I stuck around in that room to see Nino Benvenuti speaking about the Microsoft Sync Framework. I enjoyed hearing about the current state and future potential of the sync framework. I walked away knowing that there's a tremendous amount to learn about the sync framework.
The next session I attended was Matt Casto talking about Silverlight 2.0. As much as I've looked at WPF, I've pretty much ignored Silverlight, which is why I thought it was about time I looked at what was going on, especially with Silverlight 2.0 adding a lot of features to support business applications. One of the things I was looking for was the differences between Silverlight and WPF, and he did a good job of covering that. And the best thing about his presentation was that it was written in Silverlight 2.0; the presentation was most interesting when he was showing the code for the presentation and you could see the code representing the elements on the screen.
After lunch, I attended a couple open spaces. The first was an open space on static and dynamic languages and when to use each. The consensus from most everyone who was there and expressed an opinion was that you should always use dynamic languages, except in the rare cases when performance is critical. Because of their greater expressiveness, it makes sense to me that using dynamic languages will result in fewer lines of code, which speeds development and aids maintenance. It also makes sense that statically typed languages limit the performance of your best programmers, while not providing the safety that is commonly believed. Because of inertia, I think most of my work in the near future will continue to be with statically typed languages (C#), but I'll continue to explore dynamic languages, such as Ruby.
The second open space was titled Beyond Bullet Points, but was generally about how to do better presentations. Many of us speaking at CODODN have been influenced by Beyond Bullet Points and Presentation Zen in preparing our presentations and we wanted to share our experiences creating these presentations. I didn't count, but there were over ten people there. It was great to see so many people interested in talking about improving presentations. I got a few tips, but mostly walked away with more questions I need to ponder to better craft my presentations to meet the needs of the most attendees.
In the last session of the day, I saw Leon Gersing (a.k.a. fallenRogue) talk about Share Point, Sharepoint, or maybe it was SharePoint. Leon is a passionate speaker with strong opinions and is quite entertaining. Fortunately, he also knows SharePoint. I started doing some SharePoint work a couple weeks ago and gave Leon a call for a crash course. His presentation was that crash course and much more. He showed how to leverage your ASP.NET skills to create application pages within SharePoint and talked about the ways to accomplish it and keep everyone happy, including your system administrators. I'm looking forward to downloading the sample code and learning more about SharePoint. If you have a chance to see Leon speak, I recommend you attend.
At the end of the day, most of the speakers, organizers, and several others went to Max & Erma's for dinner and geek talk. The geekiest moment was the extended talk about programming with Wii remotes, Rock Band pedals, and eventually DDR pads powering CodeRush. Don't ask. After Max & Erma's, a bunch of us went to a party hosted by Jeff Blankenburg, our Heartland District developer evangelist. I had the opportunity to chat with a few people I hadn't seen during the day and to just relax.
In case you can't tell, I had a great time and learned a lot. If you were there this year, I hope you had a great experience too. And if you weren't there, I hope to see you next year. Or check out the West Michigan Day of .NET or Cleveland Day of .NET coming up later this spring (I'd tell you to check out the Indy Code Camp, but it's sold out.)