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…or day 3, it depends on if you count the pre-conf day as 1 or 0. Anyway the day started – perhaps not as focused as I should be – with

DEV340 - Tackle the Complexity of Async Calls in WPF and Silverlight (Brian Noyes)

He started with an overview of multithreading in general and the benefits and challenges that multithreading gives you.

He then did a quick review of the history of async call patterns in .net from Begin/End over Async/Completed and TPL & PLINQ. He continued with Async CTP and the new async keyword in C#, and at last he did a short detour to Reactive Extensions as well – a nice bonus, I really like that stuff. It takes me out of my ordinary path of thinking. Check it out or better, come to my talk about it on Wednesday at Valtech Tech Days.

I was very pleased with this talk and i didn’t felt at all as the morning session after the exhibit hall reception the night before.

DEV301 - The Future of Parallel Programming in the Microsoft .NET Framework (Danny Shih)

Parallel and async seem to go hand in hand, this turned out to be roughly the same talk as I just attended. Only more focused towards the new async stuff that’s in the pipe. The content was alright as so were the speaker – but he finished in 45 minutes so I felt a little bit disappointed. I mean, if you have a time slot of 75 minutes it would be OK to finish 10% early – like about 10 minutes, but 30 minutes early? Bad rehearsal I would say.

DEV355 - Orchard 1.1: Build, Customize, Extend, Ship (Sebastien Ros)

Completely brilliant session. A total walk through of (not perhaps) all features in Orchard. A good speaker with just the right amount of humour together with just right enough technical depth totally made my day. Originally I didn’t plan to see this session, I had another one scheduled but after all the talk yesterday about Orchard I had to see what is was – and I didn’t regret for a second that I switched session at the last minute.

And I got more sure than before that I definitely have to check this out – actually it’s now on top of my must-try-list.

DEV343 - Application Development with HTML5 (Brandon Satrom)

I’ve been to a fair amount of “development with HTML” talks before and all of them - including this one - are more about HTML5 than about developing. But since I don’t do a lot of HTML at all nowadays, it was a nice walkthrough of the stuff and he did it quite well. The one thing that he said got stuck in my mind hadn’t anything to do with HTML5 though, it was about the development process around IE9 and the upcoming IE10 – more early bits to developers that ever before.

MID307 - Make Yourself Comfortable and REST with Microsoft .NET (Howard Dierking)

I like REST, I like WCF, I like developing in .NET. This was an excellent description of how to make a REST service with WCF. Thank you, sir. Not that it’s hard or complicated, and I have played around with it a while ago and I think I got it then. But this talk explained it in a better way than I could pick up from other resources so whenever I'm about to make a REST service I will fast forward through this talk before I start.

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Advanced WCF

Speaker Juval Löwy www.idesign.net

I was surprised by the direction the session went. I assumed, based on the title, that it would be lots of details deep down in the call stack within WCF. Ok, there was a fair amount of config file viewing, but most of the time before lunch it was more of a philosophical discussion around how to use WCF in the real world. He gave his view of where WCF is going and it was interesting because he had an angle I've never heard before - WCF is the new .NET.

After lunch he fullfilled my expectations by delivering one code example after another with very complex stuff. In combination with not having any coffee at all during the afternoon it was quite hard to follow, and I might have been off the track for a while.

When it was time to go home for the day, it felt like I had a new view of WCF, both in general as well as in details. It also gave me a theoretical and philosophical perspective on WCF which I haven't expected in the morning. All in all a good day at a conference.

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Improve Your SOA - Designing a secure, reliable and scalable system.

Speaker: Michele Leroux Bustamante

You can read more about her on:

Overall this was a very good pre conference day, with lots of new information and some new angles to problem I've struggled with. She is a good speaker that obviously knows what she's talking about. The demos and her answers to tricky questions strengthens this picture. 

In the first part she surprised me by not giving a general lecture on SOA but instead just quickly went over this part. Then she continued with specifics for implementing SOA with WCF.

Ok, I admit not reading the pre conference workshop abstracts that good. During the first break I looked it up and it clearly says  "This tutorial will show you how to implement architectural pattern common to WCF...".It's nice to be surprised in this way sometimes. For those of us who just reads the titles before choosing, it would perhaps had been more appropriate with a title like: "A deep introduction to WCF" or "How to implement SOA with WCF". Compared to the PDC 2005 pre conference "Pattern & Practices for Designing Service Oriented Applications - In Illustrated Example" by Ron Jacobs, which I attended, kind of sat my expectations this was a much more hands on, technical lecture with lots of code examples - just the way I like it!

Before lunch she looked at

  • SOA and WCF
  • Design and Deployment Consideration
  • Exception Handling
  • Large Messages

And after lunch she continued with

  • Asynchronous Scenarios
  • Transactions
  • Security
  • Building a Router
  • Scalability

For most of the topics she did a theoretical view of why and how, and then discussed details while running examples in VS and I left whit a strong urge to go home and do some experimental programming to get my head around this stuff.

She also mentioned that she did a series of web cast on  WCF. I'll sure look into that when I got the time. And I Ill probably end up buying her book "Learning WCF".

The only, somewhat, negative to say is that she held us for an additional 45 minutes to go through all slides. In my opinion she could have shortened the part on security, not that it's not important but it so large and complex that there wasn't a chance to grasp it all anyway.

Now I'm curious of the content in the post conference workshop that I will attend on Friday: "Advanced WCF" by her colleague Joval Lowy. If this was the easy one how is the advanced going to be?

Executive Keynote - Dynamic IT and the 2008 Launch Wave

Speaker: Steve Guggenheimer

This was exactly as I expected, mostly advertising and talk about things that (eventually) will come. But they surprised me a bit by doing some demos on Windows Sever 2008 and SQL Server 2008. The biggest applause was on intellisense in SQL "Query Analyzer".