A little bit harder to get up than usual, it became rather late after the country drinks last evening. But it was worth it, I came talk to a lot of people that I’ve never met before as well as those I actually have worked with but haven’t seen for like 9 years.
However, last night was long gone when the first session started:
WIA304 – Building LOB Apps Fast with Silverlight and .NET RIA Services(Tim Heuer)
Tim Heuer again, lovely session again. I even more convinced that I have to learn Silverlight and start to seek projects that uses Silverlight. After the first (of many) cup of coffee was it at last time for the first 400-level session this week:
DEV402 – Dynamic in C# 4.0: The Why’s and How’s (Alex Turner)
I had never heard of this guy before, but he was a brilliant speaker - the topic helps, of course, but he was good at it too. It turned out that the new dynamic keyword was more that just access to Python and Ruby – more to test after this week, the list of things to try starts to get really long now. Lunch, exhibition, and more sessions:
ARC308 – Credit Crunch Code: Time to Pay Back the Technical Debt (Gary Short)
I’ve seen Gary Short in numerous short instruction screen casts on DevExpress’ XPO and XAF, but this topic was different and he did a surprisingly good job. Rarely this year, there were a lot more last TechEd I attended, but in the next time slot no less than 4 highly interesting session took place. Which one to choose? The nice experience from this morning, together wit the nice experiences with interactive sessions earlier this week, made it:
DEV03-IS – C# 4.0 And VB2010 Interop Features with Silverlight, Office and Python.
More good stuff on the dynamic keyword! Time flies and the last session for the day was held by a fellow country man of me:
ARC401 – Flexible Design (Magnus Mårtensson)
He could have renamed the title to “Use Dependency Injection”, I should have attended anyway but with other expectations.
Not that many interesting titles to choose between at the first slot, so I picked the session based on speaker more than the title and went to:
ITS202 - The Daily Scrum (Stephen Forte)
Nice talk, but a 200-level session on a topic that I kind of know. Next slot I saw just one session that were interesting, but that was enough
DEV306 – F# for Parallel and Asynchronous Programming (Donald Syme)
was awesome. How should I do to start working with F# – I got to come up with a plan for that!
I had a quick lunch so I could go to a lunch session:
DEV01-DEMO – TFS:Become productive in 30 minutes (Brian Randell)
Nice quick overview. Initially it was Doug Seven that was supposed to do this talk, but he had to go home and Brian did a good job as the substitute.
After lunch it was time for
WIA202 – Silverlight 3: What’s in It for Developers? (Tim Heuer)
and it was a good update. I haven’t look much into Silverlight for a while now and it’s definitely time to pick it up again.
After a long coffee break while strolling around in the exhibition hall it was about time for some serious coding:
DEV309 - The Windows API Code Pack: How Managed Code Developers Can Easily Access Exciting New Windows Vista and Windows 7 Features (Kate Gregory)
Lots of code and good examples how to build jump lists, thumbnails etc. This was the last session for the day and then it was time for one of the social parts for this event – country drinks. Time to chat and get to know peers from home.
Not as tired as one would have assumed after celebrating the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin wall yesterday night at the Brandenburger Tor, I started with a kind of session that I haven’t attended before – an interactive session. This was called:
DAT04-IS – Patterns with the Entity Framework (Mike Flasko)
and it was a pleasant experience. Small crowd, small room, demo-centric talk, plenty of time for questions and detours from the path. After that I had one of these uncomfortable moments where I have to choose between two good things, my choice became:
DEV317 – Agile Patterns: Agile Estimations (Stephen Forte)
and I wasn’t disappointed at all, even thou I heard that the session I didn’t choose was “awesome” – I have to pick it up on TechEd Online.
However, I’ve heard Forte a couple of times at dotnetrocks and he did a great job in delivering the topic – a real professional speaker. But not in the sense of speaking on routine, more in the sense of keeping the audience focused and interested the whole session .
With a good start of the day and after the lunch it was yet again time for one of the slots that didn’t had that many interesting sessions – so I followed the successful formula from yesterday, go to the architecture session. This turned, again, out to be a good choice:
ARC310 – Application Architecture Guide: The Map for Your Journey (Don Smith)
It was a walk through and an overview of the new guide from Pattern and Practice team (Microsoft Application Architecture Guide, 2nd Edition).
A quick coffee and a donut made me ready to continue the afternoon, and now it was a complete shift in topic:
WIA403 – Tips and Tricks for Building High Performance Web Applications (Giorgio Sardo)
It turned out to be a little bit off what I currently do on daily basis, but nevertheless interesting anyway – I would say that the odds for doing a web project in the future are quite low. And the odds for having performance issues are equally low, I would say.
Last session for the day, and again a total shift of topic and back to the interactive theater for yet another interactive session:
DEV04-IS – Pumping Iron: Dynamic Languages on the MS .NET Framework (Harry Pierson)
Yet again a speaker that has appeared on dotnetrocks, is it me that picks the sessions with speaker that I’ve heard of or is it the dotnetrocks-team that have the same preferences as I do?
However, this was – by far – the best session of the day. Harry talked about the advantages with dynamic languages and he made me which that I could do this in a real project in the future. The problem is to sneak it in by stealth in the current project – for several reasons I don’t think that ever will happen. But I decided to pick up my Python book when I get home and start doing evening programming with it.
I ended the day by hanging with my colleagues from Denmark – really nice guys. I’ll make a note of bringing up the question of have more knowledge exchange with the Copenhagen office.
I had forgot how much I like going to this kind of events.
Last night when leaving home and started the trip toward Berlin, I said to myself “why did I signed up for this?”. And after I picked up the swag and looked through the sessions for day 1 I still have this feeling of “why?”.
TechEd, and other conferences, usually starts with a big keynote. But not this year – and I don’t know why. I use to have a plan, a schedule, picked out in advance which I the always change after the first keynote – so it felt kind of odd to decide ahead which session to go to and stick to that. I think this adds up the feeling of “why?”
But then the first session started and I immediately remembered why I like this: skilled speakers, interesting topics, new technology – what else could a geek wish for?
Two great morning sessions:
- DEV305: ADO.NET Entity Framework in Microsoft Visual Studio 2010 and Microsoft .NET Framework 4
- ARC301: From the Trenches - Using Architectural Skills to Increase Solution Adoption Success Rates
were followed by two pretty lousy keynotes, one for developers and one more general – but the last one was more to the IT crowd, if you ask me.
So, in summary, the first day was not as it use to be at TechEd, strange order on things and lousy keynotes.