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June 5, 2013

Microsoft TechEd Day 3

What has cracked me up every morning this week is that they take a bunch of geeks (who in general do not like a lot of attention) and basically make them feel like they are walking down the red carpet for each meal.

2013-06-05 07.29.11

Developing iOS and Android Apps with Windows Azure Mobile Services – Chris Risner – @chrisrisner– [Channel 9 Session Info]

As you are all aware mobile is huge right now. The problem is that there are so many options available to develop your applications with. Windows Azure Mobile Services allows you to use Azure as the backend for your applications. The cool thing about it is that Azure Mobile Services is essentially front-end agnostic. In this session Chris demoed using Azure Mobile Services with PhoneGap for iOS, native Android development, then he developed an iOS application with Xamarin. I was really impressed by the capabilities of the Windows Azure Mobile Services and how easy it was to do the server side and the programming for integrating with Azure Mobile Services. The other thing that I was really impressed with was that Chris was so good with all three development options that he was able to seamlessly switch between all the different tools and not skip a beat.

Essential Truths Everyone Should Know About Performance in a Large Managed Codebase – Dustin Campbell @DCampbell – [Channel 9 Session Info]

This is the second session I have attended from Dustin Campbell (he co-led the Visual Studio Tips and Tricks session I attended on Day 2). He works on the team that builds Visual Studio so I can imagine the code base that he deals with is enormous. He discussed the essential truths about performance management which are:

  1. Profiles do not lie
  2. Good tools make the difference/The right tool is essential
  3. Allocations are king

He explained the tool that they use at Microsoft (PerfView) and how they applied it to project Roslyn (C# & VB .NET Compiler rewrite project). He walked through all the different things they found (too many to enumerate here, go download the slides from the Channel 9 page for this session if you want to see them all). The key point though with all the “smells” is to not go on a witch hunt unless the profiler points them out make informed decisions on optimization based on the performance monitor results.

Design or Die: The Challenge to the Microsoft Developer Ecosystem – Billy Hollis – [Channel 9 Session Info]

This was not your normal TechEd session due to the fact there was very little code shown. What I experienced though was so much better. Billy was an incredibly dynamic speaker and he broke down how the standard grid based applications just don’t cut it anymore. He talked about how the iPad was a paradigm shifter but it just wasn’t cut out for enterprise apps. With the Metro/Modern UI/Windows Runtime interface and its supporting technologies (much faster development, better security and manageability, more device options to plug-in, and more form factors to choose from) we are in a much better position to deliver business apps that our customers can use. He also offered several resources for understanding good User Experience principles and better design process principles, one such resource was his Pluralsight course: Creating User Experiences: Fundamental Design Principles. Overall, this was a great session and I was brimming with ideas when I left the session.

Agile Testing Across Browsers and Across Devices – Matthew Aniyan – [Channel 9 Session Info]

This session was a non-starter for me. What I learned from this session, I learned in the first 5 minutes and that was you can do coded user interface tests using a neat little recorder tool that popped up when you started the test, then if you refactor that code and add one line of code you can do multiple browser tests.

On my way out of that session, I saw this guy and it pretty much summed up how I am feeling right about now…my brain is tired from all the learning.

this dude had the right idea

Single Page Applications with Microsoft ASP.NET – John Papa – @john_papa – [Channel 9 Session Info]

I wasn’t quite sure what to expect from this session, but I was completely blown away. All the lethargy and tiredness I had been feeling prior to this session was completely erased. I walked away from this session with so many ideas buzzing around my head was spinning. I had heard of some of the libraries that John talked about Knockout.js, Bootstrap.js, Angular.js, but once he introduced Durandal.js and Breeze.js I finally got it. By the way he showed it, the idea of single page apps really has an appeal for me for both the company I work for and the company that I run on the side. I really look forward to digging into the idea of SPAs.

That’s it for today, there will be more tomorrow.