Microsoft Visual Studio

Denver Visual Studio User Group   www.DenverVisualStudio.net
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 History of the Group
     Generally, chronological within each topic below.
New History in the making! indicates New History in the making!
      The Early Years
     
Independent Life
     
Thanks to Our First Location
     
Volunteers and Friends
     
Major Host Sponsors
     
Meeting Sponsors
     
Contributing Host Sponsors
     
Visual Basic .NET - The Next Generation
     
Presentation.Focus = Member.Focus
     
Visual Studio .NET and Visual Basic .NET
     
Visual Basic .NET SIG and Microsoft Rocky Mountain = Partners
     
Labs - Begining a History of Success
     
Labs - Continuing Our History of Success
     
Thanks to our Lab Master "Emeritus"
     
Visual Studio .NET Practical Skills
     
Thanks to "The Tool Man"
     
Thanks to "Sco" our "Fund Drive Chairman"
     
Microsoft Corporate Presents: Visual Basic Developer's Tour -- Visual Basic .NET
     
.NET User Group Merges Into Visual Basic .NET / Visual C# .NET
     
Visual Basic .NET Special Interest Group becomes Visual Studio .NET User Group
     
Visual Studio .NET User Group Joins INETA
     
Name Change -- Sort of . . .
     
User Group Leader Honored
     
Group Focus Today, what's important now?
     
Where do you want to go today?

 The Early Years
 
     Since the inception of our group, we have evolved as our application development tools have evolved. 

     Dana Cline began meeting with a few other casual Visual Basic users over his kitchen table in about April 1994. Mary Janiczek took over leadership of the group about a year later and remained in that post for about a year. At that time we were a small Special Interest Group under a general Windows user group, The Windows on the Rockies User Group (WRUG). Top

 Independent Life
 
     In March 1996 Chris Wallace became the leader of the group. Under his direction, we became an independent group in the summer of 1997, establishing the Denver Microsoft® Visual Basic® Special Interest Group (MS VB SIG), a professional association.

     The MS VB SIG meet the requirements and became an official Microsoft Mindshare accredited SIG. This provided additional status as a recognized special interest group. This also gained the respect and the primary recognition of the MS VB SIG to outside companies, organizations, and individuals. 

     Our first web site was developed in November, 1997, by Bill Trowbridge of Infopower, hosted by viaWest (formerly Eazy.Net). That first site was named www.vbdenver.org. We also gained recognition by the local Microsoft Rocky Mountain District Office as an independent SIG. Many member volunteers over the years provided group assistance with our web site, group database, location, computer equipment, software, audio-visual, sound equipment, Lab space, door prizes, refreshments, presenters, sponsors,  guests, and much more.

     In early 2000, Microsoft Mindshare recognized the importance of directed content delivery to local user groups and moved to establish directed user groups within Mindshare. The MS VB SIG moved to the more development oriented group under the Microsoft Developer Network, MSDN.

     In September, 2000, Chris Wallace introduced a completely redesigned web site to coincide with the new name of the group, Denver Microsoft® Visual Basic .NET Special Interest Group . We also refocused the goals of the group for the Visual Basic .NET development technologies under the not yet released .NET Framework using Visual Studio .NET. Top

 
Thanks to Our First Location
 
     From the kitchen table days, we quickly grew to take over the cafeteria of the Denver Water Department building as our meeting headquarters. For over 5 years we moved within the building several times as our membership grew.

     A great THANKS goes to Jim Weldon, Denver Water, for his long time assistance in helping our group keep the meeting location at Denver Water. We could not have been meeting there for those five+ years, had it not been for Jim and his efforts.
 
     At our February, 2001, Presentation Meeting long time member "Sco" Scofield lead the group with an honor to Jim by presenting him with a plaque engraved with our thanks. This was our first "Lifetime Achievement Award," Proclaiming, "In honor of your many years of service to the Denver Microsoft Visual Basic Special Interest Group, January 2001." Thanks again, Jim! Top

 
Volunteers and Friends
 
     Volunteers are a user group's most precious resource. The many volunteers we have in this group not only provide the ideas for great services, they are essential to fulfillment. This willingness of individuals to spend time and energy supporting the efforts of the group and helping other members is what allows the group to exist. We recognize the efforts of our volunteers and realize their importance to the group and to each one of us.

