Part of the Global Windows Azure Bootcamp

Have you heard about the Global Windows Azure Bootcamp?  Around the world in 80+ locations, community groups are running an Azure Bootcamp on the 27th April – mainly organised by MVPs, this is an event with over 3000 attendees! From the UK to the USA, in Asia, the Pacific and Australia – liked-minded individuals are coming together to share what they know about Windows Azure.  Supported by the Microsoft Azure team, this is a fantastic opportunity to show the world what the community can do with Azure and how you can get up to speed with developing for it!

Here in the UK, there are at least four Bootcamps taking place, including the event we are hosting here at Black Marble HQ.  If you’re free, why not join us?  MVPs Robert Hogg, Steve Spencer, Richard Fennell and Andy Westgarth will be presenting and supporting the attendees throughout the day.

If you have already registered, or plan to, please familiarise yourself with the prerequisites first!

Look forward to seeing you there!

Black Marble Events–now Online!

Do you enjoy our Black Marble events, but can’t always make it in person?  Busy day at the office, mean you can’t attend a full or even a half day event?  From 30 January 2012, we are introducing a series of online seminars – running most Mondays though to the end of June, we are covering a range of topics in bite-size sessions.  Follow the links for more information and to register – or call on 01274 300175 for more details.

30 Jan – Search Architecture

06 Feb – What is new in Azure?

20 Feb – Why Migrate from Visual SourceSafe to Visual Studio Team Foundation Server

12 Mar – Content Management with Avviso and SharePoint 2010

19 Mar – Visual Studio Team Foundation Server for Everyone

26 Mar – An Introduction to SQL 2012

16 Apr – Introduction to Azure

23 Apr – An Introduction to Lab Management

30 Apr – Microsoft Surface – It is not just Touch

14 May – Designing for SharePoint

21 May – How to Kickstart your ALM Process

28 May – Designing Applications for the Windows Phone

11 Jun – Creating Data Aware Visio Diagrams in SharePoint 2010

18 Jun – What is New in Azure?

Black Marble’s Annual Technical Update for Microsoft Technologies

We are delighted by the response to our Annual Technical Update for Microsoft Technologies this year.  The event is perfect as an introduction to Black Marble events, as well as providing a Roadmap for all-things Microsoft.  Ideal for planning your business’ IT needs for the next twelve months.

Having raised your interest, the bad news is that the event is actually full-up and we are running a waiting list, but the good news is we are running an overflow event in early February.  The demand for that session is also picking up so please get in touch soon if you want to secure a place! Email events@blackmarble.co.uk for more information.

Our afternoon event brings our ALM MVP and Ranger, Richard Fennell to the fore with DevExpress’ Gary Short – they will be exploring Agile Development with Cool Tools.  There are still some places available for this session.

Those of you already registered to attend – look forward to seeing you on Thursday.

Community Community Community

This is a great time of  year for events – as well as our own (see previous post: A Series of Fortunate Events), there are the following great community events to look forward to:

First up is SQL Bits in York – taking place from 30th September to 2nd October at York University – a three day event, with a community focus on the Saturday. The largest SQL Server conference in Europe, and must-attend event for DBAs.

Next is a a free one-day event in Manchester focusing on Windows Phone 7 from the DDD community – a day of demo-rich presentations for developers – learning, sharing and interacting in a relaxed and informal atmosphere.  It takes place at the Odeon Cinema, Printworks on 7th October, from 9:00-17:00.  There are still places available so book now!

Finally, another DDD event, this time in Ireland!  On Saturday 9th October at the NDRC in Dublin – registration is now open.

A Series of Fortunate Events

Robert Hogg(RobertHogg)Visual-Studio-2010-Beta-2-Public-Downloads-2

We are delighted at Black Marble to announce a great series of events to brighten your days through the darkness of Autumn and Winter.

Kicking off in September with the first of four Visual Studio events exploring the different products available – from Express to Ultimate – to help you determine which is best for you and your business.

21 September – Black Marble / 12 October – Microsoft London 
16 November – Black Marble / 14 December – Microsoft London.

Middle of October we are running our Mix in the North event – focusing on the highlights of MIX, the conference for web developers and UX designers working the Microsoft platform.  Joining us are Microsoft’s Michael McClary (@michaelmcclary), Will Coleman (@will_coleman) and Mike Taulty (@mtaulty).  As well as some great demos of Windows Phone 7, we will have a Microsoft Surface available for you to try.

During the evening, we will be welcoming companies who have signed up to (or want to sign up to) WebsiteSpark and BizSpark.

November starts with a day full of SharePoint greatness – the morning explores the key features we use having worked with SharePoint 2010 for over a year, and during the afternoon we are focusing on using SharePoint for Content Management.

