Scott Hanselman

PNP Summit 2007 - One of these things doesn't belong

September 18, 2007 Comment on this post [43] Posted in Microsoft | Speaking
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This November 5-9, I'll be playing the famous Sesame Street children's game "One of These Things Is Not Like The Others" at the Patterns & Practices Summit on the Microsoft Campus.

Let's play now together, shall we?

The next patterns & practices Summit takes place November 5 - 9 in the Kodiak Room at the Microsoft Conference Center at Microsoft's main campus in Redmond, Washington.

Keynote presentations by:
Anders Hejlsberg, Steve McConnell, Scott Guthrie, Scott Hanselman, & John Lam

OK, seriously. Anders? Steve FREAKING McConnell? (He's literally changed his middle name to FREAKING just for this blog post.) Scott "My Boss's Boss" Guthrie? Family Friend and IronRuby Wonk Dr. John Lam?

SusanthesethingsIs it the head tilt that makes me odd man out? Possibly. Perhaps the "senior class photo" use of sepia tone? Maybe. The giant fore-fivehead? No comment there, lets just say I am hair-plug and hairpiece free as of the time this writing.

Perhaps the fact that I've never created a programming language? Or several. Possibly never written a genre-changing book? Or several. Possibly that I've never shipped or managed the shipping of a Microsoft Product? Or several. Or, maybe because I haven't got a PhD in biochemistry? Oh. What have I gotten myself into? The humanity!

I can only assume I was invited in the "Ze Frank" sense of invited, to provide social commentary and wit. Of course, lacking both, I need your help, Dear Reader. Which of these presentation ideas that I've been kicking around should I do?

Brainstorming Topic Ideas
  • It's Not That Scary - Remember that you do in fact know .NET 2.0 and even though 3.0 and 3.5 seem scary, we have the tools and knowledge it'll take to pick up these complementary technologies quickly.
  • MVC ASP.NET Frameworks - Why things like Monorail and the new MVC ASP.NET Framework from DevDiv should matter to Developers
  • ALT.NET - What is the ALT.NET movement and why should the average developer coding on .NET care?
  • Free VS2008 3rd Party Tools - The best of the 3rd party free utilties and tools, created by the community, that make Orcas just that much more fun to develop on.
  • LINQ in a Larger Context - How does LINQ fit into n-tier software development and OO design patterns? Does it help or hinder, pervert or promote good coding?
  • The Importance of Being IIS7 - Why IIS7 should be on the minds of developers, not just IT guys. How hard should developers push their tech leads and bosses to look at IIS7 and why will it make their lives easier?
  • Improving Your Sense of Code Smell - C# 3.0 and VB9 bring dozens of new programmatic idioms, many of which that are unfamiliar. How can we "update" our sense of code smell and know when an old familiar pattern needs a breath of fresh Anonymous Types or Explicit Conversion Operators?
  • Passion for the Craft - How does one find balance between being the best coder they can be and being the best everything else? Can everything get done at work and you still punch out at 5:01pm? What role does passion play in the life of the .NET developer?
  • The Coming Dynamic Storm (or Language Storm) - As C# 3.0 gains dynamic-like features, the DLR and no less than a dozen new dynamic language implementations from LISP to SmallTalk, Nemerle to Boo, and IronRuby to IronPython are coming into their own, not to mention F#. Is there room for 12 awesome .NET CLR-based languages? What does this mean for the C# and VB developer?
  • Mitigating the Angle Bracket Tax with LINQ to XML - Folks using XML need to take a hard look at System.Xml.Linq and their powerful bridge classes. LINQ is wonderful, we know, but the XElement and XDocument classes - independent of LINQ - provide a fresh new perspective on what working with XML should look like.
  • REST for the Rest of Us - Wait a minute? I thought WS-Security and WS-* were the future? Now WCF supports REST? Which is it and what does it mean to the developer on the front line?
  • Post RTM Tooling - What new Free Add-Ins to VS.NET 2008 will be available (around Jan/Feb) post RTM to handle interesting niche cases (like the WPF-based Visual XSD Designer) and other coolness?

