# Thursday, August 23, 2012

As most of you know I am very active in the development community and one piece of that is my involvement with the Midwest Give Camp organization. The Midwest Give Camp organization is a small group of dedicated community leaders that plan and carry out yearly Give Camps in the Midwest. This year I had the honor of organizing/leading the Midwest Give Camp. The event was held the weekend leading in to That Conference at the same venue. I wanted to share details on the charity that we worked with and what the Give Campers were able to provide for them.

For the 2012 installment of the Midwest Give Camp we worked with the charity Katharine’s Wish. Katharine’s Wish was founded by Katharine Rhoten of Eau Claire, WI. Katharine’s father Doug is also an active member of the developer community who runs the Chippewa Valley .NET User Group. Doug also happens to be a personal friend of mind.

While on the family’s first trip to Disney World in 2008 Katharine became seriously ill and was rushed to the hospital. The Rhoten family spent 3 long days in the hospital watching Katharine undergo numerous tests, most involving painful prods and pokes. Through all of those procedures Doug and his wife Kristin where amazed at the positive attitude Katharine was able to keep. This was due, in large part, to a small gesture of the hospital staff. Prior to any painful procedure, the hospital staff gave Katharine a small stuffed animal. This always put a smile on Katharine’s face and let her know that it may hurt for a bit but in the end everything was going to be alright. To get an idea of the number of procedures Katharine was subjected to during her stay at the hospital…Doug had to ship 2 boxes of stuffed animals back to WI J

The experience provided two major life-changing events for Katharine. The first was that she was diagnosed with Type I Diabetes and the second that she vowed to “pay it forward” by doing everything she could do to make sure that children in the hospital have the same positive experience she had. Upon returning home Katharine got to work on making this happen by using her allowance, birthday money, and funds from a lucrative lemonade stand to purchase stuffed animals to donate to local hospitals that she donates each year, on the anniversary of her diagnosis, to local hospitals.

Katharine’s Wish has grown to now include multiple drop off locations where the community can drop off stuffed animals and books to be donated. In the five years since her diagnosis, Katharine, with the help of her younger brother Spencer, has donated thousands of stuffed animals and books to the hospitals in her community.

It was an honor to be able to use my skills, along with the skills of 12 other talented geeks, to provide Katharine with a platform to grow her cause. The result of our work is the official Katharine’s Wish web site. The site was coded in MVC 4/HTML5/Kendo UI on the front end and EF Code First/SQL on the back end.

I ask that you please check out http://www.KatharinesWish.org to learn more about this awesome girl and please consider donating to her cause.

posted on Thursday, August 23, 2012 4:22:00 PM (Central Daylight Time, UTC-05:00)  #    Comments [5]
# Monday, May 14, 2012

Once again I am plugging That Conference!  Why?  Because it is going to kick ass and you will not want to miss it!

In a previous post I highlighted some of the nationally recognized top-notch speakers that will be Counselors at the event.  What I didn’t mention is that I have been given the honor of presenting not one but two sessions at That Conference.  Below are the two sessions I will be doing.

Going Native with KendoUI Mobile
The number of people using their smartphones or tablets to access the web has grown to the point where having a presence on mobile devices has become a must for anyone with a website. But to be truly successful your mobile presence has to differentiate itself from the mobile web entirely and straddle that line between web and native application. In the past this meant having specific styles and often views for each specific mobile platform you wanted to target, but this is no longer necessary thanks to Kendo UI Mobile.

In this talk Keith will demonstrate how using HTML5 and Kendo UI Mobile you can write one application with a single set of styles and views that looks truly native on iOS, Android, and Blackberry. Keith will walk through creating a mobile application from start to finish including how to use PhoneGap to package and deploy your website to the major mobile application stores.


HTML5 – It’s Not Just for Hipsters
HTML5 is the current “Big Thing” in web technologies. HTML5 has already been crowned the “Write Once Run Everywhere” toolset, even running on the desktop. But we .NET guys seem to once again, be left behind. The lack of tooling in Visual Studio along with the fact that most .NET web developers do not consider themselves HTML developers is really causing .NET developers to already be behind the 8 ball when it comes to HTML5 development.

In this talk Keith will cover the features of HTML5 that all .NET developers should know about and be taking advantage of. He will also cover, how contrary to popular belief the tooling is there and you can start coding HTML5 in Visual Studio now. Keith will also demonstrate that HTML5 development does not require a completely new toolset, you can leverage your current skills including all your favorite .NET server technologies when doing HTML5 development.

I highly suggest you take a look at the awesome array of sessions that will be presented at That Conference in each of the 4 tracks:

On top of the Give Camp leading in to the event there are a number of other awesome events being planned.  Unfortunately these events are still in the planning phase so I can’t go in to detail but I can stress Do Not Miss That Conference!

posted on Monday, May 14, 2012 7:41:41 AM (Central Daylight Time, UTC-05:00)  #    Comments [0]
# Tuesday, May 08, 2012

That Conference announced the initial session line up earlier this week and in a word AWESOME! 

The official speaker line up will be announced shortly and includes the following;

For a line up like that you would expect to have to travel to one of the coast’s and spend a fortune but that is not the case.  That Conference was formed under the premise of bringing a top quality conference (speakers, content, etc.) to the upper Midwest that everyone can afford to attend.  If you are in the Midwest this is an excellent opportunity that you should not miss!  Registration opens May 16th at 8:13am CST.  You will want to get in early as this is going to be one hot ticket.

posted on Tuesday, May 08, 2012 7:47:42 AM (Central Daylight Time, UTC-05:00)  #    Comments [3]
# Monday, April 02, 2012

I am very honored and excited about leading up the efforts for the next Midwest Give Camp.  For this installment we have been lucky enough to team up with the folks at That Conference and are hoping to ride the hype and excitement of this awesome event for another successful and rewarding Give Camp.

The Give Camp will be held at the Kalahari Resort in Wisconsin Dells, WI Saturday August 11th through Sunday August 12th, the weekend leading into That Conference.

We are working with an awesome charity that will no doubt be very familiar and close to a lot of your hearts and once we have all the details ironed out I will be going public with them.

For now block off the dates on your calendar and stay tuned for more details! 

posted on Monday, April 02, 2012 8:06:18 AM (Central Daylight Time, UTC-05:00)  #    Comments [2]