TechEd Europe Day 3


Day 3 didn't have a keynote so we could choose our own sessions. The first session I went to was about Sql Server Data Tools.

Microsoft SQL Server Data Tools: Database Development from Zero to Sixty

I worked with the database projects in VS2010 and I didn't really liked them. It was hard to keep them in sync and I've seen how they where abonded after some time in a project.

SSDT is the successor to the database project and from what I have seen it's a big improvement! It focuses more on project base development with a nice integration with Visual Studio. The new Sql Server Object Explorer supports developing against a local database, Sql Server and the Azure Sql Service. You can now also use Intellisense, Refactoring and other functions like Go to Definition and Find Al References inside you Sql scripts.

Another nice thing is the development workflow that SSDT supports. You develop against your localdb and then sync your changes easily to a production server. With the new retargetting support you can even check if if your schema is valid against an Azure or Sql Server 2012 instance. This combined with the ability to create snapshots and use version control should definitely make our lives a little easier.

Windows Azure Internals

This session was presented by Mark Russinovich so I wanted to check it out. It was a cool inside look into how the Azure datacenter works and what happens when deploying cloud services and virtual machines.

Azure is currently growing at such a rate that Microsoft is building 6 new datacenters around the world that will be completed somewhere this year.

Most of this session was very technical but since we are geeks ir's always nice to know how things work :-)

Surviving public speaking

This was a lunch session by Alex de Jong, also from the Netherlands. It was a very good presentation that focused on giving technical presentations on events like the TechEd.

It gave advice on how to prepare your talk. Keep your audience in mind when designing it and make sure that you are enthusiastic about your subject. When giving the talk make sure you feel at ease. Wear cloths that make you feel comfortable.

He also talked about giving demo's. Prepare your demo machines with Hyper-v and using snapshots so you can always go to a correct state.

I agree with what Alex said on PowerPoint. Your presentation should not consist of one slide after the other. Less slides, more talking leads to a better presentation.

On a technical point, don't use animations and all kinds of slide transitions to much if you don't want to make your audience sick.

JavaScript: The Language

This was a session I was really looking forward to. The last couple of months I've been doing a lot of JavaScript development. I came to the conclusion that JavaScript can be used for large scale development.

And the session gave me just this! It started with some history on the language and some numbers. Did you know for example that Gmail 2010 contained 443000 lines of JavaScript code, 978000 including comments! That really shows that JavaScript is a powerful language.

After a quick overview of the language (consisting of only two slides) it became more of a deep dive.

The three most important concepts of the language where discussed namely:

  • Objects
  • Prototypes
  • Functions

There where some nice demo's all written in the IE10 Developer tools. For example, the property descriptors in ECMA5 or using a prototype for sharing default values between an inheritance chain.

I will start experimenting with the things I learned and post them in a blog soon!

Compile & Execute Requirements in .NET

This talk was given by David Star. I already heard a lot about him so I was looking forward too seeing him giving a talk. It was a great talk. It discussed how we can transform user requirements into compilable code that can form the basis of our test harness.

Off course most of this is still a glimpse of the future since these tools are still in development. Things we can at least experiment with today are tools like SpecFlow or SubSpec. I would encourage you to have a look them to see where this is going.

Ask the experts

The day ended with Ask The Experts. I didn't knew what to expect but as it showed Microsoft had prepared a huge room with tables divided by subject. You could take a seat at a table to chat with experts that where assigned to their field of expertise and ask them all kinds of questions. I went to the tables about Visual Studio and ALM. There where some nice discussions about how to incrementally move your company to SCRUM and a continues deployment environment.

TechEd is definitively the place to network!