I had a wonderful time at DevLink last weekend, though I am just now recuperating. I must be getting old or something. Anyway it is something to definitely add to the yearly calendar.
Having company makes long trips a lot more digestible. I had a great time on the drive with David Mohundro and Randy Walker. David, thanks again for driving.
The night before the conference David and I went to eat at Bone Fish Grill. This was the first time I had been to one. It was very very good. If you ever go there be sure to get the Bang Bang Shrimp appetizer.
I have never had a shrimp dish quite like it.
Anyway, on to the event:
Some of the sessions I attended:
- Integrating WPF & WCF into Your Office Business Application by Tim Huckaby
- Tim is an energetic speaker. This was a good idea session / proof of concept. He showed off some neat things you could do for automating Excel from a WPF action pane.
- He also showed some outlook integration,but his demo did have some malfunctions. He was wanting to show a demo where: when you create a new email to a customer the customer sales information is retrieved via WCF and displayed in a WPF control. For some reason he couldn't get it to replace the previous add-in. I hope he gets a chance to post the sample code.
- The session also covered using Expression Designer to convert Adobe Illustrator files to XAML.
- Tim stressed that as developer it is convenient to leverage open source app styles to give your WPF application a nice look without the need for advanced design skills.
- The Scaling Habits of ASP.NET Applications by Richard Campbell
- Richard sure knows his stuff. He focused on using a formula to identify website performance. Here is a good link to an article illustrating this.
- Key Points:
- Caching (too much) is not always the solution.
- Be sure to work on the problems that degrade your performance the most. Don't spend a lot of time re-coding the site to increase performance by 50% on 10% of the problem.
- Browsers can only make a limited number of simultaneous requests. Identify if any of your CSS or script files can be consolidated.
- Multi-Threading with Silverlight 2.0 by Steve Porter
- Discovered that multi-threading in Silverlight is almost the same as multi-threading in the rest of .NET. :)
- Silverlight 2.0: Styling and Skinning by Colin Neller
- Colin gave an excellent presentation on styling and control templates. This was a good illustration on how controls break down into their base components. Expression Blend was utilized heavily. He did things with Blend that I didn't even know were available.
- WPF for Developers by Joe Wirtley
- This was full of meat unlike all of those flashy WPF demos. The "proof of concept' and "show what it can do" demos do have a place, but it is about time for presentations to start digging a little deeper. He gave a good explanation of the basics including how routed events work.
- Books Joe Recommended:
- IN-Depth: Silverlight Deep Dive Part 2 by Todd Anglin
- Todd covered isolated storage, DOM manipulation, and cross site scripting. This was really good for me, because I had not dealt with any of these in Silverlight. He also turned me on to an HTTP debugger called Fiddler that looks really handy.
- Essence of LINQ (Advanced) by Charlie Calvert
- This was a dissection of LINQ. Charlie showed how the new language additions of anonymous types, partial methods, and Lambda expression were critical in the development of LINQ. He showed how to look at the LINQ expression tree using the Expression Tree Visualizer. This could come in handy for doing your own LINQ extensions.
I did not attend any of the Open Spaces sessions, but I wish that I had. There seemed to always be a traditional session I wanted to attend. I will definitely have to check this out next time. David Mohundro posted a review on his blog referencing the Open Spaces if you want to know more.
It's always good to meet new interesting people at these events. A bunch of us went out to eat sushi at Aya Sushi after the first day. At first we were a little worried, because it was in an alley and we were the only customers. It turned out to be a good place, and I think we were just there at an off time. They apparently take pictures of the customers to post on their MySpace page.