# Thursday, June 30, 2011

It's surprising that more people aren't aware of the Lansing Day of .Net (LDODN). This past Saturday marked the third time this event was held in the greater Lansing area. Every instance outdistances their previous efforts.

Like most code camps, this community-run event features “eyes-front” presentations delivered by experts in the community. But in Lansing, they always offer a little of the unexpected. The first year, the mayor of Lansing showed up to discuss the role of technology in the economy; At the second LDODN, the event was held at The Breslin Center - home of the Michigan State University basketball team; and this most recent LDODN held many surprises.

The conference took place at the TechSmith campus. TechSmith, which makes some great software like SnagIt and Camtasia Studio, operates out of Okemos, MI. Two large classrooms accommodated the two tracks of LDODN.
The conference was small enough to list all the topics and presenters below:

  • ASP.NET MVC: A Web Coder's Salvation (Jay Harris)
  • Diversity in IT: Optimize for what everyone brings to the table (Jennifer Marsman)
  • Top 10 Tips for Moving from Winforms to WPF (Michael Eaton)    
  • Field Guide to Moving to the Cloud (Michael Wood)
  • You (Leon Gersing)    
  • Intro to Windows Phone 7 Development (Jeff Fansler)
  • The Swamp King’s Vision: A Tale of Project Management (Darrell Hawley)    
  • That's It, I've had enough, I'm starting my own company (Jeff McWherter)
  • Build a Complete Website Using HTML5 and CSS3 in One Hour (Amelia Marschall)    
  • Be a Better Developer (Michael Wood)
  • jQuery (Leon Gersing)    
  • Panel: Ultimate Tools Edition

Notice anything about these sessions? Although the conference has ".Net" in the title, only three talks focused on Microsoft technologies. This was far more than a .Net or Microsoft-focused conference. Instead, we had talks on open source (jQuery), web standards (HTML5), and vendor-agnostic technologies (Cloud computing). A plurality of talks focused on soft skills (Diversity, Project Management, You, Be A Better Developer). Clearly the organizing team kept the Day of .Net branding only to provide continuity; They chose the best content they could find, regardless of the technology stack.

For the record, I attended 3 sessions: Michael Wood's Field Guide to Moving to the Cloud; Leon Gersing's You; and Leon Gersing's jQuery.

Mike Wood is an Azure MVP but his presentation was applicable to any cloud vendor. Key points: Understand how to secure your data when you move offsite; Estimate the demand on your application, so you can scale appropriately; Decide what parts of your application should be kept in-house; Don't migrate your mission critical application first.

Leon Gersing's You presentation was a thought-provoking treatise on how one can take better control of one's life by becoming aware of what your own needs are and of how others perceive you. There was a lot to this talk and the large audience was engaged. I recorded an interview with Leon on this subject and I plan to release it soon on Technology And Friends.

Leon's jQuery presentation was a 100-level talk. It was mostly review for me, but I found it useful because I am scheduled to deliver a similar presentation this week at MADExpo, so I wanted to steal some ideas.

Like most good conferences, LDODN offered more than presentations. This one featured a catered lunch and dinner. Dinner is rare at a one-day conference. The food was first-rate (Chipotle burritos for lunch; and barbecue dinner from the Michigan Brewing Company).

After dinner, the celebration began with a dunk tank. Dennis Burton, Jeff McWherter and other leaders in the Lansing development community agreed to get dunked for charity. All proceeds benefited Lansing's Impression 5 Museum, which hosts the Lansing Give Camp each year. An inflatable slide provided more fun for those stayed late.

And I haven't told you the best part. During the raffle, dozens of books, software and hardware was given away.

And I won a brand-new iPad!

Photos of LDODN