It is Friday 13th Nov 2009 - which means it is the last day of TechEd Europe in Berlin. Overall I have had a good week – high quality sessions, lots of time with customers and colleagues and a very smooth conference throughout.
I spent the week doing a bunch of things. 9am Monday I was presenting on Entity Framework 4 after 4 hours of sleep and using a brand new VPC after my original failed to load following yet another blue screen from the host (the machine will be flattened next week – perhaps literally!). Then Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday I manned the .NET Framework pod in the Technical Learning Centre which was great fun – lots of random questions mixed in with some really fun chats with old and new friends. I also managed to record a some short podcasts which will ultimately get published here on Channel 9. They were:
- Mike Flasko of the ADO.NET Data Services team talking about Entity Framework 4 and N-Tier (Mikes EF4 session was standing room only)
- David Robinson of the SQL Azure team talking about SQL Azure today and future and the release this week of a version of SQL Server Management Studio that works with SQL Azure
- Peli de Halleux and Nikolai Tillmann of the Pex team talking about Pex, Stubs and Moles
- Peli de Halleux and Nikolai Tillmann talking about their sister teams Code Contracts technology
My discussions with Mike and David left me feeling positive about the next 12 months for technology areas I spend a lot of time on and the Pex guys impressed me so much with where they were taking their technology. They need developers to keep trying it and to keep giving them feedback. Lets not let them down – install Pex today.
- All the developer sessions I did attend were good to very good. No bad ones at all. Which is good as I didn’t get to attend that many.
- The conference was smooth and the facility worked well
- The expo area, hands on lab area and TLC area all were great – you could fill the week by taking advantage of those 3 and not attend a single session
- The 6 interactive theatres that delivered sessions even during lunch were a great addition
- It was fun to be in Berlin on the 20th anniversary of the wall coming down. Nice one Microsoft.
- The food and free beer!
- The keynotes on Monday. Awful. Sorry – but they were.
- Lack of “general” development session on .NET Framework 4.0 and Visual Studio 2010. I was told that around 45% of the sessions were dev but it never felt that way. The 45% included “edge sessions” like embedded and windows mobile that I think many of the developers attending would ignore (myself included) which sometimes meant you only had 2 or 3 sessions to choose from in any slot. Shame. Presumably we are “keeping our powder dry” for PDC next week.
- Distance from conference centre to hotel/central Berlin. For me it required a bus and a train – 45mins door to door, sometimes longer.
- Lack of developer announcements – but to be expected with PDC just around the corner.
Sessions I would recommend watching when they become available:
- DAT04-IS Patterns with the Entity Framework – full room!
- DEV314 A lap around Microsoft Visual Basic - Lisa Feigenbaum rocks at putting lots of content into a session slickly
- WIA305 What’s New in ASP.NET MVC – nicely done
- DAT303 Building applications with SQL Azure – well paced session
- DEV204 Unit Testing Best Practice – this was the same slot as DAT303 which I went to – but lots of folks told me at the pod that DEV204 was great
- WIA03-IS Securing Microsoft Silverlight – good interactive session that I dozed through – but that was me, not Shawn Wildermuth who did a great job
- WIA404 Data Driven ASP.NET – Dynamic Data comes of age in .NET 4. Check it out
- WIA303 ASP.NET AJAX – another good session from Stephen Walther
- WIA402 Debugging ASP.NET - Tess Fernandez rocks at this stuff. I don’t really have the need but it was cool to watch
- There was also a lot of content on SharePoint 2010. SharePoint dev is finally coming of age (and sparked me to create this poll for next weeks MSDN Flash. Feel free to vote)
Oh, and I just had a sneak peak at the eval scores for the event and although we are not quite done yet, the top ranked dev session is… drum roll… DEV307 Parallel Computing for Managed Developers.