Dev Teach 2009 - Day 3


Last day of the conference (I still attended the post-conference). My brain was still operative after 3 days of squeezing it, and what a way of pushing it on for another day!!

BDD Installed

As I mentioned before I am becoming a testing junkie and I am starting to be attracted to something stronger than "simple" TDD.

I consider David Laribee a very good speaker, very capable and reflexive but I also consider his talks a bit esoteric and abstract. Being this talk no exception to my considerations.

I still have to "play" more and do some real work with BDD to buy all the goodness David promised to us. I liked the graphics of "Difficulty of Adoption" vs. "Investment Return" but I am still skeptic on the amount of value it brings to the table once you have a solid TDD (even TDDish) process in place.

I liked his ideas of ping-pong working style to get the acceptance from the team. I am still looking for the techniques to sell it to management and the clients themselves, although the old-but-not-always-successful "do but not tell" is always an option (I actually did not say this ;-p).

Overview of Oslo

If the session about DSLs from the previous day left me wanting for more Oslo, this session was just mind-blowing. Apparently, the original speaker was unable to deliver the talk and Douglas Purdy was sent to replace him. No one will know how would the talk have been, but I have to tell that it would have been hard to improve this talk.

The speaker is from Microsoft and, as I noted before, they have a different way to deliver information. And here I have to stress that "different" is not a different word for "worse".

The session did not started well. "OMG here we go with another sales pitch and a grand-vision-product". But this changed dramatically when he started to show the tools and explain examples and "poison" our malleable minds with the possibilities of the product.

He demo-ed how to define a model using M. How to consume this model with text-based and visual tools. How to create a simple DSL to interact with our model (insert entity instances).

By this time I was drooling and I wanted to marry him (platonic marriage) when he told us that in the next version we would see how our models and DSLs can be consumed and used by .Net applications.

Once married, I wanted his DNA (platonic DNA) for my descendants, when he demo-ed how to convert assemblies into models and perform complex querying using either M or plain-old TSQL.

Yes, I am aware we already have a kick-ass tool with NDepend and CQL that provides awesome capabilities for analysis and querying of code. But I was bought it with the promises of integration of those models with another model-enabled applications.

He even showed how to import UML diagrams into an Oslo repository from Eclipse!!!! Eclipse! Did you hear that? Eclipse! Times are A-Changing

Architecting Silverlight Applications

Boy, was I fired-up after the Oslo session. And the next session did not disappoint me in any way. Darcy delivered a very sound session and showed great deal of experience and knowledge on the subject when audience asked to be more explicit on the strong/weak points of Silverlight against other architectural alternatives for the presentation layer.

It was a session on considerations that we have to take into at different levels when we evaluate the fitness of Silverlight as the chosen technology for the forthcoming application. The session was completed with small knowledge pearls (from the attendants also), announcements of new capabilities for tools and bunch of answers to practical questions from the audience.

Very satisfying.

Unleash Your Domain

A very, very nice talk on "revolutionary" techniques for DDD goodness with, yet again, no concrete implementations.

I have to digest the wacky ideas the speaker threw at the audience. I am not going to say I picked up everything but I was not alone (some attendants acknowledged that in public, how brave and cool is that, huh?)

Even so the session provided me with a lot of mind-fodder: weird message-based domain models and ultimate Command/Query Separation with completely segregated models.

Customizing the Entity Data Model

No I am not a quitter. I still think that Entity Framework is still not there. But I still want to understand first-hand why in detail. The fact that I planed to attend Julia's full-day on the subject and she becoming one of my speaking-favorites from the last edition led me to this room.

And, as always, she delivers. She is really passionate with the subject and knows how to present cold facts with no trace of evangelism.

The session was full of code and practical information (which kept me happy) about the work one can do with the classes generated out of a "fixed" data model. Entity splitting, conditional mapping, inheritance and a preview of complex types coming in the next version of the framework, filled our time joyfully.

Building and Application with Oslo

Last session. And what is better than close the deal with your blue prince from several hours ago?

But you know how transient love is, mostly teenage love ("we better split before one goes to jail or gets seriously broken-hearted").

We badly broke because one of the parts was not ready and, not finger-pointing here, it was him. Well, his... thing. Oslo is just not there yet.

My mind was drifting away with the possibilities of Oslo and DSLs, and consuming them from .Net programs when I was sent back to earth badly as the speaker (Douglas again) was showing the complexity and the annoyance that the process it is right now (duplication of model classes, slightly cumbersome API, etc...)

Oslo (Doug), listen to me. I still like you, but... I have to go on with my day-to-day and you are still not ready to bring happiness to my days. Give me a ring when you are a grown-up. I have lots of plans for us two.

Plays of the Day

Wow, what a last day of conference:

  • "Reificated"-love in standby with Oslo
  • Now I know more when Silverlight can be of use to me
  • DDD fantasies and data partitioning dreams. Data consistency, you do not know how they hate you. Yes, you and that 2-phase-commit friend of yours
  • A first-bite of the Entity Framework cake