     The most important contribution that a person can make to our group of members is that of presenting topics of interest to other members. The sharing of experiences and information transference is an honorable event. Assisting our volunteers in making a successful professional presentation to our group has always been and remains a top priority. We will do whatever we can do to help - please do not hesitate to contact us to volunteer to present. Our group extends a thank you to each of our presenters and to those of you who are considering presenting - together we will continue to make this a success!

     In addition to presenting topics, these volunteer individuals and groups have been active in many different areas, including door prize providers, Lab assistants, membership spokespersons, database coordinators, program chairpersons, e-mail coordinators, and of course our long-time group leader, Chris Wallace, as well as a number of other helpers. Thank you to each one. See our most recent volunteer FriendsTop

 
Major Host Sponsors
 
     Over the years many qualified corporations, governments, organizations, groups, and individuals have sponsored our many activities. Chief among these have been our major host sponsors Microsoft, Hensmann Technology, Denver Water, UCI, The PARSEC Group, and viaWest (formerly Eazy.Net). These have sponsored our locations and web site. Our thanks go to you for your continued support. See our most recent Major Host Sponsors. Top

 
Meeting Sponsors
 
     Our most recurring source of sponsorship is through our monthly Presentation Meeting Sponsors. These sponsors are provided the opportunity to speak to our members during our Presentation Meetings regarding job opportunities, to showcase their developer  products, or for similar reasons. These sponsors provide refreshments and generous door prizes to our members. Our thanks go to you for your assistance. See our most recent  Meeting SponsorsTop

 
Contributing Host Sponsors
 
     Contributing Host Sponsors wish to join with us in a longer term of support. These sponsorship opportunities are called Contributing Host Sponsorships or simply Host Sponsorships. These sponsors provide support for renewable periods of six months. Our most recurring source of sustained sponsorship is through these types of sponsors. These sponsors are provided the opportunity to advertise to our members via the group web site. Our thanks go to you for your assistance. See our most recent  Contributing Host SponsorsTop

 
Visual Basic .NET - The Next Generation
 

     We always keep in mind our goal to continue to cultivate the professional enterprise level approach to application development that we began years ago and that we have worked to build within our group over the past few years.

     In September 2000, we took a great opportunity to strengthen our relationship with the local Microsoft Rocky Mountain District office, which has always supported our group. To that end, we jumped fast on the opportunity to be more closely aligned with the changes that are taking place within our development tools and the evolution of our "beloved" Visual Basic! We especially looked forward to working with the Microsoft .NET technologies as evolution turns to revolutionary enhancements of our developer tools.

     We moved our Presentation Meeting location from Denver Water to the local Microsoft Rocky Mountain District office. We saw this as our shared opportunity to enhance the quality and depth of our monthly presentations. We then offered a specific plan of action. At least quarterly, presentations were planned and given from Microsoft. Supplementing these have been other talented speakers representing the current state-of-the art of application development.

     As we have evolved, we have seen the growth of the Web as central to the forces changing our development world. "The Web offers some intriguing contrasts. Technically, we have access to near instant communication and the time lag between creating a new technology and telling developers about it is quite small. But humans, especially in herds, don't move at Internet speeds. Inter-human communication is orders of magnitude slower than the Web. The problem compounds when you add inter- and intra-organization communication to the mix. This is mentioned because there is often a substantial gap between the news on the Web and information you can actually use in today's work." 

     Within our group of developers, we are often torn between discussing issues of immediate use and issues on technologies that might not appear for some time. Our goal is to meet that challenge head on! We embrace the cutting edge technologies directly with our speakers from Microsoft. We also continue to assist our members in their work today and show how those real world solutions can be brought into the current state of software development with our supplemental presentations. We intend to continue to present topics of interest concerning the current and next versions of our development tools.

