Ayende @ Rahien

It's a girl

What happens in DevTeach...

Tends to leave lasting impressions.

You might have noticed that I have been sort of quite lately, I have been in DevTeach last week, and I more or less had zero time to do anything that wasn't actually DevTeach. I can honestly say that this is, hands down, one of the conferences that I most enjoyed period.

We spent so much time in the Hotel's bar that the bartenders knew us all by name.

I don't think that I can really do justice to the last week with any recap, let me just point out that most of it was recorded on Twitter, and that there really isn't any way to explain if you weren't there.

It was busy, full of fun and exhausting, and I was half grateful and half sad when it was over.

Dev Teach Vancouver & ALT.Net Canada

In a very few weeks, I am going to spend some time in my favorite north America conference, DevTeach. It is my favorite for several reason, great attendees, great organization, great speakers line up, and an always interesting occurrences. Thankfully, no one published the real pictures from the last one :-)

This time, in addition to all the nice features that are usually part of DevTeach, we also have the bonus of having ALT.Net Canada happening in the weekend directly after DevTeach. This means that I am going to be having throughout the week.

As an aside, I am going to stay a day or two after the weekend is over, the original plan was to give me some time to recover from all of that, but if you are in Vancouver and would like me to drop in and do some consulting, do ping me.

DevTeach Montreal

In a few weeks, I am going to my 4th DevTeach conference.

I am going to talk about Advanced IoC, Advanced OR/M and writing Domain Specific Languages.

I am not the only one there, and looking at the agile & architecture track, I know that I am going to be busy. Just take a look. Oh, and just to sweeten the deal, you get a whole bunch of software (VS 2008 Pro, Expression Web & the Tech Ed DVD set) when you come.

This DevTeach is going to me my second one in Montreal, and I am looking forward to repeating the same high quality experience that I had in the previous ones.

See you there...

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DevTeach Summary

Well, DevTeach Toronto is over, and so it my blogging hiatus. I haven't had time to blog because there was so much to do and take part of.

Now that it is officially over, I can look back and say that DevTeach is still my favorite conference. Leaving aside the great speaker and talk line up (thanks James, and thanks Scott for doing it on the last two DevTeach confs), what I really like about DevTeach is the interaction with the attendees and the amount of face to face time that you get with everyone. I haven't been able to crack what it is that makes DevTeach special in this way, but I have been to other big conferences, and they were good, but they weren't the same.

In short, in you have can make a conference, you really want to make it DevTeach.

I am feeling somewhat wrung out at the moment, the last week was intense. I had five talks and a panel discussion (which will be available on DotNetRocks! ) , and at some point it felt like playing musical chairs. I like presenting, make no mistake, but there is no denying that giving a talk is a high energy expenditure event.

Overall, I am happy with the way the talks went. I talked about:

  • Rapid (maintainable) web development with MonoRail
  • Advance usages of Inversion of Control containers
  • Writing Domain Specific Languages in Boo
  • Object Relational Mapping += 2: More then just data <-> object
  • Building Zero Friction Development Environment

The last talk was a surprise one, I had to fill in for Roy, who was sick (but is getting better). For an off the cuff session, I think it went very well. It was somewhat like posting to my blog, live and in speech, instead of writing. At least, that was how it felt, far more informal and more abstract than most of my talks. It has also given me the chance to clarify some of my thinking in the area of zero friction development and why this should be a goal.

The Advance IoC and Advance OR/M talks were pure fun. Fundamentals are important, but there isn't enough discussion about what happens after you grok the fundamentals as I would like to see.

Of course, I know that the pace of those talks is fairly... daunting. I am trying to cover in one hours concepts that took me months and years to figure out. I am not trying to impart the actual knowledge in those talks, there is just not enough time for it, but I am trying to point the way to interesting approaches, the advantages that using those approaches gives you, and where you should explore further.

The panel discussion, which was recorded as a Dot Net Rocks podcast, talked about The Future of .Net. Me, Ted Neward and Scott Bellware sat and talked about this for a while. I think that it was a good discussion, but I really feel the need to find something else to point as the negative examples. We have been beating the same horse for too long. I accept nominations, by the way.

Too many hallway discussions and side talks to count or articulate, I am afraid.

Greg's talk about DDDD was interesting, we talked about it afterward, and I think that we are much closer in our thinking that it would appear on the outside. A lot of the things that Greg objects to are things that I would hurry to avoid as well. We take different approaches to avoiding them, most probably because we tend to build very different applications.

In summary, DevTeach rocked!

I had a lot of fun, and baring intervention from a higher power, I definitely intend to be in the next one.

DevTeach: Home Grown Production System Monitoring and Reports

That was an interesting talk, Owen Rogers talked about how to setup an Operation Database in order to get more visibility on your production system. This is the first time that I sat in a talk that is a "Release It!" influenced talk, and it was very interesting.

The type of Operation Database is focused on adding more information for the developers, rather than exposing more information to the operation team. What was especially interesting is that the amount of data being capture is very small. The standard log data (time, message, exception, etc) and a command log, which I think about as a message handling log. This log capture some statistics about messages / commands that the application has handled. Message size (in & out), time, processing time, etc.

From that, you can get pretty interesting data about your application (just showing avg. message processing time over a period of time is extremely valuable).

The nice part about this is that the entry cost is basically zero.

DevTeach Toronto

In about two weeks, I'll be speaking at DevTeach again. The last two times were enough to recharge me for months afterward, and I am looking forward to it.

I am giving several talks there.

Advance IoC - The use of advance means that I get to assume that I don't need to deal with intro stuff, so I am going to try to cram anything from generic specialization to aspect orientation to hierarchical containers and infrastructure ignorant applications. Success metric: people coming out of the talk saying "my head hurts".

OR/M += 2 - OR/M is no longer on the edge, it is a mainstream technology. That said, there isn't much knowledge out there how to take advantage of the non obvious advantages of using an OR/M. I am going to cover multi tenancy, adaptive and partial domain models, approaches for scaling, application design and architecture with OR/M and a bunch more.

DSL - This is a favorite topic of mine, this is actually an introductory talk, covering the range from "why do we even need this" to "how do we build them?"

Rapid (maintainable) web development with MonoRail - I gave that talk a few times already, but I think it is a time to give it a bit of a facelift, and try to do something a bit more impressive. So this is not going to be just "yet another intro to IoC", and it is going to dig deeper into more interesting scenarios.

I am also going to talk in a DotNetRocks panel, about the future of software development. The other parties in the panel are Scott (the Blogless) Bellware and Ted Newart.

Those are my talks, there are a lot of other good ones, and of course, the real reason that DevTeach is so much fun is the interactions with the people

DevTeach Summary

I came, I rejuvenated, I went away happy.

I won't get into the specifics, but both DevTeach conferences were the highlight of the year for me. Just interacting with all the people that came there was a pure pleasure.

I am talking about far more than just the speakers, the people that came to Dev Teach were a lot of fun to talk to.

Just a few more memorable moments:

Avish, I think that you are the only person that I know who would think that the expectation management in Rhino Mocks is the complex part, instead of the runtime emittion of classes.

"It is not complex, just arcane" was simply hilarious!

Greg, I am still waiting for the full quotes list.

Shane, just to reiterate, there might be sever bodily harm if you think that I am better than you again.

Can't continue, run out of battery, and late for the flight.

Off to dev teach

See you there in about 20 hours or so, if I'll manage to get through this with my sanity intact.

I am going to be at the Party with Palermo, I'll meet you there.

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