We had a very interesting meeting on Friday 28th last week. We had 10 attendees and two speakers. The first topic presented was Cloud Computing, presented by Allan Rwakatungu @arwakatungu who works with MTN Uganda. He gave a very brilliant outline of how Cloud computing and service oriented applications had begun changing the platform for operating business and the costs it saves because of scalability and elasticity. He went on to demonstrate the steps you would take if you are beginning a new Windows Azure project. He explained the history and evolution of the Windows Azure, SQL Azure and cloud services offered by Amazon and google.com. The attendees had many questions to ask (obviously), but they were all answered very well. We once again thank Allan, for taking time to prepare the presentation and demonstrating for us. We recorded a video on the entire presentation and after doing some editing we will publish it.
One wish which was echoed by most members was that Microsoft should open the cloud services and development for Africa. Microsoft currently does not even have servers here in Africa and so far, that does not put African developers in the same platform as other developers in other continents. Now is the time considering the improvements in network speeds and joining of the Seacom network and broadband.
I presented on Parallelism and Multithreading using .NET 4.0, I also gave some details on the language changes in C# 5.0 and the async keyword and the TaskEx class. I explained the Task, Scheduling of parallel tasks and demonstrated problems that may arise from using parallelism inappropriately. I also demonstrated the performance improvements that may be achieved by taking advantage of multi-core processors.
You may download the presentation on Parallelism and Multi-threading from here.
The resolution of the meeting was that we should meet more than once a month and begin other activities which should be more fun. e.g. Geek Dinner, Geek Beer or CodeCamp. Based on that we all agreed we shall have a mid-month meeting starting from February.