Friday, March 13, 2009

Best of the PDC Comes to SLO

Hello everyone!

It's not every day that we can get speakers from outside the area to come and grace us with a visit. Every once and a while we get an INETA speaker to come to the .NET User Group meeting, and then we get a pretty good mix when the Central Coast Code Camp is in session.

However, on March 12th, Developer Evangelists Daniel Egan and Bruno Terkaly of Microsoft came to San Luis Obispo to give a three-plus hour presentation on some of the new developments in the Microsoft world. The event, SLO MSDN Unleashed: Best of the PDC (Professional Developers Conference), was held at the Embassy Suites. Over 60 people attended, a great turnout for the event, and the presentations were great as well. I saw a lot of people I usually only see at Code Camp.

Daniel started out by talking about some of the dynamic language features coming in C# 4.0. For those of you that don't know, C# is (in my opinion) the language of choice when developing applications on the Microsoft platform. He then followed up with some impressive enhancements in the Ajax world, including some sweet new extenders for the Ajax Control Toolkit. Personally I think the ToolKit has come a long way.


Daniel Egan talks about C# Dynamics.  (photo by Steve Evans)

After a short break, Bruno took over to cover Windows Azure, the new Microsoft Cloud Computing system that rivals similar offerings from Google and Amazon. The discussion was thorough and at times contentious. I personally feel like there are a few too many assumptions in terms of data scalability, and it will be interesting to see how and what feature sets are provided on the new relational database platform. Until 2 days ago, Azure was only going to support simple table structures. Speaking as someone who has managed to scale up a fairly large data structure without sacrificing relational integrity, I have to hope that they will not shortchange the SQL Server featureset in the cloud.

In addition, there was some talk about companies being able to host the Cloud locally on their local servers for a while to try it out, or program against, or even in theory to pull their applications back out of the Cloud should they need to for budgetary or proprietary reasons. I think this is very important myself.

I would like to thank Daniel, Bruno, and .NET User Group member Steve Evans for putting this event on. We're hoping to try and do something like this maybe every 6 months or so as a public event that goes beyond the scope of the .NET User Group and involves everyone. This kind of thing is great for San Luis Obispo and the technology community.

Thanks to all who attended!