At any rate, I encourage you to sign up to attend the pnpSummit. At least four of the five keynotes is likely to be quite good!

About Scott

Scott Hanselman is a former professor, former Chief Architect in finance, now speaker, consultant, father, diabetic, and Microsoft employee. He is a failed stand-up comic, a cornrower, and a book author.

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September 18, 2007 22:30
I think you would do very well on the "Passion for the Craft" topic.
September 18, 2007 22:41
Mark one vote for "The Coming Dynamic Storm (or Language Storm)". I seriously can't wait. Not only do I think there's room for these languages. But I really think it's going to blow the Microsoft as a development platform wide open in a number of ways, including programmer productivity and open source development. The only thing that could make this bigger, IMHO, would be a free IDE.
September 18, 2007 22:41
My vote is on MVC. It's a pretty significant shift from your standard Page Lifecycle vanilla ASP.NET method of writing web apps.

While many of us left Vanilla ASP.NET behind a long time ago to do some form of Ajaxified ASP.NET, MVC is still a pretty big paradigm shift for most of the community.

And it will probably face some initial backlash from parts of the community...especially if Microsoft doesn't do a good job in communicating what its advantages are and why it is being introduced as early as possible.

That's my .02
September 18, 2007 22:45
Visual Studio Express doesn't count? That's a pretty bad-ass IDE, for free.
September 18, 2007 22:46
Karthik - We're meeting with the ALT.NET folks at the ALT.NET conference in two weeks. The MVC stuff will live side by side with everyone, I'm sure.
September 18, 2007 22:50
Gah! You're right.

How could I forget? I've been fortunate enough to have access to MSDN through work for several years now, so I guess I haven't paid really close attention to the free tools available.
September 18, 2007 23:01
Make them add a day to the conference and do all of them. :)

Here are my favorite subjects in order of favoriteness.

The Coming Dynamic Storm (or Language Storm)
Improving Your Sense of Code Smell
Passion for the Craft
MVC ASP.NET Frameworks

September 18, 2007 23:01
Id opt for the LINQ in n-tier talk but i live in the middle east so i wont get to see it :( I'm dying to know what the best practice guys think about putting linq in n tier web apps. I read a blog by one of the guys in Vertigo but I'm still not completely sold.
September 18, 2007 23:02
I think Anders would be the one that does not fit with the rest of the group, I see him more like a genius. I don't think you come shy of the other ones.
Anyway, I vote for MVC ASP.NET Frameworks, I started working with ROR and Monorail and I like it.
September 18, 2007 23:02
Hey Now Scott,
You got the best podcast of all them, the best tool list, a decent blog vs. ScottGu's. As with anything when your on a team with better competition or higher skills it will increase your skill level. I like the idea's of Passion for the Craft, Free VS2008 3rd Party Tools, The Coming Dynamic Storm (or Language Storm) & Improving Your Sense of Code Smell Enjoy it!
September 18, 2007 23:06
I would suggest The Coming Dynamic Storm (or Language Storm). It seems less trendy (and thus, more lasting) than some of the other topics. A nice collection of ideas, in any case.
September 18, 2007 23:06
My vote: MVC. Of the things on the list, that's the most "I should know more about that but don't". Bonus cheesy opening line: "By the end of this session, everybody in the room will be able to spell MVC".
September 18, 2007 23:07
Second - I'm sure you'll do JUST FINE.
Third - about the list - just, THANK YOU for the pointers (how did I miss MVC ASP.NET Framework ?!)
September 18, 2007 23:38
My vote for Passion of the Craft
September 18, 2007 23:40
Come now Scott. You give too little credit for the size of one's fiveforehead.
September 18, 2007 23:44
Hey Scott, that's quite the line-up, so Congrats! (Hey you've built your own blog, that's a pretty significant thing).

