Skip to content

DDD8a - Modern .NET Day

Last weekend I attended the latest in the series of DeveloperDeveloperDeveloper events at Microsoft's Reading campus. This one was entitled Modern .NET Day and focused on what we have available to us right now as .NET developers, rather than things we might have in the future.

As usual, the day kicked off early with the 40 minute drive over to Reading. Like previous events, we all grabbed our badges and found we had bacon rolls laid out for us, along with hot and cold drinks. There was ample time to meet and say hello as well, which is always good.


Like previous DDD events, there were a bunch of great talks to choose from. I chose the following:

  • Chris Hardy - WP7, iPhone, Droid - Oh My!
  • Sebastien Lambla - Packaging in the .NET World
  • Gary Short - Is NoSQL the Future of Data Storage?
  • Jon Skeet - Modern C#: This is not your grand-daddy's language
  • Ian Griffiths - WPF in Modern .NET

As usual, I found all the talks to be excellent. The first two were of particular interest to me, and I'd quite like to take a closer look at aspects from both of these.

Chris walked through all of the C#-based ways of developing applications for Windows Phone 7, iPhone and Android. I couldn't help thinking that out of the three options, WP7 is definitely the one to choose. Everything just seems to be much more straightforward, whereas both iPhone and Android have some pretty esoteric ideas in there! The only sticking point is that I don't have a WP7 device, being an iPhone owner myself. In theory, I could develop up an app using the emulator, but it just isn't the same and it's always good to see how it really looks and experience what the end users would experience.

Seb was as entertaining and informative as always, and gave a great run-through and demo of OpenWrap. Up until this point, I have liked the look of NuPack (or whatever they are calling it today), but I have to say that actually having seen OpenWrap in action has made me consider it as a really serious alternative. The fact that it will make publishing your own package (or 'wrap') so easy makes it a particularly attractive option for open source in my opinion. Definitely something I'm going to have a proper play around with myself, and I'll be interesting to see how the two of them play off against each other. The fact that OpenWrap can also use the NuPack packages is definitely a point in its favour.

The other three talks were all excellent, and I think I took something away from each one. Gary Short ran through NoSQL and all the various options in what I thought was a great overview of the subject as a whole. Tony the Pony made an appearance in Jon Skeet's C# session (much to everyone's delight), and we had a direct comparison between C# 1 and 4. As someone who completely missed the C# 1 stage, it was interesting to see what was missing way back then. Ian's talk was interesting as he made WPF look really easy. Admittedly, binding properties to various things isn't exactly painful but even so... I have always found WPF to be something which my mind isn't very well adapted for. Perhaps it's a lack of practice and affinity for the web which causes that? Either way, it did make me think that perhaps there's a bit more there than I've given it credit for in the past.

The Day

As is always the case, Microsoft provided a superb venue and the typical brown-bag lunches for us all. It was interesting that this event was essentially a mini-DDD, using only two rooms rather than 4 and therefore having less attendees - I didn't think it came across that way. It was as busy as always, and there was the same buzz which I've always found previously.

Thanks to Craig, a bunch of us from DevEvening all turned up in blue '#ddd8a monkey' t-shirts. Unfortunately I didn't grab any pictures, but it was good fun nevertheless. Also, the monkey wasn't the only one in a fez either...!

All in all, it was another great event so I'd like to once again thank the organisers, the speakers and everyone else who helped make it possible so that we could all go there for free! I'm now looking forward to DDD9 next year.