Sunday, September 27, 2009

Training Report

Kiaora Jacinta,

As requested, here is a detailed report back on the value of the training that I received this year at Tech Ed.

Tech Ed is the premiere Microsoft conference in New Zealand.  It runs from Monday to Wednesday, delivering more than seven streams (DEV, DB, Security, Vendor Case Studies, Architecture, Office System, Azure) of simultaneous training from which to choose.  In addition, Code Camp is an optional, extra training day, organised by the New Zealand User Group Community that runs on the Sunday preceding Tech Ed.

Code Camp topics that I attended were:

  • What’s Happening in .NET Languages – An overview of the changes to be expected in Visual Studio 2010.  VS is the development tool that I use all day every day.  Ivan Towlson demonstrated the new Functional Language F#, as well as how the existing statically defined languages (C#, Visual Basic) can interact with them.
  • Behaviour Driven Development – This is an evolution of the formerly named Test Driven Development methodology of application development.  Owen Evans was able to clearly demonstrate the conceptual brilliance of the “Given… When… Then…” paradigm.
  • C#4.0 – Ivan again showed how VS2010 will enable developers to use new dynamic features of our existing static languages in order to “break the mould” of our strongly-typed declarative world.

In addition to attending Code Camp, I also contributed two presentations:

  • Lightening Talk – Data Dude: MS VSTS for Database Professionals (GDR), in which I explained the usefulness of GDR as an optional add-in to the Development Edition of Visual Studio.
  • Becoming Certified – In which I explained the benefits, costs & process of attaining Microsoft Credentials.

Tech Ed topics on Day 1 that I attended were:

  • Keynote presentation by Hon. Steven Joyce, Minister of IT&C, in which he discussed fibre to the home.
  • DAT201 Overview of SQL Server 2008 R2 – Mark Souza from Microsoft NZ explained how to enable managed self-service Business Intelligence, via the new Excel add-on “Gemini”.
  • DAT202 Microsoft Business Intelligence Overview – Myles Matheson from Microsoft US further elucidated on the BI Reporting Maturity Model.
  • MVP – I had a very illuminated private discussion with Rose Stamell from Microsoft Australia about what’s involved in being nominated as a Microsoft Most Valuable Professional.
  • LABS – These were available at anytime as a “filler” for in-depth hands-on training with the latest products.  At this time, I did an ADO.NET lab because DEV307 was postponed.
  • DEV302 What’s Coming in .NET 4.0 – In which John-Daniel Trask from Mindscape demoed Visual Basic 10 language improvements.
  • Gen-I Dinner – In which I briefly turned up, looked around, recognized nobody, saw it was going to be a booze party and left 10 minutes later.
  • GeekZone Dinner – In which I sat in a Chinese restaurant and conversed with industry peers.  Much more to my liking.  Social networking at its best.

Tech Ed topics on Day 2 that I attended were:

  • DEV204 What’s new in Team Foundation Server 2010 – In which Adam Cogan from demonstrated Team Collections.
  • VOC203 Databases, gods and maps – In which Scott Campbell from Express Couriers Limited demonstrated their use of GIS via SQL Server to deliver on-time, every time.
  • DEV301 Visual Studio 2008 IDE Tips – In which Sara Ford from Microsoft US demonstrated many keyboard shortcuts and little-known option settings.
  • LABS Azure – Nothing else appealed at this time.  Self-study.
  • DAT301 Building applications in SQL Azure – In which Jeremy Boyd from Mindscape demonstrated how to do it, and gave useful advice like avoid chatty calls, code for chunky calls.
  • DAT305 Upgrading from SQL 2000 to 2008 – In which Greg Low (MVP, SQL Server Master) gave us a practical approach, which I’m dying to use on our servers!
  • Tech Fest – In which I turned up for dinner, took one drink, had a few conversations, saw it was going to be a booze party and left early.

Tech Ed topics on Day 3 that I attended were:

  • LABS .NET 4.0 – In which I did self-study because SOA205 was packed.
  • DEV205 A tour of CodePlex – In which Sara Ford talked about Open Source at Microsoft.
  • DEV307 Using Team Foundation Server in a Distributed World – In which Wayne Ewington (Microsoft NZ) demonstrated working offline with TFS.
  • DEV306 TFS for successful project management – In which Adam Cogan demonstrated collecting User Stories via INVEST.
  • DAT303 Managing database with VS – In which Greg Low gave a fuller presentation of my Data Dude Code Camp presentation.

James Hippolite
MCPD (Web Developer), MCITP (Database Developer), MCT
Senior .NET Developer – Workgroup Solutions Team
Applications Development, Maintenance & Support – Shared Capability

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