Codestock 2009 wrapped up last night.The event was oversold by 1 - 376 attendees. I enjoyed the selection of talks that were available, and the sessions I attended were good. Of course I had a favorite.
My Favorite session was delivered Rik Robinson of Wintellect. His talk was on PRISM, from the Microsoft Patterns and Practice group (PNP), this is a Guidance that can be used in WPF and Silverlight - and incorporates the Unity IOC framework (but that can be swapped out if you prefer). He kept it simple, he introduced one thing built on another, and he got the main concepts of how PRISM can be used to develop applications that decouple View and ViewModel in a very clean fasion. The session was very interactive and it must have been a bit of pressure to have the Wintellect CEO sitting in the session.
Through another acquaintance I got to have dinner with Rik that night(day of his presentation), and hooked up with him for yet another dinner after the last Codestock session before driving back (we did not attend the giveaways).
Wintellect is local to Knoxville, and is one of the supporters of Codestock. They arranged to have to other presentations besides Rik Robinson's. John Robbins and Jeffrey Richter gave presentations via live meeting - and took questions via cell phone (which you would hear in the room as an echo - but it worked). I attended the John Robbins debugging presentation and it too was excellent (he can make technology humourous) - I picked another session instead of the Jeffrey Richter session - if they recorded it I am going to go watch it.
I feel a bit responsible for a comment from another attendee about one session I attended. The session just seemed like there were more examples that were ready - but not shown - and the session ended earlier than the time slot. I overheard someone else make that comment about it - and it seemed to fit. I had been fine with how it was -and only when I heard the comment did it occur to me that not all of the examples had been touched on. I had sat down to lunch with this speaker before his presentation. It occurred to me that I may have impacted his preparation, and even the thought that I did impact his presentation makes me feel sorry for having disturbed his preparation. I felt it was still a good presentation. I heard how much Rik Robinson prepared and saw the result - it is a lot of work - and it makes me wonder if my trying to be social - was just at the wrong time (My apologies to the speaker)
There were several topic areas of interest for me during codestock. WPF,PRISM, MEF, Debugging, WCF, ORM usage, and TDD. There were sessions that touched on, or spoke to these - and much more.
Another acquaintance suggested I attend Kevin Hazzard's session on "How I learned to love Metaprogramming" - which was a very good look into the way that the compiler creates a dynamic data type in .Net 4.0. The data type of dynamic - is static. That statement seems at first to be an oxymoron - but the element is treated as static and how it resolves at runtime is dynamic. The presentation showed how C# and Python could interact - and gave some examples of dynamically wrapping elements of XML using C# using the Dynamic elements. His XML Example reminded me of something that Powershell can do today - and Kevin said that the powershell team did not go down the Dynamic Language path - which he was not pleased with. Kevin Hazzard is a very good speaker and he gets into the topic very deeply - and explains it well. I would like to hear more about his perceptions on Powershell, and how he thinks it might have been done.
There was one connection that I did not expect to occur. At the CodeStock social event, I was sitting at a table, and a fellow walked over and looked at me and said - I think I know you. After a moment or two - I recogognized him from a twitter photo. When I went to Devlink 2008 - I was trying to use Twitter to find out where people were meeting up, and I had been on twitter for maybe a month at that time. This fellow was not able to attend the DevLink event - but was trying to follow what was going on - and he responded to help me figure out where people would be. Between this fellow and "TheCodeCampJunkie" - I was able to hook up with people at DevLink. So here was my first time meeting a person face to face - based on using twitter. We talked about .Net and his getting certified and how it was not helping him get work.
The main focus of these event is the dissemenation of knowledge of what is new and how to use the technology we deal with. The other part of this is that you are meeting and speaking with other developers, whom you may have not ever met otherwise.
Several people have posted pictures from CodeStock - Alan Barber got one picture of me at the Dinner on the night before the event.