DDD4

This is a repost – Apologies I’ve just moved my blog…

Saturday was the 4th ‘Developer Developer Developer’ conference and it was an all round excellent day.  It was first time I’ve been to one on my own, which turned out to be a bonus as I actually made the effort to talk to some different people, so much so that I didn’t make it to the grok talks which appeared to go down really well.  The other highlight of the day – for me at least, as it appears this was a repetition of what was said at DDD3 – was Ed Gibson’s impromptu talk on security, the internet and our responsibility as developers to make our code safe and secure.  The stereotypical ex-FBI agent, certainly had a captive audience.

Of the five sessions I attended the ones by Joanna CarterSarah Blow and Helen Emerson stood out the most.  

I am going to talk about Joanna’s session first as I don’t want what I say to overshadow the other two speakers who were excellent.  There is no doubt about her technical knowledge and industry experience, but, to put it bluntly, Joanna Carter is possibly the most arrogant speaker I have listened to outside of university.  The only things I can remember from the session were the large number of references to how great Delphi is and a question from the audience about ASP.NET being dismissed because she only dealt with ‘proper technology’.  She ended the session by extolling the virtues of wooden cameras over digital ones…

Anyway, enough of the bad points about the day, on to the good ones.  Helen’s short and simple walkthrough about ‘developing objects in JavaScript’ evoked almost as many lightbulb moments as when I read Petzold.  This session would have put a lot of Atlas developers in good stead, certainly I now have a better understanding of how the object model in the Microsoft AJAX library works.

Despite the session being technically plagued (no Ethernet or wifi access for 3rd parties in a lecture room on the Microsoft Campus?  Go figure!) Sarah remained cool and the talk went very well.  There was a large amount of audience participation and it felt more like an informal discussion group than a lecture but she still managed to get through all of her material in the allotted time which was great.  In general terms I garnered a great insight into how blogs, podcasts, vlogs and RSS rivers can improve communication in business and came away with a number of ideas for both myself and for work.

Those that went remember to give your feedback and maybe win an MSDN subscription.

 

DDD4

Saturday was the 4th ‘Developer Developer Developer’ conference and it was an all round excellent day.  It was first time I’ve been to one on my own, which turned out to be a bonus as I actually made the effort to talk to some different people, so much so that I didn’t make it to the grok talks which appeared to go down really well.  The other highlight of the day – for me at least, as it appears this was a repetition of what was said at DDD3 – was Ed Gibson’s impromptu talk on security, the internet and our responsibility as developers to make our code safe and secure.  The stereotypical ex-FBI agent, certainly had a captive audience.

Of the five sessions I attended the ones by Joanna CarterSarah Blow and Helen Emerson stood out the most.  

I am going to talk about Joanna’s session first as I don’t want what I say to overshadow the other two speakers who were excellent.  There is no doubt about her technical knowledge and industry experience, but, to put it bluntly, Joanna Carter is possibly the most arrogant speaker I have listened to outside of university.  The only things I can remember from the session were the large number of references to how great Delphi is and a question from the audience about ASP.NET being dismissed because she only dealt with ‘proper technology’.  She ended the session by extolling the virtues of wooden cameras over digital ones…

Anyway, enough of the bad points about the day, on to the good ones.  Helen’s short and simple walkthrough about ‘developing objects in JavaScript’ evoked almost as many lightbulb moments as when I read Petzold.  This session would have put a lot of Atlas developers in good stead, certainly I now have a better understanding of how the object model in the Microsoft AJAX library works.

Despite the session being technically plagued (no Ethernet or wifi access for 3rd parties in a lecture room on the Microsoft Campus?  Go figure!) Sarah remained cool and the talk went very well.  There was a large amount of audience participation and it felt more like an informal discussion group than a lecture but she still managed to get through all of her material in the allotted time which was great.  In general terms I garnered a great insight into how blogs, podcasts, vlogs and RSS rivers can improve communication in business and came away with a number of ideas for both myself and for work.