     With only about eleven Presentation Meetings per year, we can not hope to teach anyone the details of software syntax, let alone the complex issues of complete application development in this ever changing world. We can, however, assist our members with presentations that showcase real world solutions to every day challenges, using the current and "about to be current" technologies available. Top


 
Presentation.Focus = Member.Focus
 
     Time and again we have seen that the more technical our Presentation Meeting, the larger the turnout. We have also seen a shift in the more unusual presentations that we have offered, which can not be obtained elsewhere. These have included meetings on Careers in IT, meetings on Training and Certification, and meetings which introduced Visual Basic to those who, had no previous background. Topics sometimes produce attendees who are enthusiastic but satisfy a smaller number of members. Our presentations on cutting edge technologies have always meet with large numbers who wanted more. We listen! 

     We continue to evolve to meet those needs by focusing more closely on the technologies with which we work and those that are changing the way we work. We are constantly attempting to satisfy the needs of our developer community concentrating on the tools you use. This includes efforts to appeal to developers of various levels of knowledge.

     We are a technically-focused independent group of professional developers who concentrate our interests in the Microsoft Visual Studio .NET development tool set, emphasizing Visual Basic .NET and Visual C# .NET. At our Presentation Meetings and Labs, we present information on both general and specific topics regarding these tools and the development of enterprise level quality applications. In addition, we may include discussions on other strategic parts of the Microsoft .NET platform. This includes Clients (Operating Systems, Smart Devices, etc.), Experiences (Microsoft Office, MSN, etc.), XML Web Services (and .NET Services, etc.), and Servers (Windows Servers and Windows Servers Systems, including SQL Server, BizTalk Server, Commerce Server, etc.).

     We strive to first address and concentrate on the needs of the large body of enterprise application developers. These may include .NET, Web services, components, SQL Server, etc., In addition, we supplement those presentations with those that meet the needs of the desktop application developer including those that integrate with enterprise applications. These may include various server applications, or reporting, etc., Also, we include automation application developers. These may include Microsoft Office (Word, Excel, Access, Outlook, Visio, etc.), including non-Microsoft solutions.

     In all of these above, many of the technology solutions overlap for these application developers. We spend a lot of time in .NET topics, and those that help us work in .NET. For a list of our current presentation plans, see our Current Events. Top

 
Visual Studio .NET and Visual Basic .NET
 
     The features in Visual Studio .NET and Visual Basic .NET prompted our group to focus more clearly on application development using .NET technologies. We adapted our name to our namesake product, the group became known as Visual Basic .NET. We then established a newly designed web site to encompass this newly designed group, at our familiar home, for Visual Basic .NET.

     With Visual Studio .NET, Microsoft is focused more broadly on the overall development life cycle. Built with Internet scalability in mind along with an open and extensible architecture, Visual Studio .NET is the foundation for a lifecycle platform. 

     The features of Visual Studio .NET make it a complete development environment for building on the Microsoft .NET Framework, the next generation Web application development platform. It provides key enabling technologies to simplify the creation, deployment, and ongoing evolution of secure, reliable, scalable, highly available Web Services while using existing developer skills. In addition, the framework provides features to help Web developers use Web Services as if they were local objects in the developers' preferred development language to simplify service and application development, and let developers focus their time and efforts on the unique services that give their company a competitive advantage. The result is faster time to market, improved developer productivity, and ultimately higher quality software. Top

 
Visual Basic .NET SIG and Microsoft Rocky Mountain = Partners
 

     Our facility for our Presentation Meetings was built specifically for high quality technical presentations. The local Microsoft Rocky Mountain offices are a professional environment highly suited for a professional group of members, such as our group. Seating is arranged for the best audience participation as a classroom with tables and various configurations available. PCs, hardware, software, speakers, microphones, projection equipment and lighting are geared to the kind of presentations that we provide. 

     Garage parking and building security are in place. The location, in the DTC, is a prime location for attracting additional members from the large pool of technical people in southeast Denver. 

     We then expanded our time together to 6 - 9 PM. This extra hour at the beginning of the meeting, allows us additional presentation time, more networking time and  allows us to end on time. We worked hard together to use this additional time wisely. In addition, we expanded our informal networking time by adding a pre-meeting period from 5:30 - 6.

