June 7, 2013

Teched day 4

So... the last day at the conference and the first one where the queues for the really cheap Surfaces where accessible enough for me to go shopping.

I went through the news of Sql Server 2014, some Sqllite on Windows Phone and some DirectX-stuff in C++, but the best one today was about dependency injection and containers called "Understanding Dependency Injection and Those Pesky Containers" going through the basics of Castle Windsor, NInject, Unity etc and focusing on Mef by Miguel Castro

It was a nice overview of something I use but doesn't come natural for me. I think I will be going for Mef in the future after seeing this presentation.

Tonight we will party here:
(credits to Andrew Bishop)
Rumor has it that there will be some famous artist there... we will see.

[comment added] It was Tina Turner.

So... what have I learned during these four days?

  • Lightswitch can actually be useful.
  • OData is a tool in my toolbox that needs to get sharpened.
  • Stop being lazy and always use a dependency container. (read Mef)
  • Use Geoflow as much as possible.
  • Stop hiding behind the fact that I am lousy on UX and start doing something about it.
  • Americans are strange but almost always nice.

June 6, 2013

Teched day 3

A bit of an in-between day for me. Attended a few Windows Phone-lectures that didn't contain any news and went to a webapi/odata lecture that was a bit over my level. (did however make a note to self to learn more immediately)

The gem of the day was a lecture by Billy Hollis called Design or die about something that I've stubbornly been proclaiming the last few years. Applications today needs UI/UX design and those companies that wont provide this will slowly be put away from the face of the earth. You simply cannot have the usual design that programmers make (you know the ugly, cramped, hard to read, bad colour choices and no usability-style) alongside with the often fantastically looking apps in the app stores.

We have left the DOS-era and we have left the Windows XP-era... time to adapt!

I must admit that I am one of those programmers who make really ugly applications. I have blamed the fact that I was born without designing talents, which is true, but it is time to change that and acquire some skills.

So I bought this:
Supposedly "the" design book for developers.
Was supposed to have attended the community party today, but fell asleep at seven and just woke up now at three o clock. Will try to sleep some more now.

Good night.

June 5, 2013

Teched day 2

Not only a conference, but an opportunity to sell stuff too...

The weather in New Orleans is so hot that it feels like walking into a wall every time I leave the air conditioned safety of Hilton Riverside. It is such a hard life to be an IT consultant some days... ;)

I read about Microsoft LightSwitch when it just came out and thought:  MS Access applications.
And not in a flattering way.

I gave it a real chance today and went to a session with Beth Massi on creating HTML 5-based business apps with Azure and Visual Studio LightSwitch.
Developers usually scoff about LightSwitch, because, well, you hardly need to program to create something and, well, Developers are people who excel in just programming. I don't scoff anymore. Anything that can create a decently good looking data editor and browser with filters, paged data, a UI that scales to works on Android, IOS, Windows phone and on desktops and that can deploy this to Azure in a one hour session (including some CSS-changes, customization and third part JavaScript controls) is not to scoff at. Period.

Maybe I will not use LightSwitch in many projects, since I have a hunch that there is a point when high customization will make a LightSwitch project more expensive and harder to manage than using traditional coding methods and  customer needs usually means a lot of customization. BUT, for all my fast hobby projects where I need to fix something simple web-based as quick as possible or need a prototype or just a way to manage data online, LightSwitch at least seems perfect at a glance.

Note to self: Start testing LightSwitch!
LightSwitch was a nice acquaintance

Chris Klug held a talk about patterns and architecture in MVVM with a pragmatic approach on how to build stuff in the best way. Chris is good at that stuff and he held an appreciated session. For me it was the deepest in technical aspects so far this conference and packed with good ideas. Check out his blog here.

Good to show those Americans that Swedes know their stuff too... ;)

A swede in the US
Finally, the dominating crapgadgetgiveaway this year is this: (and it even flashes!)
Who would not want a hat like this?

June 3, 2013

Impressions from the keynote at Teched New Orleans 2013

It started with jazz...

...and continued with Brad Andersson driving an Aston Martin on stage.

Key areas


Microsoft are bringing in new tools to handle a company's devices with more control over personalization, policies and separating company data and company apps from personal stuff. It seems easy to register your own device for workplace security using two factor identification and the new concept of work folders mimics the folder replication of dropbox in a enterprise fashion.
The concept of just cleaning out the computer by leaving the workplace was quite impressive.


Azure gets cheaper and a new billing model. Now you won't have to pay for stopped virtual machines and the billing is per minute. The MSDN Azure licence seems changed with a free azure usage amount of 50, 100, 150$ for professional, premium and ultimate subscriptions respectively. There have been improvements on keeping check on how much money/time you've used up.

Visual Studio 2013 / TFS 2013

More focus on ALM which will be on a higher level than in VS 2012, so that you can have a hierarchical view going from department to projects, subprojects, features, tasks etc...
A new HUD-feature in VS2013 adds information about references, tests and source code changes on a method by method basis. It looked really useful.
VS load testing now got cloud support so you can run your existing load test through the cloud.
Microsoft has acquired Inrelease which will bring a workflow-view to deployment and releases handling stuff like approvals and configurations.
Team rooms introduces a new collaboration space in TFS giving project members easier access to what is happening in their project.

Big data

Sql Server 2014 and new additions to Excel gives new possibilities to explore big data.
The very, very impressive geoflow in Excel gives thematic 4d-mapping with drilldown capabilities. See it as google earth with graphs and a possibility to animate time series. Looks amazing. There is also a new data explorer in Excel.

Ps. Swedes were sending most attendants to New Orleans of all countries in Europe. Well done!