Announcing: JavaScript OOP

Our next meeting, coming up on Tuesday 3/11/2014 at the Microsoft Offices is about JavaScript. Specifically, about object oriented JavaScript. One of our very own, Jeremy Wells, will talk about the benefits of entering the JavaScript space with OOP principles in mind.

In his talk, he will be covering questions about scoping, being modular, and just general improvements around organizing that mess of JavaScript code that starts to pile up. This can all be achieved while not sacrificing the dynamic, functional nature of JavaScript.

We are definitely excited to see Jeremy’s take on these classic problems.

I also want to thank CEI for sponsoring our March meeting. I know they have some developer positions available that are directly relevant to our .NET user group. CEI will be in attendance if you have any further questions before or after the meeting. Here are a few notes about who they are and what they do.


Exceptional People Delivering Custom Applications

Our Microsoft Solutions team leverages cutting-edge technology to deliver high value for our customers. We build applications and provide consulting all while grounded in the realities of a customer’s business. Our clients know the work we deliver is done with pride, passion, and workmanship.

CEI is a Microsoft Gold Certified Partner and Microsoft Managed Partner. 

We are the current Microsoft Rookie Partner of the Year!


We deliver full lifecycle application development projects. We use the agile practices and our team of experts. Our consultants are all certified in the latest technologies.
- Our strengths include: ASP.NET, Win8, Mobile, SharePoint, BizTalk,Visual Studio/TFS, SQL Server, and more.


Do you want to build great software for great clients while working with some of the best developer-architects around?

We are looking for .NET Developers, Mobile Developers, Web Developers who are ready to take their skills, projects, and career to the next level. Come learn from our team of Microsoft Certified Technical Specialists, Rangers, and MVPs.

The Microsoft Solutions Division is run by Microsoft Regional Director and .NET Author, Mike Snell.

Here’s what we have to offer:

* Never a dull moment: You will work to mentor great clients, building software across multiple industries including finance, health care, manufacturing, software development, logistics, marketing, legal, and more.
* Get your hands on the latest tech: you will be trained on and working with the latest technologies including TFS 2013, Windows 8, .NET 4.5, ASP.NET MVC 5, mobile, HTML 5 / CSS3, jQuery, and more
* Collaborate with an awesome team: you will be working with a great team of seasoned experts including published authors, a Microsoft RD, Microsoft MVPs, Microsoft Rangers, and certified Technical Specialists. This team expects to both mentor new members and learn from them.
* Work offsite: we do not *place* consultants at one client then the next. For the most part, our solutions team members work together from CEI’s offices. We go onsite with clients as-needed. However, our teams stay co-located and cohesive within CEI.
* Advance your career: at CEI, you will not get stuck doing the same old thing. Our first priority is building great software; we get it. We have a career path charted from Developer to Sr. Architect.

To discuss a new career at CEI, contact Laura Oblich:


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Seeking Sponsors for 2014

The Pittsburgh .NET User Group needs sponsors for 2014.  PGH.NET has been meeting continuously since 2001, and averages 40 attendees per regular meeting.  Our Meetup group currently has 379 members and counting.  Members are part of a wide range of enterprises, from Fortune 500 companies to independent consultancies.  Our major need is pizza at our meetings, plus some supplies (e.g., nametags) needed to run our meetings.

In addition to our regular meetings, we also now have hands-on labs, and are exploring other activities in 2014. With a long history, an active membership and over two dozen events each year, PGH.NET offers sponsors a lot of exposure.  Please take a few minutes to review our sponsorship levels, and contact one of the organizers to bring your message to our members via the gift of pizza!

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Meeting Recap for Bootstrap

Thanks again to Doug Launders for making the trip to Pittsburgh to present to a great turnout in our November meeting. I also want to thank TEKsystems for sponsoring our meeting. I saw many of you talking to the representatives we had with us at the meeting.

Doug has hosted the 10 reasons you should love Bootstrap on his website.

You can download bootstrap at

We discussed things like:

  • Glyphs
  • Browser workarounds
  • respond.js and mobile first responsive design
  • Understanding the grid system
  • How to do navigation
  • Understanding the markup of pagination
  • Touching on list groups and modals
  • Verbose but sensible markup

Remember, the Omnyx hands on lab just around the corner on building Windows 8 games with JavaScript. The date of the lab is November 26th. Be sure to register on meetup so we can get an idea of how many will be attending. See you there!

