DBI Offers New Control to Southwest Fox/Xbase++ Attendees

DBI is giving away a full license of Calendar COM (ctxCalendar) to each Southwest Fox/Southwest Xbase++ 2016 attendee. Calendar COM is a really great Outlook style scheduling control with three fully extensible views baked into one control: a multi-column Day View (a multiple day appointment scheduler for one resource or multiple resource appointment scheduler for one day at a time), a Week View Appointment Scheduler, and a Month Calendar / date picker. It comes in both 32-bit and 64-bit versions.

DBI has been a long-time supporter of Southwest Fox and we thank them for their generous support once again this year!

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Southwest Fox on The Fox Show! Discount code

Doug and Tamar were interviewed for Andrew Ross MacNeill’s podcast The Fox Show, which was released today. There’s a discount code for conference registration in the interview.

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Early-bird deadline is July 31!

Simple quick reminder: save $50 by registering before the Early-bird registration deadline this Sunday, July 31st.

If you still need to register, please head over to the registration Web site today: http://geekgatherings.com/Registration

Every registered attendee gets admission and white papers to all regular conference sessions. Don’t miss this chance to learn from the best and mix with your peers.

It’s still only July and we already have nearly $15,000 in raffle prizes, with more yet to come.

Booking the DoubleTree hotel room:
A block of rooms have been reserved for September 19, 2016 – September 28, 2016. The special room rate will be available until August 26th or until the group block is sold out, whichever comes first. Last year the block sold out.

We suggest you book it now! Don’t forget to use the Group Code: GEE

Only 58 days until we gather in Gilbert.

Regards,
Tamar Granor, Rick Schummer, and Doug Hennig

Southwest Fox and Southwest Xbase++ Organizers
Geek Gatherings, LLC

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Southwest Fox/Southwest Xbase++ 2016 are a go!

We have some good news to share today. Thanks to the support of both the Visual FoxPro and Xbase++ communities, Southwest Fox and Southwest Xbase++ 2016 will proceed as planned September 22-25, 2016 in Gilbert, AZ.

We really appreciate all the support people have shown for the conference with early registrations! That said, the decision comes with a calculated risk because we are still many registrations short of the breakeven point. Please continue to spread the word to your colleagues, clients, user group and anywhere else Visual FoxPro or Xbase++ is spoken.

If you haven’t yet registered, there’s still room for you. Register before August 1 for a $50 early-bird discount.

Contact Us:

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Super-saver deadline is this Thursday, June 30

Hear that sound? Tick, tick, tick, tick…

That’s the countdown clock here at Geek Gatherings getting closer to the Super-saver deadline for Southwest Fox and Southwest Xbase++!  June 30th is this Thursday and we thought we would pass along a reminder just in case you forgot to type it into your task list, or put a yellow sticky note on your monitor. We still need people to register to make the conferences happen.

The conferences take place September 22-25, 2016 in Gilbert, Arizona and we really hope you can be there. We would hate to see you lose out on the $125 discount, the FREE pre-conference session, and an opportunity to win a scholarship or a license of Stonefield Query SDK (a $6,000 value).

Head over to the registration Web site today: http://geekgatherings.com/Registration

If you’ve already registered, we thank you. Can you help us remind your fellow developers who have been procrastinating about the looming deadline by sharing this email or tweeting about it? Spread the word by telling others you going on our Facebook event.

Also, if you sent in your registration and have not received a confirmation, please contact us to see what happened. Everyone gets a confirmation when the registration is processed. As promised, we are not cashing checks or processing credit cards for new registrations until the middle of July.

Check out our list of amazing speakers and dig into our session tracks for VFP and Xbase++. Follow the news about the conference on our blog.

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2016 Registration is open!

Registration for Southwest Fox and Southwest Xbase++ is now available. You find lists of speakersSouthwest Fox sessions and Southwest Xbase++ sessions on the conference website. Super-Saver Registration, which saves you $125, is available only through June 30th, so don’t wait.

Putting on a conference is a risky endeavor. Conference centers require a guaranteed minimum income to block the dates of a conference; for a conference like Southwest Fox, that minimum is in the tens of thousands of dollars. We have to commit to the conference center by July 2nd and need your support by July 1st to make that commitment. We will not send out any “We need your help” appeals so please do not wait; register by June 30th! We know most of you like to wait until the last minute to avoid the credit card bill arriving too soon. We will not charge any attendee credit cards or cash any checks until we have committed to going forward (sometime after July 2), so this is not is a reason to wait.

We look forward to seeing you in September!

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2016 Speakers and sessions announced

Speakers and sessions for both conferences have been announced. Registration opens soon; send an email to info@geekgatherings.com if you want us to email you when it’s ready.

