DDD7 - My Thoughts

Yesterday, I attended my first DeveloperDay at the Microsoft Campus in Reading.  Below are the sessions that I attended and my thoughts on them:

TDD and Hard-To-Test Code - Ian Cooper

The first session of the day was about testing code which is hard to test.  The speaker, Ian Cooper, clearly had a lot of experience and knowledge about the subject.  Unfortunately however, I felt that there wasn’t really enough code.  Most of the presentation was about the sort of code that is hard-to-test, I was hoping for more help with how to test that code.  Having said that, I still found the talk informative and interesting.  The concept of ‘Seams’ was something I hadn’t come across by that name before (see here for a good example), although it is basically the Open/Closed Principle.

ASP.NET MVC - Show me the code - Steve Sanderson

Having followed MVC from the first preview, I was very interested in this presentation.  The format was very much about code not PowerPoint which I personally liked.  I thought Steve was extremely knowledgeable about MVC, and he really showed how easy MVC can be to create a fully functional website.  Despite not really learning much from the presentation (I’d used most of the code he used already myself), I really enjoyed the fast pace of it.  I think anyone in the audience that hadn’t already used MVC will have downloaded it by now!  He sold it very well.  Definitely a speaker to look out for the in future.

Steve also has an MVC book coming out soon - definitely one for the wish list!

ASP.NET 4.0 - TOP SECRET - Phil Winstanley and Dave Sussman

This was my most eagerly anticipated session.  However, it ended up being a bit of a disappointment.  The two speakers were unable to talk much about ASP.NET v4 as Microsoft didn’t announce them at the PDC.  Although they did show some nice features of VS 2010 (adornments look very nice!), it seemed as if the presentation was put together in a rush.  I didn’t feel that there was very much ‘meat’ in the talk, and it was only the ability of the presenters to make the audience laugh that kept it going.

Oslo, Microsoft’s vision for the future of Modelling - Robert Hogg

An interesting session about Oslo, something I didn’t know too much about.  The subject was clearly too big to talk about in just one hour, but Rob did cover quite a few things.  Oslo’s main aim is to increase pretty much everything by TEN TIMES!  Productivity, performance, everything!  Bold aims.  It’ll be interesting to see how much of it they can achieve.  The idea of improving the communication between BA’s, Architects and Dev’s could make a huge difference to the future of the industry if they can pull it off.  Oh, and the modelling tool Quadrant looks like it could become a showpiece WPF application.  Very shiny!

The bleeding edge of web - Helen Emerson

This was a good presentation to finish the day on, as my brain was starting to hurt!  Didn’t contain anything earth-shattering, but was an excellent introduction to the new features we can expect to have in the future versions of browsers.  Just a shame that it will probably take years for all browsers to implement them (I’m looking at you IE!).  Overall, a fun talk which Helen improved by getting some good audience participation.

Overall Thoughts

I enjoyed my first DeveloperDay overall.  I think in the future I will try to attend the sessions that I’m unfamiliar with, as I believe I will get more out of it that way - they are overviews rather than training sessions after all, so if you already have an overview of a technology pick a topic you don’t know instead.

Enjoyable day though, and all of the speakers did a brilliant job.