     With the fantastic cooperation of the local Microsoft Rocky Mountain District office, we were able to maintain our familiar day of the month to meet. We continued to meet on the fourth Monday of each month.

     We gained access to greater publicity through this local office, their Web site, their partners, and their frequent day-time presentations. 

     We recognized Mike Graber and Lisa Pennington of Microsoft, Jeff Geller of Microsoft Consulting Services, plus Ashwin Karauhatty for their great assistance. Also, our successful move could not have been accomplished without their helpful assistance - they understand our needs and how Microsoft can help. Top


 
Labs - Begining a History of Success
 
     Our most successful single venture to date has been our Labs. These once per month hands-on Labs have generated a considerable amount of help to the many members who have attended. 

     Our first Lab meet on May 19, 1997 at AmeriTeach-UCI, a Microsoft Certified Technical Education Center in Lakewood and was an immediate hit. The most important aspect of our Labs is the reason to exist. We had many requests from members for a Lab, so we started the process of finding a location and establishing the once monthly Lab sessions. We had also received requests to spend more time in code. The happens when members have code questions where we want to spend the time in code but can't during our monthly Presentation Meetings. The Labs are less formal than our Presentation Meetings and yet serious and 100% devoted to code through both discussions and hands-on examples.

     Our Labs are difference from our Presentation Meetings. Our Lab Master or the Lab guest speakers always have some particular topic of interest in a more informal atmosphere - 100% code and code alone! We expect members to ask questions and give answers to other members during our Labs. We concentrate only in code related areas. Please note that, just like our Presentation Meetings, these Labs are not a substitute for formal training. Microsoft training and education centers offer many courses for that.

     The primary Lab coordinator, our Lab Master, is the focal point for the Labs. The Lab Master and the other volunteers work out the arrangements themselves. The Lab Master is always the first person to arrive and the last person to leave in addition to presenting at nearly every Lab. Plus, the Lab Master coordinates the Lab with our host sponsor and assists members with the Lab. Do not underestimate the amount of effort it takes to operate our Labs! 

     After two years hosting our Lab, due to expansion, UCI  could no longer continue to provide our Lab space. We were quite fortunate that The PARSEC Group, through Erica Freudenstein, went out of their way to volunteer their location for our new Lab home, in the same area of town as our former location, and allowed us to retain the same day each month, and the same time! Our first Lab at The PARSEC Group was on May 17, 1999 - very happy to enjoy the business like relationship we had with The PARSEC Group.

     Three and a half years later, we celebrated a great run and a wonderful relationship. Regretfully, our last Lab, in October, 2002 was our last one at the Parsec Group.

     As we all are aware, over the time we had been together at the Parsec Group we changed our name and focus as our software tools evolved. In September 2000, we jumped fast on the opportunity to be more closely aligned with the changes that were taking place within our development tools and the evolution of our "beloved" Visual Basic when we changed from the Visual Basic Special Interest Group to the Visual Basic .NET Special Interest Group. In December of 2001, we again changed as our tools evolved and we became the Denver Microsoft Visual Studio .NET User Group with an emphasis on Visual Basic .NET and Visual C# .NET. Microsoft released into production these tools in February, 2002. Ending in 2002, with over 1,200 members and multiple events each month, we continued to be proud of our group and each individual member as we continued to grow.

     Unfortunately, we had not been able to exercise the .NET developer tool set to the extent to which we needed to within our Labs at the Parsec Group, since the Parsec Group did not offer this .NET developer technology in their training areas. We then had a critical need to upgrade our Labs to the current software, with our decision to focus solely on .NET from then on.

     I personally thank the staff at the Parsec Group and particularly Erica Freudenstein, for the wonderful support of our group over this long period. I also thank our Lab leaders, Dick Grier, James Hansen, and Dirk Kittredge for all their efforts that directly contributed to the success of our Labs there. Of course, our many members who visited the Parsec Group facility to participate in our Labs also thank the Parsec Group for their support. We thank them for their professionalism and for giving back to our technical community in such a caring manner.