Those that went remember to give your feedback and maybe win an MSDN subscription.

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Posted in IT. 6 Comments »

DDD 5 : Call For Speakers

Developer developer developer is a community driven “un-conference” that is hosted at the Microsoft Campus in Reading.  It’s an informal opportunity for developers to learn, share & interact with each other in a relaxed environment. 

Whilst Microsoft UK provide the venue, logistical support and also lay on lunch, there is a guarantee that no Microsoft speakers will be presenting.  This leaves the door open for the UK .NET community to choose what they want to hear and who they want to hear it from.  Head on over to the Developer Day website and check out the currently proposed sessions and if you don’t like the sound of those why not submit your own proposal?

The last two events, DDD4 & WebDD, were so good that it will be very hard to better them. I’d love to be proved wrong and given the amount of effort the organisers put in I won’t be surprised if I am!

If you’ve never been before and you want to know a little about them there are recorded sessions, copious amounts of feedback and lots of reviews on the web.  You can check out my thoughts on the last 2 events here and here.

One more thing, there is a tradition that after an event of this type, those that want to, head out into Reading town center for a ‘geek dinner’.  They are great opportunity to meet more of your peers as well as talk to the organisers and some of the Microsoft staff that help out on the day.

It really is a worthwhile and enjoyable day so make sure you keep Saturday, June 30th free!

As a final note I always point people to this which explains what it’s all about in a language we all (hopefully) understand.

DDD5 Announced!

Craig Murphy has just announced the date for DDD5

It’s scheduled for Saturday 30th June 2007 with a call for speakers on the 24th March.

Stick it in your diaries everyone!

Posted in IT. 4 Comments »

WebDD: A review

I tried live blogging WebDD but it was tiring enough just watching and listening to ScottGu, so you’ll all have to put up with this late old entry! 

The quality of the community organised events that happen at the Microsoft Campus in Reading have been steadily improving since they started and at the time I thought anyone would be hard-pushed to top DDD4WebDD managed it, which given the line up I should have realised long before.

There were two downsides to the day, both revolving around Scott Guthrie.  The first was that he was so popular a lot of the other great speakers didn’t get the audiences they deserved, the second was that Chicago 1 was just not big enough to cope with the demand.

It was unfortunate that I missed out on some of the other sessions, but I think it was worthwhile going in person to see Scott’s sessions as he is an excellent presenter and I don’t think that would have come across so much in the video’s.  Over and above the quality of the presenting though were the demo’s that Scott did; I’ve never seen someone that fluid with Visual Studio in front of an audience before.  I was even more impressed when, for the 3rd session, he started using C# when in the first two he’d used VB.NET.

There isn’t much more I can say other than thank’s to Phil and Dave for organising a grueling but truly fantastic day.

Here’s to the next one!

WebDD Conference

Registration is open for the first WebDD Conference at Microsoft in Reading.  Following on from the successes of DDD4, WebDD is targeted specifically at web developers and designers based in the UK and will have a hot line up of speakers including Scott Guthrie from Microsoft and Hiristo Deshev & Zhivko Dimitrov from Telerik.

So signup, if it’s anything like as good as DDD4 was, it’s going to be a blast.

 

Staying Organised: The Office 2007 Way – Pt 1

I was speaking to a couple of people during a break at DDD about the way their teams work, and one of the topics that came up was how we managed our email and tasks.  I learned quite a few good tips from the stuff that was said so I thought I’d share the way I work with everyone.

Now ask anyone who knows me outside work and they’ll tell you I am notoriously dis-organised, mostly that’s due to my short attention span and my fantastic ability for procrastination. 

Obviously those two things don’t go down to well with employers so I need a way of maintaining focus and staying on top of things and through a combination of Outlook, OneNote and my XDA Exec I can do this.

