DevConnections 2007: Day 1
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Imagine over 5000 persons simultaneously turning on their computer during a 15 minutes break and try to check the email via WiFi... I don't need to spell it out that is's difficulties to connect...
Keynote - Development with Visual Studio 2008
Head Speaker: Scott Guthrie - weblogs.asp.net/scottgu
Not that much new, but I have to give them credit for delivering a nice show. Some demos about developing windows as well as web application in VS 2008. Perhaps interesting for those who haven't tried out the beta, but how many of us in the audience haven't? 10-20%?
More interesting, at least for me, was the demo on the possibilities for extensibility in VS2008. In the demo they showed an add-in to VS for making custom stuff for World of Worldcraft. It wasn't just extremely cool but it's an opening to get my WoW-playing son interested in programming.
Oh... and they announced "Oslo", a vision on how to combine different existing technologies that exist today, and make their future paths woven together. Not that interesting in my opinion.
A Lap Around VSTS 2008
Speaker: Doug Seven - blogs.msdn.com/dseven
A lot of talk of what you can do in VSTS, that's good but really... 90% of the stuff showed here was already in VSTS 2005. So I thought - "I must be better to read the abstracts and not just the titles for the sessions". But when I looked at the abstract for this session it said: "In this demo-intensive session you will be exposed to many of the new features in VSTS 2008".
This wasn't a bad session, but it kind of not met my expectations based on the title. He's a good speaker and the topic interesting, but for me who have used VSTS 2005 for over a year now it really didn't delivered any new knowledge.
LINQ Deep Dive and Best Practices
Speaker: Kit George
After 5 minutes I thought - "This is not a deep dive - it's an introduction and I've seen Anders Hejlsberg doing this twice, both in PDC 2005 and in TechEd 2006...the man is toast in my session evaluation". I even thought of sneaking out of the room and sneaking in on another session, but I sat in the middle of a row and I didn't want to disturb all the other people sitting there.
But after the usual lambda expression - extension methods - compiler trick - show he actually moved on to some best practices and some deep dive and in the end I was quite satisfied with this session.
I must do a updated LINQ educational lunch at the office when I come home, and I'll use some stuff from this session.
Introduction to the New ASP.NET MVC Framework
- Scott Hanselman - www.hanselman.com/blog
- Eilon Lipton
This is the kind of session that makes the trip worth it. Worth the money (even if it's not me that actually pays for it) and, more close to me, worth the inconvenience to going across almost half the globe to attend one of these conferences.
I've been aware of the MVC pattern since the mid 90's when I did some Smalltalk programming, and I have tried to have this pattern in mind together with other patterns when programming during the years. Sometimes it actually made its way in to the code and sometimes it didn't for whatever good or bad reason.
I first heard of this ASP.NET MVC patterns when reading Hanselmans blog a couple of weeks ago. I downloaded the video where Scott Guthrie talk about it on ALT.NET, and saved it to watch it during the flight over to DevConnection. Unintentionally I fell asleep on the plane and didn't got the time to watch the film, so much for that plan...but I have to fly back home in a couple of days and hopefully would manage to sty awake.
However, this session saved me countless hours of testing this framework. Don't get me wrong, I still will testing it because it feels like a better way of doing web applications than the traditional ASP.NET-view state-postback thing. But by explaining why and how they save me a lot of hours of thinking and it feels like I could just code along when the bits arrive - I'm really thrilled to try this one out.
I've never listened to neither of them live before, but I regularly listen to Hanselmans podcats (Hanselminutes) and I am reading his blog as well so it feels like I know him. A strange feeling...
The two of them makes a great pair on stage, filling in on each other, give each other questions that moves the session forward. In some way it reminded me of Don Box and Dharma Shukla on Indigo in PDC 2005.
This will most certainly fill out a educational lunch at home, probably more than that. I'll see if I perhaps can persuade my boss that we should do a somewhat bigger test implementation with this technique involving more colleagues- perhaps there's a suitable internal project for this.
I leave the room with a much better feeling than three hours ago, when I wondered if all sessions were going to be as lame as the two first ones, now it feels like it's back to normal conference standard again.
Custom and extending search in MOSS
Speaker: Thomas Rizzo - blogs.msdn.com/thomriz
When I planned and signed up for this conference, my world was a little bit different than it is now. Then, SharePoint, was mostly an area of interest, now I'm sitting in a SharePoint project. So the concept of being able to choose any session from any of the simultaneous conferences here suited me perfectly. Even if I technically picked a session outside my track when choosing the MVC session that was a part of the ASP track it didn't completely is out of bound in the Visual Studio, .NET and Architect - connections track.
Since I'm not currently directly involved in developing web parts and other stuff in MOSS, but rather more of a back end programmer or something this was the first session that drew my attention.
It turned out that Thomas Rizzo was an excellent speaker who delivered the content very well in a good mix of theory and practical demos. I learned a lot but this will probably not make its way to a presentation back home, but rather being directly applied in the current project.
- Mark Miller - www.doitwith.net
- Julian Bucknall
After two very good sessions in a row I had to make a decision on whether to call it a day or attending a bonus (=vendor) session. Well, he who pays the trip wants me to gain some knowledge so I'd better to attend as many sessions as possible. No that's not actually true, it's more my own mind going in that direction.
Julian's part of this session was totally ruined because his machine had a key that got stuck. And not just any key, it was the Ctrl-key, so nothing of what he had planned worket out at all. In these situations I'll guess it's nice to be in front of an audience that understands...
Mark Miller on the other hand made a brilliant presentation of Code Rush and Refactor. Actually so good that I'll ask my boss if I can buy it when I come home.
My only problem with this session or more precise Mark Miller was this: Last week when preparing for the trip here I downloaded as many pod casts as I could but I'm almost upp to date with my favorite .NET Rocks! so they wouldn't completely fill the traveling time. Because Carl and Richard not only does that but also another show called Mondays, labeled as comedy, I downloaded a couple of episodes to try that one out. This was a hilarious show and I laughed loudly in the plane so that people stared at me. It turned out that the guy on the show with the not so totally political correct language that continuously was bleeped out to avoid law suites was the same Mark Miller standing in front of me on the stage and trying to deliver a serious (well...) demonstration. So I sat there with this giggling feeling remember all the hilarious this he (and the other) said in the show. I'll recommend the episode where Carl turns 40 - but be careful, not everybody have the same sense of humor.
Summary of day 1
Kind of lame before lunch but after that it took off for real. The piece to bring home today was the MVC Framework.