     We will miss the Parsec Group, but we will continue to remember the good times and we will continue to hold them up as a shining star in our history as well as recommend them as Microsoft trainers. Good luck to Erica and all of our friends at the Parsec Group. Top

 
Labs - Continuing Our History of Success
 
     In the late fall of 2002, we were offered a new location to use as our Lab venue which then provided us the opportunity to use the current Microsoft .NET developer technology. We finalized our plans to move our Lab location from the Parsec Group to Hensmann Technology, the home of our Visual Studio .NET Practical Skills Course which was then running the two six month sessions concurrently.

     Our first Lab at the Hensmann Technology Learning and Education Center was then scheduled to be Friday, January 24, 2003. Beginning that January, our monthly Lab day was moved to the Friday before our Monday Meeting each month and our monthly Lab time was expanded to 7:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m., with optional added time after the Lab.

     At Hensmann, we arranged to have full use of Microsoft Visual Studio .NET Professional Edition in one of the Hensmann Technology state-of-the art training rooms on machines which are the same ones used by them for their paid training sessions.

     We also decided then to continue our Labs as FREE hands-on training performed by user group members for the benefit of other user group members. Our Lab leaders and members together provided and agreed to proper security for the Hensmann Technology facility and all Hensmann Technology equipment hardware and software available to our Lab attendees during the time of our Labs. When our members attend our Labs, they agreed to abide by the security procedures in place. We are guests of Hensmann Technology and expect professionalism in our attendees. Admission is not guaranteed. Limitations are imposed due to the size of the facility and our quality.

     
Additional Lab co-coordinators/assistants and guest speakers will continue to be added to our list of volunteer members working our Labs. Our Labs continue to be of enormous benefit to our group due to the high level of quality of our Lab partners, providing us our PC Lab at no cost to our members. Our Labs have always been FREE, separate from, and in addition to the low fee based Visual Studio .NET Practical Skills Course which was already running two six month sessions concurrently when we decided to move our Lab to Hensmann.

     We specifically thank Bryan VanSickle and Laura Edwards both of Hensmann Technology for providing our new Lab location and all of their help in setting up our new Labs. We look forward to a long time relationship with the Hensmann Technology Learning and Education Center as our new Lab home, as we start 2003! Top

 
Thanks to our Lab Master "Emeritus"
 
     Of course, the beginning success of our Labs is due to the one person who founded our Labs and worked for the first five years to coordinate, direct, lead, and officiate at every Lab, our Lab Master “Emeritus”, Richard 'Dick' Grier. Our members all thank Dick for his unrelenting support of our group. Without exception, Dick became synonymous with our Labs!

     In February, 2002, two long time members of our user group volunteered to become our new Lab coordinators as Lab Co-Masters! James Hansen and Dirk Kittredge took over responsibility for our Labs. Thanks! In October, 2002, Dirk resigned from our Labs due to the travel requirements of a new job.
 
     At our May, 2002, Presentation Meeting long time member "Sco" Scofield lead the group with an honor to Dick by presenting him with a plaque engraved with our thanks. This was our second "Lifetime Achievement Award," Proclaiming, "In honor of your many years of service to the Denver Microsoft Visual Studio .NET User Group, May, 2002." Thanks again, Dick!

     The Labs continue to be home for those members of all levels of experience who want specific questions answered regarding code problems which they can bring in. It is also the location for the review of the basics of Visual Basic now in the context of Visual Basic .NET and Visual C# .NET. This is the assistance, which is so often difficult to obtain outside of normal channels for many members. These goals are items which we, in our Presentations Meetings, can not possibly address adequately. Top

 
Visual Studio .NET Practical Skills
 
     In the spring of 2002, Dirk Kittredge and a select band of members began meeting to determine the possibility of creating a training session for the new .NET technologies. In our fast paced and changing development environment, we clearly determined that it was critical to stay ahead of the wave. We knew that we had to recognize that the technology of the future was then within our immediate reach -- it was time to take advantage of this amazing training opportunity.

