Friday, October 12, 2007

devLink Technical Conference - Day One

Today was the first day of the 2007 devLINK Technical Conference for developers being held in Nashville, Tennessee. I'd have to say that it was a really cool day. Some practical things, but also a lot about the latest and greatest which was cool but probably won't be using day-to-day quite yet.

It started with a bang with Brad Abrams demonstrating Microsoft's new technologies (particularly Silverlight tied to .NET) to provide really cool user experiences and especially the integrated tools they have created to integrate cutting-edge design with .NET development. He particularly highlighted cross-platform functionality, including Safari on a Mac and integrating with a PHP app. The videos and demos were really cool.

I attended a session by Rocky Lhotka, creator of CSLA.NET, on .NET 3.0 which was a great overview and eye opening regarding XAML and WPF (Windows Presentation Foundation - Microsoft's cool new graphics platform). He also mentioned that Silverlight is basically WPF-lite. He also gave me a suggestion about how to provide client-side validation for a web application while keeping validation rules in the business layer by using the GetRulesForProperty() method to get all the rules and writing a bit of JavaScript to handle each rule type.

After lunch, I also attended two sessions by Rob Howard on ASP.NET (on performance and internals). It was great for better understanding ASP.NET and some practical tips and concepts. The performance session was great, but I crashed a bit during his second session (I was very tired).

My final session was by Greg Beamer on SOA (Service Oriented Architecture). It was a good overview of SOA and with a cool example of where it would be very useful (updating client info between multiple applications in an enterprise). On a personal note, before I found MindTouch Deki Wiki a couple days ago, I didn't think SOA would have any current practical benefits for our organization, but I'm rethinking that. FYI MindTouch created some helpful video overviews on SODA, REST, etc.

The day ended with comedian Rik Roberts who was hilarious and clean. Two XBOX 360's were given away today. Unfortunately I didn't win one, and regretfully I could've had a 1 in 7 chance at one had I previously blogged about devLink. But they're giving away more stuff tomorrow and I did win an iTunes gift card before the conference :-). The fact that this conference is in town and only $50 is awesome. Thanks sponsors! It's actually my first professional tech conference. It has a Microsoft .NET focus, but there is a Java track and more generalized sessions, too. Anyways, I'm looking forward to tomorrow.

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