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On the pre-conf day it feels like the conference is going to last forever, but all of sudden it is the last day…

DEV302 - Identify and Fix Performance Problems with VS Ultimate (Benjamin Day)

When I do performance coding, I do think the “fix” is the more interesting part. The “identify” is simply the boring stuff I have to go through to get to the “fix” part. This talk was totally focused on the “identify” part – and therefor for me, totally boring. And not much new stuff either, the last day could definitely have started better…

DEV335 - Improving Your Microsoft ASP.NET Application Performance with Asynchronous Pages and Actions (Tiberiu Covaci)

Ah, a fellow Swede… Good session that matched the title perfectly. Lot of things that I have been unaware of – or at some point in time had been aware of but now forgot. Yet again the full history of Begin/End, Async/Complete to the new async keyword. I don’t know if the speakers look at each other topics or if the track chair look – but this was my third session where this full history. Now, I like asynchronous programming so it really doesn’t matter that much to me – but could we use the time more effectively?

The twist in this talk was the asynchronous page directive in ASP.NET, and that was completely new to me – or perhaps as in the previous talk, something that I have been aware of but forgot because I never used it. Since I usually tends to do back-end or server stuff the async thing is on my radar, but it wasn’t really for page code. Now I have to have it there as well.

MID302 - AppFabric Caching: How It Works and When You Should Use It (Jon Flanders)

I might say that this was one of the reasons for going here. I’ve been working with AppFabric cache the last month at my current project. The bottom line for this session is that I think I got it all while working with it. Now, that might be feeling like wasting time to go to a session like this, but it’s actually kind of nice to get a confirmation that there isn’t anything else.

DEV377 - Ask Scott Hanselman

My only interactive session this year, with my favourite: Hanselman, and he delivered one more time. There were no specific topic, instead the audience asked questions from organizational questions about MS to specific technical details about lots of stuff – and lots of jokes as well.

The gem I bring with me from this session is Glimpse. I had not seen this tool before and I have to ask my more front-end focused colleagues if they use it. Hanselman describes it “like the FireBug client side debugger, except it's implemented in JavaScript on the client side with hooks in to ASP.NET on the Server Side” in a blog post.

Before the last session I ran to the exhibit hall book store to see if there were any books on sale and I bought two with 20% off.


DEV351 - Busy Microsoft .NET Developer’s Guide to the Microsoft Cloud (Ted Neward)

He started with a declaration that he would present any demos, that this would be a Power Point only talk and that anyone that was uncomfortable with this could leave if they wanted to. I remained in my seat somewhat sceptical, but it turned out to be one of more interesting talks of the week. Not the usual “hallelujah, do this and everything will be fine”, on the contrary he told us to be sceptical and careful about putting applications and/or data in the cloud.

An end session that gave us something to think about on our way home

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This must be the third or fourth time I was viewing Anders Hejlsberg and he was brilliant as usual, with lots of small examples he easily explained what coming in C# 4.0.

The main thing with C# 4.0 is that it is opening up easier cooperation with dynamic languages by the the keyword dynamic. Declaring a variable as dynamic mean that no checks will be done at compile time but rather just invoke the methods at runtime.

Other news in C# 4.0 is going to by named parameters and default values for parameters, pretty much the way it always has been in VB. This together with the dynamic keyword makes it much easier when working with COM objects, especially Excel and Word - in the way that you doesn't need to type cast the result and you doesn't have to provide a long list of "ref missing" as parameters to methods on COM objects.

In the end he talked a little bit about what might is coming after C# 4.0, and it was mostly about meta programming. Interesting, mind bending and a little bit strange. But he also mentioned that all or most of the current programming paradigms, object orientation, functional programming and dynamic languages will come together. Perhaps not only in C# but more of a "the new paradigm is multi paradigm" style.

He did also talked about that Moore's Law isn't valid any more regarding processor speed, and connected with my pre conference day, and talked a little bit on the way we could and should address the question on parallelism - from a C# language perspective. The conclusion on this is that's about time to really start looking at this parallel, concurrent programming stuff.