DevTeach 2007 Begins

I am a lucky nerd. I work at a great company that believes in continual personal development and investing in their employees. Dovetail sent me to DevTeach and I am having a blast. The quality of the talks and general braininess quotient is very high. Excellent conversations in a lovely city.

I got here Sunday night and Scott was kind enough to introduce me to little known Canadian traditions and playing tour guide around Old Montreal. This city is amazing and beautiful and vibrant and invokes wonder. 

Pre Conference

I attended the Monday Pre-Conference workshop(s). I actually sat in on both Design and Optimization Best-Practices with SQL Server 2005 and Introduction to .NET 3.0 workshop both speakers were good and knowledgeable. In hind-sight it would have been better for me to have stuck with the SQL content.  Nothing against Kevin McNeish‘s .Net chops, but I had been exposed to most of what he had to talk about and it seems that the SQL content would have been new to me. I will have to pay penance to Paul Nielsen by reading up what he has to offer on the Indexing and Concurrency content that I missed.

Day 1

The agile track had some excellent content which pretty much kept me parked there all day.

Roy Osherov (and friends’) Agile Q-n-A session was a great example of a self organizing panel mash-up session. Roy invoked the spirit of agile by gathering topics of discussion (stories) from the audience and worked with us to prioritize the topics so we could tackle the most important ones first. He did a great job of getting everyone involved and being inclusive. I was very impressed with how he handled the crowd and fellow Agilists facilitating the process and discussion. It was smooth and I could learn a lot from Roy on how to speak to a group. In the end we only had time to cover 3 of the topics: Agile estimation, Agile in distributed teams, and Adopting agile in organizations. Roy ended the talk with a song. Quite the talented individual.

David Woods has a write-up of the session – DevTeach – Session 1 – Roy Osherove.

Jeremy Miller’s Laws of Agile Design was a journey through his experiences and wisdom gathered doing agile development. It was a great sampler of agile concepts and examples and experiences. For me, the session reinforced lessons learned from Scott, my reading and my experiences at Dovetail. Jeremy says he was afraid he had put everyone to sleep but from what people are saying and what I can tell, I think the opposite was true. I feel that he had everyone’s focus and rapt attention simply trying to keep up with where he was taking us. Great job Jeremy.

I ran into Oren Eini this morning before I was really awake on the way to the breakfast and the keynote. When Oren speaks his voice has this quality of deepness that you feel more than really hear. Later on, talking about dynamic languages he made a statement that is going on my “need to grok better pile”. Oren likes Boo because it gives him access to how the compiler at runtime. He likes Ruby but says that Ruby’s meta-programming is not quite good enough compared to what he can do in Boo. I am curious what kinda of situations that this run-time compilation shines under. Likely I just completely mis-understood him and his darn deep voice.

I enjoyed the afternoon sessions but faded into a sugar low late in the afternoon so my notes are more scattered from here on out. 

Roy Osherov had a great talk on –Techniques for Testing Data Access Code with Roy Osherove write up from the igloo coder.

Jean Paul Boodhoo’s refactoring session was also excellent. It inspired me to become a better resharper user (pdf resharper cheat sheet).

I can’t say I was very attentive for Joel Semeniuk’s Feature driven development. I don’t blame Joel. I blame my need for dinner.