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Session Proposal deadline is this Friday, March 4

This is just a reminder that session proposals for Southwest Fox 2016 and Southwest Xbase++ 2016 are due by 8 AM EST this Friday, March 4. If you are interested in presenting at either conference, please read the Call for Speakers and submit your proposals via the Geek Gatherings Submission Web site.

The conferences take place September 22-25, 2016.

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Call for speakers

We’ve issued the Call for Speakers for Southwest Fox 2016 and Southwest Xbase++ 2016. If you are interested in presenting at either conference, please read the document and consider submitting sessions via the Geek Gatherings Submission Web site.

The conferences take place September 22-25, 2016. Session proposals are due by Friday, March 4 at 8 AM EST.

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What do you want to learn in 2016?

As we’ve mentioned in earlier posts, we read all the comments on the evaluations attendees submit, both those on the conference evaluation and those on evaluations for individual sessions. As you’d expect, we look especially hard for themes, multiple people mentioning the same issue. Usually, when that happens, they’re on the same side of the issue.

For example, a few years ago, tons of people commented about poor WiFi service in the hotel and conference center. We used those comments to encourage the hotel to improve their offerings and that’s made a big difference.

Sometimes, though, all we can do is shake our heads because commenters want exactly opposite changes. For example, one of this year’s attendees indicated a preference for a keynote session that “will preferably get the crowd interacting” while another requested “Anything that does NOT involve audience participation.”

This year, fewer of you mentioned issues around the temperature in the session rooms. That may be because we worked with the conference center staff to find a temperature that seemed appropriate, and avoided resetting thermostats during the conference. It was also probably helped by the weather being a little cooler than we usually encounter. Nonetheless, there were still plenty of comments on the topic, but as usual some complained that session rooms were too warm while others found them too cool.

One theme that was new this year was people having trouble finding sessions in every slot, along with some comments about sessions being overcrowded. No doubt this was partly due to the fact that we had fewer VFP speakers and topics this year.

As speakers, we actually love it when a room is full. A crowded room generally has a lot more energy, and we feed on that as we present.

But we know that for attendees, getting to the session you want to hear and finding that all the chairs are filled is a bummer. So is looking at the list of topics in a given time slot and finding nothing that seems applicable to your needs. (In fact, we saw a reflection of this in some session evaluations, too, where the speaker was rated highly, but the ratings for “Session provided valuable information” and “Session topic was relevant” were much lower. In some cases, there was a comment along the lines of “This session was well done, but was a schedule filler for me. I don’t expect to use this.”

As we start planning for 2016 (yes, we actually started on the day that the 2015 conferences ended), we don’t yet know how many speakers we’ll be inviting. It’s likely that we’ll do something like we did this year, and pick a core group first, and then add speakers if early registrations warrant.

Beyond the possibility of offering more simultaneous sessions, we’ll try to do a better job of picking sessions that you want to hear. That’s where we can use your help right now, whether or not you attended this year’s conference.

We asked for topic suggestions on the conference evaluation and quite a few people offered ideas. They’re listed below. We ask that you comment on this post (or send us an email) both to tell us what you think of these ideas and to tell us what else you’d like included. We’ll include the list of potential topics in the Call for Speakers that will be released sometime in February.

Here’s the (long) list of ideas from the evaluations:

  • User Interfaces
  • VFP in the cloud
  • REST API with VFP
  • Disaster recovery
  • Case studies
  • Business development, marketing, sales, customer service
  • More non-VFP technologies such as Python
  • SQL Server
  • Web technologies (Beginner, Intermediate, Advanced)
  • Client side web development (JavaScript,JQuery, Angular, JSON, etc.)
  • Web services
  • .NET technologies (Beginner, Intermediate, Advanced)
  • Mobile technologies (Beginner, Intermediate, Advanced)
  • More on Thor
  • 64-bit compiler
  • Building applications to run as a service and building complimentary UI based apps to interact with and/or control that service’s behavior.
  • Specific things I can do in xBase++ that will complement my suite of VFP applications
  • Lessons Learning Upsizing Data
  • Hosting VFP Apps in the Cloud
  • Building CXP apps for VFP developers
  • Alaska open panel: What features do you want? What direction do you want to head?
  • Cathy Pountney on Reporting topics
  • Rick Borup with an advanced session on branching and merging in version control as a half-day pre-con, especially if we could actually work through examples on our own systems

Some of you may notice that we have offered some of those topics before. Please tell us whether you’d welcome (updated) repeats of any of those sessions; we know that some of our prospective speakers are more likely to submit topics if they can recycle something they’ve presented previously.

Finally, we’ve had some suggestions for workshop-style sessions, where the speaker would would actually walk attendees through a topic, as they try it on their own machines. Obviously, such sessions would cover less material than a lecture-style, but you’d leave having actually tried the relevant technique or technology. Let us know what you think about this idea.

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