Monday, April 9, 2007

Part 1- Journey to CodeCampOz - Wagga Wagga 31st Mar 2007

31st Mar 3:00 am in the morning, we left for CodeCampOz, a journey of 450 kms - oneway from Sydney to Wagga Wagga, was worth taking.

There were 14 sessions in total and most of them were good. I guess around 300-400 people attended the event (though only 10-15 ladies!) so it was big. From tourism point of view I did not find anything of interest in Wagga Wagga but I believe they chose that place as it is reachable from Sydney, Melbourne and Canberra (even people drove from Queensland and SA!, I checked the cars’ number plates).

Technically the sessions were good (of course not all of them, couple of them were so boring with very basic knowledge). The focus of the presentations were hands-on display and topics ranging from Ajax, WCF, WPF, WF, MOSS, Biztalk, Security, Tips and tricks (that session was very good) and XNA. Check for complete list of sessions It really taught me a number of things that I didn’t know before and gave a chance to find what other people are doing in the dev world. I regret I did not carry my laptop as there were wireless hot spots and people (who brought their laptops) were experimenting then and there (but remember your laptop should have a very good battery life otherwise you would be left fighting for power sockets which were very rare!!).

Here is what I take out of the sessions,

Session 1. Real world experiences with ASP.NET AJAXPaul Glavich & Damian Edwards - Sat 31st Mar

It was a nice session by my ex-collegue (at EDs) Paul Glavich and Damian.
The interesting obeservation was the number of hands raised when the audience were asked "who is using AJAX?" very few, so I feel good that I am not alone !

They key things I learned

- Ajax is not just for filling ddlbs but can be used with creativity to product stunning interactive applciations
- Server centric and client centric models, check this
- Take the storyboard approach while designing interfaces using AJAX
- The UpdatePanelAnimation control is really cool in updating the UI on fly
- Firefox + Firebug are the right tools to develop and test. If it runs in Firefox then it will definitely run in IE

Session 2 :Building applications you can take on the road by Nick Randolph - Sat 31st Mar
That session was all about developing mobile applications and the data synchronization issues. Though I do not develop mobile apps and don't have any plans for future but it was a great session for me to see the different world of movile apps. Here what I learned

  • Dynamic switching: Check if the server is available then send the request
  • Passive caching vs Active Caching.Choose whichone is appropriate for your application
  • Microsoft SQL Server Compact Edition: A set off dlls that you refer to in your application and instantiate DB instance.
  • Microsoft Synchronization Services for ADO.NET: For mobile, one of the greates challenge is synchronising the data with the server and microsoft has a bunlde of services on offer (CTP).
  • A typical sync - model includes a client-sync provider and server-sync provider along with sync tables

Session 5: Workflow foundation and Biztalk - making the kids play together by Bill Chesnut
This was another nice session discussing both WWF and Biztalk, differences and uses

  • When to use biztalk? When to use WWF? => Think Buy vs Build
  • Workflow within applications = WWF
  • Workflow across applications = Biztalk
  • Uses of WWF: Client side workflow, Website state management , Dynamic workflow
  • Use of Biztalk: Enterprise Architecture Integration, ESB/SOA, File manipulation, B2B

Session 8: My best Tips and Tricks by Dan Green
This was probably one of the best sesstion in 2-days event, though it was the last session on Sat and everyone was tiered and exhuasted but Dan Green was a pick of the presenters on that day, a very fast and speedy session, full of tips, tricks and tools, and of course with his bag full of dynamic jokes!

enough for now, in the next post I will cover the sessions held on 1st Apr on Sunday