The day started with a keynote called 'The next generation of Dinosaurs' by Billy Hollis (Next Version Systems). Billy is a great speaker and really gave an excellent presentation. He talked about the time when COBOL stopped being the dominant ecosystem, and the current paradigm of the OO/Java/.NET generation took over. He talked about how very intelligent people who were very good in the ecosystem were just unable to come across to the new ecosystem and how we are in the process of changing ecosystems again with the shift to always on/mobile/craziest things ever coming down the pipe.
He gave a couple of really good things to watch for as the world changes. He talked about how so many of the .net people are so into TDD and how they insist we can't live without it etc, and his answer was excellent. He said 'forget the technology and process and focus on being awesome.' (paraphrased etc).
His point was, if you are awesome and take pride in doing things the best way you can, the tools and processes will fill themselves in. We see the side effects of forgetting this everyday. When all you have is a hammer...
He also mentioned Lightswitch, and how it was so ridiculously ridiculed by .net developers without being seen in the proper context, and I have to admit, I did the same. I am definitely going to be checking it out later this week with a bit more open of a mindset.
He also reminded me of something that I try to keep at the forefront of my mind every time I work on a project. Development is easy, and there really isn't anything we can't do. This means that making something possible that wasn't possible before for you client/business/etc is no longer enough. You have to make it easy for them to use and awesome.
For the first session of the day I went to 'Metro, Metro, Metro', which was sold as a 'deep dive into the crux of Metro' by 'Samidip Basu'. It was so ridiculously basic and end userish that I have purged it from my mind to free space, so I have nothing to say about it except it was a waste of my time.
For the second session, I decided to try another Metro session, called 'Intro to Windows 8: The Windows 8 Platform for Metro Style Apps' by Jennifer Marsman (Microsoft). This one was again to basic, but it didn't really try to sell itself as anything else, so not enjoying this one was my own fault.
For session 3, I went to 'Advanced Configuration of WCF Data Services for Producing oData' by Chris Woodruff (Perficient) again, that claimed 'This track will give deep knowledge into the configuration and extensibility of the WCF Data Service/OData feed. It will also teach developers to secure their feeds through multiple user authentications such as OAuth, Windows and Forms Authentication.' He did cover paging in a way that gave me some ideas about overlapping server and client side paging to keep the user from having to wait for the server side paging.
This session was so ridiculously basic that I finally had to pick up the tablet and provide feedback through Event Board, and iirc the only authentication it covered was telling you it would use whatever IIS was using. Silliness.
For Session 4, John, Chuck and I went to 'How to Make Your Application Awesome with JSON, REST and WCF' by James Bender (Improving Enterprises). This session was ok, but pretty dry, the only 'awesome' thing that happened there was John banging out a metro app tied to the Netflix wcf dataservice while the presenter went on about things.
The last session of the day was ridiculous. It was called 'Application Security: What you don't know can hurt you' by Joe Kuemerle and he was without a doubt a solution looking for a problem. He basically went and turned off all of the built in things that .net does to keep you secure and then railed about how insecure Microsoft's stuff was and showed a bunch of crazy examples that can't work unless you purposely misconfigure things. And I mean purposely to the point of you couldn't do it accidently. I need to make sure to give feedback to this event. We left this one early and wrapped up for the day.