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 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.

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!

Black Marble presents Microsoft TechDays in the North

VisualStudio Following our popular Architect Insight Forum in the North, Black Marble is delighted to bring you Microsoft TechDays in the North!silverlight

Microsoft are celebrating a number of product launches and innovations during TechDays: a week of technology and social events. Black Marble is joining in with a  Northern event exploring how you can get the most from the latest technology releases including Visual Studio 2010 and SilverLight4 and explore how Microsoft’s platform and tools bring together the clients, servers and services needed to build rich engaging applications.

We’re opening with a morning on Visual Studio 2010 featuring Black Marble and Microsoft US’ Matt Nunn, Visual Studio Program Manager.  Matt will be exploring Visual Studio Team Foundation Server.  You can register here.

During the afternoon, Black Marble will be bringing you Mix:Remixed – all the highlights from Microsoft’s web  conference in Vegas as well as Microsoft SilverLight Guru Jesse Liberty as part of his tour of User Groups throughout the UK and Ireland.  You can register here.

Why not come for the day?  Always great food, and great chance to interact with the experts!

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!

Black Marble join with Microsoft to run a FREE Visual Studio/ALM Event in LONDON

DATE: 17 December.  Location – Royal College of Physicians, 11 St Andrews Place, London NW1 4LE

Welcome to the Microsoft/Black Marble exploration of developer tools and application lifecycle management, now taking place in London for your convenience.

Visual Studio 2010 is being designed inside and out to give developers and development teams every advantage in getting the next ground-breaking application to market – quickly. The upshot is that your business gets to reap the rewards of tomorrow’s efficiency today.

Microsoft Visual Studio Team System 2010 will deliver new capabilities that embrace the needs of the users in the application lifecycle – from architects to developers, from project managers to testers.

Application Lifecycle Management (ALM) is the coordination of all aspects of software engineering – including the formulation and communication of business and technical requirements, code design and architecture, project tracking, change management, coding, testing, debugging, and release management – by using tools that facilitate and track collaboration among and within work teams.

Application development is one of the most strategic activities in IT. Whether the business goal is improving customer satisfaction, streamlining operations, or extending into a new market, the applications that underpin business initiatives and provide differentiation are critical to success. Application development teams that predictably deliver business-critical applications can help a company maintain a competitive edge in the marketplace and drive top-line growth.

Come along and find out how Microsoft’s Developer Tools are changing as well as how Team Foundation Server, Best Practice and Testing can be implemented to help your business manage its application lifecycle successfully.

Black Marble MVP for Team Foundation Server Richard Fennell is joined by key members of the Microsoft Developer Tools team in the UK.

Time – Registration from 9:30am, Event Starts at 10:00am. Lunch at 12:30pm. Event ends at 4:30pm.

A Lively Day around Visual Studio 2010 and Managing the Application Lifecycle …

We were delighted at how our first event of the season went – high turnout, lively crowd and good food all combined to bring Visual Studio 2010 and the Application Lifecycle to Yorkshire Devs.  Feedback was positive, and Black Marble’s Richard Fennell and Iain Angus were a great double act for the day.

More Visual Studio events will be coming … watch this space.

In addition, Boss from Black Marble outlined Microsoft’s new program for Software Startups – BizSpark.  Black Marble is a Network Partner and is keen to ensure Software Technology Startups receive good advice, as well as access to Professional Software products.  We will be running more events just for BizSpark startups, so again, watch this space!