Thursday, November 25, 2004

.NET Deep dive (Microsoft Israel Dev Convention) Impressions

 Originally posted on:

I'm guessing that by now all the major speakers in this convention have written something about it (they sure did before :-))

Event details (in hebrew) are here (with downloads)

It was awesome interesting demos (some which actually worked :-), actually everything worked except for a crash or two - what more can you expect ). A lot of laughs. Excellent lectures.

I personally learned a lot, being as I am, with not that much real world .NET experience, I found out that I actually know quite a lot, and that everything explained made sense for me, with actual implementation I could think about for a lot of it.

Yosi Tagury talked about new things to be in the coming VS.NET 2005 Team system, with amazing demos. After being for years in the VB world “edit and continue” seems not so special, but the new IDE with all the additions (Automated code tests, Refactoring support, code snippets, custom object viewers - WOW etc)... I have to tell you I am impressed by the guys at MS - the level of thought that miust go in to such a product, puts anything I ever did to shame. If you want to know what I liked the most - and it is a trivial thing, really, is the fact that when you open a solution - you don't have to save it anywhere, if you don't want to... This to me shows that they really take the programmer into thought when they design. not only adding new interesting features, but also (at long last) understanding how programmers use the product in a day to day scenario. I mean how many times a day do you open a project just to test something out? something you would never keep in your ever growing code library... I know I do it a lot.

Roy Osherove talked about TDD, very interesting. Although I agree with the idea, and can see how it would create better code, and also more maintainable (and many other advantages that I can see). I find it hard to adjust to the frame of mind needed to actually implement this method of working. I can see how it works for simple functions and classes, maybe even moderately complex ones, but I have written quite a few functions in my short professional life, that would be really hard to build using this methodology. I realise that I need to learn more about how to do things under this methodology, and I hope that I get a chance to participate in one of the workshops he is running.

For most of the day I was with the #2 Track of the event, and there I heard the following

Gadi Meir (I don't thing he has a blog) from talked about EnterpriseService class in the framework, this was the first time I heard about it, and I am ashamed. This is such a great thing for an enterprise programmer to have. Pooling, Transactioning, Security Policy all those got demos, and seeing the capabilities of this - I can't get why anyone is still writing this plumbing code himself. Thank you Microsoft!

Yair Shivek talked about WSE 2.0 - he discussed some of the the new enhancements focusing mainly on WS-Policy and WS-Security. This to me was interesting since I have been involved with Web Services for a long time, and was wondering when someone will make use of that header element... However, I was disappointed to hear that with all the time passed since the inception, serious Interop problems exist. This for means not to implement any of this yet, and although he gave quite a good argument (to which I agree) of why these extensions are better for SOAP then SSL (although they seem to have the same function) -  I will stick with SSL for now. why? because:
1. SOAP still works mostly over HTTP - the services I write are for a web site - then why not
2. SOAP for me is still a two way thing - whoever calls me needs the response in almost all cases
3. SOAP for me is still point to point and not end to end - meaning only server client relationship with no intermediaries - in this situation I think SSL is actually better, certainly a more mature solution, even in my opinion less mistake prone.

Memi Levi talked about enhancing development experience (not to mention time saving and blunder preventing) by using organization/team defined templates, and adding Design Time Attributes to custom controls. This was enlightening and made me start thinking of to use this when I start working in .NET . I was a little sad that Add-Ins weren't in the scope, in the VB6 IDE I use today, I have a couple of internal add-ins that help me so much, I couldn't live without them.

All in all a day full of knowledge and learning! a very good day. I'm sorry I can't be at two places at once which is why I missed the rest of the presentations that went on.

A funny thing that happened, I talked to Yosi at one of the breaks about the issue I mentioned in the last post, what I didn't write there is that I managed to finally convince the management at my company that we need to seriously plan the move to .NET - and that I wrote a requirement document, and they just informed yesterday that they got from MS Israel some experts to help on the issue and guide us along the best path. Once I explained the issue to Yosi, he took a look at the tag I wore which had the company name - and told me that he IS the expert that is coming over to us, he also said that he will try to bring Leon along. This made me even happier!

No comments: