Filed under Education
I just came back from a somewhat cloudy, sunny, and windy Orlando for DevConnections 2009. This was the second year in a row I was able to go. This was the first year all expenses were paid by me, as I am now on my own. The JW Marriott hotel was very nice as were each of the ballrooms. I was able to see many of the same speakers that I saw last year, including Stephen Walther, Dino Esposito, Kathleen Dollard, Juval Lowy, Michele Leroux Bustamante, and of course Scott Guthrie. As I'm ramping up for a brand new e-commerce site, I attended many ASP.NET Ajax sessions, but as architecture is extremely important to me, I attended several Linq/L2S/EF and WCF sessions. My goal is to design a system that I can plug in providers to without changing any code, so I attended Dino's excellent Dependency Injection session. And since I'm creating fulfillment tools as well, I attended some WPF/Silverlight sessions. I love the idea of a rich, responsive, windows like experience for my back end tools. I also want them to be powerful and do some things that are just not possible with AJAX. It's very clear that the direction is heading into the Silverlight world, but those tools just aren't up to speed yet. Scott Guthrie says the next 18 months are going to be very exciting.
On Microsoft day, much talk was on the future of ASP.NET and Silverlight. I saw demos of Visual Studio 2010 as well as ASP.NET 4.0 and Silverlight 3. Those tools and features look great. Silverlight 3 will get better data binding and better graphics integration. ASP.NET 4.0 is getting lots of improvements in AJAX, Web forms and dynamic data. And of course MVC V1 was just released last week, so that is pretty big. Although I'm not interested in developing in MVC as of right now, it's a future possibility. It's clear that web forms are NOT going away though. MVC is just an alternative way of programming for the web.
I'm not sure if I'll make it to the next DevConnections or not. While it was very good, some of the sessions on Monday and Wednesday were cut back to an hour from the usual hour and fifteen. I thought they gave too much time for breaks on the first day as well. The second day was my favorite, five sessions in total. Wednesday was only four sessions, plus Juval Lowy's EnergyNet keynote, but some of those were cut back, as were the breaks. Some of the speakers were asking us to put that complaint down on our evals.
But despite that minor grip, I loved it, got re-energized, and am excited about getting to work next week on my e-commerce site. I also want to start blogging more and posting coding samples, hints, tricks, and traps along my adventure. Let's hope I stick to it!