Monday, January 30, 2012

Prairie IT Pro Con West–It’s Not Just For Devs!



So you’re an IT Pro and wonder why you’d care about Prairie Developer Conference? Well let me tell you, this isn’t just a software developer conference!

We’ve got IT Pro-themed sessions covering virtualization, Microsoft System Center, cloud, Lync, SharePoint, SQL Server, and more!

Plus, attending the conference will get you a free pass to one of the IT Virtualization workshops being held on Monday March 12th!

Don’t miss this opportunity to get up to speed on what Microsoft is doing within the IT Pro space! Register today for Prairie Dev Con!

Announcing Microsoft IT Virtualization Boot Camp Events!

We’re thrilled that Microsoft TechDays and the Calgary IT Pro Community are bringing an IT Virtualization Boot Camp to Prairie IT Pro & Dev Con – West!

This day-long workshop will give you hands on experience on Microsoft virtualization technologies, so at the end you’ll know how to…

Prepare your Windows Server-based computer for virtualization

an iSCSI storage server

a Windows Failover Cluster

Hyper-V virtual machines highly available and using Live Migration to move running workloads between hosts with no loss in client connectivity

non-Microsoft-based virtual machines into your cluster

how Windows Failover Clustering can help to make dealing with hardware failure easier

Plus, Microsoft is bringing the computers and hardware so this truly is a hands-on workshop!

So here’s the details:

Monday, March 12

Registration and snacks at 9:30 AM, workshop 10:00 AM – 4:00 PM

TELUS Convention Centre

If you’re registered for Prairie Dev Con, this event is *FREE*! You can select it as an agenda item during registration. Visit for details on how to register for the conference!

Otherwise, there’s a nominal $25 fee. Proceeds go to the Calgary IT Pro Community! The signup form will be up later today (Jan 30/2012) at this link

You can download the workshop synopsis here!

NOTE: The workshop is limited to 40 people, so this is a first come – first serve scenario. Make sure to register early!

Friday, January 27, 2012

Get a Discount for Prairie Dev Con–West and Help Support Your Local Technical Community

PrairieDevCon is all about community – providing an opportunity for technical communities to gather together and learn, socialize, and network. As a community leader myself, I know first hand how much work goes into finding sponsorship and support to ensure user groups, code camps, and other community events happen.

With that in mind, we’re introducing a new community sponsorship program!

Below are promo codes for various technical communities within Calgary and Edmonton. For every conference registration with a promo code, we’ll donate $25 to the associated group!

Also when you use a code you’ll get $100 off your conference registration!

So attending Prairie Dev Con – West not only gives you three days of fantastic technical sessions, it also helps your local community groups provide you with more great events!

Get more info on the conference, sessions, speakers, and how to register at!


Promo Code

Calgary .NET User Group


Calgary IT Pro Community Association


Calgary SQL User Group


Calgary SharePoint User Group


Edmonton .NET User Group


Thursday, January 26, 2012

Microsoft TechDays Sessions Posted!

They’ve arrived! Microsoft is bringing a number of sessions from their popular TechDays events to Prairie Dev Con West and we’ve got them posted on our site!

In addition to fantastic SharePoint, SQL Server, mobile, and cloud sessions, we’ve got some great content for those in the IT Pro world: System Center, VIrtualization, Lync, and more!

Check out all the TechDays content by visiting our Sessions page and selecting TechDays from the filter list!

And a reminder – our January discounted price of $599.99 ends January 31st! Secure your registration to the conference today!

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Check Out Our SharePoint Session Lineup!

Interested in SharePoint? Want to learn from experts with real world experience with the platform?

Prairie Dev Con West has four Microsoft SharePoint MVPs presenting at the event, and covering development and administration! Check out these titles:

Build Composite SharePoint Solutions Using HTML5 and JavaScript
Jason Kaczor

Managing SharePoint 2012 with System Center Operations Manager
Jason Kaczor

Optimizing SharePoint for Internet Sites
Kanwal Khipple

Practical Tips for Governance of SharePoint
Juan Larios

SharePoint Client Object Model: Accessing SharePoint Externally Using Javascript and C#
Bil Simser

Check out more details on these and other sessions, and the speakers presenting them, at our website:!

Make sure to register in January to take advantage of our $599.99 discounted price!

