NH Code Camp 09

March 4, 2009

last weekend I had the opportunity to attend the New Hampshire Code Camp ’09, organized by the New Hampshire’s .net user group. Within the next few lines I’ll try to give a brief for the sessions I caught and my comments about them.

Keynote, How to survive as a techie in a lean economy by Patrick Hynds

this one has no references so I’ll give a quick brief of what he was trying to say, as the keynote speaker he started with a session about the market’s hot  topic of how to survive in this economy, he was trying to give a quick advise on how to keep your business and your job, starting with how should you conservatively acting with your boss/customers even they were idiots, where you should watch your steps and adjust your actions to meet their goals only nhcc even if they were not the perfect thing and you refuse to release something not prefect, then he talked about the value of communication and status reporting, we all know the value of the status reporting but who can always stick to sending out on a regular bases, he told a story about a manager with a number of employees where they should be reporting a status every week, it was literarily optional and there was only one employee who was doing the normal and sending it out on time, the manager didn’t follow exactly what his employees were doing but he just noticed that there was only one person who has the self-discipline to send his status report every week, and when the layoff time came over and he had to pick one team member to keep, he kept that one. Avoid being dogmatic, there are better ways to express your tech, don’t destroy your job by being the naysayer, make your pitch, but if you are overruled, accept it and try to pitch again or find someplace else. Don’t deal with the technologies as a religion you have to accept the others if their technology has dominated the market and you have no where else to go, for instance if you are a java developer and laid off your job you can’t stay at home because you can’t find a similar job, you will have to dig into the other world and get yourself a job to survive. Picking a niche, experts are always needed, so you will have to pick a one and dive into, he gave examples like usability – silverlight and WPF, technical problem solver – you are in if you can always solve the problems, scalability – a growth industry, security – hard to send offshore, most of these things can’t be exported, he was very aggressive explaining this point however he was talking reality when it comes on saving your income and your job. Business timeline importance, your product would be useless if you have missed your business timeline, don’t over engineer, for instance if an army asked you to produce a radar system and you have delivered it a day after the war started, at this moment your great radar became useless. This is a tough time for all industries and you must be a profit center, you must do everything right and distinguish yourself.

MSBuild Session by Steven St Jean

the session was fairly good, the MS build is a general purpose build automation engine that’s shipped with .net 2.0, 3.5, vistas, and windows server 2008, it uses xml-based language with a syntax similar to ant but with more power – he claimed, capable of using parallel processing and some other good stuff, here are some good references:

  • MSBuild Overview – a good place to start if you are brand new to MSBuild.
  • MSBuild Task Reference – a list of the built-in tasks, or “actions”, that can be performed by an MSBuild script.
  • MSBuild Community Tasks – an open source project that collects a number of tasks to perform common actions that are not included. If you are doing anything non-trivial with your build, especially if you are creating deployment scripts, this will be indispensable. Download the nightly build (many new tasks/features since the last release).
  • MSBuild Reserved Properties – a list of the built-in properties (variables) available to your script. Also keep in mind that all environment variables are automatically available to your script using the property syntax (so you get things like $(USERNAME), $(COMPUTERNAME), and $(SystemRoot) for free).
  • MSBuild Well-known Item Metadata – a list of the metadata properties available on all items (variables with properties).

and as a MSBuild engine expert over the last three years he recommended “MSBuild and team foundation build” book as the no.1 reference.

JQuery Session by Chris Bowen

the session I liked the most, Chris is a very bright guy, knows what he is talking about, he started his session with the JQuery/MS story you all know fromnhcc2 Scott Gu’s blog and the others who spread the word, then made some nice demos that show how cool and powerful the JQuery library is, and how its selectors,  animations, plugins, events have converted the JavaScript nightmare into an easy thing to do.

he has recommend the JQuery in Action as the no.1 reference for the JQuery, actually that book had two public recommendations during the event, that puts it up high on my reading list.

Team Foundation Server 2010 by Phil Denoncourt

I’ve been trapped into this one, I just wanted to know what’s new on the team foundation server and it turned out to be almost nothing, I wished I’ve attended anything else, here is a reference link for what’s new on the team foundation server 2010 if you are a fan.

Automating SharePoint with web services by Tony Sukiennik

yet another great session on the event, he featured JQuery and put it up as the greatest break that has been done lately on development! the session was a life cycle for the development of a client side service call for a SharePoint information on a SharePoint page, by the end of that session I’ve admitted that JQuery is a real break. more on the topic.

one of the interesting things I noticed during the event is the user group age range, with an easy look you can put them all between 35 and 75 and more than nhcc370% of them are 50+, on the other hand when you look at the Cairo .net user group you will find almost 99% are below 25, this might raise up some interesting questions about who’s leading the industry, and who wants to know.

stop and listen, a little ad at Daniel Webster College where we had the code camp, enjoy.

One Response to “NH Code Camp 09”

  1. oh man, Welcome to real life 😀
    I can see you are attending very professional sessions by expert speakers worldwide. Keep it up 🙂

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