     After much anticipation, long hours or careful research and investigation, the training program that we had been waiting for was finally here! Our Denver Microsoft  Visual Studio .NET User Group Task Force had coordinated professional training to be conducted by Hensmann Technology Inc., a Microsoft
Certified Partner and training center.

     Topics covered in this course were to include: Programming with Microsoft C# .NET and the Microsoft .NET Framework, Developing Microsoft C# .NET Applications for Windows, Programming with ADO.NET, Microsoft .NET Assembly Deployment and Security, Developing Web Applications using ASP.NET, and XML and the Microsoft .NET Platform.

     All of this training was to be included in the six month "weekends only" (with some breaks) course starting on Saturday, August 10, 2002. The training was all to be conducted at the Hensmann Learning and Education Center, Englewood.

     The cost to our members, including books, was so low and the quality so high that this course became very popular and far less costly than similar courses at other companies. This was a private especially arranged training course for our members only. Hensmann also provided the flexibility to pay by check, credit card, or optional financing. In addition, possible college credit and tuition reimbursement options were also available.

     In order to cut costs, weekend classes were provided and as discussed in our group meetings, each student was required to supply a laptop computer with Microsoft Visual Studio .NET Professional (or above) loaded and running in order to complete this course. This was required to complete the lab exercises which were intermingled with the lectures in every class. For student members who did not have a laptop computer or did not know if their current laptop could support Microsoft Visual Studio .NET Professional, options and information were made available by contacting our member, Dirk Kittredge, or Brett Green, of Hensmann.

     Due to overwhelming demand, this new training program started August 10, 2002 to last approximately 6 months, with full capacity! At that time we began taking registrations for a second class. That second class began on September 28, 2002 again to last approximately 6 months. Due to popular request, a third class session was scheduled to begin on March 22, 2003.

     This valuable training was made possible through the hard work of several volunteer members lead by Dirk Kittredge. The tireless efforts of our training course partners at Hensmann made this a reality. Those people we thank: Bryan VanSickle, Brett Green, and Laura Edwards. We look forward to more training and a continued close working relationship with Hensmann. Top

 
Thanks to "The Tool Man"
 
     No great things are done without leadership. This major change in the evolution of your group could not have taken place without the expert guidance, assistance, understanding, and hard work of Mel "The Tool Man" Harris. Our long-time member and good friend has worked long to make this come about. Our members and I say Thanks again, Mel! Top

 
Thanks to "Sco" our "Fund Drive Chairman"
 
     Thanks goes to long-time member "Sco" Scofield for his volunteer efforts to raise the needed funds for our group to carry on.

     Sco not only has volunteered continuously to raise the funds, he has raised the awareness of each member, as well as the group leader, in recognizing the physical and monetary contributions made by other group members. As our group "Fund Drive Chairman" he solely has been responsible for "encouraging" our members to contribute to our much needed annual and special funding. Since we charge no membership dues or fees, about once per year we rely on member's free-will offerings to assist us in providing services to members.

     During the 2002 and 2003 annual fund drives, Sco was responsible for raising over $800 total for our group expenses and for appreciation gifts to our outstanding volunteer members. If it was not for Sco, our solicitation efforts would not be successful - if they happened at all! From each member, "Thanks, Sco - we appreciate your extra efforts for our group!" We also thank the many members who have made our jobs easier with their donations! Sco exemplifies our quality level of volunteer resource. Thanks, Sco! Top

 Microsoft Corporate Presents: Visual Basic Developer's Tour -- Visual Basic .NET
 
     In May, 2001, Microsoft Corporate, Redmond, selected our group as one of the few user groups that they would visit to present the 2001 Visual Basic Developer's Tour -- Visual Basic .NET. This became one of the most important meeting of the year. We were proud to host such a great gathering.

     Presenting from Microsoft was David Lazar, Group Product Manager for .NET Tools & Services, and Ford McKinstry, Program Manager for Microsoft Visual Basic .NET. This provided our members the ability to talk to the people who are building it! We were able to see what is different, learn what is new and exciting, find out how it works, as well as ask questions directly to those building the product, and understand what is needed to upgrade each of us and our current Visual Basic applications to the newest technology.
    
