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  • Portable Class Libraries (PCLs) Will Rock Your Socks Off In Mobile Development
    Min Muang (@IAmMinMaung - http://www.byteacode.com (http://www.byteacode.com/) ) will be presenting on Portable Class Libraries. Portable class libraries (PCLs) are a very powerful tool, which can help speed up your cross platform mobile development. Since Xamarin 3, Xamarin has fully supported PCLs. In fact most major support libraries available for Xamarin projects are now implemented as PCLs, and although Xamarin.Forms is available in PCL and Shared Libraries, Xamarin highly recommends the use of PCLs. You can use these on Windows Phone, Windows 8, Xamarin Android, and Xamarin iOS applications. We will go over how to create them, some of the limitations to be aware of, and the best ways to use them. We will also show demonstrations using Xamarin Studio along with Visual Studio. Is this truly write code once, kind of deploy everywhere?​ Name a new technology that Min isn’t interested in. Min has developed on all mobile platforms from latest Windows 8 to Windows Mobile 6.5. Of course that also means that he has had countless smartphones and tablets. Min is often honing his skills by aggressively competing in hackathons dating back to his days at Dominican University. Being technologically agnostic, he does not stop tinkering with mobile platforms like Android, he creates his own personal microcontrollers for robotics projects. When he’s not coding, he’s building robots. When he’s not adding more robots to his robot army, you will see him speaking at conferences such as That Conference and CodeMash. Monday through Friday, you’ll find him at a leading, privately-held payroll and HR software solutions company, cranking out .Net code and writing apps in ASP.Net, KendoUI, Knockout.js, Node.js, and other web solutions. Pizza and pop are courtesy of Practice Velocity - please have a look at their job postings (and tell them a huge "THANK YOU" for hosting us)! http://www.practicevelocity.com/about/current-career-openings/ You will not want to miss Min's presentation this month - Please RSVP!

    Practice Velocity

    8777 Velocity Dr. · Machesney Park, IL

    3 comments
  • 3D Printing with Jesse Robinson and Steve North
    Jesse Robinson and Steve North will be presenting on 3D Printing this month. You might remember seeing Steve's awesome Jet Engine 3D printed (and working) model at last month's meeting, along with Jesse's awesome Solder Reflow mod of a Toaster Oven. A few things they plan on covering: Subtractive Manufacturing, Additive Manufacturing 3D Printing technologies, Big names in hobbyist printing, FDM Printer Types, FDM Printer parts, PLA vs ABS, Other Materials, Software chain, GCode, and maybe some demonstrations. Jesse Robinson is a University of Wisconsin Platteville graduate with a BSEE and emphases in controls, digital electronics, and analog/communications. Most of his experience has been in embedded hardware and firmware design, with work in industrial, medical, general consulting, and currently automotive industries where he design ultrasonic level sensors. On the hobbyist side he does work with Arduino, wireless communication like Bluetooth and Zigbee, some desktop development in Visual Basic and C#, and some app development in Java with Eclipse. You might have seen some of his work on some of the Ben Heck Show's episodes as a guest engineer (both on and behind the scenes). He is getting more into mechanical design with his 3D printer, a friend's Epilog laser, and his ShapeOko CNC machine. Besides all this, he likes to play boardgames and has designed and made several accessories for replacement parts, upgrades, and organizational tools. Steven North is a Graduate from University of Wisconsin Platteville with a BSEE with an emphasis in controls, and digital systems. He currently works at UTC Aerospace Systems as an Electrical Engineer in the Electric Systems division. Prior to pursuing a career in engineering, he worked as a restaurant manager for Pizza Hut of Southern WI. In my spare time he likes to play with his 3D printer, read about current tech trends, build motorcycles, and other various projects that spark his interest. His current goal is to complete the Spartan Race Trifecta in 2015, and he is 2/3 of the way there now. We hope to see you on Wednesday. June 24th at 6 p.m. for what should be a great meeting!