As to the Topics:
- The Coming Dynamic Storm (or Language Storm)
- Improving Your Sense of Code Smell
- LINQ in a Larger Context

Stuff like MVC is only good if you have like 4 hours and everyone has their laptop and you can actually work through a problem. Stuff like "angle bracket" tax is also pretty small-time, and though it's one of your specialties, it's also stuff that's usually just abstracted out or abstracted away. This makes for a great info session for people who really need it, but lots of people don't have time for it. Talking about Passion for the craft is a great (yay me, let's rally)-type of discussion, but you're at an expensive event, so you're mostly preaching to the choir. You can send people to your code-reading project or your podcast instead and they'll catch on.

The truth is, you can mash-up all of these topics and deliver something truly great. Improved code-smell is part and parcel with LINQ which is deeply tied to the coming dynamic storm. If you want to blow people away, write something simple in C#, F#, IronRuby & C# (3.0 with LINQ).

Most people are not capable of doing this, but you probably are. Highlight the differences in coding and you'll automatically cover all of these topics. You can highlight code elegance, strengths and weaknesses, you can even use your code-reading experiment to highlight the "code experience". What do F# / LINQ / IronRuby look like and how is this going to change the way that I program?

I don't know if anyone is quite as qualified as yourself to demo this topic.
September 19, 2007 0:12
All of them? :)

I would vote for some combination of Code Smell and Coming Storm...

Good Luck
September 19, 2007 0:31
+1 for MVC
September 19, 2007 0:39
I cast all my available votes for Passion of the Craft. Working at a company like Microsoft invariable leads you to forget about what it's like to be an Everyman developer. As the least-tenured Microsoftie on the panel, you're in a great position to talk about what it's like In The Real World... leave the frameworks and languages to the guys who have been there for a while.

PS: I've had my tickets to the summit since October of last year, when the monumental incompetence of the airline industry caused me to miss the 2006 edition.
September 19, 2007 1:31
go with MVC
September 19, 2007 2:16
Wow! Your profile on the presenters page is long than ScottGu's... you must be something special!

Personally I think a mashup is in order: "Passion for the Coming Smelly Storm (It's not that scary)"

Either way, you'll be great... you're one of the big guns now.
September 19, 2007 2:16
September 19, 2007 2:49
Sorry, I can't really help you. I would love to hear you talk about any one of those topics. Seriously. Not 90%, not 95%, but 100%. Just pick the one you think you can add the most too / needs to be covered the most, and go with it.
September 19, 2007 4:26
Passion for the Craft
September 19, 2007 10:58
I vote for ALT.NET. I started working at Microsoft about a year ago, coming from a mixed java/ALT.NET background. From my experience it will be the most exotic topic and make you stand out in a good way, which is basically what you want, you don't want to compete with these guys in their own backyards.

September 19, 2007 11:19
Are you kidding? From the photos it's obvious that you is what you get when you merge Steve McConnell and Scott Guthrie (granted with a little facial hair thrown in for good measure). Consider yourself the stylish 2.0 mashup of those guys!

+1 for the Language Storm's a-comin'
September 19, 2007 13:26
The Coming Dynamic Storm (or Language Storm)
MVC ASP.NET Frameworks
Improving Your Sense of Code Smell
Passion for the Craft


I am sharing my opinion with Mike as mentioned above by him, but the order of preference is changed.

If not at the conference, you still have room to put this topics as blogs in depth.

September 19, 2007 14:09
There is no Demerle language, did you mean Nemerle? Nemerle, Boo and F# are static with type inference.
September 19, 2007 14:17
Thanks, fixed!
September 19, 2007 16:57

At any rate, I encourage you to sign up to attend the pnpSummit. At least four of the five keynotes is likely to be quite good!

I bet all five keynotes would rock.

My picks:

1. MVC ASP.NET Frameworks
September 19, 2007 18:16
My votes in order: MVC, Dynamic Languages, and ALT.NET. Having just paid the toll recently of having to perform custom paging with a GridView over a list of plain-old objects (way uglier than it needs to be), and having some understanding of the way of ROR, Django, et. al. work; I need to know there's something that will make it better.

