Northwest Arkansas TechFest August 24, 2012


August 24, 2012  8:15 AM – 5:00 PM
University of Arkansas Global Campus Fayetteville, AR

Mark Brandon, directory of NWA TechFest 2012, has announced that the next installment of the Northwest Arkansas TechFest will be on August 24, 2012 at the University of Arkansas Global Campus in downtown Fayetteville, AR.  The event is currently seeking speakers, sponsors, and attendees.

Topic areas for this years event are:

  • Advanced Development
  • Mobile Development
  • Big and Small Data
  • Collaboration/Content Management
  • IT Pro
  • UI/UX Design
  • Cloud
  • Tech Entrepreneurship Resources in NWA

You can follow the Northwest Arkansas TechFest on LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, or

If you are a speaker and interested in submitted topics you can do so via the “Call for Speakers OPEN!” link on the home page.

Nwa .NET User Group May Meeting: Powershell for Developers


The next Northwest Arkansas .Net User Group meeting will be held May 8, 2012 at 6:00 PM at Rockfish in Rogers. Jon Parker will be presenting on PowerShell for Developers.

Please RSVP before noon on May 8th so we can order enough food for everyone.

New Location:

ROGERS, AR 72758

Meeting Information

Title: PowerShell for Developers

About the Presenter: Jon Parker

Jon has been programming since 2001 at BYU-Idaho. He discovered .Net in 2003 and hasn’t looked back since. While Jon started out with web programming, his current passion is tweaking applications for speed. Jon boasts taking a 30 min Unix C process to .Net that now runs in < 3 min.

Jon is currently employed at Wal-Mart Stores Inc. He is married and has 1 child. In his spare time he codes (of course) and builds tree houses.


6:00 PM - 6:15 PM - Welcome and News, Sign-in and Food
6:15 PM - 8:10 PM - Main Presentation
8:10 PM - 8:30 PM - Closing and Prize give-a-ways


ROGERS, AR 72758

Nwa GiveCamp 2012 - March 30, 2012 to April 1, 2012

NwaGiveCampLogo The 2nd Annual Northwest Arkansas GiveCamp is on it’s way.

This year it will be from March 30, 2012 to April 1, 2012 and will be hosted at the Center for NonProfits located in Rogers, AR.

What is a GiveCamp?

GiveCamp is a weekend-long event where software developers, designers, and database administrators donate their time to create custom software for non-profit organizations. This custom software could be a new website for the nonprofit organization, a small data-collection application to keep track of members, or a application for the Red Cross that automatically emails a blood donor three months after they’ve donated blood to remind them that they are now eligible to donate again. The only limitation is that the project should be scoped to be able to be completed in a weekend.

During GiveCamp, developers are welcome to go home in the evenings or camp out all weekend long. There are usually food and drink provided at the event. There are sometimes even game systems set up for when you and your need a little break! Overall, it’s a great opportunity for people to work together, developing new friendships, and doing something important for their community.

At GiveCamp, there is an expectation of “What Happens at GiveCamp, Stays at GiveCamp”. Therefore, all source code must be turned over to the charities at the end of the weekend (developers cannot ask for payment) and the charities are responsible for maintaining the code moving forward (charities cannot expect the developers to maintain the codebase).

Participating in NWA Give Camp last year was perhaps the most exciting professional experience of my life. The creativity, energy, commitment, and talent were inspiring! The recipient charities were so grateful and excited to see their projects being born.

Join us this year for an experience you won’t forget! The food is pretty good, too! Karen – System Analyst

Get Involved!

Attending a GiveCamp is a great way to give back to the community in a way that impacts in a huge way.  For a single weekends efforts you could be the difference in a charity being able to achieve it’s goal for the year, or even the foreseeable future.   You can volunteer at, better yet build a team and adopt a charity.  Challenge other departments in your company to get more people involved and make it fun.  I guarantee this will be one of the most rewarding weekends you have experienced as a technical professional.  You can make a difference!

Arkansas User Group Meetings–February 2012

Here is the listing of all the User Group meeting in February 2012 that I know of.  If you know of a User Group meeting in the area please add to the comments.

Little Rock .NET User Group

Exploring iOS Development - Chris Varn

Mobile development is a necessity to stay relevant in today’s day and age. iOS, along with Android, is the leading platform for mobile development. Join us as we discuss the mobile landscape and where iOS fits. We will explore the differences between Objective-C and C# and what it takes to get started in iOS development. We will then go through the process of writing an app.

When: February 9, 2012 – 6:00 PM
Where:  Pulaski Technical College - Lecture Room B Campus Center - 3000 West Scenic Drive North Little Rock, AR 72118

Fort Smith .NET User Group 

Ruby on Rails on Windows – Taylor Otwell

If you're a Windows person, getting started with Rails hasn't always been easy. Thankfully, that has changed! We'll quickly walk through installing Ruby, Rails, and Git on your machine. Then, we'll take a look at some of the slick features of the Ruby on Rails web framework while making a few comparisons to ASP.NET MVC. Finally, we'll deploy a simple application to the cloud using Git and Heroku!

