Boise Code Camp

March 30, 2009

So I just got back from the Boise code camp.  If you don’t know what a code camp is, it is a free conference for software engineering types.  A bunch of people who want to present on something get together and present.  Anyone who wants to attend can come.  Its totally free.   They have them all over the country but they are all organized by local software developer volunteers.  This was my third year attending.  Every year I get in the car and drive 6 hours down to Boise to attend.  The company I work for is small and software development isn’t high on their list of priorities so this is the only conference the company is willing to pay for.  No SDWest, PDC, or OS Conn for me.  This time the whole family wanted to come.  So it was 6 hours in the car with my wife, 22 mo. old daughter, and 1 mo. old son.  It really wasn’t that bad.  I sure do have some good kids.  The camp was totally worth it anyways.

I attended some sweet sessions on WPF (Windows Presentation Foundation), MEF (Microsoft Extensibility Framework), WF (Windows Workflow Foundation).  I will definitely be using these technologies as soon as I have a good excuse to.  I also attended a sweet session on integrating Agile, TDD, OO, and UML.  The presenter, Ed Lance, brought up some very good points about all 4 of these concepts.  I also attended a session from the most reasonable and level headed requirements analyst I’ve met to date on writing software requirements specs.  This guy just seems to get it;  You only write as much documentation as is absolutely necessary.

That was all on Saturday.  On Sunday I went to two sessions before we headed back to escape the pending snow storm.  The first session was on SOA (Service Oriented Architectures).  It was presented by a guy that obviously was not a practitioner of SOA but just a trainer so it wasn’t a very useful discussion.  The second session was given by a VERY smart kid that could use a little out door exercise.  This guy showed off some pretty sweet web apps he had written for fun using nothing but WPF, Silverlight, and F#.  That’s right F# – Microsoft’s managed functional language.  I attended this out of pure curiosity and skepticism.   He showed that the VS IDE doesn’t really support it but there is no reason why it can’t be done.   I don’t think I will use it as the primary language for writing an entire app but I’m definitely going to be looking for places to leverage its innate asynchronous friendliness and computational performance.

I scored a book on WF and a T-shirt from Ed Lance.  I am thinking I would like to present sometime.  I’m thinking about doing something on iTextSharp pdf generation or the sweet library I wrote for programmatically generating SQL Server reports last year.  I should have presented on ClickOnce this year since I am now an expert on it.


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