Previous posters might be on to something. Anything you pick would be better if you focused on the latest thinking, how it makes us more productive/happy, and what does "Beautiful" mean in the near future.
September 19, 2007 21:05
Hi Scott, I vote for Linq in a larger context. I have read lots of stuff about how linq (mostly linq to sql) will not work well in n-tier apps. I am sure you would have an interesting take on it.
September 19, 2007 21:11
Robin - Got any links to those articles/post about LINQ?
September 19, 2007 21:52

I would think the Alt.Net topic would be appropriate for a Patterns and Practices summit.
Failing that, go with MVC ASP.NET Frameworks

If you don't choose Alt.Net, perhaps a Hanselminutes episode on it might be an idea. Just so the rest of us can get a feel for what that group is thinking.

Just my thoughts.

September 20, 2007 8:18
MVC: Yes
ALT.NET: Yes, naturally follows from MVC (or vice versa)
VS2008 3rd Party Tools: Could be covered just as well in a blog post
IIS7: Possibly; would make a good Hanselminutes episode too
Dynamic Languages: Perhaps showing some of the usefulness of Ruby in the daily life of a .NET developer would be nice
REST: Might be useful, considering it's a best practice and this is a patterns & practices summit
September 20, 2007 11:54
My vote:
1. MVC, not just for the ASP.NET, but for desktop .NET applications too

The reason I don't think you need to talk about dynamic languages is not because the topic isn't interesting, but because John Lam will do a good job anyway, so why duplicate the effort?

September 20, 2007 16:51
You're not *that* out of place dude. At least you don't look as dorky as John does, but then he doesn't sleep and I think you get at least a few minutes a day napping (while you're waiting for Live Meeting to work).

The MVC thing is the way to go. Monorail rocks, ASP.NET forms blows chunks and the mere concept of having to load a page just to call my Page_Load method which will delegate to a service to get to the real logic, *then* pump it out to the UI is dumb. Monorail got it right and MVC is the way web apps need to work.

PS while you don't think you don't belong (yeah, I know, double-negative) you do have that honking big ASP.NET book that takes up a *lot* of room on the bookshelves, not to mention a tree killer in it's own right (the hard cover "special edition" that is).

PPS Yeah, I still drive that huge truck that can carry your car in the back and gets 2 gallons to the mile. I'm still digging through the front seat because I'm sure you lost something in there.

PPPS There is no such thing as PPPS silly rabbit.
September 21, 2007 22:30
I would go for ASP.NET MVC Frameworks, it's the topic that should reaaaly get more attention and publicity. By the way what is up with the MVC Framework developed by Microsoft DevDiv. I've heard/read about it couple of times (here you mention it again) but never seen it. Is there any public prototype/beta version that can be downloaded or seen in action?
September 22, 2007 0:11
This one -> The Coming Dynamic Storm (or Language Storm)
September 22, 2007 3:22
I'm going!

Looks like I'll get to experience a live HanselSpeech for the first time :) As such, my vote counts more than everyone else's, and I'm on board with Gates VP's suggestion:

How 'bout a mashup of these three:
- The Coming Dynamic Storm (or Language Storm)
- Improving Your Sense of Code Smell
- LINQ in a Larger Context

It would be tough to squeeze all that into a 1-hour presentation, no doubt, but I imagine it would fit very nicely into a HanselHour.
September 26, 2007 20:34
I'm going too, and I vote for LINQ in a larger context or REST for the rest of us.
October 01, 2007 16:08
Hi there,

Good Responses. majority is opting for MVC for

May i know, what is the outcome of this.

October 24, 2007 21:46
I'll be there, looking forward too it. Just was reading the descriptions of the sessions today.
One thing interesting to note though:
and I just hope it is not a pattern, it sure is not good practice that the promised USB drive included in the pnpsummit package changed from a 80 Gb to a 60....did anyone notice?

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Disclaimer: The opinions expressed herein are my own personal opinions and do not represent my employer's view in any way.