New Location: ABF General Office
When: February 13, 2012 – 6:00 PM
Where: ABF General Office - 3801 Old Greenwood Rd Fort Smith, AR 72903

Northwest Arkansas Project Management Institute

The Art of Stakeholder Management – James T. Brown Ph.D, PMP, PE, CSP, President SEBA Solutions Inc.

Great project managers know that success goes beyond the triple constraint deliverables and includes managing stakeholder expectations. Three aspects of managing stakeholder expectations are:

  1. Know your stakeholders
  2. Know what you are supposed to deliver from the perspective of the stakeholder
  3. Hold your stakeholders accountable to the realities of the project (regardless of the position of the stakeholder, the attitude of the stakeholder, or the availability of the stakeholder).

This presentation provides tactics to identify, herd and lead stakeholders to ensure a successful project deliverable with minimum project manager stress level.

When: February 20, 2012 – 6:00 PM
Where: NWACC Jack Shewmaker Center – 1100 SE Eagle Way Bentonville, AR 72712

Northwest Arkansas .NET User Group

Model-View Patterns: Making Sense of MVC, MVP and MVVM – Rob Vetter

The separation enforced by 'Model View' patterns can quickly transform your application into a maintainable, modular and rapidly developed package. New features are easily added, new screens are a snap, testing is enhanced and developers and designers can more easily work simultaneously.

Come compare the Model-View-Controller (MVC), Model-View-Presenter (MVP) and Model-View-View-Model (MVVM) patterns. In this session, we'll...

  • Explore the foundation, benefits and drawbacks of each pattern at an architectural level
  • Contrast differences between each pointing out applicable situations where each may apply
  • Walk through a variety of examples on the Microsoft platform, including Microsoft MVC, ASP.Net, Silverlight and Windows Presentation Foundation

    You'll walk away with a clear understanding of each pattern, with examples that you can implement in your projects.

    When: February 28, 2012 – 6:00 PM
    Where:  University of Phoenix -  1800 S. 52nd St, Suite 100 Rogers, AR 72758

    Northwest Arkansas SQL Server User Group

    Entity Framework for DBA’s – Rob Vetter

    While most enterprise applications are object-oriented, the data upon which they depend is not. Often, binding these two platforms together can result in significant amounts of lost productivity and a less than optimal solution.

    To resolve these shortcomings, Microsoft has created the ADO.NET Entity Framework and is now strongly recommending that development teams implement it in their applications.

    As a DBA, you’ll need to understand how the Entity Framework works and how it affects your role as a DBA.
    In this session, we’ll…

    • Explore the Entity Framework 4.0, its related components and show how it all works
    • Demonstrate the various ways to build a business object model (Entity Data Model) and map it to an underlying database
    • Walk through a variety of examples of how to interact with the model, including LINQ, Entity SQL and Stored Procedures
    • Show how the Entity Framework can generate select, insert, update and delete SQL statements on the fly
    • Explore the Entity Framework’s impact on permissions, connections, transactions, performance, security and concurrency

    You’ll walk-away with a clear understanding of how the Entity Framework 4.0 works, why developers and architects want to implement it and how it affects your role as a DBA.

    When: February 29, 2012 - 11:30 AM – 1:00 PM
    Where: University of Phoenix - 1800 S. 52nd St, Suite 100 Rogers, AR 72758

    National GiveCamp Weekend October 21-23, 2011

    Microsoft once again to promote National GiveCamp Weekend!  The weekend of October 21-23, 2011 has been designated National GiveCamp Weekend.  If you currently have a GiveCamp scheduled, you do not need to move it. However, if you can move it, Microsoft is putting together several partnerships to help ease some of the logistics for the National GiveCamp weekend so organizers and participants can focus on supporting non-profit organizations:

    · Free Venue: national partnerships to provide venue space. Space is limited and available on a first come, first served basis – so sign up early!  Send your request to

    · Food & Beverage sponsors: National sponsors to have signed up to have food and beverage service delivered to participating GiveCamp volunteers throughout the weekend.

    · Promotion: Email templates and resources for your use in promoting to non-profits, as well as soliciting potential volunteers.

    Microsoft will also put resources behind amplifying the impact of your GiveCamp to your community by helping create buzz to help draw volunteers and increase community awareness for the non-profits benefiting from GiveCamp.

    GiveCamp is a great opportunity for people to work together, develop new friendships, and do something important for their community! Their goal is to see over 50 Give Camps held over the National GiveCamp weekend of 10/21 – 10/23.

    Are you up to the challenge?

    If you are interested in having a being part of the National GiveCamp Weekend here is what you need to do next.

    Next Steps:

    1. If you are interested in organizing a GiveCamp send the following information to
    2. Setup your GiveCamp site with the GiveCamp Starter Site available here:
    3. For more information, visit


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