Will "the Mighty" Strohl

Orlando Code Camp 2008

Orlando Code Camp is certainly an event that I always look forward to, and that I would also point any SQL, Windows, or .Net developer to as well.  There is always a wide range of topics that techies of many areas would appreciate and learn something in.  With this being the 3rd Annual Orlando Code Camp, it just seems to get better and better.

In all honesty though, the venue this time was a bit small, but there is very little to be done about that since the venues are typically donated, and each room needs to meet certain technical requirements in order to allow a speaker to present.  That aside, this was another huge success!

My main passion in the techie world is DotNetNuke®.  The first year of Orlando Code Camp, there was an entire track dedicated to DotNetNuke®.  I was ecstatic and enjoyed the entire day in a single room.  The second year (last year) though, there was only a single session on DotNetNuke®.  I was afraid that this might happen again, so I immediately volunteered myself for two sessions.  One session being about skinning, and the other for using SubSonic in module development. 

Not too long after I signed up as a speaker, DNNSpired.com generously invited and sponsored one of the DotNetNuke® Core Team Members, and the Vice President of Core Technology and Co-Founder, Joe Brinkman.  Having Joe accept and speak at Code Camp was an awesome experience.  Unfortunately, some personal committments kept me from hanging out with him during the pre-party and after-party, but it was otherwise very cool.

His session was about using PowerShell to automate and test certain things in DNN.  However, a technical glitch forced him to abandon that and speak more about the upcoming Cambrian release than he probably intended.  Well, with there being several MVP's and DNN enthusiats in the room, his session was bound to run over into mine, and it did.  I didn't at all mind.  There was no telling when else we would be fortunate enough to have him speak to us, and get the kind of inside knowledge that he offered.

The first DNN session was about the best resources to learn how to use and develop in DotNetNuke®, presented by Brian Scarbeau.  Mike Web from DNNSpired.com, and myself assisted him (not that he needed it).  He invited us to speak to what helped us learn for a minute or two each.

Stan Schultes was next to present.  His topic was on the installation, upgrade, and management of DotNetNuke®.  Unfortunately, Stan has some little imps that follow him around to all of his speaking engagements.  They love to cause him grief during his presentations to make things break.  It happened to him again, and after switching out from one of the attendees laptops to another speaker's laptop, he was finally able to present on his topic, but unfortunately, it was much more truncated than it should have been due to the technical problems earlier.  Sorry Stan.

For those of you who haven't seen one of Stan's complete presentations, I can assure you that it is top notch!  :)

The next session was on securing data connection strings as presented by Darrell Hardy.  HIs presentation was great and reminded us of a couple key things.  First, security is not the same as encryption.  Second, hello?...  Encrypt your connection strings and connection string section.  He demonstrated the relatively unknown way to encrypt the connection string via command line and the aspnet_regiis assembly, then how to do it in ASPNet 2.0 in codebehind.  For those of you that missed it, he had some great eye-opening things to say.  Too bad you missed it!

Ryan Morgan had the pleasure of presenting just before lunch, and he took us through part 2 of his module development topic.  Part 1 is freely available on his web site ArrowNuke.com, and was presented at the first Orlando Code Camp.  There were quite a few things that I learned there, not the least of which were the short-cut keys to reformat a single-line XML file.  (For those of you as interested as I am, it is the following series of key strokes: Alt+A, Alt+K, Alt+F.  He also covered Scheduler creation, management and troubleshooting - which was great.

** AT LUNCH **  Mmmm...  Lunch was provided by Publix and was YUMMY!

Joe Brinkman was up to bat after lunch, but I already went through his presentation, so I will move on to mine.  But first, I would like to say, "Thank you, Joe.  You may not know, but your presence at Code Camp was very appreciated and extremely informative."

My session about using SubSonic in module development was next, and although I think it was a disaster, I got quite a few compliments on it.  The only reason I feel that it was a disaster was because I only had a short amount of time to work on it and I had planned on a full session time block.  I was battling internally with what to pull out of the session, and what to leave in throughout the presentation.  Regardless, I wouldn't have had it any other way since the loss of time was due to picking the brain of Joe Brinkman.  ;)

The final session was by Tracey Wittenkeller from T-Worx.com, and it was about skinning DotNetNuke®.  He always does a great job of breaking down the skin process into palattable chunks.  His presentation two years ago is what led me to begin generating skins.  This one was similar, but more informative and better organized. 

In my opinion, all of the DNN presenters were exceptional and it was a great day for the DotNetNuke® community in Orlando, Florida.  Thank you so much for all of your efforts and contributions to the DNN community and the .Net community in general.

Don't forget to join the Orlando DotNetNuke® Users Group!

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