First off everything I do is split into two categories.  ‘Development related’ and ‘Everything else’.  If something I need to do is development related then I manage it using TFS and TeamLook from PersonifyDesign otherwise I use Outlook and OneNote to keep me organised.

I start every morning by making sure that my inbox is empty, which it should be anyway as I triage everything as it comes in following the ‘Four D’s for Decision Making’ model outlined in this excellent article on inbox management.  The crux of it is:

   Delete it if it’s not needed 
   Do it if it’ll take less than 2 minutes
   Delegate it if possible or
   Defer it until a later date

If as a result of ‘doing it’, ‘delegating it’ or ‘defering it’ I need to send an email then that email gets flagged (with a reminder for an appropriate period of time) so I can follow it up, if not then the original email gets flagged.  This can also be achieved by dragging the item onto the ‘To-Do Bar’ (either the calendar or the tasks pane)

If I need to reply then I always click ‘reply all’ especially if the reply is pertinent to the entire team.  Keeping the entire team involved means more potential input plus I can retrieve the entire conversation thread using ‘find all related messages’ or ‘Arrange by conversation’ at a later date.  This makes finding information after the fact that much easier.

 

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3rd party Wi-fi access at TVP…

I mentioned earlier about Sarah Blow’s issues with internet access during her session.  She comments more on her blog saying:

[A]ll in all the organisers from the event did really well and were only really let down by the lack of internet access on Microsoft’s part, which could quite easily be resolved by a guest wireless account or a relible [sic] wired network.

I hope that Microsoft will take a serious look into this for next time, especially when web 2.0 technologies and the latest softwares all interlink with the net one way or another. PLEASE sort it out for us next time!!!!! Pretty Please!  It will open up the topic areas for talks no end and demo’s can then be done far easier!

I agree that, given enough notice, speakers and organisers should be able to get some sort of internet connection, but during dinner there was also talk about the need for delegates to have wi-fi.  Having thought about this over the last few days, I’m not sure that Microsoft should be expected to provide the infrastructure for a network separate from their corporate one for the 300+ guests that attend these seminars.  More to the point, why should delegates need internet access, aren’t they there for the the talks, discussions, seminars and networking opportunities?

Technorati tags: DDD4, Sarah Blow, Microsoft

Posted in DDD, IT. 2 Comments »

Reading Geek Dinner

This is a repost – Apologies I have moved my blog

After DDD4 was the Reading Geek Dinner.  I was sitting with Craig, Oliver and Sarah, plus a guy called Tim Ensor who was rather drunk. I also spent a lot of time talking to Simon Harriyott and Anthony Steele in Bar Revolutions and as you can see from my naff camera phone photos below, I really need to get me a digital camera…

Thanks Zi it was an excellent evening!

Check out this aggregated feed for all blog entries and images from the evening.

Technorati tags: DDD4, Geek Dinner, Sarah Blow, Craig Murphy, Oliver Sturm, Tim Ensor, Simon Harriyott, Anthony Steele

3rd party Wi-fi access at TVP…

I mentioned earlier about Sarah Blow’s issues with internet access during her session.  She comments more on her blog saying:

[A]ll in all the organisers from the event did really well and were only really let down by the lack of internet access on Microsoft’s part, which could quite easily be resolved by a guest wireless account or a relible [sic] wired network.

I hope that Microsoft will take a serious look into this for next time, especially when web 2.0 technologies and the latest softwares all interlink with the net one way or another. PLEASE sort it out for us next time!!!!! Pretty Please!  It will open up the topic areas for talks no end and demo’s can then be done far easier!

I agree that, given enough notice, speakers and organisers should be able to get some sort of internet connection, but during dinner there was also talk about the need for delegates to have wi-fi.  Having thought about this over the last few days, I’m not sure that Microsoft should be expected to provide the infrastructure for a network separate from their corporate one for the 300+ guests that attend these seminars.  More to the point, why should delegates need internet access, aren’t they there for the the talks, discussions, seminars and networking opportunities?

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Posted in IT. 1 Comment »