Why You Should Come to DevIntersection

DevIntersection is going to be an awesome conference. It’s right around the corner, so get to work convincing your boss to let you come. Here are just a couple of reasons you should come.

- You get a Windows 8 Tablet. Yep. That’s right, a Windows 8 Tablet! Register by Nov 20 for that!

- It’s in Vegas a week that has traditionally low airfares

- $65 room rates and the MGM Grand, so your overall cost will be relatively low.

- The MGM has just been renovated, so the facilities should be great.

- Richard Campbell is the force behind this show, so you know it will be a bit irreverent, casual and absolutely stuffed full of great information

- There’s an amazing list of speakers

- Look for a fantastic blend of info direct from Microsoft and some of the best independent speakers to go way beyond the Microsoft party line.

- Keynotes by the Scott Guthrie, Steve Fox, and the Visual Studio Team

- It’s your last chance effectively use any leftover training and travel funds in calendar 2012

- Did I mention that everyone who registers by Nov 20 gets a Windows 8 Tablet?

Abstracts for the show are under “Sessions” at DevIntersection . My talks are:

Deeper into Async – I’ll explain async in .NET 4.5 and show techniques to integrate timeouts, cancellation and exceptions into your async apps. (There is a mistake in the heading, in 75 minutes, I will focus on single thread async – this is NOT a multi-thread talk, I’ll work to get this fixed)

Visual Studio 2012 Tips – I’ll show you ways to improve your navigation, editing and searching techniques.

Managed Extensibility Framework in .NET 4.5 – I’m really excited to show you the next version of MEF with resolution of open generics, flexible container creation and inference and improved diagnostics. This will start with an introduction to MEF so it’s definitely not just for MEF geeks.

You should also come to my post conference workshop called Better Coding: Stop Coping, Start Comprehending.

I’m becoming increasingly passionate about people learning or relearning core concepts of the framework. In general, it’s consistent, and if you understand what’s happening under the hood you can predict what it will. You can get your hands on a lot of material on the main libraries. That’s great, but, as I’ve gone around the country doing talks, I see a dropping level of knowledge about the core framework itself – the type system, the languages, the fundamentals of why .NET works the way it does. And I’ve seen this in folks that have been in .NET since the early betas because it’s been a really long time since .NET kicked off.

There’s the basics – we still need to understand nuances of the heap and stack, overloads, evil static constructors, the multiple meanings of equals, attributes and such things. And there are the things that have evolved our thinking about code – generics, lambda expressions, LINQ and Dependency Injection. And there’s the new stuff – async, simpler parallel processing, code info and event sourcing. Whew! It’ pretty overwhelming unless you have a mental model that aligns with the consistency underlying the framework. This day is absolutely stuffed full of information to make you better at writing .NET code.

I teach this with a fun unit test “puzzle” format where the audience collaborating to select from multiple commented assert options. I’ll ask you to think as well as listen, and sometimes you’ll get fellow students explanations as well as mine for the critical question of why something works the way it does. We might do a skit involving throwing Snickers bars, and I’ll integrate Visual Studio tricks, so when I write code for you, I’ll show you some pretty cool things along the way.

I hope you’ll sign up for DevIntersection, get your new Tablet and sign up for my post conference workshop as well!

Why is My Pluralsight Course in Visual Studio 2010?

There were a couple of tweets when my Pluralsight Visual Studio 2010 Tricks released pointing out that Visual Studio 2012 has been released. I actually had noticed the Visual Studio 2012 release. So, why the course in 2010?

I could give a lot of answers. There are currently people working in both versions and most Visual Studio tricks work in Visual Studio 2012 and such things. But the truth is I massively underestimated the amount of time I’d spend on the course – an order of magnitude in the number of hours. I optimistically anticipated the course would release before 2012. That didn’t work out. So, the more interesting question is why I didn’t start over. The core issues – keystroke shortcuts, columns selection, selection anchors, settings, and a boatload of things I covered are the same for VS 2010 and 2012.

There have been significant changes in Find and of course there are a boatload of new features. I do talks at conferences and user groups about the new features and I’m totally stoked about the new version. But I think to do the kind of course I did takes a little time. The VS 2010 Tricks course, and the course I hope to do in a few months on VS 2012 aren’t a list of Tip #1, Tip #2, etc. It’s a holistic view of how to smoothly leverage the environment where the rough spots and some of the bugs are and how to work around them. That’s going to take some time to work out. In the meantime, you can get an overview of the new features in Kate Gregory’s course Introduction to Visual Studio 2012.

Why did the course require so much work? Video was a new format to me, and I thought a lot more of my audio experience would translate to. And I want the course to move very fast. In a tricks course, and probably any skills course, there’s a chunk you already know, a chunk you’re never going to use, and a chunk that make it all worthwhile. I want to get you to whichever nuggets of gold you’re going to find in the course as quickly as possible. And I want to keep you engaged – so I worked to add the occasionally, hopefully humorous moment. I learned an incredible amount. My future videos will be better for what I learned, in the end, it was time to tie it up, imperfections and all, and get it out to you. Hopefully you’ll enjoy it – a clip a day will gradually make you a more efficient coder.

And I hope you’ll keep an eye out for the next video I do!