TechEd (Day 1): Play TechEd Buzzword Bingo

Marcie Robillard has put together a fun game for TechEd attendees. You can print out your cards in the Sails pavillion where all those computers are lined up row on row.

TechEd (Day 1): Balmer's Keynote & Announcing VS 2005 Team System

It's official. I'll post more thoughts and analysis about this as time permits, but, things you should know.

  • Microsoft now has a new Team version of Visual Studio to be delivered “Next Year“ according to Balmer.
  • new source control - more details to follow.
  • Project Management - so dev's will be able to see “Work Items“ in their IDE. There is also supposed to be a sharepoint portal of some kind that dev's & pm's can go to see a dashboard view of a project, milestone's, etc. integrated with MS Project Server.
  • Unit Testing - yes, a very NUnitish thing built right into visual Studio.
  • Code Coverage - yes in the editor you can see what code was executed and what was not.
  • Static Code Analysis - a la fxCop integrated right inside of visual studio.
  • Check in Source control process policy, so a manager type can say “if you check in something, all tests must pass, all static analysis rules must pass, and your code coverage must be 100%“.
  • Also showed was some Load testing stuff that is going to be better than Application Center Test - more on that later.

Of course whitehorse class modeling & SOA designer were showed quickly. Nothing new to announce yet on that front that wasn't covered at PDC....although the guy doing the demo kept saying “Services Oriented APPLICATION” designer. Is this new? Is he changing the acronym from Architecture?

TechEd (Day 0): BOF36: Integrating Unit Testing Tools and Practices Into the Software Development LifeCycle

This BOF went pretty well and a huge thanks to Jim Newkirk for assisting in the delivery. He's a real authority on the practices around NUnit and a good guy to have a round. If you buy his new book on Test Driven Development with Microsoft .NET onsite at TechEd, you can probably catch him at the MS Pavillion to sign a copy.

Some interesting points discussed:

  • Using Unit Tests to drive “example code“ for a framework or class library would be a nice to have.
  • While Code Coverage statistics may satisfy external parties that we've tested what we've developed, percentages are not an accurate measure of code quality.
  • If you write your tests after you do you coding, you already have too much information about your classes that negatively affects how you test.
  • Testing first can really influence (positively) the design of your classes.
  • Developers will work aggressively against source-code check in policies that stipulate a % of code as been covered in unit tests, and that the tests pass, and that they pass static code analysis.
  • It's difficult to test User Interface code, and for a bunch of reason's, not a really good idea or worthwhile investment because the only person who can see your application from the outside in, is through the eyes of a specific user - and you'll never be able to approach that.
  • At the end we also got into some of the difficulties of testing against a database and a bit about Mock objects. That would probably be a good bof on it's own.

Jim might have more comments, but the general feeling I got was that people still need more education about automating unit tests and that not a lot of people are doing it today, let alone Test First. Jim also mentioned that he didn't think it was possible to lecture to somebody and convince them about Test First, but more that it was something that they just really needed to see for themselves. I agree.

TechEd (Day -1): MCT Day Breakdown

I attended the MCT meetings today. It was nice warm up to the rest of TechEd, although I felt a little out of place as a Developer trainer.....most of the room was IT Pro (MCSE) types, a fun crowd....geeky in a different way.

Anyway, lots of cool things in store for MCT's coming Oct 1 (beginning of the 2005 program). Most of that is at the doghouse.

I got to meet Paul Adare whom for the longest time has been the moderator on the MCT newsgroups. It's funny that I have to fly all the way to San Diego to meet a guy who live about 15 minutes from my house in Oakville. I'm not a big poster in the MCT newsgroups so I was surprised that he knew my name and said he reads this blog. “Hi Paul - say you need a blog so I can point people to it”.

I also had a chance to run over our new “Best Practice“ curriculum with David Lowe who is the Content Development and Delivery Training and Certification Manager at Microsoft. It would seems that we are not the only ones seeing demand from our customers for this new level of training above and beyond the simple how & why, but more of the when & where of how a technology or development practices applies in a developers day.

The final session was with Richard Klees. He does most if not all of the speaker training & coaching for Microsoft employee's and partners speeking at their events. I learned lots of interesting techniques for really maximizing the experience for the audience. I had a nice conversation with him afterwards and he offerred to do a 1-1 review with me later this week. I think I'll settle on trying to get him out to dinner (we share a mexican food grok) to get his thoughts on speaking into your computer/conducting web casts.

All in all, a great warm up to TechEd.

