I am extremely pleased to announce the very first 'Microsoft.Net focused podcast series in the Gulf'. Let me give you a little bit of background first and then we can drill down into the details of who, what, how and when.
Having been in Dubai, on and off, for past 4-5 years and being Microsoft MVP all the while has given me an oppurtunity to work with local developer communities here in the Gulf. In terms of dev communities, Kwait (with dotnetboom http://www.dotnetboom.net) and Qatar (with oryx dev http://oryxdev.com/en/default.aspx) have been successful with setting up their user groups. Unfortunately we dont have similar success story for the UAE in particular and the rest of Gulf in general.
This lack of dev community itself is a biggest motivation for trying to bring all the developers on a common platform. Objectives include empowering regional Microsoft developers with relevant technical content on Microsoft Platform, presenting topics in English/Arabic, sharing ideas, learning from each others experiences/mistakes and above all finding an oppurtunity to get in touch with like minded professionals across the region.
From years of experience we have learned that its difficult to get developers to come and attend user group events in the emirates. Generally this is attributed to problems related to 'commuting' to and from the event venues as well as lack of well designed event calendar(schedule).
To mitigate these potential issues, initially, myself and Anton (from Microsoft Dubai) agreed on hosting a developer podcast series. The idea was discussed when Somasegar was visiting Microsoft Dubai and hosted local dev community for an informal talk/lunch at Microsoft Dubai office in DIC - Dubai Internet City last month.
Later on Anton introduced me to Ron and we became partner-in-crime and started co-hosting the podcast series.
The plan, as i said, is to host a series of sessions targetting regional developer community. Come up with a clear agenda and share the detailed schedule with the developers so that they can mark their calendars and look forward to the events that they think are most relevant for them. Ideally, try and host these podcasts to MSDN Channel 9 so that the content can be downloaded easily and reaches the broadest possible audience (and yes, be listened to while driving on Sheikh Zayed Road ;)).
Following shows have been recorded so far:-
1- Agile Development 101 (myself and Ron)
2- Localization in .Net with Dina Lasheen
3- Understanding Microsoft Enterprise Project Management with Bilal Okour
4- Understanding Sharepoint 2010 with Mostafa Arafa.
5- Inside Sharepoint for Arabs Part 1 with Aymen El Hattab
6- Inside Sharepoint for Arabs Part 2 with Marwan Tarek
- Look out for preview release in about week's time (we will be releasing at least 2 episodes for free public access)
+ Watch out for special Tech-Ed focused episodes
- Hosting key speakers and asking them what to expect in their Tech-Ed talks
- Talking to people who are working behind the scenes and making this event happen.
- A dedicated episode on .Net Community in Jordan
- Follow us on Twitter for instant updates. http://twitter.com/DotNetMEPodcast
- Provide us with your feedback on twitter or this blog post