This year I had the chance to attend the DevLink conference in Chattanooga, TN. DevLink is a Codemash like event which brings together developers from all areas for the purpose of knowledge sharing. I had the chance to attend some amazing sessions, I would like to highlight some of my favorite moments.
XAML vs HTML5
Two of my good friends Michael Eaton and Jason Follas presented a demonstration of creating a blackjack game in both Xaml and HTML5. This was very interesting, first because I am always amazed at the skill level of my peers and Mike and Jason are no exception. The way they were able to demonstrate what these two powerful platforms can do in capable hands was exceptional. Really shows you that Xaml can easily compete with HTML5 in terms of what it can do, the only difference, of course, is HTML is ubiquitous, whereas Xaml is not.
iOS UX Secrets
I am always looking to expand my knowledge in the iOS arena as it is an area that is vital to my future as a mobile programmer. Regardless of whether or not Windows Phone eventually takes off, iOS will remain a dominant player for many years to come. Surprisingly though, much of the effects demonstrated here were aimed at helping developers mimic the UI style of Windows Phone on iOS. I also learned that Apple is continuing to strive to bring Objective-C up to par with existing modern languages, including adding features that other languages have enjoyed for years.
Entity Framework v5.0
While the prevailing thought of many seems to be that EF is dead, it doesn’t seem that way as Microsoft continues to push forward with developing additional features into the framework and making it better. I believe that Microsoft will eventually own this domain though, some kinks to work out as the demos for this particular session did not work as expected.
What I learned
It was nice to see a ton of love for Windows 8 at the conference, but this remains a rather divisive topic even among Microsoft developers. There are many who believe it will fail and many who believe it can succeed. Some who view 8 as a stepping stone for 9 which will ultimately lead to the win for Microsoft. It really is an interesting dynamic and I am constantly amazed at how visceral things have gotten in the mobile computing space between the fans of the three companies (Google, Microsoft, and Apple). Some great conversations were had, I think the distribution of thought is pretty even among the succeed fail line. It will be interesting to see what happens. As for me, I intend to install Windows 8 as soon as possible.