basics

Join us and Logical Advantage on Tuesday, September 23, at 6:00 PM in the Mt. Kilimanjaro/Mt. Everest rooms of the Charlotte Microsoft Campus. AngularJS is an amazing JavaScript library with a high learning curve for the uninitiated. Everyone with MVC experience knows about Controllers in that world, but what is an Angular controller? How is it the same and how is it different? Directives are the building blocks of the DOM components of your Angular app. It’s important to know when to use them and how they interact with your app controllers and with their own controllers. You will learn how to create controllers, add directives, and how they interact with each other in a real application.

The meeting presenter is James Huston.

James has been working in web development and application architecture with a sprinkle of Unix system admin for far longer than he likes to talk about. From enterprise applications with PHP and MySQL (yes, used the E word with LAMP) to most recently realtime modern web apps using NodeJS and Angular he has a wide range of experience with web technologies. On top of that he loves to learn and share what he knows with anyone who will listen and a few people who don’t like to anymore. You can follow him on GitHub.

The meeting is sponsored by Logical Advantage.

Logical Advantage is a successful, results-oriented software consulting, application development and integration firm. Founded in 2003 and headquartered in Charlotte, North Carolina, Logical Advantage enables enterprise excellence through pragmatic software consulting, workforce solutions and proven application development.

Logical Advantage delivers superior and measurable long-term results for its clients. We are a long-term partner and trusted advisor of choice for our clients and deliver full Software Development Life Cycle (SDLC) services, from recommending solutions and concepts to implementation to ongoing support. Learn more at www.logicaladvantage.com.

Downloads: Slides and Code (Note: You can view the slides by cloning the repository to your local machine. Then open ..\enterprise-angular-directives-demo\presentation\angularjs_and_scope\index.html in your browser.)

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June Meeting: Publishing Unity Games

Join us and Logical Advantage on Tuesday, June 24, at 6:00 PM in the Multi-Purpose Room (MPR) of the Charlotte Microsoft Campus. Ever wonder what it takes to actually publish a Unity video game to the Windows Platform? Ever wonder what the gotchas are, how to do platform interop? Maybe need some tips on shader support? This is the session for you. We will be talking about what it takes to publish a game to Windows 8 Store and Windows Phone 8 Store. This will be a very technical talk.

The meeting presenter is David Crook.

David Crook is a Technical Evangelist with Microsoft. As a Tech Evangelist he works with game development and mobile development communities publishing starter kits, plugins, and runs workshops and seminars around game development for the east coast. His background is in enterprise developer consulting and game development. David enjoys brewing beer and Brazilian jiu jitsu when he isn’t coding. You can read his blog at MSDN Blogs and Indie Dev Spot.

The meeting is sponsored by Logical Advantage.

Logical Advantage is a successful, results-oriented software consulting, application development and integration firm. Founded in 2003 and headquartered in Charlotte, North Carolina, Logical Advantage enables enterprise excellence through pragmatic software consulting, workforce solutions and proven application development.

Logical Advantage delivers superior and measurable long-term results for its clients. We are a long-term partner and trusted advisor of choice for our clients and deliver full Software Development Life Cycle (SDLC) services, from recommending solutions and concepts to implementation to ongoing support. Learn more at www.logicaladvantage.com.

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August Meeting: Introducing Windows 8.1 & Visual Studio 2013 Preview

Join us Tuesday, August 27, at 6:00 PM in the Multi-Purpose Room (MPR) of the Charlotte Microsoft Campus. We are in some exciting times with a new version of Windows 8.1 and Visual Studio 2013 Preview announced with Build 2013 from Microsoft. Microsoft is moving towards a faster rev cycle and this makes it even more exciting to try and stay up to date with all the changes. This presentation will highlighting some of the new features and capabilities in Windows 8.1 and Visual Studio 2013 Preview.

The meeting presenter is Matt Duffield, MVP.

Matt Duffield has over 15 years working in IT. He enjoys building rich user centric applications. Matt is very active in the community speaking at user groups and code camps. He is the leader of the Charlotte ALT.NET user group. He is an INETA speaker member and has been a Microsoft MVP in Client Application Development. He started working in .NET as soon as it was available to the development community and was also an early adopter of both WPF and Silverlight. He believes good business intelligence (BI) architecture is the formula for a successful software package that looks beyond just data and provides insightful information. He is the co-author of the book: Silverlight 5: Building Rich Enterprise Dashboards. You can read his blog at mattduffield.wordpress.com and follow him on Twitter at @mattduffield.

The meeting is sponsored by Logical Advantage.

Founded in 2003, Logical Advantage provides IT consulting services because we believe you should do only one thing – and do it better than anyone else. No matter your challenges, we can design, build and deploy custom-built solutions that can drive your business. We specialize in mastering the most complex business hurdles, and in developing enterprise-class solutions backed by custom software and data integration. We deliver solutions that deliver results. Learn more at www.logicaladvantage.com.

Downloads: Slides and Windows 8.1 SDK samples

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