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First day of DevConnections 2008

21. April 2008 12:18 by Scott in   //  Tags: , , ,   //   Comments (38)

I thought I would tell you what the first day was like.  I am writing this at 1:30 am (too much fun and just kind of happened with the amount of knowledge obtained tonight).

I arrived around 5:30pm, running a little late doing errands and saying goodbye to my girlfriend before I left.  I arrived at one of the largest and finest hotels I have seen in my life I think.  On the shuttle from the parking garage to the hotel, I was told that this is the biggest Marriott in the world complete with 7 pools and a water slide.

From there, I checked in and got settled for about 10 minutes until I had to go downstairs for the keynote speaker of the night.  A guy named Norman (forget the last name) spoke on Visual Studio Team system.  I listened to these things and it is more like they are trying to sell you something than educate you on things, but they did provide some great examples.  If you can, imagine one company with a few hundred software applications currently in development and production.  Visual Studio Team System can bring together and allow for the Developers, Managers, Customers, Designers, etc access to each and every application that comes out of the company.  So like the project I am working on, I would be developing in Visual Studio and the customer and my boss would login to a web based portal and review the current bugs, changes, updates, check-in's, nightly builds etc and see what I am accomplishing.  At Microsoft, the Team system they are using is greatly expanding month by month and they have well over 11,000 users with over 1,000 software projects being built.  If my boss wanted to look at my project and see how it is coming along, all he would have to do is log into this web portal and review every intricate detail in my application.  He wouldn't log out either, he would stay logged in and visit another application in the company and see how it is coming along at the same time.  And then the customer would log in, and submit a change request.  That means no more time spent on developing an SCC workflow for change request from the customer!  From there, Team system dives into the testing the application.  Team System can record movements with the mouse and key strokes to have a live maintainable test.  This allows for automated tests to be completed with a save.  So let’s say I build a workflow and it runs for 5 years, but then I make a software change. Instead of making a new test, I would run the old test over night and see if it passes or fails.  Team system then has the intelligence to tell you all the tests that failed and succeeded over night.  It also has an amazing bug tracking tool that can only be built on.  (Getting more tired)

From there, Scott Rizzo came up and talked about SharePoint.  I have only used it as a web portal application, but it has the ability to create a web application with very little development time.  It blew my mind that I could be up and running with a intranet site in minutes that could be flexed out to thousands of users.  SharePoint definitely should be looked into by all companies more.  This one has the power and development turnaround time to beat out all the other intranet portals that have been built throughout the years.  I was impressed.

Free stuff:  So like I said, If I win the Harley, I will give it to my boss.  I have kept up my end of the bargain and so after the key notes we had to visit about 50 booths and get a card stamped to enter it for the Harley. Sure was interesting, because it actually made people stop and look at each product which I must say is pretty impressive.  80% of the floor was taken up by SharePoint add-ons and the other spots were taken by asp.net guys that have some awesome controls.

I have about 100 business cards, a free backpack with registration, a few cozies for bottled beverages, a bunch of hand outs, a bobble head that AT&T was giving out (by the way they are throwing a developers party tomorrow night and are pushing big for teaching developers to develop for the AT&T mobile apps), two note taking binders, and I think that is it so far.  Also, I had a chance to win a Wii, but of course I am unlucky.

At the end of the night, a free beer with a ticket and after some pie; I headed over to the computer lab and met a guy named Jason Carlson.  He is speaking about SQL Reporting services which I do fully intend on attending.
So far, I have had a blast and kind of wished there would have been some hard core software guys playing around in the lobby tonight, but I was wrong.  Instead I found a bunch of Microsoft guys to hang out with. (I guess I am somewhat of a farm boy "Fan boy")

Internet is $15.00 a day here also, so Instead I decided to just hook my laptop up to my phone and use its Internet so I don't waste money, therefore I don't think I will be online that much but still will see email on my phone after checking it periodically.  Hope you guys are having as much fun reading as I did type.  Later!

Scott Pio
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