    Practice Velocity

    8777 Velocity Dr. · Machesney Park, IL

    2 comments
  • Project Demo/Brag Night 2!
    Due to the highly-positive feedback received for our first-ever "Project Demo/Brag Night" held in January 2015, and also due to the Mini-Maker's Faire happening in Rockford on Saturday, May 9th (rockfordauburnminimakerfaire.com), we will be having our second-ever "Project Demo/Brag Night" on Wednesday, May 27th. If you have something cool you want to show off to a group, whether hardware or software (or both), tonight is going to be your night! Don't be shy-bring your laptop (or Arduino, or Pi, or Phone, or Edison, or Odroid, or Robot, or Chromecast, or Mindstorms, or tablet, or Abacus, or your "Skunkworks" projects, or ...) and show the group what you are doing; we'll get in as many of these projects as possible. If there's time, we can also tap the brain-trust of the room to help get you out of "that corner into which you might have painted yourself." This is also a great opportunity to show off some of the cool software tricks and tools you use which normally might not need an entire meeting to demonstrate, or maybe a cool tip or trick you learned recently; for example, Jon's half-joking "'This is Notepad.exe' Demo" comes to mind, but I know you've got some cooler tools/tricks than this up your sleeves-this meeting is a great place and time to show them off! If your idea needs something specific "to help it demo," contact us so we can help you to make it happen (within reason, of course--for example, we probably can't host a Tesla Coil in the facility, but...). You probably remember how cool the previous one was, so you will want to be here again on Wednesday, May 27th at 6 p.m.

    Practice Velocity

    8777 Velocity Dr. · Machesney Park, IL

    8 comments
  • Writing Software for Humans (and developers); INETA's 13th Birthday Party!
    For March, we have a doubly awesome lineup. Drew Peterson will be speaking on Writing Software for Humans (and developers) and we will be celebrating INETA's 13th Birthday! Drew Peterson is the Software Development Manager for Road Ranger, LLC, a leading truck-stop and convenience store chain in the Midwest. He is a full-stack polyglot developer, DBA, Net+ certified professional and technologist with over 10 years in the trenches. With a passion for delivering performance and cultivating positive user experience, Drew enjoys sharing his knowledge and passion for software development with others, novices and professionals alike. During this discussion we will review the design and implementation of Road Ranger's upcoming driver rewards point-of-sale signup system and how it delivers positive user experience for both our employees and customers, as well as developer happiness. In addition, one of our group's sponsors, INETA, is celebrating its 13th birthday! INETA provides structured, peer-based organizational, educational, and promotional support to the growing worldwide community of Microsoft® .NET user groups, and our user group has been affiliated with INETA for quite a few years! Although February is its official birthday month, we're giving a belated celebration this month with some really AWESOME giveaways that you will want to be here to try to win! You'll be -floored- with the awesomeness we have to give away from INETA this month... As usual, our meeting will be held at the NEW Practice Velocity location in the former Machesney Park Mall - be sure you go the the correct meeting location, as Velocity Drive does not show on many maps yet... (look for "West Mall Drive" if your map is not up to date, as this is the former name of the road). Please support our AWESOME sponsors who want to help you and your coding progress, and we hope to see you Wednesday March 25th!

    Practice Velocity

    8777 Velocity Dr. · Machesney Park, IL

    10 comments
  • First Ever "Project Demo/Brag Night"
    As many of you know, we combined our November and December 2014 meetings into one Holiday-themed get-together in early December due to how the calendar works with Thanksgiving and such. Because of this, we know that many of you have been working feverishly on different projects to close out the calendar year (and/or are starting new projects as the calendar flips to 2015) and can't wait to talk about them: here's your chance! Don't be shy-bring your laptop (or Arduino, or Pi, or Phone, or Chromecast, or Abacus, or ...) and show the group what you are doing; we'll get in as many of these projects as possible. If there's time, we can also tap the brain-trust of the room to help get you out of "that corner into which you might have painted yourself." We'll also talk about a few awesome events coming soon to the area that you'll not want to miss. As if all of the above isn't yet enough to make you jump up and shout "hooray!" at the top of your lungs, our sponsors have given us some incredible goodies, which we will be awarding, to help you with your projects.

    Practice Velocity

    8777 Velocity Dr. · Machesney Park, IL

    26 comments
  • Happy Holidays Hours 2014
    It's that time of the year again! Like last year's meeting at this time, this month's meeting will be a highly-informal gathering over food and beverages. Unlike in past years, we are having the meeting at Franchesco’s Ristorante (Spring Creek and North Perryville Road, Rockford, IL) from 6 - 9 p.m. Because of the way the calendar is, our normal November meeting date would be "Thanksgiving Eve" and our normal December meeting would be "Christmas Eve." We realize that you're a Coder of some sort and would typically have no reason to not be here on either of those two dates, but we suspect that many of you might have offline obligations on those nights, therefore we thought it would be best to schedule the usual November & December meetings on one night again this year. This meeting is a great chance to have those spirited conversations about various projects we all seem to do and/or follow, miscellaneous software, "the industry," and so on (as one would expect to happen when a bunch of software coders get together over misc. food and beverages). As some of you know, getting a bunch of programmers together can lead to many great ideas, discussions, and future plans, therefore we feel this is just as important of a meeting as the ones we normally hold in the PV classroom each month. And like at those other meetings we have, the great people at Practice Velocity are supplying pizza (and we are extremely grateful for this—THANKS, Practice Velocity!). Attendees will be responsible for buying their own beverage(s) of choice, and all ages are welcome to attend this event. For the convenience of the group organizers (and the venue), we prefer that you RSVP for this specific event so we can have a basic headcount before we get there - most restaurants seem to like having this sort of thing for some reason, so... As with our other monthly events, come as you are, and be sure to tell your friends and coworkers good things about us. Hope to see you there!!

