Geeks With Blogs
Liam McLennan hackingon.net
The conference proper began with a faux improvised discussion about the conference. There were some attempts at humour, which I appreciate, but they struggled.

Eric Meijer from Microsoft had the first keynote. His central theme was that imperative OO programming is fatally flawed and we should all embrace functional programming. His presentation was entertaining and thought provoking.

The next talk I chose to attend was by Dave Thomas (not the Pragmattic Dave Thomas) on the topic of next generation IT. I felt like Dave enjoyed giving this talk because it allowed him to look a long way into the future and present his strong opinions. I did not agree with everything he said but I appreciate that he was not afraid to express an opinion, in an industry dominated by fence-sitters.

The last talk I sqeezed in before lunch was Lessons Learned from Architecture Reviews by Rebecca Wirfs-Brock. Unfortunately for me, this was mostly a repeat of the content I heard Rebecca discuss in a podcast from last year. Even so it was a good refresher containing lots of practical advice for handling both sides of an architecture review.

After lunch it was Enterprise Patterns with Martin Fowler. This was really old news for me. In the forty-five minute session he had just time to cover what are patterns and what are enterprise patterns.

Next up was Don Syme from Microsoft introducing F#. Don is a local boy who now works for Microsoft research in Cambridge. Once again the 45 minute limit really prevented this talk from getting very deep at all. Mostly he just demonstrated running some scripts and discussed some of the properties of the language. He had lots of slides that we never got to.

After Don it was back to Dave Thomas; this time speaking about introducing agile processes into large organisations. On suprise for me was that Dave made a point that agile development does not lead to business agility - when I thought that was sort of the point. My other observation is that Dave seems to be frustrated with the state of the art. He suggested in his earlier talk that user generated applications are the way of the future. I think he needs to have a look at No Silver Bullet (Brooks).

The last session before the keynote was a panel on Enterprise Systems. It was a little strange because they began the discussion without introducing the speakers. I for one had no idea who most of them were (though I later met some of them at the bar). The panel was enjoyable and actually something of a highlight for me. It was clear that most, if not all, of the panel had carefully considered viewpoints on the topic. Product plugging was kept to a minimum.

The last session of the day was Eric Dornenburg and Martin Fowler's keynote simply titled Simplicity in Design. It was ok. The themes were: simplicity is good, complexity is bad. There was an interesting exploration of the notion of technical debt.

After the keynote the majority of the attendees and speakers made our way to the Belgian Beer Cafe for the social event. This was a great chance to meet some people to discuss the conference and exchange ideas. I am looking forward to Robert Martin's talks tomorrow. Posted on Thursday, May 29, 2008 4:56 PM | Back to top

Copyright © Liam McLennan | Powered by: GeeksWithBlogs.net