Monday, December 17, 2007

MSDN Event - Cleveland 12/13/07

This is the first review of an event I've attended so if there is more (or less) anyone wants to hear let me know. Not like anyone is reading this yet anyway.

Like all MSDN events there were three sessions and for once all of them sounded good in the marketing materials. Usually there are only one or two good ones and you have to sit through something you don't care at all about to get to the good ones. Bill Steele gave this presentation as he is the Developer Evangelist for this region so he has been doing this for a while now. Overall I think all of the sessions were good this time but I still came away disappointed. Part of my lack of enthusiasm I blame on having already downloaded trials of Expression Blend and VS2008 so I already knew much of what he was showing. The other issue was since this was at the end of the quarter, his last presentation in fact, much of the material was already outdated and there weren't any handouts left (DVDs or t-shirts).

The venue was fine as long as the fire alarm doesn't evacuate us all and there is enough room for everyone. Oh yea, the fire alarm DID go off and there wasn't enough room. Maybe it's time for a bigger room. Overall though the venue was fine, I was there for the content anyway, not the premium seating.

First Session: What’s New for Web Development in Visual Studio 2008
The problem with this was he was demoing the Beta 2 bits instead of RTM bits. Overall though this was a good session, nothing that I didn't already know from reading ScottGu's blog or playing around in it myself.

Second Session: A New Paradigm for Data Development with Web Based Data Services
This was a very good session. Bill gave an overview of LINQ and then got into LINQ to Entity and Astoria. Since I hadn't really looking much into LINQ yet I found this session to be very informative. These look to be very cool technologies but won't work for the app I'm working on at the moment. I will definitely have to play around with it more though as it seems like cool stuff.

Third Session: Building Rich, Dynamic Web Experiences with Microsoft Silverlight, ASP.NET and ASP.NET AJAX
This was basically a Silverlight/XAML demo. While I didn't learn anything new it was still cool. Silverlight / XAML / Expression Blend just tend to demo well as it's easy to create complex animations. Now, what he didn't show is the learning curve to create anything actually functional, that's a little harder. Still it's cool stuff and I can't wait to build a production anything with it.

So overall in this rambling I left feeling deflated but when I think back on it I think it was worth missing half a day's pay to go.

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