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Learning Opportunities

There are a lot of free and relativity inexpensive options to learn about software development around the Washington, DC area.

User Groups

  • CMAP - Their main meeting is on the first Tuesday of each month in Columbia, MD
  • .Net DC User Group - Meets on the third Tuesday of the month in Friendship Heights, MD
  • Capital Area .Net User Group - Usually meets the fourth Tuesday of each month in Tyson's Corner, VA
  • Washington, DC MongoDB Users Group - Usually meets on the third Wednesday of the month. They alternate meeting locations between Silver Springs, MD and Arlington, VA
  • Software Patterns & Practices - Usually meets on the third Tuesday of the month in Linthicum Heights, MD though they sometimes go months between meetings..
  • Northern Virginia Code Camp - Hosted by Microsoft at their Reston, VA office. Usually meets twice a year on a Saturday.
  • Philly .Net Code Camp - Hosted by the Philly .Net User Group. Usually meets twice a year on a Saturday.

Online Training Videos

  • Visual Studio Toolbox on Microsoft's Channel 9.
  • This Week on Channel 9 reviews their opinion of “most-important” news related to Microsoft .Net development both for Windows and the Web.
  • Pluralsight is a online developer training, creative and IT courses authored by industry experts. While it is not free, you can learn the most in-demand tech skills from their extensive library.

Conferences (with sessions available online)

  • dotnetConf is about the .NET Framework topics.
  • Microsoft Ignite while being a large on-site conference about Microsoft technologies, provides most of there sessions online as well.
  • Microsoft Build is Microsoft's yearly developer conference which provides most of there sessions online as well.
  • Norwegian Developers Conference is held each year in Oslo, Norway and recently in London, UK. They post all of their sessions on Vimeo.
  • Øredev is held each year in Malmö, Sweden. They also post some of their sessions on Vimeo.

Conferences

Both of these conferences are inexpensive, small at around 500-1000 attendees so most sessions are not overly crowded, don't sell out in “45 seconds”, and are easy to drive to from the Washington, DC area:

  • Code PaLOUsa is a 4-day conference held in Louisville, KY during the month of April and is only $300 for the conference and $125 for each “pre” and “post” conference days. If you order early enough, you can get them $250 and $100 respectively.
  • Codestock is a 2-day conference held in Knoxville, TN during the month of July. The tickets are usualy around the $250 range.

These are new conferences that I have not attended yet, but will keep an eye on them to see if they make it to a second year…

  • TechBash is a 3-day conference located in the Pocono Mountains in PA. Ticket prices are around the $400 and the venue is a Kalahari Resort which has a 100,000 square foot indoor water park!
  • Abstractions is a 3-day conference located in Pittsburgh, PA. I'm not sure what the price of the tickets are as I didn't find out about it until it was already in progress…
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