Thoughts on MSDN Developer Conference (Jan. 16th in Reston, VA)


The MSDN Developer Conference series has been making its way around the country over the last several weeks. The conference takes the best of PDC08 and boils it down to a one day event at a reasonable price – $99. On Friday, Washington, DC area developers got their opportunity to experience the event in Reston, VA. Since there is no Philadelphia event, I decided to drive south to Reston rather than north to New York City.

There was a Developer Dinner the evening before the conference featuring a Silverlight line-of-business presentation by Marc Schweigert and Pete Brown. Marc showed some tricks for data retrieval with the current feature set available in Silverlight, and then Pete took over and showed how future improvements in Silverlight are going to streamline the code necessary to perform data access. Pete and Marc did a great job, and the pizza wasn’t bad either.  🙂

I was really looking forward to the conference, and I must say it did not disappoint. My biggest problem was deciding which sessions to sit in on. There were interesting topics and engaging speakers throughout the day. Ultimately, I decided on a language futures session with Kevin Hazzard, a Windows Azure session with G. Andrew Duthie, a VSTS 2010 session with Steve Andrews and an ASP.NET 4.0 session with Rachel Appel.

After lunch, I sat down and chatted with Kevin Hazzard about how he approached his talk, which was a meld of three PDC sessions on the .NET languages. I agree with his observation that when watching Anders Hejlsberg’s session on The Future of C#, you could feel his passion for the language. Kevin wanted to harness that energy in his talk, and I think he did a very good job of it. I also learned that he is working on a book about scripting languages & .NET due out later this year. Stay tuned for more details…

I was able to finally meet some other bloggers & tweeters like Jeff Fritz, Justin Etheredge and Christopher Steen. It’s nice to associate an actual face with the tiny icons in the interwebs.

I want to give special thanks to Lindsay Rutter, Dani Diaz, G. Andrew Duthie, Pete Brown, Kevin Hazzard, Bob Familiar, Rob Keiser, John McClelland (founder of Partner Huddle on Facebook), and many others for all their efforts. They all had their hands full with this event and also took some time during the day to chat with me a bit. I had a great time on Friday and picked up a few tips and tricks along the way.