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Yesterday, I attended DeveloperDays at what Microsoft Campus in Reading, UK.

A good days was had by all and I sure as hell learnt allot, but I did feel very much overwhelmed when I got home last-night, so I hit the sack with one hell of a head-ache, hence writing about it today.

The session I enjoyed the most where …

Craig Murphy's introduction to Scrum. Now I must say that I’m very much an advocate of Agile development, so learning about Scrum and learning how you could project manager (sorry ‘Scrum Master’) was indeed very interesting. I’m going to have to get my hands on a book and read up, especially if it has techniques in task definition.

Phil Winstanley’s Preparing from ASP.NET 2.0 Phil no nonsense approach to basics of getting your head around the changes was to the point and precisely what the doctor ordered. The main changes that I was cheering about where saying goodbye to Front-Page Extension, saying goodbye to everything being stuffed into the /Bin directory and the single website DLL. The new approach to ‘app_’ directories is a good change. The removal of the dependency on IIS for development is also a good change.

I’ve heard about Master Pages, but this wasn’t covered at any depth in the session, this to my mind was very good to as I’ve heard allot about it recently and was itching to pick up more information on over changes. My only criticism was the session wasn’t long enough.

Liam Westley session on Using interfaces to simplify access to multiple DB providers in .NET, left my brain hurting! I wish I had had afew coffees before hand. Thanks for the Easter egg by the way, which I won for spotting that you won’t find the SELECT TOP command in any other SQL than SQL Server. I was aware that it’s a pain in the neck doing a TOP equivalent in Oracle, but then most things are a pain in Oracle and always have been! IMHO people would have stopped using Oracle long ago if it wasn’t for third part tools such as TOAD. Personally I think anyone who doesn’t think that SQL Server isn’t enterprise ready should really take another look.

I did find myself screaming inwardly to my self in the session! NO! NO! NO! Liam you are tight coupling you databases to the program, but the code generation tool he showed off BengalDB was something of great interest, I would certainly support Liam in releasing it. Don’t worry about the documentation front Liam, who read that anyway!!! Serious, Open-Source and get someone else to write then manual and you edit it! I’m sure I would be happy to document afew pages for you.

As you may already know I’m quite a sociable creature so it was good to finally meet Ian Smith or Irascian of Channel 9. We debated the role of the software architect and the challenges such a position has to take in the today’s development world. This is the position I currently hold and it feels sometimes that it is almost a hiding to nothing, but I firmly believe that someone has to look after the big picture and that necessarily isn’t the developers. I will go into this is a later blog and you can shoot me down in flames then if you wish.

I like to keep my hands dirty still, you can’t be a good Architect if you don’t know what the technology can do first hand, which is a pain as developers don’t understand you have to do that and managers don’t understand you have to do that! It’s more than a 9-5 job, it away of life and a commitment to boot. Anyway, my pet project has been a mobile development project for a POC. So getting my hands dirty was a great frill. I pretty much found out quickly that it’s a more a pain in the neck right now as the technology is moving so fast and the tools aren’t really keeping up. So the key is to try and abstract yourself from the all of the nuts and bolt. I chose the Dexterra development toolkit to assist me as it afford full control over the Smart Client but abstracted me from the painful pluming. Why write it yourself?

Anyway this leads me quite nicely on to meeting Sarah Blow who is the undisputed Queen in the mobile space. A ‘rocket scientist’ of a Lady, and enchanting to boot. The deadly one-two of brains and beauty. I had the feeling she was under-estimating herself. If you read this Sarah, the one thing I would say to you is … GO STOP TRAFFIC! Cos you can, hell yes! Hmmm, if only I was ten years younger *sigh* ? I certainly will be watching her blog with great expectation.

I particular enjoyed reading Sarahs thoughts on females in the I.T. industry. I have had the pleasure of leading a team with female members, the thing to take note is that women command respect, as all should do, but with the female members I have had the pleasure of leading I have had to give a little extra reassurance that this was the case. The other tip I would give is to listen harder to what you are being told, take a step back and look at it from another angle, because you may missed something that being a bloke you may not easily see. The final tip is always consider how you talk to female members, they just can’t stand being talked down to or even remotely patronised, so if you do it even once … give yourself a slap!!!

All in all a great day! If not very knackering.

 

Posted on Sunday, May 15, 2005 7:26 PM | Back to top


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