     In August, 2002, Microsoft was back with the newest version of the tour, the 2002 Visual Basic Developer's Tour -- The Best Gets Better! The emphasis this time was on
those who had not yet upgraded from Visual Basic 6 to Visual Basic .NET. Joining us from Redmond this time was Mike Iem and Alan Griver, members of the Visual Basic .NET development team.
    
     In April,  2004, Microsoft was back again with the newest version of the tour, the Visual Basic .NET 2004 World Tour. The emphasis this time was on practical skills using Visual Basic .NET and the upcoming Visual Basic .NET 2005 in Visual Studio .NET 2005.
Joining us from Redmond this time was Product Manager Jay Roxe and Program Manager Paul Yuknewicz, members of the Visual Basic .NET development team. The largest crowd ever at one of our regular meetings joined us for this event at the Hyatt Hotel. Top

 .NET User Group Merges Into Visual Basic .NET / Visual C# .NET
 
     Over the period between summer 2000 through summer 2001, there was a huge increase in User Group activity surrounding Microsoft development tools and directions. With the introduction of the .NET framework, and Visual Studio .NET, the local Microsoft office decided to start a user group that focused on the needs of developers that would get them up to speed on this new technology, and help them understand how to write their code today to prepare for tomorrow. This was a slightly different focus than other user groups that typically focus more on “today’s” technology. However, with Visual Studio .NET moving into Beta 2, and the release due by the year of the year 2001, the local Microsoft office decided to make changes that affected .NET User Group participants.

    
The .NET User Group participants merged with the Visual Basic .NET Special Interest Group and merged with the local Visual C# .NET User Group. This way members could talk about and see code in the language that best fit the way those members like to program. This happened with the tremendous support of the Microsoft Rocky Mountain district office. Top

 Visual Basic .NET Special Interest Group becomes Visual Studio .NET User Group
 
     At one time developers who used Visual Basic used it largely to the exclusion of other tools. People identified themselves as Visual Basic developers and were able to do quite well. Today, our members are developers who are really Visual Studio developers, using many tools in addition to just Visual Basic. It's not just a language that we deal with daily, one might say "It's the platform, stupid." With that comes the realization that the .NET technologies finally put an end to the language debate. Just use which ever one fits you, use the .NET Framework to take care of the rest. Learn and use the .NET Framework with your syntax of choice. With Visual Studio .NET, Microsoft is focused more broadly on the overall development life cycle. Built with Internet scalability in mind along with an open and extensible architecture, Visual Studio .NET is the foundation for a lifecycle platform.

     In November, 2001, during Denver Microsoft DevDays, our official new name was revealed: "The Denver Microsoft Visual Studio .NET User Group" a professional association. This latest evolution of the group recognizes the shift from a Visual Basic centric world to one where your language of choice is not an encumbrance to your business solution. In December, 2001, the new web site name was created for the combined group to focus on the new identity, www.denvervisualstudio.net.

     The Denver Microsoft Visual Studio .NET User Group works with all the Visual Studio development tools and emphasize the use of Visual Basic .NET and Visual C# .NET in our discussions and code examples. Visual Basic .NET and Visual C# .NET are highly similar at their core. They share the same framework and its base classes. In the great majority of cases, a solution that uses Visual Basic .NET also applies to Visual C# .NET. We take advantage of this similarity by including both Visual Basic .NET and Visual C# .NET in our monthly meetings.

     In January, 2002, this group merged the former Visual C# .NET User Group into this group, making it a single powerhouse and primary developer user group in the Rocky Mountains.

     Microsoft released Visual Studio .NET on February 13, 2002. Our group was proud to be a sponsor of the Denver release of Visual Studio .NET on February 27, 2002! Microsoft released Visual Studio .NET 2003 on April 24, 2003. Our group was proud to be a sponsor of the Denver release of Visual Studio .NET on May 13, 2003!  Top

 Visual Studio .NET User Group Joins INETA
 
     In February, 2002, the Denver Microsoft Visual Studio .NET User Group became a Charter Member of the The International .NET Association (INETA).

