Friday, June 16, 2006

Last post from Tech Ed (probably)...

... but probably not my last post about Tech Ed.

The part last night at FENWAY park (Geesh, like it really makes a difference) was pretty cool. They serves a lot of "base-ball" realted food; hot dogs, Italian sausage, BBQ chicken, burgers, that kind of thing. I got to sit in the visitors dugout and check out the park. It's really old. Not a big Train fan, but I stayed for their first two songs. This may be my musical snobbery coming through, but all their songs kind of sound alike to me.

This morning I hit another service factory chalk talk by Don Smith and Shy Cohen. There is a lot to this (more than can really be covered in an hour) but I think it's a pretty cool tool to help write WCF services (with the large number of "contracts" that it now uses) and I'm eager to start working with it when I get back.

I also went to Web307 ASP.NET: Best Practices in Creating Scalable, Data-Driven Web Sites by Rob Howard. This was pretty cool. There was a lot of stuff in it most people already know (like turning off Viewstate or Session if you're not using them) but he showed a lot of the cool caching capabilites for data base calls. He has a sample, and by tweaking some of the cache settings, we was able to increase the amount of page requests he could server from 150 to about 750. He also showed how to teak some memory setting in IIS and talked about hardware architecture and when and how you should seperate your business logic from your presentation layer. Basically, he said try not to and use ISA if you can.

Just got out of CON440 .NET Framework 2.0: Advanced Serialization. This was pretty good, and I thought I should attend since WCF is so dependant on contracts and serialization. The speaker didn't touch on WCF till the end, and kind of blew through it. I was kind of out of scope for the presentation, but it was pretty informative and I have a much better picture of how .NET serialization works.

I have one more session this afternoon, but they are already folding up the tent here so to speak, so I might not get a chance to post after it.

Since someone did ask about the food, and I'm sure other people have mentioned it, I have to weigh in. I am a well knows food-snob, I think we can all agree on that. And I understand that you don't come to Tech Ed for the food. AND I understand that the logistics invovled in feeding thousands of people in a short period of time for a reasonable cost are difficult parameter to work in sometimes. But, the food has frankly been awful. I try to live a healthy lifestyle, especially where it applies to what I eat, and maybe that make me more sensitive. But, this week has been nothing but offerings of bland, luke-warm food served in pools of grease and lots of highly processed crap. Even trying to pick out the "healthy" options as mealtime (which has been no small feat!) I have had the worst stomach ache in my life since Tuesday evening up till this very moment. It feels like I've been punched in the gut. It all kind of came to a head between the chalk talk and the ASP.Net session this morning when I was violently ill in the mens room. I do feel a little better since then, so hopefully things will get better now that I am "on my own" to go out and seek healthier options. The good news is, I don't seem to have gained any weight while I've been here, maybe because I've been hitting the cardio VERY hard in the morning. I ate breakfast with someone from Microsoft this morning, and she told me that I'm not alone; a lot of the feed back about the food and the facility have been very poor. She thinks it may be awhile before Tech Ed returns to Boston...

During our converstaion, somone else at the table asked, somewhat annoyed, why Bill Gates and/or Steve Balmer did not make an appearance this year. The nice lady from Microsoft said that she believed that they had conflicts (?) and that "Well, this isn't really their people."


I guess I have a little problem with this. Now, I know that Microsofts long money comes from Windows and Office. But, we developers are generally the ones out there carrying the message and evangelising to our clients about .NET and all the tools taht Microsoft sells and why these are better than free Linux and Java. I understand we may not want a week of marketing rhetoric, but I think a token appearance during the keynote (aside from Balmers cameo in the video) would have made some people happy.


Charles said...

Not sure if you saw it or not but Gates is stepping down in 08 so I imagine both he and Balmer were tied up with the business/media stuff leading up to that announcment yesterday. He did make it to E3 this year though :D

Instead you got Ray Ozzie who's taking over Gate's positiong when he "retires" in 2008 which isn't that bad of a trade off.

James Bender said...

I suggested that and the nice Microsoft lady was adamant that that was NOT why they weren't there....

Charles said...

Oh well. I guess I shouldn't mention that I got to see Gates at E3 this year then right? :D