There are only a few conferences for web developers worth attending and these are the followings:
- The Professional Developer Conference (PDC) in Los Angeles.
- The Mix Web Design and Development in Las Vegas.
- And the Microsoft TechEd conference, held in multiple regions (you can attend the one closer to your location):
Because I cannot travel to L.A. or Las Vegas (just yet), the fact that this year the TechEd Europe had taken place in Berlin (although I am kind of sad that it wasn’t in the warm Barcelona), made it more accessible for me.
Against all the complications, which made me think that I will not be able to go, last week I had the opportunity to attend the Microsoft TechEd Europe 2009 conference after all.
What a fantastic week it was! Just try to imagine over 7200 geeks from 109 countries in one place, learning and exploring the new technology. During the break between the sessions, we’ve been delighted with a lot of yummy snacks…
… presentations and swags (t-shirts and small gadgets) in the Exhibition Hall.
So this year’s TechEd Europe main highlights for me were:
- The newly released Windows 7: I’m extremely excited by the better performance, security and new UI features compared to the Windows XP, which I am currently using.
- Windows Azure Platform, a platform for running applications in the “cloud” (Microsoft data centers), which is to be released very soon.
- Visual Studio 2010 currently in Beta version but it will be available on 22nd of March 2010 with features like: new Editor, multiple monitor support, window docking, over 200 HTML & JS snippets, dynamic IntelliSense for JS, config transformation per build target.
- Team Foundation Server 2010, which will improve testing web applications, project management and agile development process.
- .Net Framework 4.0
- AJAX: Microsoft Ajax Library, client side loader, MS Ajax Minifier, MS Ajax CDN, jQuery IntelliSense.
- ASP.NET 4: static ClientIDMode, better control rendering, minimized web.config, release type-based configuration file, performance improvements (session state compression, auto start web applications) and extensibility (extensible output cache, HTML/URL encoding, request validation).
- ASP MVC 2: async controller calls, caching improvements, templated helpers, validation in Model properties bubbled up to the View (also as client validation).
- Silverlight 3, a cross-platform & cross-browser plugin for RIA with possibility to run the application out of the browser.
presented by famous speakers, which are also among my favorites, like Jason Zander (General Manager of Visual Studio), David Chappel, Tim Heuer (Program Manager for Microsoft Silverlight), Stephen Walther (Senior Program Manager for Microsoft Ajax), Stephanie Cuthbertson (Group Program Managers in Team Foundation Server), Jeff King (Program Manager at Microsoft), Tess Ferrandez, Shawn Wildermuth and many more.
But I must mention also that I’ve seen @damir work his magic with Silverlight, which was cool:
But it’s not all work and no fun for us, you know. And to prove that also geeks can have fun, here are some of us entertaining themselves with Playstation Guitar Hero.
The timing of the conference couldn’t be better, because it was in the same week with the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin wall. The city organized a wonderful event, the Festival of Freedom, at the Brandenburg Gate.
After 20 years the Berlin Wall, symbolically made out of over 1000 pieces of 2 meter high dominos, collapsed again.
Too bad that, due to heavy rain, we had to escape and find a shelter in a cocktail bar… or perhaps not?
When I first visited Berlin last year in May, I’ve tried to go up in the parliament’s cupola unsuccessfully because of the looooong line at the entrance but on this occasion I’ve succeeded in visiting it and let me tell you… Impressive! Check it out:
And the fun doesn’t end here!
I was so lucky to be on the right place in the right time that I managed to catch a glimpse of the Europe premiere of the movie “2012” in the Sony Center with red carpet & famous stars, including British actor Chiwetel Ejiofor, US actress Amanda Peet, US actor John Cusack and German director Roland Emmerich. I have no pictures though, dinner was on a higher place in my priority list.
It was the first time I tried the Berlin speciality, Currywurst, sausage served with ketchup and curry powder. Worth tasting!
So all in all, Microsoft TechEd Europe 2009 was a big success and I’m looking forward to next year’s conference.