I attended code camp yesterday in Stamford, CT. I'm not used to getting up at 5:00 am to catch the train out there, so I was a little tired but I enjoyed the day. While on the train to and from Manhattan, I used the time to dig into the "M" Language specification.
If you're not familiar with what a Code Camp is, it is a conference for developers and by developers. I found the speakers were very good and excited by their topics, and the conversations with the other developers were interesting.
I recommend attending and getting involved with your own local code camp. I've already volunteered to help with the NYC Code Camp in January.
These are the sessions I attended yesterday:
Building Applications with Microsoft Cloud Services
Bill Zack presented his version of A Lap Around the Azure Services Platform. This was a essentially the same presentation that Bill gave to the IASA New York group a couple of weeks ago. In case you missed both of these, Bill will be presenting on this topic again next month at the NYC .NET Developers User Group on December 18th.
Next Generation User Interfaces using Microsoft Expression Studio
David Isbitski covered how to help developers learn how to leverage Expresssion Blend to create a simple, but cool Silverlight interface. It was a good introduction to Silverlight and how to use Expression Blend, which was probably perfect for the audience.
I was hoping for a few more examples of how to do some interesting effects with XAML. I'm a design-challenged developer who was hoping to find a few more tips & tricks on how to leverage Expression to build a compelling user experience. The reflection example was good, but it left me eager to learn more.
Applying and Leveraging LINQ: When you should, when you shouldn't, and Why, Part 1
Richard Hale Shaw was the celebrity presenter at this code camp. I remember first seeing Richard at the 1992 Software Developer Conference in Santa Clara, CA.
I was already familiar with the LINQ stuff that he presented during this session, yet it was still fun to watch him present. I wish I'd been able to see the second part which would probably have gone deeper into things that I wasn't as familiar with about LINQ, but I was just glad to see him again after all these years.
Developing Applications using Live Framework
Dmitry Lyalin presented the Live Services Framework and how it fits into the Azure Services Platform. I was particularly interested in Dmitry's presentation because I knew that he was going to be presenting some of the interfaces of Live Mesh that aren't available to everyone yet, including an early look at the Silverlight integration.
As usual, Dmitry did a great job with his presentation.
WCF + Silverlight
Alan da Costa Pinto did great job presenting WCF and explaining why you want to use WCF instead of ASMX for your .NET web services. He then did a quick introduction to Entity Framework so that he could show how to rapidly generate service using WCF and ADO.NET Data Services (aka "Astoria"). Finally, he hooked it up to a simple Silverlight application. While many of Alan's examples were rough, I think the cool part was that he was able to demonstrate how little effort you need to do to get something basic in place using these technologies.
Parallel Extensions to the .NET Framework
Louis Hendricks covered the Parallel Extensions that are being rolled into .NET 4.0. This is the first chance that I've had to take a look at these extensions so this was particularly informative for me.
If you're interested in learning more, it's too late to attend Louis's session, but there is more information at these PDC Sessions: