North East Bytes - Microsoft Technology Usergroup in the North East of England

An April Special Event

We were going to formally announce this at the event tonight (spaces are still available so if you want to attend head to the registration form) but as Jesse blogged about it on Monday he’s beat us to it.

We have the pleasure of welcoming Jesse Liberty for a special event in April (in addition to the normal event on the 21st).  Jesse is the self styled Silverlight Geek and a Senior Program Manager in the Silverlight Development Team at Microsoft.  It promises to be an interesting and rewarding session.

As part of a UK tour Jesse will be with us on Friday 16th April.  With it being a Friday we’ll be starting the session a little earlier than normal to allow us to have a Geek Dinner afterwards.

Full session details can be found on Jesse’s site and there are three that we can pick from.  Rather than us picking one we’re going to leave the choice of session up to you.

Full details of the event and the registration page will be posted early next week.  To get a taste for what Jesse is about there’s an online event this evening from LIDNUG and it should be available for download after the event.

February Event: Dynamic Consumption in C# and Direct Access

Following our successful launch event, we’re hoping to keep up the momentum by diving a bit deeper into a couple of subjects on Wednesday 17th February. Oliver Sturm and Dr Dan Oliver have both been here before to speak at VBUG Newcastle and we’re glad to have them back to present at the 2nd NEBytes meeting. We’re also glad to welcome Conrad Sidey who is teaming up with Dan to cover Direct Access after Oliver has shared some new dynamic features of C# 4.0.

See all the details on the Events page or just head over to Eventbrite and register now.

Incidentally, if you were at the launch with your camera, or feel like bringing one along to future events, you can add your photos to the NEBytes Flickr Group.

Thoughts from the Launch

With the February 2010 event announced last week it’s about time that I write up the review of the Launch event.  At the moment the details for the February event are only on the events page as until we have the review of the last event we can’t advertise the next event on the home page.

Having over 80 attendees at the first event was fantastic and not something that I think any of us at NEBytes expected.  Speaking to some of the DDD organisers last week they were very impressed with the attendance.  The more people who attend the better, as we can start to think about bigger events – which can only be good for the North East Dev and ITPro communities.

One of the complaints we had for the event was that it was a little long.  Three speakers is not the usual format that we’re aiming for (two speakers is the plan) so this won’t be a problem going forward.  Except for next month – three speakers but two sessions!

Steve Smith had the honour of being the first speaker at a NEBytes event (well second if   Jon counts with the introduction).  He did get a “I’ve spoken at NEBytes” sticker but it wasn’t a gold one highlighting that he was the first speaker.  An enlightening talk covering “Highlights and Features of SharePoint 2010” launched the NEBytes era quite nicely.

Certainly the highlight of the evening for me, as a developer, was the “Silverlight – 2 Years, 4 Versions, Where Are We?” by Mike Taulty from Microsoft UK.  A brief run through the history of Silverlight was followed by a run through of the features added in Silverlight 4.  I’ve seen Mike speak a few times and it’s good to see – he’s very passionate about what he does and his talks are something that I always look forward to.  Due to only having an hour to cover an awful lot of material it did in a few places feel a little rushed.  Whilst there isn’t a specific slide deck for Mike’s talk if you look at the Silverlight in 77 Slides post on his site you’ll get the full 77 set of slides that were cut down for the session up here.

A late arrival changed the running order at the last minute (I think he just wanted to be last!) and the final speaker of the evening was James O’Neill talking about Hyper-V.    It was probably the four laptops that he was carrying about weighing him down.  An entertaining talk – even for the non-ITPro crowd – was only hampered by some of the laptops he was using not working as they should (the presenters curse strikes again!).  Some of the things that you can now do with virtualisation on Windows Server is really cool  and it certainly got me thinking a how all of what is being done in that space is leading the way with Windows Azure.  Just don’t ask James about VMware.  Just don’t!

I thought it was a good event and it was great to see you all.  With the, mostly positive, feedback we’ve received (don’t worry it will be an online form shortly) we’re got a great feeling on where NEBytes can go.

We (well not Andy and Jon as they’re at the MVP Summit in Seattle) hope to see as many of you as possible at the event in February.  A different building, a bigger room (it was a little cramped last time) and two excellent talks should make for a good time.

Waitlist in place for Launch Event!

We are extremely pleased with the numbers signing up to our Launch Event on Wednesday 20th January.  We have been overwhelmed with the numbers registering.  We have filled the venue – 98 seats! and have had to implement a Waitlist.

If you are interested in attending the session please sign up to the waitlist, we are looking to see if we can fit a few more people into the session. 

If you are registered and have a ticket for the launch event but know you can’t make it, please let us know as soon as possible so we can release your ticket for someone on the waitlist.

We’re really looking forward to the event on Wednesday and look forward to seeing you all there.

