History of the Group
Generally, chronological within each topic
indicates New History in the making!
The Early Years
Thanks to Our First Location
Volunteers and Friends
Major Host Sponsors
Contributing Host Sponsors
Visual Basic .NET - The Next
Presentation.Focus = Member.Focus
Visual Studio .NET and Visual
.NET SIG and Microsoft Rocky Mountain = Partners
Labs - Begining a History of
Labs - Continuing Our History
Thanks to our Lab Master "Emeritus"
Visual Studio .NET Practical
Thanks to "The Tool Man"
Thanks to "Sco" our "Fund
Corporate Presents: Visual Basic Developer's Tour -- Visual Basic .NET
Group Merges Into Visual Basic .NET / Visual C# .NET
Visual Basic .NET Special Interest Group becomes Visual Studio .NET User
Visual Studio .NET User Group
Name Change -- Sort of . . .
User Group Leader Honored
Group Focus Today, what's
Where do you want to go today?
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
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
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.
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!
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
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
well as a number of other helpers. Thank you to each one. See our
most recent volunteer Friends.
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,
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.
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
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
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
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.
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
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
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
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.
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
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.
- 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
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
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
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.
- 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
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!
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
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.
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.
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
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.
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!
to "Sco" our "Fund
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!
Corporate Presents: Visual Basic Developer's Tour -- Visual Basic
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
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
and Program Manager
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.
.NET User Group Merges Into Visual Basic .NET / Visual C# .NET
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.
.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.
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
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
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,
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!
Visual Studio .NET User Group Joins INETA
In February, 2002, the Denver Microsoft Visual Studio .NET User Group
became a Charter Member of the
International .NET Association (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.
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
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.
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.
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,
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,
Group Focus Today, what's important now?
To understand our group focus today and find out
what is important now, see About.
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!
Denver Visual Studio User Group