vrijdag 29 april 2011

Techdays belgium

This week I went to techdays in Belgium and here is a small wrap-up:

The content was in my opinion less advertising then last year.  This could be because there are fewer technologies in the pipeline this year, but I found it a nice change then the usual: ‘this is our product and it’s the best’ – talks.  The main topics / technologies this year were NuGet, ASP.NET MVC 3, Silverlight, Windows Phone 7 and Windows Azure.  Off course there were also some other talks about the trend of programming languages and sharepoint, but the majority of the talks involved the previous mentioned technologies.

Some of the memorable talks were:

The keynote:
The keynote was given by Scott Hanselman.  I’m normally a big fan off Scott, but I didn’t like the keynote very much.  Normally, they talk about what’s in store in general, but this time it was more off a NuGet and ASP.NET MVC talk which he was going to show in another talk anyway... 

Silverlight, WP7 and some other stuff stirred not blended or whatever…:
The next talk I followed was the ‘Silverlight, windows Phone 7, windows azure, JQuery,… shaken, not stirred’ session.  It was a nice showcase of an existing application but nothing more.  I did not learn anything new, nor was there anything to learn.  The speaker showed us an application in which they’ve used RIA services in combination with Windows Phone 7.  It was nice to see how they’ve also managed to create an ASP.NET MVC frontend and a web UI using JQuery Mobile.

Silverlight 5:
Afterwards I followed the Silverlight 5 talk by Jeff Prosise.  I enjoyed his talk.  Not only is Jeff Prosise a very good speaker, the content he delivered was nice to.  Silverlight 5 seems to contain some very promising features like Markup Extensions, Text Improvements, Databinding enhancements (finally we can use relative binding to ancestortype!)  and some very impressive 3D rendering abilities.  He also demoed how the composition thread works and how it is used.  In all, I enjoyed his talk.

ASP.NET MVC 3 – Deep Dive:
Very nice talk by Hadi Hariri.  It was a bit out of my league because I’m not really that experienced with ASP.NET MVC but still he explained it well.  I laughed out loud when he made the remark: Partial classes is blasphemy …  and so is regions =D. 

NuGet in depth:
Scott Hanselman presented this talk in his usual comical way.  He showed us how to create your own NuGet package in a very original way.  He coded up a class and compiled it using nothing else but a dos prompt.  Immediately the day after I installed NuGet to get to play with it.  I really recommend everyone to use this tool.

Demystifying the .NET asynchronous Programming Landscape:
A talk given by Bart De Smet, a very clever man.  He showed how event driven async operations tend to lead to programmer faulths and showed us how to program asynchronously without the need to radically change your code.  He did this by explaining the new Async and Wait keywords.  I found it a real shame I did not see his Linq to everything talk, but I’m sure to watch it online later.  I encourage people to got to his VISUG talk next week.

Tips and Tricks and Techniques for Building Killer Silverlight Applications:
Another talk by Jeff Proise.  I learned quit a bit in this talk and I’m certain I’ll be able to apply half of it in the project I’m currently assigned to.  The talk was mainly about how to split up your XAP and download assemblies and load them in the appdomain on the fly.  He also showed some pitfalls when doing this (for example the compiler inlining short methods).  I enjoyed the talk and I found it for me to be one of the most educative talks on techdays (mainly because I’m a SL developer).

The other talks I did not follow or weren’t interesting enough to mention.   
Until next time ;)


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