Announcing North East Bytes

We are pleased to announce a new User Group in the North East of England, based around Microsoft Technologies, North East Bytes (NEBytes).  We have decided to start this group in order to help Developers and IT Pros in the community with the constant battle to learn, stay current and broaden their knowledge.

We run monthly meetings every third Wednesday of the month (except on the second Wednesday in December – to allow time for Christmas parties and shopping!) at Newcastle University.  Each meeting consists of two one hour presentations (one Developer topic and one IT Pro topic) and we have refreshments, food, giveaways and prizes.

Attendance at our meetings is completely FREE!! The venue is provided kindly by the University, our Speakers kindly provide their time for free, and we as organisers provide our time for free to organise the events.  We will provide refreshments and we also provide hot food, all we ask is if you would like to partake in the the hot food, please make a small donation towards the cost via the open contribution box at each meeting.

Our Launch event is to be on Wednesday 20th January 2010, we are delighted to have Mike Taulty visiting to cover Silverlight and James O’Neill to cover Hyper-V.  We are really looking forward to this great event and hope to see lots there to help us celebrate our launch!

Andrew, Jon, Damien and Ben.

NEBytes & SUGUK North East Launch Event - Silverlight, Hyper-V and Sharepoint 2010!

Join North East Bytes for our Launch Event on 20th January, where we are pleased to announce that we are partnering with SUGUK North East for their first event of the year too!.  This is the first of many great events scheduled for 2010.  We are very pleased to welcome Mike Taulty and James O'Neill from Microsoft UK's Developer and Platform Evangelism Team to cover two great topics to kickstart the year!  We are pleased to also welcome Steve Smith who will be covering the Highlights and Features of Microsoft Office Sharepoint Server 2010.

SUGUK: Highlights and Features of Microsoft Office Sharepoint Server 2010 - Steve Smith

Steve will add his own insight to a well balanced presentation on the replacement for the product we have all come to know, specifically highlighting the new metadata management model and the new records management and records routing features of 2010, the Ribbon, Office integration, migration options, architecture and new facets of the product likely to keep you employed well into the next few years. The session will be an open forum to allow participants to ask questions as the session progresses.

Steve Smith

Steve SmithSteve Smith is the Director of Combined Knowledge, a specialist Sharepoint training consultancy.  Steve is a Sharepoint MVP and a prominent and very well known circuit speaker for the Sharepoint User Group in the UK.  He has recently returned from speaking appearance Sweden, and was a speaker at both the Sharepoint 2010 conference in Las Vegas and the European Sharepoint Conference, held in London in April 2009.  He is an authority on Sharepoint 2010 and we are very pleased to have him agree to come along to present on the next iteration of Sharepoint.


MVP Logo


Silverlight - 2 Years, 4 Versions, Where are We? - Mike Taulty

Silverlight LogoSilverlight is Microsoft's UX Technology for rich internet applications and its development is moving at internet-speed with 4 versions coming out in different forms over just 2 years.  In this session, we'll talk about Silverlight from version 1 to version 4 with a focus on the currently released Silverlight 3 and also a look at Silverlight 4 which is in beta.  We'll look at various aspects from the core capabilities of the framework through to where the tooling has got to as it progresses towards Visual Studio 2010.

Mike Taulty

Mike TaultyMike Taulty works in the Developer and Platform Group at Microsoft in the UK where he has spent the past few years helping developers understand and get the best from the Microsoft platform. Prior to this, Mike spent 3 years with Microsoft Consulting Services as a consultant on developer technologies.
Before joining Microsoft, Mike spent the previous 9 years working as a software developer for a number of enterprises, consultancies and software vendors working with a variety of operating system, client, communication and server technologies.
Mike holds a BSc Hons (1st Class) in Computer Science from the University of Leeds.

Mike's blog - and follow Mike on Twitter -

Hyper-V with James O'Neill

James O'Neill from Microsoft's UK IT Pro Evangelism Team will cover the Hyper-V virtualisation technology, including the improvements in the new version of Hyper-V that launched with Windows Server 2008 R2, and management of your virtual infrastructure with System Center Virtual Machine Manager and Windows PowerShell.

James O'NeillJames O'Neill

It is hard to believe but I used my first Microsoft product in 1979 and then joined Microsoft 21 years later, specialising in messaging technologies. In the 5 years before joining Microsoft, I ran my own consultancy company and in 1993, I became a Microsoft Certified Systems Engineer (MCSE) with a focus on messaging and systems management. Prior to joining the Evangelist team, I worked for Microsoft Consulting Services.

James' blog - and follow James on Twitter -


The event will be hosted in Room G11 of the Percy Building at Newcastle University.  For a detailed campus map -


Wednesday 20th January 2010, from 6pm.

Launch Event

This is North East Bytes launch event and as such expect plenty of food, drink, prizes and giveaways.  We look forward to welcoming you all to help ring in the New Year and Era!  Check out our site at; follow us on Twitter - and become a fan on Facebook -