"Heroes Happen Here" Notes

(archived from my old blog from my pre-MS days)

I attended the "Heroes Happen Here" event in Harrisburg, PA yesterday.  Not a bad trip overall - the best takeaway was a free copy of Vista Ultimate and Windows Server 2008 (installing now for the first time), though this one is just a one year evaluation license (with a license key).  They only included Visual Studio 2008 Standard, which is pretty useless to me since we already have Team Dev, with the promise of Team Suite in the near future.  I also got a copy of SQL Server 2008, which I might install some day, but honestly, I don't know what big advantage that it holds right now, especially since they didn't even mention SQL 2008 in the Dev Track for the launch event for... what was it? Oh yeah, Visual Studio 2008 (released 4 months ago), Windows Server 2008 and SQL Server 2008!  

Stuff I Learned:

  • PA Interstates around Harrisburg are dangerous.
  • Registrationwas one hour later than I thought. I thought my track started at noon, but that was just registration. Turned out to be a good thing since I was lost on the PA Interstate system.
  • The name tag they give you to stick on your shirt was just large enough to cover the blue printer-ink stain I got on my shirt 5 minutes before I left home for the event.
  • Microsoft RoundTable was very cool (in the Partner Expo area).  It shows a panoramic view of an entire room for video conferencing - set it in the middle of a conference table and it will show both a panoramic view of your room in Live Meeting, but also track the current person speaking (whoever's loudest, basically).  Runs about $3K, but much cheaper than others in its space (according to the blue-shirt I was speaking with).
  • Overall, the Partner Expo was very small, with about 1/2 of the exhibits staffed by blue-shirts (Round Table, Windows Mobile, etc.)

Dev Track Keynote:

  • 5 minute video - complete waste of time.  1.5 hours may be too long for a keynote, but 5 minutes is too short.  I was not inspired, which is the whole point of a keynote, right?

Dev Track Session 1 - David Solomon davidsol@microsoft.com:

  • This was my favorite session.  Good info, good speaker.
  • Lots of emphasis on RIA (aka Silverlight) and collaboration.  This year "collaboration" means devs collaborating with Expressions designers.  No one mentioned the fact that Expression lacks collaboration features itself - like any kind of communication with Team Foundation Server.
  • Mort wants more wizards, apparently.
  • VS has better CSS & Javascript capabilities now, though I think FireBug has a better debugger, still.
  • Still pushing SOA - "SOA is important" without any reason why in the talk.
  • My random thought while watching a demo - why doesn't the HTML editor automatically insert quotes in your attributes after you type - attrName= ?
  • I didn't realize the Comment/Uncomment  toolbar button works in the HTML and XML editors!
  • Lots of interesting things regarding the AJAX extender controls and validators, though I'm still not convinced ASP.NET AJAX is the right way to go.
  • Integrated Code Metrics in VS 2008 looks cool - Cyclometric Complexity, Maintainability, Coupling, etc.


Notes on Session 2 & 3 tomorrow.