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DevDays 2004

Well, the day was definately more detailed (higher tech level – 200-300) than last year’s dev days which was great.  But unfortunately most of what was covered would really suite a small ISV, and not necessarily work in the environment I work in.  (Not that my environment is out of the ordinary.)  At work, we’re building a large framework for the rest of our developers to use so we don’t really use many of the automated/built in data access wonders of VS.Net.

So let me run through what I got out of the sessions (hrm, I was going to insert a table here, but BlogJet doesn’t have any GUI way to do that, so I’ll have to do it manually):

Opening Keynote: Realizing Your Potential
What I learned for me: Even Microsoft can have hardware problems, so you’d better make sure that you check your presentations and equipment well before you get up to present, run through what the procedure is if something goes wrong, and keep communicating – have a back up plan so that you don’t look quite so stumped, and can gracefully recover without saying “Its a hardware problem” and cutting the talk short.
What I learned for my company: (same as above)

Session 1: Best Practices for Designing and Building Smart Client Applications
What I learned for me: I’d better start reading some of those pattern’s and practices that I keep promising myself to read. They could really help me if I’m doing development myself for “freelance” work.
What I learned for my company: Not much – we use similar things to the “Observer” & “Command” patterns, but they do a lot more in some places and lack a little bit of the functionality in others. Perhaps we could implement the “Command” pattern a bit better… But then I must say that we’ve done all that without reading or knowing about the patterns. (We have a clever guy here that did that work)

Session 2: The Ins and Outs of Secure Data Access
What I learned for me: I need to get me some of that… πŸ™‚  Specifically the DPAPI library.
What I learned for my company: I think this could be useful as we’re serializing (scuze the american spelling, but most developers would look confused if they saw the UK spelling) some objects, which contain connection strings… Of course they didn’t touch on areas of security that we really need, but then I guess if DevDays was to solve every company’s most difficult problems, then they’d be way better attended, would cost an arm and a few legs, and would just generally be entirely impossible to host.

Session 3: Developing Secure Smart Client Applications
What I learned for me: I can’t really remember this session too well.  I think Ahmed took it, but I’m a bit stumped as to what he spoke on. (I’ll update this later when I remember)
What I learned for my company: (see above)

Session 4: Deploying and Maintaining Smart Client Applications
What I learned for me: Very cool, and definately a must – I loved the Application Updater component, and was pleased to have the limitations and benefits of the various “code download” deployment methods re-iterated.
What I learned for my company: Some of the Application Updater stuff maybe could be useful, but other than that… nothing.

Closing Keynote: The Future of Microsoft Development Tools
What I learned for me: Oh boy, oh boy do I love Microsoft’s new tools… of course it does leave me wondering how long it will be before trained monkeys will take over our jobs. I think I should go start my own company doing .Net development on Whidbey as soon as it comes out, so that I can get a head start on the rest of the masses. πŸ™‚
What I learned for my company: WOW, geez.  So much that will help us, and so much that will just replace a lot of the work we’ve done already.

Overall it was a great day – I got on a Caffeine buzz way too early for any “sane” persion, loved the presentations, can’t wait for the tools coming down the track next year.

And best of all, I got to actually meet one or two of the bloggers… Armand (who probably thinks I’m really rude – I kinda didn’t hear what he was saying to me as I was leaving (in a rush)… so till I see you in person, please accept this apology for my rudeness), Kevin (who I didn’t exactly meet, but who I watched winning too many prizes during the day, and sat on the other end of the table from him at the Blueberry Grill), Simon (who seems to organise most of the SA Developer things, and seems to be one of the “well connected” developers in SA), Thea, Iwan, and a few others who I can’t remember off hand. (Either coz I didn’t link them easily to their blog, or coz I haven’t read too many SA Dev posts from them (maybe coz I haven’t read too many posts on SA Dev recently), or because I simply forgot)

Anyway, it was a cool day on the whole… and for those who are interested, Simon posted this morning to where you can download IssueVision (the app that they worked through in the Smart Client Track, which has some pretty cool components)

I just checked, and the link Simon gave takes you to Barry Gervin’s blog where he says you can download the actual file from Microsoft over here.

3 replies on “DevDays 2004”

No apology needed, I tend to start mumbling after a couple of beers, good to meet you πŸ™‚ DevDays was very good, kudos to Microsoft for organising an excellent event.

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