Speaking at VSLive in March

I am extremely excited to be making my hopefully-triumphant return to the VSLive conference in San Francisco in March.

I started speaking at VSLive in 1997 (back when it was called VBITS). I spoke at most of the VSLive conferences in the U.S. in Europe through 2001 when I went to work for eBay. I even took time out from my honeymoon in 2000 to speak at the VBITS conferences in London and Stockholm (you can imagine how difficult it was to convince my fiancee to add two European capitals to our trip).

VSLive has been one of my favorite conferences to speak at for a couple of reasons. One is its practical focus — it’s about getting things done in the real world instead of talking in grand strategic terms about what technology means, etc. I also really like the mix of Microsoft insiders combined with the regional directors and other consultants — it seems to keep the agenda honest and grounded.

I’ve also made some great friends over the years at these conferences, particularly Andrew Brust (who I met at VBITS Berlin in 1997, the night before he was carted off to the hospital after suffering a fall onstage), Chris Kinsman, who I co-authored two books on ASP.NET with, and Deborah Kurata, who I had an extremely productive working relationship with for a few years in the late 90s.

I have been pitching talks on open-source tools to VSLive for a bunch of years. In 2001 I tried to get them to let me do a talk on NUnit. I was really passionate about unit testing around this time and I was crushed that they didn’t have room for my talk on the schedule that year. Unfortunately, a lot of Microsoft platform developers didn’t get unit testing religion until a unit-testing tool was included with Visual Studio four years later — and only then if you shelled out the big bucks for Visual Studio Team System. NUnit is still a great tool, by the way, and it’s 100% free — I still use it and highly recommend it.

Anyway, I’ve been spending a lot of my time in the last five months coding an ASP.NET application using MySQL, so I figured it might make sense to share what I’ve learned about the pros and cons of MySQL with VSLive attendees. So I’m delighted to announce that my March VSLive talk will be on Programming MySQL with .NET.

I am not sure if this is the first VSLive talk to cover an open-source product, but I am pretty sure that it will be the first MySQL talk at VSLive, which makes it infinitely more exciting for me. I am going to bust my croutons to make this talk as good as the ASP talk I gave around 1999 (in which I demonstrated a common security flaw in ASP and three or four people in the audience unexpectedly jumped up, opened their cell phones and ran out of the room in a panic — that was pretty fun).

If you’re using MySQL with .NET, or you’re just interested in learning more about it, I’d love to hear your feedback and suggestions in comments. My plan is to cover the basics of a data-driven app using ASP.NET and MySQL, hit some of the subtle syntactical differences between MySQL and SQL Server, and then cover some goodies like MySQL stored procedures. If there’s something else on that list you’d like to see, let me know.