Monday, August 27, 2007
Well, I thought that my PowerShell talk went okay -- although it didn't rank in the top 10 presentations at TechEd (congratulations Jeremy and Andrew!).

The slides for my talk are available on the downloads site:

My presentation was in the SkyCity theatre, a 700 seat venue used for concerts and films. I have to admit that the venue was the most intimidating part of giving my third talk at TechEd -- but I think I survived it intact :)

Some additional links for your browsing pleasure:

If you have any questions about my talk, or about PowerShell, feel free to fire them this way -- either through this blog or via my email address (it's not that hard to find it on the interweb, so I won't list it again here :)

posted on Monday, August 27, 2007 10:03:21 PM (New Zealand Standard Time, UTC+12:00)  #    Comments [2]
It's grassroots conference time in Wellington, with barcamp 2007 e-government on Sat 15 Sept, and Kiwicon on the Sat 17 and Sun 18 November.

Kiwicon is a security conference, and it sounds like it will be for the technically minded folks in the security community -- sessions on hacking, wifi insecurity, forensics and more. Sounds interesting!

barcamp is an un-conference about e-government / Government 2.0. Sessions are scheduled and time-slotted on the day. It looks like there's going to be some interesting stuff discussed - identity, privacy, community, accessibility and more.

Sounds like a few scheduled weekends away from the family...


posted on Monday, August 27, 2007 9:41:46 PM (New Zealand Standard Time, UTC+12:00)  #    Comments [0]
 Monday, August 13, 2007
The day started at 8am with room preparations, sessions at 9:30, and it was all over by 5pm. Just 7 hours for 10 sessions, so it really was a whirlwind tour of .NET devt topics.

We plan to post some of the slides and materials up on the site over the next week or so. Here is the list of presenters and their topics:

9:40am Chris Auld: Silverlight at MIX and Intergen (30min)

Chris introduced some of the features of Silverlight 1.0 and 1.1, and showed a few sample programs that have been built. One of them from Intergen was an Amazon search client.

10:10am Tom Hollander:  Patterns and Practices (60min)

Tom showed some of the cool features that come out of the P&P team, and built a WCF app using factories and showed how to wrap and hide exceptions so that sensible exceptions pass across the boundary. He also showed a community project he's involved in to throw sensible exceptions based upon SQL error codes (part of Enterprise Library Contrib).

I was interested to see some of the things in Enterprise Library that I didn't know about, and I enjoyed this session.

11:10am Ivan Towlson: WPF databinding (45min)

Ivan got down to the nitty-gritty in WPF and showed how to databind against data objects and have changes in the model show up in the UI and vice-versa. He then drilled into a few different scenarios such as formatting and templating, and showed how to do those a few different ways in WPF.

We didn't have enough time for his talk, so I think we may have missed out on a cool demo at the end :(

12:00pm Ivan Porto Carrero: Javascript best practices (30min)

This talk could've gone on a lot longer, so Ivan covered some of the common points about writing performant Javascript, and showed some speed comparisons of different browsers across different tasks.

12:45pm-ish OpenXML and Lunchtime panel

Sean McBreen talked briefly about OpenXML and some of the standardisation efforts that are going on right now. Then Chris Auld and Adam Cogan entertained us over lunch with a little skit on how Adam does doesn't do business. Very entertaining! Some good ideas on how to interact with clients and be prepared for meetings.

1:45pm Kirk Jackson: C# 3.0 new features (30min)

I went through some of the C# 3.0 features, and talked about when you'd use them (mostly, if using LINQ), and at the end I showed a few slides of the upcoming XML support in VB9, which is cool if not scary!

2:15pm Adam Cogan: TFS and VSTS - what is coming (60min)

Adam showed us some of the new features that are coming into Team Foundation / System in the upcoming release. Interesting thing was that out of the audience, only a handful are using these products.

3:15pm Dave Dustin: SQL 2008 new features (10min)

Dave put up a list and talked through some of the new features in SQL2008 -- if you want to hear more about them, go along to the next SQL user group in your area (Auckland, Wellington).

Dave didn't have a very good afternoon with his powerpoint deck, but I thought he did well fielding questions from the floor.

3:30pm Andrew Peters and Jeremy Boyd: Opinionated domain modeling (30min)

Andrew and Jeremy talked about what it means to be an opinionated toolset, how domain modeling has evolved over the past few years, and what is currently state of the art. They then showed Lightspeed, their product, in action, and Jeremy built up a functioning online store quite quickly using Lightspeed to persist the data.

I'm biased, because I'm friends with these guys, but I continue to be impressed with their product and what they've put together. It really seems to be lean, fast, and does what you need.

4:00pm Tony Goodhew: Insights into the development of Orcas (50min)

Tony talked without a slide deck about the development process that they use when developing Visual Studio 2008 right from the inception of the project prior to the release of 2005. His talk was humorous, and I think showed some insight into how to effectively run a software development project of that magnitude.

I was particularly interested in how they measure stability of code, and how they conduct the exit and entry reviews at the end of each milestone.

Summary of the day

There were a lot of people at Code Camp. I think at the peak we had over 170 people in the room, though during the day people came and went.

Everything was a bit pressed for time - 10 sessions in 7 hours was a lot. The format was different to the previous Code Camps that we have spread over 2 days. I am soliciting feedback on whether people prefer the compressed format or a more sedate Code Camp -- please email me on

Thanks for everyone who attended, to our wonderful presenters who gave their time to entertain and educate us, and to our sponsors (Microsoft, Intergen, Fronde and the Microsoft Most Valuable Professional program) who helped make the day possible.

posted on Monday, August 13, 2007 10:30:09 AM (New Zealand Standard Time, UTC+12:00)  #    Comments [0]
 Saturday, August 11, 2007
Well, Code Camp is ready to go.... It has been a fair amount of work to prepare for it, although I've tried to keep things pretty lean and just focus on the essentials. Thanks PeterB for organising the website RSVP system and the Camp Fire dinner tomorrow night.

The schedule for tomorrow is now pretty locked-in. Mahesh Prakriya wasn't able to make it, but a couple of the Mindscape guys have stepped up to present.

Should be a fun day. See you tomorrow, and hopefully at the dinner afterwards!

posted on Saturday, August 11, 2007 8:23:32 PM (New Zealand Standard Time, UTC+12:00)  #    Comments [1]
 Thursday, August 02, 2007
We had a good night at the Wellington .NET users group meeting last night -- Zac Smith from Provoke presented on "Developing with Windows Sharepoint Services", and we had the meeting here at Xero HQ for the first time.

Zac's presentation was interesting. I think Sharepoint has a much better .NET development story than it did four years ago when I last looked at it -- not surprisingly, I guess! Zac showed how to add new features to sharepoint menus, how to add items into the admin screens, how to programmatically access the Sharepoint store, and how to create custom web parts.

Rod from Xero gave a little intro at the beginning... this was the first time we've had such a big crowd in the Xero training room:



posted on Thursday, August 02, 2007 3:10:04 PM (New Zealand Standard Time, UTC+12:00)  #    Comments [0]