Tech Ed Preconference Overview

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Tech Ed Preconference Overview


I’m guessing it has been so long since Tech Ed that no one will be interested in hearing how it went, but you know - I’m going to post about it anyway.

I’m planning on doing a blog post per each day of Tech Ed so that I can (hopefully) give each session its due. The first day was the preconference session. The session I attended was entitled “Building Great Web Applications with Silverlight” with Jeff Prosise. The session covered both versions 1 and 2 (only beta 1 though). It was unfortunate that beta 2 wasn’t announced until later that week, so Jeff just got to hint at differences that would be coming out with the next release… which came out a week later. The hints were actually sort of funny, because Jeff was officially under NDA, so he would say things like, “this might change soon… hint, hint.”

The first half of the session was almost entirely getting most people up-to-date with WPF, so it turned into a review session for me. The bulk of what was new for me was better coverage of the network and I/O stack that Silverlight provides, which filled the rest of the session. Silverlight 2 brings a portion of the CLR to the browser (called the CoreCLR) so you have access to WCF and System.Net functionality as well as file I/O access via isolated storage. Threading is also provided so that’s nice. Something interesting to note is that Silverlight won’t provide any synchronous versions of methods that also have asynchronous methods. For example, the System.Net.HttpWebRequest will only provide the BeginGet* methods, not the synchronous Get* methods. The reason for this is because they’re trying to trim everything out that isn’t needed to cut the size of the CoreCLR down. Makes sense to me.

Well, that’s about it for the preconference. Like I said, more of a review than a lot of new information. I did get to have lunch that day with Colin Neller and Robertjan Tuit. Rob was telling us about the hair styling convention that was going on at the same time as Tech Ed. What a combination of conferences - geeks and hair stylists.

That night I attended Party With Palermo. While there, Jay Smith and I talked about a potential ALT.NET Open Spaces event that Raymond Lewallen is planning. I’m not so sure it will be happening in mid-July seeing as it is already July, but who knows? If it does, I’m in! I also got to see Scott Hanselman from across the room. I was telling Colin that I wanted to go up and say hi, but I didn’t really know how to approach Scott without, as Colin put it, “feeling like a groupie.” I mean, seriously, “hey Scott, I read your blog and listen to Hanselminutes and watch your videos and… man, you are awesome!” Missed opportunity I guess.

That does remind me of a funny occurrence that happened that night that I heard about secondhand. The three other guys I went to Tech Ed with were all sitting around at the party and Scott came over to sit by them. As you might imagine, everyone had name tags on. One of the guys sees “Hanselman” on Scott’s name tag and asks Scott if he is any relation to Scott Hanselman. “Uhh, yeah, I’m Scott.” ”The Scott Hanselman?!?” Sure am glad I didn’t look like a groupie. At least I recognized him. :-) I told this unnamed individual that he later should have asked Scott to sign one of his books as “the Scott Hanselman.” Yet another missed opportunity! :-)

I’ll see about getting my overview of the rest of Tech Ed up later.