Saturday saw the 9th Developer Developer Developer community event happen at the Microsoft Campus in Reading, a free event that only 350 people can fit into, and which "sold out" in 12 minutes (A number that keeps going down year by year).
The sheer number of talks submitted this year meant there was some real competition for spaces as speakers as well - which resulted in probably the best selection of talks I can remember in DDD history.
The sessions I attended were:
Async C#5 with Liam Westley
An unusual choice for me, I usually avoid "new X in Y" sessions like the plague, as by the time the features actually come out I'm already bored of them and don't end up taking the time to work out what's actually changed in the finished version. I've not really touched the Async bits though and having not yet seem Liam talk and the other interesting alternative being Gary Short who I've seen far too many times (more than once) made this the obvious choice.
This was a well rehearsed session, and I took away a few things - primarily that I can't have a problem with how async has been implemented if I like the yield keyword (and I like the yield keyword), and that it is more to do with dealing with avoiding blocking operations than managing thread complexity (or something to that end). Also that apparently the biggest debate apparently revolves around what name the keywords should have...
Monads with Mike Hadlow
Mike has been rattling on about Monads on his blog for a while now, and I've avoided reading it because I knew he was going to come talk about them at DDD9 - this was definitely my kind of talk and I've come away knowing what Monads are in computer science terms, although I'm still struggling to see why I'd want the overhead of dealing with them directly outside of LINQ in C# I'll be going back and checking out his blog to find out.
Shocking confession, gasp - I didn't know what monads were - a crime I'm sure!
RavenDB with Rob Ashton
I'm actually quite disappointed with the way the session turned out - given how many times I've given this talk I should have done better, it didn't feel quite right
for some reason - and I rather wished I'd been next door to hear Mark Rendle talk about some of the crazy things he's doing in C#· :-)
Lunch Grok Talks
I like grok talks, I didn't realise how short lunch was and I thought they needed some padding so I proposed a talk on CUDA, turns out I needn't have bothered as we actually ran out of time to get through them all.
Some silverlight stuff with Visio with Dave McHahon
I didn't see any silverlight in this grok, so I guess I must have missed that - I did see some data driven stuff you can do with visio which apparently is fun if you're into such things ;-). I learned that it is possible so I count that as a win.
A grok to CUDA C with Rob Ashton
I tried to cover everything I knew about CUDA C in 5 minutes, I kept asking how many people were following me over the 5 minutes and it was entertaining to watch the hands drop over time - I've submitted a full on hour of this to DDD Scotland if people are interested in seeing it done at a slower pace ;-)
IronRuby with Windows Phone 7 with @slodge
This is just a cool topic - not relevant to me at all - but really good to see somebody talking about something like this!
After lunch, it was back to the normal sessions:
What's new with ASP.NET MVC 3 with Andy Gibson
I can't say I left this talk excited about ASP.NET MVC 3 - but that's more of an indication of my feelings towards the technology than the talk itself which was great
I didn't actually attend the next session, I needed a break and drifted between the various sessions looking in from behind - I spent most of my time in Colin Gemmell's .NET to Rails story,
which was superbly presented from the look of things, enthusiastic and well put across.
Introduction to Powershell with James Boother
I don't tend to do Powershell, if I do any sort of scripting it's generally with shell script or Python - but it was nice to see why people are enthusiastic about Powershell - although the verbosity of some of the commands left me a bit scared - what's wrong with plain old tail -f? ;-)
Anyway, that was a superb day, I can't believe all those sessions actually fitted into a single Saturday and
was free. Here is to DDD10 being an equally excellent event. Congratulations to all who were involved in the organisation - very slick.
My slides and example code
I've uploaded them to https://github.com/robashton/talks/tree/master/DDD9