I've finally managed to take a few minutes and sit in the community lounge and write up some notes from the first two days of Tech Ed Developers 2007. We've had a couple of very busy days so far and the pace is most definitely not slowing. On Monday morning a large group of like minded community individuals from all over EMEA went along at a MS Influencers event where various topics and issues that the community face were discussed, such as how to increase numbers, get funding and sponsorship, increase engagement and how to take the benefits of online technologies, such as Live Meeting as we at VBUG use for online meetings.
Monday afternoon was the Keynote from Soma Somasegar, Microsoft VP of Developer Division, this was by far a better keynote presentation than we received last year, it was vibrant and upbeat. Plus although it had an element of marketing to it the key message was that Soma and Microsoft are very, very focussed on involving the Community and enabling everyone to benefit from the power which the community has behind it. This is a great message to be hearing as a UK Community Leader and reinforces all that I believe in and it's a great boost to hear a senior VP have such passion that myself and the many other great leaders in the UK do. There were a number of announcements in Soma's keynote, but what I really liked about the way he handled the announcements, was that yes they are important (some very), they were not the reason he was delivering Tech Ed - his other announcements and content was more important to him, it was an excellent way to handle the announcements.
Announcements in Soma's Keynote:
- Visual Studio 2008 will be available for download by MSDN Subscribers by the end of November 2007 with full retail launch February 27th 2008;
- Consequently .Net Framework 3.5 will be available for download by the end of November 2007
- Microsoft Sync Framework CTP -
- Software and Services Blueprints (The first in a series of blueprints for developing S&S)
- Changes to Partner Program
- New open license terms for extending the VS IDE to support any platform
- VS Premier Partners get access to VS IDE Source Code
- Popfly - 100K downloads since public beta was opened on October 17th!
- Popfly explorer plug in for VS released!
Read Soma's blog post about his Keynote - TechEd Developer in Europe. Following Soma's keynote I attended a session on Developers and Designers working together delivered by Dick Lantim and Aude Moussett. I was looking forward to seeing the interoperability between the process flow from Designer and Developer however I was very disappointed with this session. There seemed to have been very little preparation put in and the speakers seemed extremely nervous and uncomfortable with the language. I didn't get as much as I'd hoped from this session. I will review the session on video when the Tech Ed DVDs arrive but I was very disappointed.
From a disappointing session came a great one. Next I saw Roy Osherove deliver - Agile Development with Team System. Roy is a great speaker and I remember hearing about his infamous songs last year on the NxtGenUG podcasts. Indeed Roy finished his session with a version of The Police's Every Breath You Take - this was amazing and as a Police fan I really enjoyed it. Roy covered Agile Development, Scrum and TDD and I found this whole session development and whilst Roy showed how we can use Team System for elements of the Agile Process he actually covered the methodology more and explained what it is all about which was great and brought a lot of clarity to Agile Development for me.
Monday finished with the Exhibition Hall Welcome which was a great way of meeting people and socialising with exhibitors and the community. Also it was the start of the community activities including Speaker Idol and Swaggily Fortunes, we have some pictures on the Tech Ed Facebook group - http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=2713709966&ref=mf and they can also be found on my skydrive account for those who don't have a Facebook login - http://cid-f697bcd4bd5a1c5a.skydrive.live.com/browse.aspx/Tech%20Ed%202007/
Tuesday was another great action packed day and I saw a great session on SQL Server 2008 and the Entity Framework, from Francois Ajenstat. This was a great introductory session covering elements such as Resource Governance, Intellisense, no longer having a requirement for IIS for Reporting Services and Multi Server Management. The release date was also cleared up in that there are expected to be at least two more CTPs before a full release in Q2 2008.
Following this session I went to Ben Robb's session on Building Accessible Web Sites using Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007 and the Accessibility Toolkit for MOSS. I am currently involved in a large project with MOSS for content managed sites and as I am very interested in Accessibility, and have been for a number of years, this was a must see session. I'm going to cover this topic better when I get back home and can install the Accessibility Toolkit and have a full look at it and write up my thoughts and experiences. In the meantime you can find out more about the Accessibility Toolkit at http://aks.hisoftware.com
The Final session I am going to cover from Tuesday (as the last one I saw was part one of a two parter due to finish on Wednesday morning) was Shanku Niyogi covering Developing Data Driven Applications using the New Dynamic Data Controls in ASP.Net. I was quite intrigued by this session but I was disappointed by the delivery and therefore will follow up on this session also on my return to the UK. Overall the first two days have been great and full of information, I think I could do with a pensieve though so I can save my thoughts, free some room up and add them back in at the end of the week!