In case you are unaware, there are a lot of FoxPro user groups and regional conferences hosting Southwest Fox Rehearsals, you might want to check out a relatively new page on the Southwest Fox Web site: Session Rehearsals Rehearsals are important for a couple of reasons:

  1. Speakers refine and enhance their sessions based on feedback.
  2. Frees up slots of sessions already seen so you can see other sessions during the conference.
  3. Learn in advance of the conference, try things out, and ask the speaker more questions in person at the conference.

A couple of years ago I was able to see half the sessions before I even arrived in Arizona. I cannot tell you how much value that brought to me except to tell you it was a lot. This year I have seen several sessions and have a couple more to see before I arrive in Arizona. Even if you are not able to attend the conference it is an opportunity for you to learn from the presenters and provide them feedback so their sessions rock at Southwest Fox. I was particularly moved this morning because of an email sent to me by Mike Potjer of the Grand Rapids Area Fox User Group. Mike is a long time supporter of Southwest Fox and is attending this year. This past weekend he attended one of the many rehearsals Jim Nelson is doing for his two sessions on VFPX’s Thor. Mike wrote:

I hope this is already on your agenda, but I would really like to see a big plug for Thor during the Welcome/Keynote session of SW Fox.  I think Thor is the most universally useful productivity enhancement for VFP developers since IntelliSense.  I have created IntelliSense enhancements, and looked at creating builders, but adding functionality to Thor is much simpler than either of those, and really hardly requires any documentation.  And Thor blows away IntelliSense and the builder architecture in terms of making it easy to share what you’ve created.  ….  I really think Jim deserves accolades for this (not to mention all the PEMEditor development that laid the groundwork for Thor).  I told Jim that I honestly believe that if Thor had been available when VFP 9 was released, that it should have been included with the product.

Wow, talk about a session having an impact, and the conference has not even started. Hopefully you will get a chance to attend one of the remaining rehearsals held in the next two weeks before the conference gets rolling.

Speakers and Sessions Announced

Speakers and sessions for Southwest Fox 2011 have been announced. Continuing our tradition of trying to invite new speakers every year, this year we are pleased to have Steve Bodnar and Kevin Ragsdale present at SWFox.

The conference features 4 half-day pre-conference sessions and more than 25 main conference sessions in five tracks. Whether you’re still working only with VFP or extending VFP with other tools, you’ll have no trouble finding plenty of sessions to enhance your skills and widen your horizons.

Registration opens June 1.

Registration opens June 1st

Registration for Southwest Fox 2011 opens on June 1, 2011!

In past years we opened registration on May 1st, so why the delay this year? The conference is later this year by a couple of weeks because of the Jewish holy days. Traditionally we only get a few registrations in the month of May so we decided to push back the open date until June 1st.

This week we will be updating the Web site to announce the sessions and the speakers who will be presenting at this year’s conference. We also will be posting an updated registration application and a short video on how to use it.

Stay tuned, Southwest Fox 2011 is going to be a great conference!

Southwest 2011 Call for Speakers

Today we released the Call for Speakers for Southwest Fox 2011. Anyone interested in presenting should visit the Call for Speakers page on the Southwest Fox website, read the complete Call for Speakers document (linked from that page), and download the proposal submission application. Session proposals are due by March 28.

As in the past few years, we to offer a good selection of topics in core VFP development, extending VFP, using VFP with other technologies, and VFPX, as well as technology sessions to help VFP developers become better developers, not just more expert at VFP.

If you think you have something to say to the VFP community, please submit session proposals, even if you’ve never spoken at a conference before. Our community is strengthened when more people take an active role. Do be aware that speaking at a conference is a serious commitment. Even for experienced speakers, preparing a new session takes 40-80 hours. Doing it well at the conference calls for several rehearsals beforehand, too. So make sure you can commit the necessary time–the Call for Speakers lays out all the deadlines.

We’re looking forward to seeing what you all come up with. Reading through the proposals we receive each year is really exciting, and choosing among them is always a challenge.

Southwest Fox 2011 dates announced–October 26-29, 2011

Mark your calendars! We’ve nailed down the dates for Southwest Fox 2011. It’ll take place October 26-29 and we’ll return to the SanTan Legado and Elegante in Gilbert, AZ. There will be a post-conference event on the afternoon of October 29 and the morning of October 30.

There are several differences this year:

  • First, we’re in a different week in October. That’s to avoid a conflict with the Jewish holy days.
  • Second, we’re starting on Wednesday and finishing on Saturday, instead of the usual Thursday to Sunday. That’s to make sure you can get home in time for Halloween.
  • Third, the post-con will be split over two days. Again, that’s to help you get home for Halloween. Plan to be there. This event will knock your socks off!

See you all in Arizona in October.