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TechEd 08 - Day 1

Figured I would write a little about each of the interesting sessions at TechEd, just as a note keeping exercise.

Keynote Speech

National’s John Key and Labour’s David Cunliffe talk about digital strategy.

National’s strategy: $1.5B over 6 years to a single utility for fiber to the home.

Labour’s strategy: $1B over 10 years to multiple providers.

Microsoft’s Amit —- talks about Software+Services

  • Local software extended with on demand computing services.

  • Small pieces loosely joined. Interoperability and standards become important.

  • Foster best of breed software and services.

  • Connecting devices together.

    • All devices seamlessly and securely integrate with each other.

    • Simple management of devices, software, and data.

    • Sharing of data between all of your devices.

  • Cloud computing, how do we split work between client and cloud.

  • Connected Business

    • Consistent UX across delivery and deployment options.

    • Common architecture and data models across deployments.

    • Flexibility and Adaptability in deployment.

WEB301: ASP.Net MVC - Should You Care? - Scott Hanselman

Very similar to Code Camp talk on ASP.Net MVC talk by Owen Evans. Scott talked mostly about the standard ASP.Net MVC features, but he is always entertaining to listen to so it was still worth watching.

ARC201: Moving Beyond Industrial Software - Harry Pierson

  • Architects are responsible for predicting and reacting to change.

  • Current Day:

    • Most IT departments are run like a factory. This is a bad model for creative work.

    • Change is happening now - traditional business models are falling apart.

  • Recommendations

    • Push control to the edge.

      • Centralized models of control cause bottlenecks.

      • Centralization as a technology no longer works.

      • Centralization slows you down - prevents marketplace agility.

      • “There is not one Microsoft anymore” - Steve Ballmer

      • Loose coupling between departments. Still need some decision making power at the centre, but not much. Central control over the budget is a good level.

    • Know when to ignore standards.

      • Choice between solving a business problem and adhering to a standard - solve the business problem!

      • The cost to maintain standards is not zero.

      • Adherence to standards costs as well.

      • Efficiency through Standardisation only occurs in a factory style environment - This is not IT!

      • What is the simplest thing that could work?

    • Empower users to solve their own problems.

      • IT people will never understand the business. If your business idea relies on good communication between IT and business people, you will probably fail.

      • Lack of marketplace within an enterprise means that there is no “natural selection” going on.

      • Build infrastructure and tools, not solutions.

      • Common, centralized infrastructure for business users to build their own solutions on. “If you want something done right, you’ve gotta do it yourself”

      • Common infrastructure costs can be amortized across the entire organization.

SEC306: Privacy - The Why, What, and How - Steve Riley

  • Data breaches in 3 1/2 Years: 227,120,380 in the US.

  • It is practically impossible to have a private face-to-face conversation with today’s invasive technologies.

  • Privacy: The right to be left alone.

  • Privacy laws and fines for data breaches have not caught up with technology - it is possible to expose your entire customer bases private data, but it is cheaper too pay the fine than fix the problem.

Steve’s session was more of a discussion. He went through a bunch of different scenarios, what was an acceptable levels of privacy invasion, what evil things it is possible to do with large amounts of user data. I don’t have much written down because I was too busy listening.

WEB302: ADO.Net Data Services - The zen of RESTfulness and the art of “Astoria” - Scott Hanselman

Astoria looks interesting - it is a framework for setting up REST web services from Entity Data Models. It looks pretty cool, you can then set up a service reference to this and use LINQ to query it. It really looks like Microsoft are setting all their stuff up to work with LINQ and enties now - very cool. The demo showed that you can use the same LINQ query on both a local database using LINQ to SQL, and by just changing the data context, you can query an Astoria web service.

As a side note, Astoria web services are just regular XML (in fact they return Atom), so it is possible to write your own implementation of this. You can set the expected data type (again, standard REST), so you can get back JSON if you want. This is important, because it allows them to use AJAX to pull this data back, and use the entities in the javascript using the actual property names. The data context has a few extra things in it, like the ability to batch requests. Again, these work in a standard REST style.