Thursday, January 10, 2008

CodeMash, Day One Part One

Well, day one for me got off to a "bumpy" start. I request a wake up call for 7:00 intending to work out, and get downstairs in plenty of time for a little breakfast and the beginning of Neal Ford's keynote. Well, unfortunately, my wake up call didn't arrive till 8:00, so I didn't get to work out, missed breakfast and missed the first few minutes of the keynote.

One that subject...

I really dig what Neal Ford is saying about dynamic languages. I've been playing with Iron Python for a little while now and I see a lot of benefit in it, although it's still a bit "rough" in my opinion. If I never end up using it in a production project, it has made me re-think the way I do things in C#. He said something in his presentation that got a little chuckle out of me; compilers are basically weak unit tests and spell checkers. I remember being in school and hearing a lot of my fellow students in the computer lab "I can't understand why it didn't work, it compiled." I didn't think I would hear that after I left school, but I hear it at least once a year from co-workers. He also beat the testing drum, which I'm all for. I really wish this philosophy would catch on more widely in software development. I don't know why, but I'm still surprised when I meet with a client and find out that they have NO unit testing practices in place at all! I've been doing it so long myself, that I can't imagine developing without it.

From there I went to see Joe O'Brien present "Ruby:Testing Mandatory." I have to admit, I was definitely handicapped here since I have zero experience with Ruby, but I'm always interested in anything that can enhance my test-driven chops (very helpful when I evangelize this to clients). It did get me more interested then I had been in Ruby. I have been playing with Iron Python for awhile now, but I've decided I need to make some time for Ruby as well.

After that I went to see Jay Wren talk about Castle. I've heard a lot about Castle, but never really used it. It was pretty interesting.

Scott Hanselman's keynote was great! Had a great, funny intro followed by some very cool stuff for IIS 7. I've been playing with IIS 7 for a few months, but clearly haven't even scratched the surface with the HTTP Modules. More stuff to start playing with when I get home.

Served my first tour of duty in the "Ask the Experts" lounge. It was pretty cool; I didn't get a lot of people coming in for "hard-core" stuff; got one person looking for book recommendations (but that's another blog post), one person who had an interesting challenge which I will blog about later, but for the most part it was kind of an hour and hanging out and talking with Catherine Devlin and Darrell Hawley. I've never met Catherine, and if I want to continue learning Python, I should definitely start reading her blog. I hadn't seen Darrell in awhile and it was fun to talk to him again.

Off to the next session. To be continued...

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