TechEd 2006: Day One

Day One: A short summary.KeynoteIt almost felt like a standard templated keynote. Nothing much in the way of technical demos, although the guy from TradeMe spoke well and had some interesting content. Last year they used the keynote to show some teasers from other sessions, and that was a bit lacking this year. Jacqi Brown's style of comedy really didn't suit the conference, and most of her attempts at humor felt pretty flat. She seemed a weird choice for an MC, especially as she spent pretty much all of her time onstage emphasising that she knew nothing about computers at all. Finally, they were repeating the same Bic Runga song from last year. This is a sore point as it was hard enough getting it out of my head then. Plus it seems cheap.Introduction to the .NET 3.0 FrameworkThe key message is that it's basically just the .NET 2.0 framework, with lots of things starting with "W" thrown in. WPF, WF, WCS etc etc. I'm sure you all know their real names. They referred to the workflow product as WF where I'm sure it should have been WWF - you guys got a problem with pandas or something? The speaker spoke well, and had some good demos, however it felt as if I'd already seen a lot of this content from last year. It may have been called "Indigo" and whatever else back then, but the demos and slides were still pretty similar.Everything we can show you about Sharepoint in 1 hourThis session was probably aimed at people who had a bit more Sharepoint exposure than myself. I really wanted someone to show me some cool Sharepoint stuff in 60 minutes. Partly to check on the evolution of the product, and partly because there's a bit of 'Domino VS Sharepoint' floating about at the moment so I was curious. The session had some interesting titbits, but really I probably need to install Sharepoint and check out some of the many template applications. Of course as it's now free with 2003 server that'll be incredibly easy to do. What I found interesting was that much of their terminology and their templates had a similar feeling to Domino - "documents", "libraries" and such forth.My main regret about this session is that I didn't stab the annoying little twat sitting in front of me with the laptop in the side of the neck with my pen. Yes, it's 2006, and we have devices which can enable us to work in many locations. But it's rather distracting to people around you, and you should really keep it to a minimum, rather than drag it out by just switching between the same windows many times as if trying to desperately broadcast to the world how cool you think you are for using a laptop at a technical conference. If you were really cool, you'd be using some graphical mindmapping tool to make visual images of your notes, not writing benign bullshit to your mate on MSN and checking your (empty) inbox. Next time, my Microsoft Pen + Your neck = my happiness.How your applications are hackedThis one sounded quite interesting on paper. In practice it was a lot less so. Most of the talk was based around the speakers insistance that SQL injection attacks are still possible on the majority of web apps out there. His demo was really designed to open up the eyes of management staff and people who had never tried to think like a hacker. For those people, the demos might have made them go "Ooooh" but for anyone else they were pretty simplistic - oh, and a fair few of them fell down, which threw the speaker off and caused him to keep pasting the wrong commands from his notepad file ("Hmm why isn't this working.. hmm.. this is supposed to be getting a file..." until a member of the audience points out he's been pasting his script fragment containing the PUT statement instead of the GET.. "Oh, thanks!"). Overall a couple of interesting points to take away, but really it was a 2 minute exercise to think about the ways to harder a box against any of the attack methods he demonstrated, and luckily we're doing most of them anyway in the apps I'm working on right now.Patterns and Anti PatternsThis session was in the architect track, and contained a few nice snippets of info. The speaker spoke well, however the guy standing next to my seat really needs to get his wheezing nasal cavity seen to. I'd offer to enlarge it, but my methods may be frowned upon. I pulled a couple of interesting bits of knowledge from this before being forced to leave by my nasally challenged neighbour - namely the concepts of a service oriented technology VS a service oriented architecture, thinking of web services as business processes instead of simple table updates, and finally that allowing your database design to drive your approach to web services can be a bad idea. Some interesting snippets of info.In SummaryA bit underwhelming so far. If the bag had been cooler maybe I'd have forgiven the lack of content. Still managed to get a few interesting bits of info to take away, but so far I was feeling much more Wowed after the first day of TechEd 2005. Bring on day 2, hand me that corporate Kool Aid, I'm ready to be won over!

Posted on Monday, August 21, 2006 9:19 PM |

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