DevLink 2013

Last week I attended the DevLink 2013 conference Chattanooga, Tennessee.  I really must tip my hat to all the people that work together to put together such a great event.  The sessions were amazing and I absolutely love the people and networking events.  This year, the team brought in, among others, Scott Hanselman to keynote at lunch on the second day.  A fan of his Hanselminutes podcast I was not disappointed.  The keynote focused on JavaScript and showed off some of what is being written, and how Microsoft is constantly working to make JavaScript debugging and HTML debugging easier and easier leveraging Visual Studio.  I must admit though, the best part of the talk was the humor and pure entertainment value.  Scott has an amazing ability to make you chuckle and laugh but communicate necessary information.

My focus with regard to the sessions was SPA.  While I have not had as much of a chance to work on SPAs as I would like at Centare I still enjoy knowing how to use frameworks like Angular, Ember, and now Durandal which builds on top of the excellent MVVM provided by Knockout JS.  To that end, I also sat in on the Object Oriented JavaScript session.  The speaker, from AppendTo and clearly very knowledgeable on JavaScript, showed that by leveraging the proper native constructs that JavaScript can emulate the features of an object oriented language.  It was really neat and provided a glimpse into how framework designers do certain things to keep things more organized.

This was my second time attending DevLink, but it was my first time I had been accepted at a speaker.  After a good show at That Conference I was eager to prove I could handle speaking at larger conferences.  My talk started very well, some great information.  But then we got into the demos and I realized that I had not prepared as well as I should have.  I forgot to the grab the source for one of my demos, but I was able to use the Azure Management Portal to show off what would have been the result.  However, the central piece of the talk: the YouTube Voting Demo, fell apart.  I learned many things about keeping a demo on a USB stick, such as Windows 8 apps dont like their source code being on USB sticks, especially not those formatted with NTFS.

Needless to say, I was grateful most of my audience stuck with me, but I was horribly embarrassed and disappointed as I was not able to even get through my talk all the way.  Whether it was hardware or not, I obviously rested on my laurels after That Conference and assumed the code would work without me having touched it.  The only saving grace for me is, I am giving the same talk on Wednesday at Chicago Downtown .NET Developer Meetup, so its a quick chance for redemption.

But I refuse to let me poor performance take away from what was a productive and valuable conference going experience.  I look forward to attending next year as well.


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