TechDays 2009 – update on content and speakers

150x130aniTechDays 2009 registration is open: this year’s event will take place on March 10th, 11th and 12th in Metropolis in Antwerp. The concept is somewhat different from last year as we will have a full day pre-conference on the 10th and then two normal conference days on 11th and 12th March. Registration is open at

While the full agenda is to be finalized in the coming weeks I wanted to take the opportunity of giving you some information on the content that we are planning for the conference.

Pre-conference: Deep-dive into development for Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007 with .NET Framework 3.5

The pre-conference on March 10th will give you five in-depth sessions on developing for Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007 and using the latest .NET Framework 3.5 technologies. I’ll have more details on this soon, I can also tell you we will have none the less than Jan Tielens and Lieven Iliano from U2U doing the talks.

Top speakers!

We have quite a few top speakers lining up this year. From Belgian to international speakers, there are enough reasons not to miss this event. Check out the Brainmasters page to get a first look at the speakers. Here are some highlights: we have Regional Directors, MVPs, speakers from the Microsoft product teams and community folks. Some of the names:

2 day conference: 30 developer sessions to choose from.

Like last year’s event, again we will be bringing you 60+ sessions of Developer and IT-Professional content. Working together with my new manager Hans Verbeeck we have defined three topics for the three developer tracks: “Client/Web and UX”, “Tools and Languages” and “SQL Server & Data/SharePoint & Office/SOA”.

Here are some of the confirmed sessions:

The future of C#: a first look at C# 4.0 - by Bart De Smet C# 3.0 provided a landmark in providing easier access to various data sources thanks to the LINQ-related language features, unleashing the potential of more data sources. In this session, we illustrate how C# 4.0 unleashes the potential of more code sources, thanks to language features that allow to interop with various dynamic APIs, ranging from Office automation over JavaScript and expandos to DLR languages, while keeping static-to-dynamic boundaries explicit. We'll also take a peek at other language features such as generics co- and contra-variance, optional and named parameters, and more.

Best Practices for Managing Project with Team System - by Joel Semeniuk
Based on his book " Managing Projects with Microsoft Visual Studio Team System" Joel Semeniuk will provide a deeper look into the challenges and existing opportunities of managing projects using Team System.  This session will explore some best practices and tools that you must have when managing virtually any size team.

Data Access Hacks and Shortcuts - by Stephen Forte
Struggling with Data Access? Who isn’t? Come and see some Data Access hacks and shortcuts that will make your life easier! In a high energy demo-only session, Stephen shows: how a mere mortal can pass a custom .Net collection to a stored procedure, improves your LINQ queries with Lambdas and expression trees, making complex data models easier to manage in the Entity Framework, creative Sliverlight databinding, LINQ to REST, and transforming your database back end to get enormous performance and productivity enhancements. This is data access for the 21st century! Speaker will also provide guidance along the way about ORMs, LINQ, and EF and encourage Q&A.

Visual Basic 2008 Tips and Tricks - by Lisa Feigenbaum
In this session, learn how to turn yourself into a Visual Basic 2008 guru with the new language and IDE features. Tips and tricks include how to maximize your IntelliSense experience, leverage Refactoring features, and improve the performance of your query and XML code. Come learn how to get the most out of your IDE! We'll also explore the integrated XML support in Visual Basic 9.0, and see how you can use the features to work with XML more naturally from your Visual Basic program. With respect to LINQ, we'll go deep into best practices, pitfalls to avoid, and answers to most frequently asked questions.

WCF Tips & Tricks - by Christian Weyer  
The Windows Communication Foundation (WCF) is now 2.5 years old. It is known as a generic communication framework. But the more generic a framework is, the more complex it becomes. And the more features it offers, the more likely it is that developers oversee the important and mighty ones.
Christian Weyer shows you his favorite list of WCF tips and tricks to ease the pain - all gathered from practical customer projects experience from the past years. Come and try to find your very own personal favorite.

Fastest To Market: RAD Web Applications with ASP.NET Dynamic Data and Entity Framework - by Ingo Rammer For some applications, time to market is simply critical. If your application is heavily-data driven and backed by a well-designed database schema, you could help yourself a lot be looking at the dynamic duo of ASP.NET Dynamic Data and the ADO.NET Entity Framework. Together, these two technologies allow you to build data driven websites ... quicker than anytime before. In this session, Ingo Rammer will show you how to combine the flexibility of ASP.NET with these new features for quickly building  data-driven web sites. (And yes, it even allows you to simply embed a few RAD pages in your big, existing ASP.NET application).

Pex – Automated White Box Testing for .NET - by Peli de Halleux
Pex is an automated white box testing tool for .NET. Pex systematically tries to cover every reachable branch in a program by monitoring execution traces, and using a constraint solver to produce new test cases with different behavior. Pex can be applied to any existing .NET assembly without any pre-existing test suite. Pex will try to find counterexamples for all assertion statements in the code. Pex can be guided by hand-written parameterized unit tests, which are API usage scenarios with assertions. The result of the analysis is a test suite which can be persisted as unit tests in source code. The generated unit tests integrate with Visual Studio Team Test as well as other test frameworks. By construction, Pex produces small unit test suites with high code and assertion coverage, and reported failures always come with a test case that reproduces the issue. At Microsoft, this technique has proven highly effective in testing even an extremely well-tested component.

Early bird

Add the TechDays 2009 event to your Facebook events and register with the early bird discount before January 16th 2009.

I’ll be giving updates on my blog as more sessions and speakers get confirmed.

Hope to see you there!