TechEd (Day -1): ObjectSpaces = Longhorn, 3rd time charm?

It was bumped from The initial 1.0 release, and then as of last PDC slated for Whidbey. Now it looks like we'll have to wait until Longhorn.

It's not all bad news however. ObjectSpaces is being re-orged into the WinFs file system. When you think about there is an awful lot of correlation to those technologies. I'm sure it's not terribly unrelated to the fact that the Microsoft Business Framework(MBF) that was to build on ObjectSpaces was also pushed off to Longhorn/Orcas. MBF is also to rely on an orchestration engine (Biztalk light?) features going into Longhorn so it all makes sense.

Some people will be disappointed - but this is a good rationalization of the way too many data access/storage visions within Microsoft. Both of these technologies have a common thread about objects/applications and data and breaking down the wall. Sure, MS could have released ObjectSpaces first, but do we really need that legacy and all the effort attached to YADAA (yet another data access api.

Microsoft has taken a lot of criticism (including from me) about the seemingly constant churn of all things data. So this is a good sign that MS is not going to do things, just be cause they can, but do them right. Just ask a Java developer what they think of EJB's. It's important to get it right

TechEd (Day -1): Packing Tips

Bring your photo ID. You'll need it for registration.

Bring a single socket power splitter. I brought one of those double socket splitters than turn a 2 port outlet into 6...but guess what, there is almost always at least 1 important thing plugged into every outlet at the convention centre - important like a big computer/tv for displaying schedule updates.

Don't bring a knapsack. Bring your laptop, but you're going to get another one half full of crap so if you don't want to carry two around on the first day - just bring one.

Bring an electric golf cart or a donkey if you don't like walking around.

TechEd (Day -1): Pieces of ADO.NET 2.0 not going to make Whidbey

Highlights in this exchange of newsgroup posts...

  • Paging is cut
  • Server cursors cut (SqlResultSet class)
  • Async Open is cut, but not excute
  • SqlDataTable class cut (Good - that was a bad design pattern to propogate)
  • Command sets are cut, but you can still do batch DataAdapter updates,

More to come, stay tuned.

Arrived in San Diego @ TechEd

One Uneventful pair of connecting flights, a car rental pickup and a check in at the hotel. It's the calm before the know, the calm associated with hotel internet access actually working. You know it's a computer conference when you can see 5 wireless access points from various people's hotel rooms, and I'm on the corner of the hotel!

I kind of drove in the back way and haven't been near the convention centre yet to check out the buzz, but I will tomorrow. The MCT day starts at 7:30am at the Marriott next door. I better get to bed.

There is a bit of a buzz on email right now - stuff I'm not allowed to talk about until Monday - but it's one of my speculations. More about that on Monday. There will be a lot of announcements on Monday. Stay tuned.

TechEd BOF Session on Integrating Unit Testing Tools and Practices into the Software Development Life Cycle.

This session which was originally scheduled for Tuesday night is now moved to Sunday night at 8pm. This should allow people who were interested in the Peter Provost's hosted Continous Integration Testing BOF to attend both of these sessions.
BOF36  Integrating Unit Testing Tools and Practices Into the Software Development LifeCycle
Sunday , May 23 8:00 PM- 9:00 PM, Location TBA
Speaker(s): Barry Gervin
Automated Unit Testing tools and practices are finding their way into the dev life cycle of more and more IT shops each day. Some people simply use NUnit to demonstrate a bug and prove that's fixed. Others use NUnit to demonstrate a % goal for code coverage. Others go as far as to use Test Driven Development to drive the design of their applications. People are using Unit testing harnesses for Design, Functional Testing, Performance and Security Testing. In this discussion we will raise awareness of the current tools and practices that people are using today and how best to address the more holistic needs with future tools and practices.
And if you happen to be going to TechEd Amsterdam, James Newkirk is going to repeat this session there.

MCT Day at TechEd

TechEd is coming up. Scary thing is my schedule is about 75% booked - and not with actual sessions. I'll talk more about the stuff I'm involved with over the coming weeks and during TechEd.

The interesting thing I got today was the Agenda for “MCT Day” - which is the Saturday before the conference for MS Certified Trainers. There are lots of interesting things on the agenda, but the person I'm most looking forward to speaking is Richard Klees.

Richard does the training for a lot of MS presenters and is very well recognized as the speaker of speakers, the trainer of trainers.. He's doing some time with each TechEd speaker again this year. Just hearing him talk for an hour is going to be a lot of fun.