My impressions of dddsw 4

dddsw was fantastic!

There is very little else to say.  The speakers were great, the venue was perfect, the food was amazing, and the geek chat wasn’t to be missed.  If you have never attended DDDSW, or for that matter one of the other DDD events around the country then you really need to think about going.  They are incredible events, and best of all, they are completely free!

In a slight change to the previous DDD events that I have attended, I was presenting a session this time around which meant that the stress levels were on high alert, but overall, this additional pressure didn’t detract from the day, and I had a great time!

first session at dddsw

Although there were a number of talks that I would have liked to have seen in this first session, I decided that I should finalize my demos and slides ahead of the second session where I would be presenting.

second session at dddsw

Presenter: Gary Ewan Park (yes, me, it’s still bizarre to say this)

Topic: StyleCop – Breaking down the barriers to entry

Starting with a brief introduction to what StyleCop is, and what it can be used for, we will then apply StyleCop directly to a real world application.  Then we will investigate:

What breaks?
What doesn’t work?
What techniques we can use to correct StyleCop warnings/errors, and ignore them completely?
What tools can be used to speed up refactoring for StyleCop warnings/errors?

Thoughts: I leave that up to the people who attended my session, but overall, I was happy with how it all went.  There are certainly a couple of things that I would do differently if I were to do the session again (for instance, actually have my slide notes in front of me), but for a first attempt, I was very happy with it.

I did see one tweet that I was particularly happy with, especially since on at least a couple of occasions the demos didn’t work the way I wanted them to:

third session at dddsw

Presenters: Gary Short, Phil Winstanley, Seb Lambla, Phil Collins and running the show Rob Bracken

Topic: Smartphone Wars (Balloon Debate)

Thoughts: This was a really entertaining debate, which saw Blackberry, iOS, Windows Phone and Android being pitted against each other.  The first casualty (being represented by Phil Collins) we Blackberry.  Closely followed by iOS which was being defended by Seb Lambla.  This left Windows Phone (supported by Phil Winstanley) and Android (with Gary Short) left.

As expected (given the number of .Net Developers and Windows Phone owners in the room) Windows Phone came out on top.  All joking aside though, the debate through up lots of interesting arguments about one phone OS over the other, and it left a lot of food for thought!

grok talks and 20/20 sessions

As now seems to be the tradition, there were Grok Talks and 20/20 presentations over lunch.  I was able to catch the last three of these, on MVVMCross, WiFi Access Points around the world, and async.  These were all very entertaining, and my credit goes out to everyone who presented, especially the 20/20′s, as although short, this type of talk is particularly difficult to execute!!

fourth session at dddsw

Presenter: Jimmy Skowronski

Topic: No More Passwords!

Passwords are surrounding us, thousands of websites are asking us to register every day. At some point we tend to loose control over them and start either using the same password everywhere or escape to a password vault solutions. Many of you are building new websites almost every day and you often you need users to log in. Don’t create your own password storage in that case. Save your users from the need to create and remember yet another login and password, and use one of the existing identity providers. It can be Live ID, Facebook, Google, Twitter, Yahoo or many other and you can choose one of them or all together.

This session will show you how to get rid of your individual password storage and authenticate your user using OAuth with Live ID, Google and Facebook. You will be amazed how simple it is and your users will be amazed how cool you are.

Thoughts: This was a very interesting talk!  Making use of a DLL which ships with WebMatrix, Jimmy was able to show how you can quickly enable OAuth authentication for your sites, which allows users to register using Google, Windows Live, Facebook, Twitter, etc.  Although the source code wasn’t quite ready for sharing on the day, Jimmy did mention that he will be blogging about it going forward, and if you are interested you can find the info here.

For his session, Jimmy tried out a new idea where he used the website that he was constructing as a replacement for a set of presentation slides.  This is a great idea, in theory, unfortunately, it didn’t really work in practice.  The choice of font, style and layout meant that unless sitting on the very first row, it was difficult to read and follow.  With a little bit of work, I could see this technique being really useful, and it certainly given a new meaning to the term dog-fooding.

fifth session at dddsw

Presenter: Nathan Gloyn

Topic: Is your code S.O.L.I.D?

Everybody keeps on about SOLID principles but what are they? and why should you care?

In this session I’ll aim to walk through each principle telling you about that principle and examining why you should use it.

Once we’ve talked about the principle in theory we’ll look to how we can put it into practice refactoring an existing application.

Thoughts: What can I say about this session…. Quite simply, it was the best session that I attended all day.  Nathan is a great speaker, and the demos that he provided clearly spell out each of the different principles.  With the source code downloaded, you can literally do a kDiff between the two projects to see what refactoring were put in place to implement each principle.  Huge congratulations to Nathan for a great session!!  The only thing that I would request, and this is purely selfish on my part, but I would love to see another project added which shows how you can start to include Unit Tests.  I really think that this would go a long way to closing the loop on how “best” to construct your code.

other bloggers

If you are interested to hear what other people had to say about the event you can take a look at the following links (I will try to update this section as I become aware of other posts).

missing friends

Unfortunately, Craig Murphy (@CAMURPHY) wasn’t able to attend DDDSW.  There was speculation whether this was the first ever DDD that he has missed!!  He was there in spirit though…

sponsors and organisers

A huge thank you has to go out to all the sponsors of DDDSW, as well as the organisers!  Without them this excellent event would not have happened.  Thanks!

dddsw 5 in 2013

The day after the event, I jokingly asked Guy Smith-Ferrier if he had already set a date for the next DDDSW, and as expected he said no.  Him and the rest of the organisers are going to take a well deserved break, however, I would definitely recommend that you keep an eye out for the next event, and if you can make it along, you won’t regret it.  I will certainly be in attendance if nothing else gets in the way!  One of the best ways to here about the event would be to follow @dddsouthwest on twitter.

  • http://twitter.com/JohnnyJP JohnnyJP

    It was a good talk Gary, and dont worry about some demos not working as you expect – usually at least 1 of mine dont on the day – once you realsize that you can plan around it and all will be well… ;-)   Well Done.

    • http://www.gep13.co.uk/blog Gary Ewan Park

      Thank you for the kind words!  Yeah, a couple people said the same thing afterwards.  I guess I was just a little annoyed with myself, as they had worked the night before though :-)  

  • Pingback: Developer Developer Developer South West :: Rock Solid

  • Pingback: The Morning Brew - Chris Alcock » Afternoon Tea - Sunday 10th June 2012