Home » Uncategorized » CodeStock 2009: Day 1, Part 2

After lunch, more sessions…

DevBasics: The ASP.NET Page Lifecycle
Jay Harris

Jay took us through the ASP.NET sequence of events and explained what they were, when they happened, some gotchas and tips for the event, and how you might use them in your Web app.

The session was well prepared, clear and definitely basic as noted in title and abstract. One thing that would have helped is demoing more of the events and discussing practical uses of the events. Not being critical here, just a suggestion. It was a good session.

Key takeaway is a better understanding of the ASP.NET page lifecycle. I also learned there is a Web site where speakers can set themselves up to be rated by those that attend their sessions (http://speakerrate.com/). Interesting how many of the speakers I checked out have only one or two people rating sessions. I have always wondered why it is so hard to get feedback from people through evals.

Programming SQL Server T-SQL
Joe Kunk

One word to sum up the problem with this session: rehearsal. It was painfully obvious that Joe did not put the time into rehearsing this session. He started telling us how he was working on the materials the night before, which is never a good sign. He also noted it was a 200 level session, yet the first 75% of the session was definitely 100 level. The last 25% of the session was the meat of the session and it unfortunately was rushed. If I was Joe I would focus on the last 25% of the material, expand it a little and find you have a terrific session.

I went into this session hoping to get some golden nuggets for my work with SQL Server. For me personally, I believe my weakest development point (vs. configuration/administration) with SQL Server is T-SQL so this was a perfect opportunity to jumpstart the refinement of my skills in this area. Lately I have been working a lot with VFP data-based customer projects. I spent the better part of 7 years doing mostly SQL Server and all of a sudden the tides went the other way for the last couple of years. So I am a little rusty {g}.

All that said, I walked away with one silver nugget which means the 75 minutes were beneficial. Joe showed us how you can include the column headers in copying the result set of a query. This was a two-fer. One, I did not know I could select all the records (Ctrl+A after clicking on the row) and copy the result sets from SQL Server Management Studio to the clipboard. That was cool to learn. The second nugget is the option in SQL Server Management Studio to include the column headers in the clipboard. You get to these from Tools | Options, then in the dialog tree view Query Results > SQL Server > Results to Grid. Check on the option to “Include column headers when copying or saving the results”.

Key takeaway was the already mentioned nuggets.

The Basics of ASP.NET
Jeff Blankenburg

Jeff never fails to take a great session and disappoint. He was one-for-five on demos (crashed and burn). I guess having seen him before should be elated with the one demos that worked even a little. Microsoft should be ashamed that a Developer Evangelist is this unprepared to present to a paying audience. I have to believe this session was one of his canned sessions he does with customers in his day-to-day job with Microsoft. This session further erodes my confidence in the people who are suppose to help us developers learn and adopt Microsoft technology.

Also, if you have a session that covers the basics, shouldn’t this session be at the beginning of the first day instead of the end? It could be another scheduling conflict as Jeff mentioned he arrived just before his session so maybe he asked the organizers to put him where he got slotted. There are several sessions out of order, but I also know scheduling sessions slots is not a trivial exercise.

Jeff covered Master Pages which is something I think is cool and something I know we use on the Southwest Fox Web site. It brings consistency to the look and feel and makes it easy to develop pages. He covered the AJAX Toolkit too. I feel he focused way too much on the AJAX Control Toolkit which is obviously dated compared to more cutting edge stuff like jQuery. There were other topics like LINQ and Web services, but by that time he lost my interest. Still, I answered a question correctly before anyone else and won a Twix candy bar.

Takeaway: never waste another session slot by seeing Jeff speak. (sorry, I tried to be as positive as I could)

Deep Fried Bytes – Live (Podcast recording)

Over the years I have taken part in podcasts with respect to being interviewed. What I have learned is the hosts make it look a lot easier than it really is. I am fascinated by podcasting. I think podcasts bring terrific value to the developer community. At CodeStock I was introduced to Deep Fried Bytes which is a popular technology-oriented podcast hosted by C. “Woody” Woodruff and Keith Elder. I was interested in seeing a live podcast recording. There was some interesting discussion and questions from the crowd. Most of the time the hosts knew the expert to help answer the question. It was a remarkably smooth process.

Earlier in the day I listened to a speaker tell me how the .NET platform allows for developers to easily develop applications on the Web, desktop, and mobile platforms. During the panel of Microsoft Developer Evangelists I asked a question about what Microsoft is doing with respect to competing with the iPhone based on the lack of development and stunted growth of the Windows Mobile platform. It is well known how poorly Microsoft has competed on this platform and appears they are standing still while Apple and RIM eats their lunch. I got the canned answer on how Microsoft takes the challenge and is working on Windows Mobile 6.5. Yawn. The battle is lost. They need to deliver Windows Mobile 7 and have a kick butt response to the iPhone if they have a prayer of competing.

Evening Social

After hours there were games and finger food at one of the local sponsor’s office. There were people pretending to be rock stars on the XBox and lots of board games. I stayed for a while and Steve Bodnar got us involved in a group of people who headed out to dinner at a local Japanese restaurant. There was some fun discussion and laughs, ongoing tweets, and some decent food. Typical geek dinner.

The afternoon was a mixed bag for me. In reality, I was interested in two sessions on the second day and could have skipped the first day all together without worrying about getting value from the conference. So any wins were a bonus for me.

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2 Responses to “CodeStock 2009: Day 1, Part 2”

  1. July 26th, 2009 at 00:42 | #1

    Ouch. Jeff! Pick it, dude. You just got called out by a pro. Quit coasting, sir. Hope your MS lead reads this

  2. July 28th, 2009 at 13:39 | #2

    Thanks for sharing the SQL Grid Results Include Column Header tip. This always drove me nuts!

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