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

New SQL Server and SharePoint Sessions Added

We’re going to be adding more sessions to the schedule this week, and we’re kicking it off with the three below:

Mike Diehl will be presenting two SQL Server based talks:

SQL Server 2012 Data Quality Services

Data Quality represents the degree to which the data is suitable for usage in the required business processes. The quality of data can be defined, measured and managed through various data quality metrics such as completeness, conformity, consistency, accuracy, and duplication. Improved data quality is achieved through people, technology and processes. Learn how SQL Server Data Quality Services (DQS) provides approachable data quality capabilities for organizations of all sizes to help improve the quality of their data. DQS is designed to help ensure data quality through the profiling, cleansing, and matching of critical data.

Patterns and Practices for developing SQL Server 2008 Integration Packages to Populate Data Warehouses

Integration packages perform extract, transform, and load (ETL) operations to bring data from an operational database to a data warehouse. I will show the patterns and practices I use to develop these packages:

  • Naming Conventions
  • When to use the Slowly-changing-dimension task
  • Using stored procedures and views in the source and target databases for integration purposes
  • Using the Lookup task.
  • Incremental extractions
  • Snapshot extractions
  • Change tracking in source, and extraction tracking in target
  • Making packages idempotent
  • Package configurations
  • Deployment and execution
  • Custom SSIS task development

And Kanwal Khipple will be presenting on SharePoint:

Optimizing SharePoint 2010 for Internet Sites.

This session is for you whether you have an existing public facing site that you want to replace or you are new to the world of .com. We’ll also discuss how to configure public facing sites, what security needs to be place and what features to leverage. We will also focus on the needs of your visitors and how to ensure a consistent experience. After this session, you'll have the knowledge to tackle the following key areas: Performance optimization, SEO, Branding Guidelines, Technical Architecture

Don’t forgot our January discounted price ends in less than two weeks, so register today!

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Hey Edmonton–Want to learn Azure and Have a Chance to Win a PrDCWest Conference Pass?

This Saturday, Microsoft and the Edmonton .NET User Group will be putting on Azure Camp – a free day-long immersion in Azure cloud development! Prairie Dev Con speaker Tyler Doerksen will be leading the camp which will provide a solid foundation on cloud development using Microsoft technologies.

Plus, Prairie Developer Conference is providing a free registration to be given away at the event!

For more information including location, times, and how to register, visit -

Also don’t forget that the $599.99 January registration price for Prairie Developer Conference West ends in 2 weeks! Make sure to register today!


Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Come Get an Agile Kickstart at PrDC West!

We’ve got some fantastic Agile speakers and sessions at Prairie Dev Con West this March, and no matter what your interest is in Agile we’ve got you covered! Sessions include:

  • Agile Estimating Dojo – Two hours of hands on estimating exercises!
  • Integrating Data Modelling & Data Design into Agile Practices
  • User Story Mapping: Rounding Out Your Backlog
  • Why We Suck at Estimating (And How To Get Better)
  • Performance Tuning: An Agile Approach
  • Using fitSharp for Automated Acceptance Testing
  • Good vs. Great Agile Teams
  • Agile Practices from a Standing Start
  • Hands On Applied Agile
  • Why They Aren’t Buying Your Agile and How to Make them Love It
  • An Agile Panel Discussion with our Agile Presenters

To get more details on these, check out the session descriptions at

If you want a full immersion experience in Agile, make sure to check out our pre-conference workshop ‘Planning and Initiating an Agile Project’ with Steve Rogalsky!

Planning and initiating any project can be a challenging task. When starting an agile project the focus, activities, and output changes significantly from traditional projects. It can be challenging to understand what practices should be used and what deliverables should be produced to allow the project to start quickly and on a firm foundation. This workshop will help you understand who should be involved and the differences between traditional and agile project planning and initiation. Working in teams, you will receive hands-on practice in planning and initiating an agile project using techniques such as:

  • Agile Visioning (Starting with Why)
  • Agile Chartering
  • Planning, organizing and prioritizing through User Story Mapping
  • Personas and User Scenarios
  • Techniques for generating user stories
  • How to write good user stories
  • Agile estimating techniques
  • Prioritizing user stories
  • Light weight risk assessments

This hands-on workshop is recommended for all roles and team members.

Workshops can be registered individually or bundled with a conference registration for 50% off! For pricing information and how to register, visit