Microsoft TechEd Europe 2009 in Berlin, Thursday

2009-11-12
Half time has passed and it is time to secure the most valuable knowledge before the week has ended. The tactics of session selection is complex. You could go for the topics that interest you the most, but since all of the breakout sessions are being recorded I would recommend to go more on the speaker than the subject. That is, do you recognize the speaker name as someone who usually presents with passion, knowledge and wit, choose that session even if the actual topic isn't your highest priority.

DEV07-IS Developing a Language with the Dynamic Language Runtime – Harry Pierson

Second session with Harry Pierson for me. It is obvious that I find myself more and more interested in dynamic languages. Harry was genuinely surprised to get an almost full interactive session about developing your own language on the DLR. However, I did find that the presentation was more in the direction that I had hoped for. It supplied a little background information about how the DLR and dynamic languages work on .NET and not so much about the specifics of developing your own language (which I don’t think I will).

Notes:

Final verdict: this session was good.

WIA303 Microsoft ASP.NET AJAX: Taking AJAX to the Next Level – Stephen Walther

A session in a somewhat slower tempo, but still with good solid information. Stephen feels more like an educator, used to describing content to students, even though I don’t think he does that – probably just has personality (in all good ways).

And the notes:

Final verdict: this session was good.

BOF14 Microsoft SharePoint, jQuery and Microsoft Silverlight: Better Together – Jan Tielens

Full speed forward with demos during 40 minutes. Very good presentation by Jan Tielens from u2u – an education company in Belgium. Very interesting “injection” way of building user interfaces on top of SharePoint with jQuery and Silverlight. I assume using web services of the current site/list displayed, although he didn’t show any code.

A new notes jotted down during the demos:

Final verdict: this session was great!

ARC308 Credit Crunch Code: Time to Pay Back the Technical Debt – Gary Short

Should be nice to get some architectural advice. I’ve been around long enough in this business, listening to architectural talks, that it is hard to come up with something really new and earth-shattering (impossible?). Given that fact, Gary delivers a solid reflection on how to use numbers and economics to find bad parts in your projects and have the businesses understand and act on them [my interpretation of what Gary said].

Final verdict: this session was ok.

DEV03-IS Using Microsoft Visual C# 4.0 and Visual Basic 2010 Interop Features with Microsoft Silverlight, Office and Python – Alex Turner

Alex Turner is the program manager for the C# compiler at Microsoft. He demonstrated new features in C# that has more or less existed previously in Visual Basic. It is about writing prettier and more succinct code when calling out to other object models, specifically dynamic languages like JavaScript or Python and COM interop. Nice info, but the session finished early because there was not that much content to talk about. Good things nonetheless.

Basically, the C# compiler will know a few things about COM, specifically againt Office Interop, and do some magic so we don’t have to write so much code anymore.

Disparate notes:

Final verdict: this session was ok.

OFS321 Building Powerful Business Intelligence Solutions on the SharePoint 2010 Platform – Zlatan Dzinic

Oops. Wrong session for me. Don’t know how I ended up here, but this was really boring stuff and the demos didn’t go that well for Zlatan either. Excel Services, Performance Point Server, and now there is PowerPivot. Not my cup of tea. Unfortunately, the whole concept of BI on SharePoint felt very messy and unfocused.

Zlatan reminds me of sales guy that doesn’t have a clue about what he is talking about and overtries to communication passion where there is none. However, I do have a suspicion that Zlatan knows much more than he is able to communicate and that the passion is real and not as fake as it comes across.

Final verdict: this was a complete waste of time (for me, at least)!

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