December see a return of the Architecture Forum in the North – this year’s title is “Tools and Methods for Architects” and we are once again joined by Matt Deacon, Simon Thurman, Simon Davies, Giles Davies and Mark Richardson from Microsoft.

And top it all off, following the success of our Open Day we are opening our doors once more in December – join us for drinks, mince pies and plenty of Christmas cheer!

bmlogo

Can you guess what our great freebie is?

During our current season of events we’ve just started to give away some great Black Marble – Microsoft freebies … you might be able to guess from the pictures what they are!

Thanks to all who contributed to producing a great product, our team at Black Marble and the great people at Mountain Goat Software who produce the original Planning Poker cards for providing us with license to create our own.

Planning Poker PacksBlack Marble Planning Poker

Blue BackBlue Face

If you want a closer look, why not join us at one of our remaining sessions?

Planning Poker ® is a reg. trademark of Mountain Goat Software, LLC.  Sequence of values is © Mountain Goat Software, LLC.

Black Marble in Dublin and Oslo

Black Marble returns to Dublin for Epicenter 2010: the second annual Irish Software Show.  This is a great conference on your doorstep, and this year we have …

  • Robert Hogg speaking on SQL Modelling Services (8 June)
  • Steve Spencer on Visual Studio 2010 (8 June)
  • Iain Angus on Application Lifecycle Management (8 June)
  • Robert and Steve are joining forces to expound upon Project Management War Stories (8 June)
  • Robert on Windows Phone 7 (11 June)

A week later, Richard Fennell speaks at the Norwegian Developer’s Conference (NDC2010) in Oslo.  He will be covering:

  • Putting Some Testing Into Your TFS Build (17 June)
  • Making Manual Testing a Part of Your Development Process (17 June)
  • Developing Testable Web Parts for SharePoint (17 June)

We look forward to seeing you at either of these great events!

Tech Update Wows the Crowd

Some of the Tech Update CrowdBlack Marble's Rik Hepworth and Microsoft's Matt McSpiritOur Annual Tech Update went well – a good turnout, asking intelligent questions over a great lunch and soaking up our view of the Microsoft Roadmap for 2009, 2010 and beyond. 

Feedback was positive as ever, with comments that it exceeded expectations which were already high!  Rik Hepworth has blogged on the key Microsoft technologies to look out for.    

Guest Starring in today’s event was Microsoft’s Virtualisation Specialist, Matt McSpirit, aka Virtual Boy pictured here on the right with Black Marble’s Rik Hepworth.

New Year … More Free Events

Welcome to 2010 … and more great events from Black Marble!  The 27th January kicks off with our Annual Tech Update – a complete roadmap of all things Microsoft.  We will shine a light on the big releases of 2009, the highlights of Office and Visual Studio 2010, as well as the releases you might have missed.

The afternoon tackles Azure for the IT Manager and Decision Maker – what is the business value of Microsoft’s cloud offering? Is it the way forward for your business? Black Marble will be joined by Microsoft’s Simon Davies to explore how your business can benefit, and how the model will work for you.

The evening brings Social Media Expert Eileen Brown on board to discuss Using Digital Marketing and Social Media to Build and Maintain your Online Brand.

Come along and join us for our first event of the year … it’s FREE and the food is always great!

The Second Architecture Forum in the North was a Big Success

Black Marble hosted the Second Architecture Forum in the North, and was delighted to welcome back Matt Deacon, Simon Thurman and Simon Davies from Microsoft.  this time they were joined by Mark Richardson and Giles Davies from the Developer Tools team.

Simon Davies (left)

Simon Thurman (left)

The theme of this year’s Forum was the Professional Developer’s Conference (PDC) that took place just two weeks before in Los Angeles.  Matt Deacon, Chief Architectural Advisor from Microsoft opened with the State of Nation.  Simon Davies was next up, exploring Azure – Past, Present and Future.  Simon was then joined by Black Marble’s Robert Hogg to discuss AppFabric.  Finally before lunch, Simon Thurman MC’d the Web Session introducing Black Marble’s Leon Nightingale (SilverLight 4), Barry Wimlett (MVC) and Rik Hepworth (SharePoint 2010).

 

Lunch was a lively affair with round table discussions taking place over Turkey and Stuffing sandwiches and mince pies!Richard Fennell (left) and Mark Richardson (right)

Barry Wimlett (right)After lunch saw Simon Davies return to the stage to discuss Data Services, followed by the Visual Studio 2010 team with Mark Richardson, Giles Davies and Black Marble’s Richard Fennell.  The day was wrapped by  Robert Hogg’s presentation on SQL Server Modelling (formerly known as Oslo).

And another lucky attendee walked away with an XBox!