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Meeting announcement: Bootstrap

Specifically, 10 reasons you should love bootstrap!

We’ve covered bootstrap a few times in the past at our meetups, and it’s always a topic that people are get into. If you’re not crazy about doing that pixel perfect design on your own, you should visit us on November 11th at the Microsoft offices to talk about bootstrap. This month’s meeting is provided by TEKSystems.


TEKSystems offers IT staffing solutions as well as offering their own IT services to their clients. Located right here in Pittsburgh, we’re thrilled to get them more involved in our growing .NET developer community.

Here are the meeting notes:

Bootstrap is a framework that enables developers to quickly create web interfaces that are clean and responsive. The framework includes a grid for generating architecturally balanced layouts as well as solid styling out of the box. At its core, Bootstrap is HTML5, CSS3 and JavaScript so it is modern, flexible and tablet-friendly. It includes pre-built customizable widgets for buttons, navigation, modals and image galleries, among many others. We’ll cover the fundamentals of Bootstrap as well as techniques for effectively implementing Bootstrap in an MVC project. Show up for this session and let me show you the top ten reasons why Bootstrap rocks!

Douglas Launders,

Senior Practice Manager for User Experience

Doug currently leads the User Experience (UX) practice for Ciber North America (, overseeing of a diverse group of user researchers, information architects, visual designers and interface developers. Doug has been with Ciber since 2004 and has about two decades of experience applying user-centered design principles, usability factors and best practices for interface design. Over the course of his career, he has been a technology trainer, courseware director, application developer and senior user experience architect. His team members are currently working on solutions for a client list that includes Disney, T-Mobile and Ford Motor Company.

You can still register up until noon on November 10th on our meetup page.

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November Apps-Giving Sweepstakes

There is a new APPortunity sweepstakes for November, 2013.  Once again you can win bog money for submitting a Windows 8.x or Windows Phone 8 app to the store.

To enter, visit and sign up for the sweepstakes.  You can earn points for all kinds of activities, which you can then redeem for cool stuff like XBox games.  When you have an app ready, submit it to the store and enter it into the sweepstakes.  Winner for cash prizes will be drawn on Dec 1.  Good luck!

11-4-2013 10-48-23 PM


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Conference: IT Con, Washington, PA 10/26/2013

On behalf of the members and chapters of Region 18 of the Association of Information Technology Professionals (AITP), I would like to make you aware of a conference that we will be hosting on October 26th at the Double Tree Hotel on Racetrack Road in Washington, PA.

This conference, called IT Con, is a half-day event (8am – 1:30pm) that features the following sessions:

  1. Windows Server 2012 R2 presented by Yung Chou, Senior Technical Evangelist @ Microsoft
  2. Windows 8.1 presented by Yung Chou, Senior Technical Evangelist @ Microsoft
  3. The Importance of IT Certifications presented by Denis Rudd II, Regional Director of Training and Development @ New Horizons

The cost for this conference is only $20, and includes a full breakfast.  The conference website can be found at

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Regex Meeting Recap

Thanks to Brian Friesen for showing that he has definitely earned the title of “the regex guy”. It was great to see regex explained step by step in his own regex engine. It was helpful in understanding how the processing works and even reveal some performance issues with regex expressions.

Brian covered a ton of topics like:

Matches. Character classes. Negating character classes. Shorthand like \d \s \w. Dot matches all the things. Pipes. Quantifiers. Greedy vs lazy. Grouping. Capturing parentheses. Named groupings. Anchors. Word boundary. Lookarounds.

I’m sure I missed a few too. Brian used LinqPad for the presentation so don’t have slides for you but I do have a lot of supporting applications that you can take a look at.

The custom regex engine that allowed him to step through the regex processing:

The HTTP API you can use to get some of the same information about your regex processing: Brian suggested that anyone could take this API and create an interesting application with it.

The strange and comical tangent we went on at the end:



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Regex Meetup Still Open

On 10/8/2013 we will have Brian Friesen in the Microsoft offices talking to us about regular expressions, or more commonly known as “regex”. After our meeting we’ll also try to get a post meeting together at Mullen’s across the street. You can register on meetup. We’ll be closing the registration on 10/8/2013 at 12:00 PM.

Session Description:

Be afraid. Be very afraid. For you are about to enter the mysterious and foreboding land of regular expressions. A land of strange-looking hieroglyphics. A land of many flavors and implementations. A land whose inhabitants possess seemingly magical powers over text. But fear no more, for you needn’t make the journey alone: a guide and a map await you.