    Franchesco's Ristorante

    7128 Spring Creek Rd · Rockford

    8 comments
  • An Introduction to Apache Cassandra with Aaron Ploetz
    Apache Cassandra is an open source distributed database management system designed to handle large amounts of data across many commodity servers, providing high availability with no single point of failure. Cassandra offers robust support for clusters spanning multiple datacenters, with asynchronous masterless replication allowing low latency operations for all clients. http://cassandra.apache.org/ The Apache Cassandra database is the right choice when you need scalability and high availability without compromising performance. Linear scalability and proven fault-tolerance on commodity hardware or cloud infrastructure make it the perfect platform for mission-critical data. Cassandra's support for replicating across multiple datacenters is best-in-class, providing lower latency for your users and the peace of mind of knowing that you can survive regional outages. Cassandra's data model offers the convenience of column indexes with the performance of log-structured updates, strong support for denormalization and materialized views, and powerful built-in caching. Tonight's presentation will be by 2014/15 DataStax Apache Cassandra MVP Aaron Ploetz. Aaron is the Lead Database Engineer for AccuLynx, where he recently implemented Cassandra to scale part of their cloud-based business management system. Prior to that, Aaron worked for a Fortune 500 company in Chicago where he helped to build a large-scale middle tier application, backed with Apache Cassandra 0.8. He is active in the Cassandra tag on StackOverflow, and also contributes to the Apache Cassandra project. Aaron holds a B.S. in Management/Computer Systems from the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater, and a M.S. in Software Engineering and Database Technologies from Regis University. -------- Remember that we have moved our meeting location into the NEW Practice Velocity location. Because the street on which it is located is not on any maps yet under its new name, you can find our new meeting venue in your navigation system of choice by using the following coordinates:[masked], [masked] (Strictly FYI - People who have lived in Rockford for some time might remember this awesome location as the former Kohl's building at Machesney Park Mall.) We look forward to seeing you - please RSVP here so we can get a rough headcount.

    Practice Velocity

    8777 Velocity Dr. · Machesney Park, IL

    5 comments
  • A Hitchhiker's Guide to Azure Mobile Services
    PLEASE NOTE THE NEW DAY/DATE/LOCATION - WEDNESDAY Sept. 24 Microsoft Azure Mobile Services provides a straightforward way to expose backend services to multiple applications on multiple devices. In this presentation, David Giard will show how to expose cloud data access and other processes via a REST interface, and then connect to that data from applications running on Windows Phone, Windows 8, iOs and Android. You will also learn how to secure these services; how to scale these services to meet volatile demand; how to push notifications to client apps; and how to manage Mobile Services from within Visual Studio. David Giard is a former accountant and a former biochemist, who has been developing solutions using Microsoft technologies for over two decades. Currently, David helps people build solutions in his role as a Microsoft Technical Evangelist. David has been very active in the developer community, speaking at numerous major conferences, code camps, and user groups; helping to lead user groups; and helping to organize conferences and other geek events. He is the host and producer of the mildly popular online TV show Technology and Friends. He is the co-author of the Wrox book Real World .NET, C#, and Silverlight. You can read his latest thoughts at www.DavidGiard.com. His hobbies include video, photography, sports, and embarrassing his sons. We also will have a brief presentation about the forthcoming Startup Weekend event from David Griffith. We will be awarding some awesome subscriptions from our sponsor Pluralsight(!) and will have some tasty pizza to eat part-way through the evening, nourishing your belly as well as your mind. Although the IL-173 road construction might still be going at full-bore in the vicinity of Rockford Speedway and the new PV venue might be slightly unfamiliar, we think tonight's meeting will be worth any valiant efforts required to get through any of the road work which might still be happening on the night of the meeting. As usual, this is a free event to attend, but we appreciate your RSVP so we will be able to have a general headcount for the pizza. If anyone/everyone is up to it, we'll go out for beverages afterwards someplace near our group's sponsor Practice Velocity's building. This part of the meeting is at your own expense and is generally unstructured, but is still a great way to continue the conversations from the meeting over a beverage and/or appetizer. We look forward to seeing you on WEDNESDAY, September 24th at 6 p.m.!

    Practice Velocity

    8777 Velocity Dr. · Machesney Park, IL

    6 comments
  • Rockford Geek Breakfast
    This event was canceled.