Review: Stack Overflow DevDays Boston

Posted by: Jason N. Gaylords Blog, on 09 Oct 2009 | View original | Bookmarked: 0 time(s)

So after having a full day of recovery (11 hours in the car within a 36 hour period), I'm back to the grind. I wanted to provide a quick review of what I saw and what I thought of the conference.

First, the location within Boston was pretty good since it was right off of I90 in the heart of downtown. There were plenty of things to do within walking distance such as Fenway Park

Fenway

and the original location for Cheers

Cheers

The content was really good. Joel Spolsky gave a really good keynote to kick off the day talking about simplicity of an application versus features and defining the fine line between to keep users interested while providing top functionality.

Ned Batchelder followed up with an overview of Python development. He showed a basic spell check suggestion function. Some of the functionality was really neat. I wish some of the shortcuts could be implemented in C#. For example the simplicity of combining two lists and obtaining only the unique items. While his presentation style was not as good as Joels, he actually had me interested in the talk about Python.

Dan Pilone followed up to discuss iPhone development. He emphasized the iPhone development process including the 2 week approval/denial process.

It went back to Joel to talk about the the Stack Exchange network and Careers.StackOverflow.com. It was the first time Careers @ StackOverflow was announced. In fact, Jeff was still doing some work on it. FogBugz and Kiln. Having used FogBugz awhile back, I was impressed with some of the new features in FogBugz 7. Kiln looks really cool too. I wish they had the functionality for Subversion and/or TFS. I also wish there was a version for internal use rather than a hosted cloud offering.

After lunch, Patrick Hynds and Chris Bowen talked about ASP.NET MVC. It was a very basic talk and very difficult to shove in everything they were looking to do in 75 minutes. They did, but left much to be desired.

John Resig came up next to talk about JavaScript Validation. He covered many validation frameworks and showed why it was so difficult to test the various frameworks. He also talked about Test Swarm.

Finally, Miguel de Icaza  spoke about Mono. Unfortunately, I had to miss Miguels talk to try and beat the traffic.

Overall, the conference was pretty good. I thought some areas could have been blown out more. The organization of the conference could have been a bit better. I thought as a paying participant that they would have requested something from me before entering. It would have been really easy to just enter without paying. Maybe thats something that will be corrected going forward, but Im not sure.

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