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So, a little more adjusted to the time zone, not wakening up 4 am to watch the ceiling for an hour before going down to the Fitness Center. Today I just woke up 6.30, got a shower and then went to GWCC to meet up with Martin for breakfast.

Eventually there’s a timeslot where kind of no session seem that appealing – this was one of them and early in the morning as well. Should I pass or should I go to the Hands On Lab area to try one of them out? I did pick a session and it was

COS304 - Using Windows Azure Storage (Jai Haridas)

Actually worth going to this one, he did a good job explaining the differences between the way of storing data in the cloud: Blobs, Drives, Tables and Queues. Good demos made me understand how I’m supposed to use this in real life. He got in to all of them in enough depth so I got a felling for what they could do and what they couldn’t do – and when to use what. I really liked this session and did not at all regret going here.

DEV313 - Microsoft ADO.NET Entity Framework 4 and Beyond: Building Real-World Applications (Jeff Derstadt & Jonathan Aneja)

We’re using EF4 right now in my current project so I thought that it would be a good idea to go to some of the EF4 sessions. In this one there were a real world example from NBC. It’s nice to see that we’re not the only one to struggle with (against) EF4 – but in all a satisfactory session. One of the gems to bring home was the compiled query stuff and the ability to serialize it as JSON.

DEV338 - NuGet: Microsoft .NET Package Management for the Enterprise (Scott Hanselman)

This one wasn’t either on my original schedule, but after all the talk the first day about NuGet I just was forced to see this. On the other hand it was Hanselman so I could have picked anyway. Well, as usual he delivered a good – or actually very good – talk, an this time without demo crashes. There were some mocking on Twitter after his crash in the Monday session.

Now, I’m completely aware of what NuGet is and what it can do – 75 minutes well spent. I’ll have to start using this when I’m back home, I guess I have to show some demos for my colleagues before they accept this, but now I’m well prepared.

During this talk I also picked up other stuff to put on my must-try-list: Elmah and Mercurial with BitBucket, lets see if it’s anything to use.

DEV337 - Moving Your App and Skills from WinForms to Silverlight and WPF (Pete Brown)

Despite of the level and of the title, this felt like a 200-level talk and even if there were lots of demos the technical content was way to simple. He brought up obvious thing when shifting from WinForms to Silverlight and/or WPF – and it felt like he just jumped over the hard stuff.

DEV323 - A Taste of F#: Today and Tomorrow (Don Syme)

Not all that much new, but a decent talk. The today-stuff was more focused on beginners – I have been playing around with F# since early 2008 way before PDC 2008 so all the points of simplicity and the async/parallel reasons didn’t bring anything new to the table. And the tomorrow stuff was focused on FrebaseData – interesting for sure, but not that’s more a cool thing that a language innovation or a language development. Always nice to listen to Don Syme, though.

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Optimizing Performance and Scalability of Distributed .NET Applications

I'm stretch out on the lawn outside the CCIB here in Barcelona with a big smile on my face after listening to Ingo Rammer. Totally brilliant session!

In the choice between this an Keith Brown on Securing ASP.NET Applications I choose Ingo Rammer and I don't regret it the least.  No shadow over Keith, I'll watch his session on the post conference DVD.

Now my toolbox is full of new tools for examine slow .NET applications and a couple of hints to solve them. I'm not exactly a novice in this area... and didn't thought I would learned that much. It is funny to be positively surprised.

He went through:

  • Network
  • SQL
  • Memory

Partly from the angle of developing code and partly on judging and controlling products and parts that you bring in to the project. 

Integrating Membership, Role Management and Profiles in ASP.NET 2.0 Applications

Prosise... again. Brilliant...again.

He went through all the topics in the title with simple, clear and comprehendible examples. It turned out that I, not that surprisingly, over worked the work on the topic in my last project. But it wasn't that bad...

DEMO - Building a Distributed Solution with .NET 3.0

"This is a level 400 session... A few slides, then VS... WCF and WF in action...Tips, trick & pitfalls"

Sometimes, not that often, but sometimes it feels like it's going to fast. This was one of those occasions. This was a guy doing his own extensions to WCF to build a video streaming application. Some day I will sit down with the examples and look through to code and try to understand what went on, I'll guess it'll take me about 10-20 hours... 75 minutes wasn't enough.

Advanced Data Access Techniques with ADO.NET

Well... I would say advanced, but a thorough walk through of the data binding in Visual Studio 2005 so I'll give this session an OK.

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Delving into Visual Studio 2005 Team Edition for Software Developers

This session did a thorough walk through about VSTESD. It wasn't that much new stuff... I've used it for a while. But sometimes it's good to know that there isn't more to know.

Smart Client: Offline Caching and Synchronization with a New ADO.NET Sync Framework

The title sound interesting and the session was a really good one. I look forward to try the CTP that will be released before the end of the year. This framework lets me write an "Occasionally Connected Client" in just a few lines of code... well we'll see about that when the CTP comes.

Connected Systems - Part 6: The Future of the Microsoft Application Server Platform

Time for Laurel and Hardy, sorry Steve and Clemens, again. 

As the title suggest, the talk was about what will be released and when. They couldn't of course give us the exact information, but some initiated guesses how the products will evolve and how existing (server) product will adopt to WF and WCF.

.NET Hidden Treasures

After, again, sitting through a session without code I choose this one.

I regret not going to David Chappell on comparing C# with Java. But this is how it is on conferences, sometimes better than your expectations and sometimes below. This was the first below this week...

But as a comfort my colleague visited an even worse session that ended prematurely because most of the audience left the room.

Unit Testing Best Practices With Visual Studio Team System

Quite funny to listen to a guy who is not an XP/TDD extremist talk about unit tests. One could say that Mark Seeman had a more relaxed position about what to test and how, than most of the other I've heard on the topic. It was interesting but I disagreed with him a few times.

It was a good session but a little bit too shallow.