2009/01/07

Code Mash Precompiler (Day 0) review

I already posted about my TDD in .NET session from the beginning of the day.  It was really good information to pick up.  It didn't trigger the light bulb for fully understanding TDD like I was hoping for, but it definitely brightened the topic quite a bit for me.  Guess I'll have to start digging into that more to grok it much better.

In the afternoon there really wasn't really any particular session that seemed absolutely appealing to me.  I've apparently haven't spotted where the Open Spaces sessions are happening so I took the law-of-two-feet approach.  I started out in the Kanban 101 session presented by David Laribee.  Decided on that one because, well, David Laribee is notably known for naming ALT.NET (not creating it, but giving all the principles a collective name).  Overall the session didn't provide me much additional knowledge.  The biggest useful piece of knowledge came from him giving a cursory overview of Mary Poppendieck's Value Stream Mapping session.  That's definitely a topic I want to spend more time digging into as it helps analyze a process and point out where bottlenecks are in resources, be they human or material.  It provides good documentation to take to management when you're fighting for additional resources to increase value in a team so more revenue can be brought into the company.  The other part of that session I caught dealt with setting up and using a Kanban board to track progress of items in the backlog.  I've seen this before and understand how they work, so while the in person explanation was interesting, it didn't help out that much.

While floating in and out of the Kanban session I wound up in the Windows Azure session.  Basically caught enough information to see that the UI for managing your slice of the cloud isn't impressive nor crappy; that the technology aspect of Azure is pretty solidly laid out and growing, but the political aspect still has a LOT to take into account before pricing & SLA's start being defined; that Azure was another one of Microsoft's "we've been toying with this idea, what do you developers think?" sort of programs; and all the examples they were going to run through are available from Azure's website.  The only useful piece of information I walked away with from the session was what steps to take to get your named bumped up in the queue of people being let into the closed testing of the live cloud.

By the end of the sessions most of the sponsors had started showing up and getting things set up.  And they're evil I tell you.  Pure evil.  They had Rock Band 2 set up.  Here's a picture of people getting into it after I rocked out a few songs.

After the dinner Carl Franklin and Richard Campbell got things set up for recording the panel discussion for an episode of .NET Rocks.  Richard gave a great retelling of the story of Goliath and the magnets it had in it (first told on an episode of Mondays).  I can't find which show it was, otherwise I'd link to it because it's a great story.  Then began the panel discussion on RIA.  The funny part was keeping an eye on twitter tags for Code Mash (#codemash and #codemash2009) you could see that every one of the panel guys had sent at least one tweet while the recording was going on.  And they were given a bottle of bourbon as a gift which they started off started drinking during the show (I'm sure it will be in the show when it's published).  The part you'll miss out on when you listen to the show is that when there was a few glasses worth of bourbon left in the bottle Carl kept looking around the audience and gesturing for people to have a glass.  That was too funny.

To finish off the day I made my way around the sponsor booths again and surrendered my contact information to even more companies.  Hey, they have awesome swag that'd be cool to win, but having about a 1/400 chance of winning I doubt I'll actually win anything.  And had another go at Rock Band.

I'm looking forward to the sessions tomorrow, which I'm sure there's going to be much more to cover since there'll be 5 sessions to attend.

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