Run down of #ddd8a

October 24, 2010 § 2 Comments

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Another excellent DDD event hosted at the Microsoft campus in Reading took place on Saturday 23rd October.  As usual, there was plenty of energy, free food and drink, prizes and banter!

The two tracks focused on “Modern .net development”, a deviation from the usual future themed talks with more emphasis placed on what you can do here and now.  The talks I went to were:

WP7, iPhone, Droid – Oh My!

Chris Hardy

A look at the ways of reusing .net code across WP7, iPhone (MonoTouch) and Android (MonoDroid), the associated costs, pitfalls and differences between platforms was covered in an excellent overview given by Chris.

My thoughts: I still think unless you have hefty business logic libraries that you can save money or time by leveraging the same code base across the platforms, the differences in implementation still differs substantially enough to justify learning the languages, features and quirks of the native system.  That said, the direct namespace mapping in MonoTouch was pretty impressive, allowing a .net developer to develop for iPhone in a familiar way.  Understanding the iOS classes and how they work can not be underestimated as the mono system is not an abstraction.

Managed Extensibility Framework (MEF)

Kathleen Dollard

An introduction to compositional architectures and how the last 20 years of architecture evolution, development practices and software lifecycles has led to MEF.  An incredibly enthusiastic Kathleen, covered the theory and practice in not one, but three Hello World examples!

My thoughts: Not being a .net developer, I knew nothing of this technology and was impressed by what I saw.  The framework addresses real problems encountered by any moderately sized software product in an elegant and modern way.

Is NoSQL the Future of Data Storage?

Gary Short

Relational databases were cool yesterday.  They come from an era where they solved problems that we present at the time and we have different problems now.  A brilliant overview of the different types of “not just” SQL databases was covered, with examples of when you might want to use a RDBMS or a NoSQL database.

My thoughts: I knew some of the principles behind some NoSQL databases, but was unaware of the sheer number of them out there and where they came from and what problems they were solving.  The lack of tooling (compared to the myriad of tools available to traditional database systems) was brought up, but I don’t think this is much of a stumbling block, as it won’t be long before these tools are available, and… are they really needed at all anyway?

Building Silverlight Applications for Business (and fun)

Ian Blackburn

Topics such as “when and if to employ a designer”, “what framework to use” and “what alternatives are there” led to an informative session on Sliverlight.

My thoughts: I didn’t see anything in Silverlight that hasn’t been done somewhere else a hundred times by a hundred other technologies and frameworks.  The only benefit I saw was that it’s developed in .net languages using the .net toolset which is familiar to the .net crowd. A pretty rubbish 60% in-browser adoption (in the last 3 years!), a plethora of alternatives and the emergence of HTML5 is sure to signal the death of Silverlight. That said, building desktop apps in Silverlight is now possible, however why anyone would want to do this escapes me! Oh, and it’s not supported on in-browser on the new WP7 *face palm*.

Things you should know about SQL as a developer

Simon Sabin

Some important and informative do’s and don’ts when working with SQL Server.

My thoughts: Not using SQL Server, this session was of limited use to me, but the principles behind SQL Servers transaction log, its backup capabilities and database optimisation was nevertheless very interesting.

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