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Two Guys From ASP 101 Go To Fall 2001 ASP.NET Connections

by Gary M. Williams & Rainier Gonzalez


This Fall's ASP.NET Connections was originally scheduled for September 18-21, 2001, in Orlando, Florida. Because of the national tragedy that occurred immediately before the intended date, they were forced to reschedule the show. The announcement from their website follows.

Because of the recent tragic events, we have decided to cancel the Microsoft® ASP.NET Connections, VB Connections and Visual C++/C# Connections shows scheduled for September 18-21, 2001, in Orlando, Florida. We will be rescheduling the conferences to Sunday, September 30 through Wednesday, October 3, in Scottsdale, Arizona.

Here's what our two staff members who attended the rescheduled show had to say:

Gary M. Williams

Microsoft ASP.NET Connections Review

Last week I attended the semi-annual ASP Connections conference in Scottsdale, AZ. The show was originally scheduled to take place in Orlando, FL two weeks prior, but the recent tragic events caused the show to be rescheduled. As you might expect, attendance was down compared to previous Connection shows, but enthusiasm for ASP.NET was not.

All attendees received the latest Visual Studio.NET and .NET Framework Beta on CD. If you were not able to attend you can Download the ASP.NET/.NET Framework beta from the Microsoft Web site.

The keynote address was given by Mark Anders who is the Product Unit Manager .NET Framework team at Microsoft, and the co-inventor of ASP.NET. Anders went on to say:

ASP.NET is a revolutionary new version of Microsoft's Active Server Pages. It provides a wealth of new features that make developers more productive, and the applications they build faster, and more reliable and scalable. There's a lot to learn about ASP.NET and that's where Microsoft ASP.NET Connections comes in. This conference is devoted to bringing you the latest and best information on ASP.NET from those of us at Microsoft who help build ASP.NET and leading-edge third party authors, developers, and trainers.

Following Mark Anders' remarks there was a second keynote address given by Mark Minasi. Minasi's speech entitled, "Software Quality -- Why the Software We Use Is So Bad and What We Can Do To Fix It" was both entertaining and educational. Minasi explains:

Software has defects. (The programmers have taught us to call them "bugs," but they're defects nonetheless.) That, in and of itself, is not terrible: virtually every product has defects. What's amazing about shrink-wrap software, however, is the sheer number of defects. Popular operating systems, word processors, Internet browsers and e-mail packages have literally hundreds or thousands of defects — can you imagine buying a microwave oven, a hamburger, a house or a car with thousands of defects? Of course you can't. In our society, we normally put purveyors of low-quality products out of business. So why is software different? Simple: because we allow it to be different.

Visit Mark's website at for additional information.

The next ASP Connections show is scheduled to take place April 30, 2002 - May 3, 2002 in New Orleans, hope to see you there.

Rainier Gonzalez

For an overview of the conference see Gary's authoritative article as written above. Instead, based on the timing of the conference, I felt this article should address a more personal topic. This was my first time flying immediately after the September 11th terrorist attack (notice I wrote "terrorist" -- Reuter's policy on that word is absurd, see and just like everyone else I was somewhat skimmish about flying at the time.

When I arrived at the airport to leave to the conference, I was not sure what to expect. I remember thinking if I had to check in my laptop and/or Mach III shaver. As a true techie faced with such a choice my decision was easy. I stored my shaver in my checked luggage; I carried on my laptop.

As expected, to get from the car to the plane at the airport was an arduous task. I faced time-consuming security measures. Good. After getting on the plane and feeling the normal fear and over-analysis that follows any flight after September 11th, I wondered how ASPConnections was going to run. I feared that attendance would be low. I found out when I arrived and attended the welcome cocktail (sponsored by ASP 101) that ASPConnections had no immunity from what occurred. I've attended several ASPConnections and this was by far the least attended of all them. As one sponsor put it, "I knew attendance was going to be low but I wanted to support the community."

Later that night I wondered how much the events of September 11th would transcend our country. Would our worrying injure our economy? Would we be over consumed with what may happen if we fly? Would our daily jobs suffer? I mean you can learn everything you need to know about ASP.NET by reading ASP 101, but conferences are a great crash course. The fact that attendance was this low worried me.

The next day I attended the conference lunch. I sat at the table with several developers from across the country. Talk focused on September 11th. Then the conversation turned to how neat ASP.NET is. Talk also focused on how one developer worried about the additional workload surrounding converting over to .NET. For a moment, life was as it was before September 11th. I'm confident, though we will never forget the tragedy that occurred in New York and we never should, life will go on.

I wonder how much work it will take to transition ASP 101 to .NET.

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