     INETA provides structured, peer-based organizational, educational, and promotional support to the growing worldwide community of Microsoft .NET user groups. INETA’s mission is to offer assistance and resources to community groups that promote and educate their membership in Microsoft's .NET technologies. INETA welcomes all facets of the .NET user community, from developers and architects to project managers and IT professionals. Members are user groups, not the individual members of user groups.

     INETA is the next evolution in user group communities – a non-profit, independent organization, chartered with supporting all user groups interested in the Microsoft .NET platform. INETA is run by a board of user group leaders supported by Microsoft Corporation and other sponsors.

     INETA members are working very hard to build the very best program for .NET focused user groups. As an entirely volunteer-led organization at this time, they are working to build a program that scales properly for user groups worldwide which takes a great deal of care and coordination.

     In one of their first steps toward this goal, INETA initiated a very successful user group leader meeting during Microsoft Tech-Ed 2002, New Orleans, April 2002. There, over 40 delegates representing of the INETA member user groups worldwide were able to meet and discuss how INETA can be most helpful to their process of growing their communities. Chris Wallace represented our user group at that meeting. Currently several internal INETA committees are hard at work developing programs for user group use.

     In their continuing effort to assist user groups and user group leaders toward this goal, INETA sponsored another very successful user group leader summit during Microsoft Tech-Ed 2004, San Diego, May 2004. There, over 70 delegates representing INETA member user groups worldwide once again were able to meet and discuss how INETA can be most helpful to their process of growing their communities. Chris Wallace represented our user group at that meeting and as a member of the INETA User Group Relations Committee as a User Group Liaison. INETA also sponsored a successful effort to participate and staff the Microsoft Community Pavilion INETA booth in the Expo Hall at Tech-Ed 2004. The continuing world wide growth of user groups has increased the scope and importance of all of INETA and all of its committees. Top

 Name Change -- Sort of . . .
 
          Along with our location in "Denver," we always used the name of Microsoft's Visual Studio product as the main portion of our user group name. When Microsoft added ".NET" we also added it. When Microsoft dropped ".NET" we also dropped it! In addition, to make it easier to remember our name, we shortened it to the name that we all used for some time anyway!
     In recognition of this, we changed our name to "Denver Visual Studio User Group!"
     Did you notice much of a change? Not much, but it is easier to say! Gradually our new shorter name began appearing in lights everywhere! This is only a slight change of name and not a change of our emphasis on the .NET Framework and all that we continue to do with our Visual Studio tools!
    Our web site remains the same,
www.DenverVisualStudio.net.Top

 
User Group Leader Honored
 
     Chris Wallace, of Wallace Business Solutions, Denver, Colorado, is a software consultant in Microsoft technologies, emphasizing Visual Studio in SOA-OOP/N-tier architectures using .NET. He has extensive IT experience working in the US and Europe. His goal is to deliver complete application development solutions to meet real world business needs. He holds a Masters degree in Computer Information Systems, is a private pilot, and is a worldwide adventure traveler. When not solving the world's business problems, he can be found on the slopes of the Colorado Rockies with his Siberian Huskies.

     Chris has been the Leader of the Denver Visual Studio User Group since March 1996. In July, 2004, he was honored by his user group members with a "Life Time Achievement Award" in tribute to his many years of service to his user group. He is a business and developer technology speaker, and a Microsoft MVP. For questions and comments, contact Chris Wallace directly.Top

 Group Focus Today, what's important now?
 
     To understand our group focus today and find out what is important now, see About. Top

 Where do you want to go today?
 
     We began as a small group of users to become a large diverse group of application systems developers at all levels of expertise. From the original 5 members we grew to hundreds of members. For the current total membership, see About.

     We will continue to enhance our group and promote our group goals, as we serve our local developer community. Take this opportunity to join us as we continue to take those next great steps in our evolution! Top


Regards, 

Chris Wallace
Denver Visual Studio User Group
http://www.denvervisualstudio.net
Last Updated: 09/17/2016 Top

 

 

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