As a developer I tend to think that Teched keynotes usually are to much focused on IT-pros, and usually not all that exciting. But this year I was surprised how interesting the keynote was. They had a shorter (?) big keynote for everybody and then we were split up in different Foundational sessions – it worked out pretty well.
Cloud, cloud, cloud…
Phone, phone, phone…
Much talk about the cloud, much talk about the phone, and except for a short section about System Center – in which I have no interest, whatsoever – there were really nice stuff showed.
The sentence of the day was when Amir Netz demoed new BI-tools in Crescent and sorted/filtered 2.000.000.000 rows of data – “This is beyond wicked fast. This is the engine of the devil, right?” And I must agree, it was beyond wicked fast…
More interesting stuff came when Drew Robbins talked about next version of WP7, “Mango”. Yesterdays pre-conf on WP7 made me eager to start developing for this platform and with the new tool coming out for “Mango” this month it just increase my interest in this area.
Last Cameron Skinner showed upcoming features in VS “vNext”, but I don’t know if they really said when it’s about to be released – I thing it’s not settled yet. Anyway, one of the more interesting features is to be able to suspend my current work – shelf the changes and so on – when the boss comes with an urgent matter. And after having fixed it, be able to resume work exactly where I was before – not just getting back the shelved files, but restoring all windows and so on, so that VS looked exactly the same as when I suspended the work. And this just with one suspend and one resume button. He also showed how it will be possible to do storyboarding in PowerPoint for designers and/or advanced business/requirement analysts – I’ll have to try this one out before I can tell if this is good or bad.
Foundational session – The Microsoft Web Platform
Very interesting walk through of the current state and the close future of the web platform as Microsoft sees it. For me the bottom line was to look at and learn:
Look at really close and learn really well, that is. And of course to continue to improve the skills in ASP.NET MVC and Razor in general, but that wasn’t all that new.
In the afternoon there were ordinary breakout sessions and ad started with:
MID306 - Design Patterns, Practices and Techniques with the Windows Azure AppFabric Service Bus (Juval Löwy)
Now, I’ve seen Juval Löwy before – in fact an whole post conference day at DevConnection 2007 and this time I was more prepared for his particular style of delivering talks. This one did its job to deliver what the title stated but nothing more.
DEV349 - An overview of the MS Web Stack (Scott Hanselman)
Scott Hanselman is fantastic in delivering technical talks and even if he had his first demo crash in 8 years today he saved it brilliantly. This was about the same content as the foundational session before lunch – but more technical, more demos and because of that more close to my heart. It was interesting to hear that MS now does a lot of optimizations for “programmer happiness” and less work on optimizing the IDE for demo-style file-new-drag-and-drop scenarios.
This talk also emphasized the wisdom of this morning: learn NuGet, WebMatrix and Orchard.
DEV321 - Advanced Blend for Developer: Integrating MVVM and Designability (Pete Brown)
Not bad, but not a 300 level session and not that interesting – I will probably never work in Blend nor will the designers I work with. On the other hand, there were no other sessions in this time slot that seemed more interesting so… it wasn’t so bad that I left in the middle of the talk anyway, perhaps not just my focus topic.