My Experience at Orlando Code Camp 2011

As a follow up to last years post: My Experience at Orlando Code Camp 2010, I thought I would share my experience at Orlando Code Camp 2011.

This year I took away a lot more, compared to last year as I tried expose myself to more variety by focusing on the Showcase sessions and not sessions that were “how to do this with < insert technology here >”.

There was a great variety of tracks this year:

  • Showcase
  • Fundamentals
  • Web
  • Azure
  • Design and Animation
  • Languages
  • Patterns
  • Services & More
  • Collaboration
  • Visual Studio & ALM
  • Silverlight
  • SQL Server
  • Windows Phone 7
  • DotNetNuke Development
  • DotNetNuke Design
  • DotNetNuke Administration

I know that Code Camps are Microsoft-centric, but the one thing that continues to bother me (I see it at .NET User Group meetings also), is the Microsoft Fanboy attitude.

Sorry, I do not think that Windows Phone 7 is an “iPhone Killer” nor is it an “Android Killer.” I also refuse to use Bing as my primary search engine – Google works just fine thank you. It was comforting to see some iPads and MacBooks among the attendees.

Orlando Code Camp Keynote

Orlando Code Camp Keynote

Here is the breakdown of each session I attended:

Session 1

Applied Object-Oriented Design Principles

Presented by: Jay HIll

Jay presented several design patterns that are based on Bob Martin’s SOLID Principles.

Take Away: There are many design patterns that can be used in practice that extend beyond those originally written by the Gang of Four.

  • Null Object Pattern – this is the assurance that you will never receive a NULL object, therefore avoiding the dreaded ArgumentNullException.
  • Enumeration Classes
  • – a way to extend basic enums and prevent enum growth.

  • Nested Classes
  • – a reason to use nested classes in your code.

  • Composite Pattern
  • – treating objects as if they are a single instance.


Code Quota

Session 2

Decoupled UI

Presented by: Page Horton

Page demonstrated an application that completely separates the UI from Business Logic.

Take Away


Session 3

Visual Studio 2010 Tips and Tricks

Presented by: Sean Laberee

Sean demonstrated several new features and shortcuts available in Visual Studio 2010.

Take Away: The Extension Manager can be used to install additional functionality into Visual Studio 2010. Including:

  • Start Page Project Template
  • Productivity Power Tools
  • Visual Studio Color Theme Editor

Session 4

Intro to MVC 3

Presented by: Ken Tucker

Ken demonstrated creating a MVC website that went a little bit beyond the MVC Tutorials at ASP.NET.

Take Away: MVC 3 can be added to Visual Studio 2010 by installing the Microsoft Web Platform Installer 3.0.


Session 5

Design for Developers: Bad Design Kills Good Projects

Presented by: Diane Leeper

Diane demonstrated six things that can decide the fate of your web project.

Take Away: Developers are typically not known for their design capabilities (see 10 Resources for Design-Challenged Programmers), so it was a wake-up call to hear things from a designers standpoint.


Session 6

Meet the Visual Studio Team!

Presented by:

  • Adrian “Spotty” Bowles – Compilers QA
  • Prakash Balasubramanian – Compilers QA
  • Sayed Ibrahim Hashimi – VS Web PM
  • Kevin Halverson – Compilers QA (VB/C#)
  • Sean Laberee – Editor/VB/C# IDE PM

Visual Studio Team

The Visual Studio Team answered audience questions:

Question: What does a Program Manager do?
Answer: A Program Manager is the “voice of the customer” who tries to understand what the end-users want.

Question: When is the next version of Visual Studio due out?
Answer: The typical version lifecycle for Visual Studio is 18 months.

Question: How is Microsoft moving towards combining the functionalities of Expression Blend and Visual Studio?
Answer: They are looking to make Expression Blend more developer friendly and Visual Studio more designer friendly.

Question: Where can I report issues or make suggestions?
Answer: Microsoft Connect

Question: Are there plans to include Silverlight or XNA updates in Web Platform Installer?
Answer: No, Silverlight and XNA have a different product lifecycle than Visual Studio.

Question: Why is Visual Studio 2010 so slow?
Answer: The Visual Studio team is currently looking at ways in to improve memory management. Other factors could be:

  • Running VS 2010 in Windows XP – doesn’t support video hardware acceleration
  • Installation of multiple extensions
  • Windows Forms Designer is known to leak memory on rebuilds

Question: Will future versions of Visual Studio support Design view of MVC projects similar to Web Forms?
Answer: The Visual Studio team is currently looking at ways to display a view in design mode.

Question: Will Visual Studio be offered in the cloud – similar to Office 360?
Answer: See Try F# from Microsoft Research.

Question: Will the next version of Visual Studio include the Ribbon?
Answer: Not in the short-term. The next release will have more simplified menus. Future releases will have a variation of the ribbon, but won’t be identical to the one found in MS Office.

Question: What can I do to prevent repositioning of windows after compiling?
Answer: Visual Studio 2010 supports multi-monitor support. Also the window positions will vary in Design Mode vs Debug Mode.

Overall, it was a great experience to expose myself to different approaches and ways of thinking that are presented in a classroom setting rather than a book or a blog.

If you have the opportunity to check out a Code Camp near you, I highly recommend it.

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One comment on “My Experience at Orlando Code Camp 2011
  1. Joe Healy says:

    re fanboyism. It was a Microsoft focused event (“.net codecamp”), run by the Microsoft user group, about Microsoft tech. Kinda shocking that there was an element of Microsoft fanboyism at it, not. When I attend a google event and hear them raving about ‘bing’ or I see folks espousing win7 devices at apple events, then I’ll buy your argument. Note I did not see, nor have I ever seen apple or google supporting any community events in the state via sponsorship. Love to see them step up on some sponsorship rosters for codecamps and barcamps. In the meantime, I’ll certainly not hinder or discourage folks coming to a Microsoft pro/positive event, advocating for us, and talking about our techs with others.

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