Monday, November 12, 2007

Microsoft Patterns and Practices Conference - Day Five

The last day of the conference was labeled "Applications".  This, of course, was a pretty loose title.  However, I think that this was one of my favorite days.

Keynote - Scott Hanselman

Hanselman delivers once again.  This wasn't a technology related keynote.  Instead Scott discussed how he came to be employed by Microsoft.  There must have been a lot of money involved. 

Future of patterns & practices - Rick Maguire

Rick is "the man" when it comes to the Pattern's and Practices Group, "the trusted source of application development guidance for the Microsoft platform".  Rick gave a high level overview of where the group was heading in the future.  Here are their goals for the future:

  • Simplify the Microsoft Application Platform
  • Provide solutions/guidance to your problems
  • Help you learn and grow

Evolving Client Architecture - Billy Hollis

Billy Hollis gave an interesting talk on how the types of things that we are developing is changing.  He showed that the move to SOA will force us to become better UI designers.  Right now, if our UI sucks, the users don't have a lot of choice except to use it.  In the future, some one else could build a better one on top of an exposed service.  This was a good set up for his later talk about software complexity.

Fresh Cracked CAB - Ward Bell

Ward reminds me of someone that I used to work with.  It was a good presentation on Microsoft's Composite UI Application Block (CAB), which is a windows smart client technology.  A lot of the of patterns could be converted to ASP.NET with a little work.  Ward basically showed how to use one of Microsoft's application blocks to quickly build and extend a window smart client.

Software Complexity - Billy Hollis

Billy Hollis is my new hero.  He shared some of his "outside the box" thoughts on software complexity and the need for simplicity in an increasingly complex technological landscape.  He boldly asserted that instead of making our lives simpler, Microsoft is killing us with complexity as it releases more and more technologies at a pace that no one can keep up with.  Kudos to the Microsoft employees, who had several chances to tackle him and drag him off the stage, yet some how kept their composure.  The talk can really be summed up by Billy's "Simplicity Manifesto V1.0":

  • Stop adding features
  • Make help helpful
  • Fix the bugs
  • CRUD for free
  • Hide the plumbing
  • Get better names

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