In this session, we’ll take a whirlwind tour of the features found in most regular expression implementations. Then we’ll dive deep. We’ll take a peek inside a regular expression engine. From character literals to character classes, from back-references to look-around, you’ll see every step a regular expression engine takes when it parses text. By the end of the session, you’ll be able to think like a regular expression engine.

About Brian:

Brian Friesen has been pretending to be a developer for the last 6 years and lives in constant fear of being found out. As an occasional public speaker, he prefers to talk about things that are slightly out in left field. This explains why some people know him as “the regex guy” or “the monad guy”. Seriously, who wants to have those labels? Anyway, when he’s not writing code, he’s probably thinking about it, or, if he’s sleeping, dreaming about it. In the rare case that no part of his mind is occupied by something vaguely code-related, he is probably playing with his kids or spending quality time with his wife near Detroit, where he has lived since 2012, when he took a job with the best company he has ever worked for, Quicken Loans. He is also a raging smart-alec.

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Register for Hands-on lab for Windows 8

As you’ve probably heard in recent meetings, we’re working on some new ways to learn about our development topics. Sometimes presentations may spark an interest and you want to dig deeper. We’re starting something new at pghdotnet and it was born out of our own members at Omnyx. We’ll be holding our first hands-on lab on September 24, 2013 from 5:30 PM to 8:00 PM at the new offices of Omnyx at 1251 Waterfront Place Pittsburgh (Seagate Building), 2nd Floor, Pittsburgh. Refreshments will also be provided courtesy of Omnyx. This lab requires registration at meetup.

Learn to create a Windows Store app using JavaScript and HTML or C# and XAML

The hands-on labs will immerse you in Windows 8 app development—specifically, development of a Windows Store app using JavaScript and HTML or C# and XAML.

As you work through this series of labs, you’ll create Contoso Cookbook, a beautiful, functional, realistic app that makes use of some of the key new features available in Windows 8. By the end of the series, you will know much of what you need to know to build your own great app for the Windows Store.

You can use the following links if you’re eager to get a look at the content of the labs:

Download Windows 8 labs for JavaScript and HTML

Download Windows 8 labs for C# and XAML

Getting set up

Ideally you should bring your own laptop and don’t forget that power supply. An External USB or Firewire drives really help. We will help you get organized and install the right software for continued virtual fun! We have wireless Internet access.

Make sure that all required software is on your machine when you arrive. To work with these hands-on labs, you must run Windows 8 on your computer and use an edition of Microsoft Visual Studio 2012 for Windows 8 (including Visual Studio Express 2012).

To get what you need, go to Downloads on the Windows Dev Center for Windows Store apps.

Important Note

The labs in this series work only with the versions of Windows 8 and Visual Studio 2012 that are currently available for download on the Windows Dev Center. They do not correspond to or work with earlier preview versions of Windows 8 (Developer Preview, Consumer Preview, or Release Preview).

*If you choose not to setup your laptop for Windows 8 development, there are alternatives such as using the Windows Virtual Labs or spinning up your virtual machine using Azure. If you don’t have access to Windows 8 any other way, you may want to see if you can pair up with someone at the lab.

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SQL Saturday 250 Pittsburgh

SQL Saturday is returning to Pittsburgh on September 14 , 2013.

SQL Saturdays are the SQL Server realm’s equivalent of Code Camps. Pittsburgh SQL Saturday, sponsored by the Pittsburgh SQL Server User Group, and is a full day of almost free ($10 for lunch) SQL Server training, presented by well-known local and national speakers. Topics such as TSQL, optimization, SSIS, SRS, tablular model, performance monitoring and tuning, virtualization, and more.

SQL Saturday will run 8am-5pm and will be held at ITT Technical Institute in Robinson (5460 Campbells Run Road, Pittsburgh, PA).

Register at

Our very own (but recently displaced to Texas) John Sterrett will be presenting a full day pre-conference on Friday, September 13th at the Microsoft Offices. During John’s pre-con you will be able to find out which SQL statements are causing your performance problems and you will be able to apply basic concepts to improve your general performance. You will learn how to implement and use a performance baseline to be proactive and keep yourself one step ahead of the game. We will cover bad developer practices that are constantly being repeated and show you how to fix them. We will also show you how to improve the performance of your troublesome queries when you cannot change the code. Finally, we will also cover best practices that can be applied to help performance on the database and instance settings level.

You can register for John’s pre-con day here:

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