TechEd EMEA: Visual Studio 2010 in the keynote and lots of Belgians

Back from Tech-Ed EMEA developers, running from 10 to 14 November 2008 in Barcelona. It was a very interesting week in turns of content but also in terms of meeting up with lots of interesting people. And proud to be a Belgian at this conference: besides Hans Verbeeck as the business owner we had a Belgian winner at the Speaker’s Idol: Kurt Claeys.

Congratulations to Kurt, looking forward to his first session at TechEd next year in Berlin!

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This year it was my first time at the Silverlight “Ask the Experts” booth where I had the pleasure to meet with some peers of mine, and MVPs that were ready to answer questions from attendants.
Having booth duty did not prevent me from following some of the sessions. I especially enjoyed getting even more PDC content like Angus Logan’s session on Mesh enabled web apps, Windows 7, and David Chappell’s session on Geneva (codename for Microsoft’s identity and claims based framework). Non-PDC content like Bob Beauchemin’s sessions on SQL Server 2008 or Stephen Forte’s interactive session on data access were some of the other sessions I followed.

Visual Studio 2010 main topic during keynote

Opening keynote was presented by Pierre Liautaud, Vice-president Western Europe for Microsoft and Jason Zander was the overall keynote speaker.

Taking place just one week after the Professional Developer’s Conference (PDC) in L.A., it’s not an easy task to bring more new stuff to the event. However, without leaving behind the importance of PDC the keynote did present us with quite some new information on VS2010.

Jason Zander did a great overview of some of the new things to be found in Visual Studio 2010, and included lots of demos which is really what any developer wants to see!

Visual Studio 2010 highlights:

  • Architecture explorer: Visual assembly and class explorer
  • Lots of WPF integration into the IDE, only goodness :-)
  • Generation of UML 2.1.1 Sequence diagrams
  • New testing - Test & recording?
  • Team System 2010: with the Lab Management feature where you can provision your virtual test environments.
  • Tools for SharePoint development integrated into the IDE. No more installing separate extensions as is now the case. Having done my share of SharePoint development in the past I know this one is really welcome.
  • C++ and MFC improvements

Check it out: download the Visual Studio 2010 and .NET Framework 4.0 CTP here.

In addition to VS2010 goodness, PDC content was not forgotten. The event had a special PDC Highlights track bringing the best of PDC to Barcelona. I thought this was a very useful decision to bring the PDC content to TechEd. Waiting one year would create too large a knowledge gap. This track included sessions on Windows Azure, Oslo, Live Framework and Windows 7.

Finally, having the possibility to meet up with a lot of Belgian developers and exchanging views and ideas was another highlight for me. Thanks all for joining the conference and hope to see you around at another event in Belgium or at TechEd in Berlin next year!