Archive for 28th June 2009

CodeStock 2009, Day 2

Here were the sessions that I attended on day 2 (Saturday, June 27, 2009) of the CodeStock 2009 developer’s conference in Knoxville, Tennessee:

Keynote by Josh Holmes

Finally, someone in the software development realm that values simplicity as much as I do…

Getting Started With WPF by John Kellar

John gave a very introductory presentation on developing applications in WPF, which seems to be the way that desktop client applications are going to be developed moving forward due to (among others) resolution independence and performance of WPF apps. The talk was pretty much devoted to a tour of simple application creation and layout in Visual Studio 2008 and Expression Blend, both by using the control toolbox and by manually manipulating the XAML. Along the way, John mentioned some interesting items, such as avoidance of the CanvasPanel, using Alt-Shift-Enter to go full screen in VS 2008, and the Microsoft web site, which is devoted to WPF application development.

ASP.NET Web Testing by Jeff McWherter

Jeff talked about aspects of testing web applications, with an emphasis on the tools that can make testing ASP.NET web sites easier and more automated. The tools he demonstrated were NUnit, WatiN, WatiN Test Recorder, qUnit (for Javascript),, and Selenium. Also, Jeff showed briefly the System.Diagnostics.Stopwatch functionality, and talked about accessibility testing using the web site.

Be A Better Developer by Michael Wood

Mike covered his theories on improving the craft of software development, and I agree with most of them. All developers need to be students and teachers first and foremost. The student part means learning about new technologies and gaining a thorough understanding of them, especially the fundamentals. The mentoring aspect allows the sharing of knowledge and experience, which benefits the entire team. His recommended reading is Getting Things Done by David Allen, and some of the tools he believes in are WinMerge, MSBuild, and Power Shell.

jQuery 101 by Rod Paddock

Rod covered an overview of jQuery, including initialization, selectors, events, and plugins. Again, being the Javascript neophyte that I am, I thought the presentation was very good and should help me figure out some of the mystery happening in these .js files in our web application project. Some of the things I found interesting were the jQuery UI, using $().focus(selectOnEntry) to automatically select text in a text box when the cursor reaches it, highlighting on focus and unhighlighting on blur, and using a div tag to display dynamic HTML.

How To Make Your Application Awesome With JSON, REST, and WCF by James Bender

James talked quite a bit about web services and using jQuery to consume them. At this point of the conference, I was a bit spent, to I did not take many notes about this presentation. The only notes I made was when he was talking about the Fiddler web debugging proxy. Hopefully, James will post his slides and sample code to refresh my memory.

Day 2 was also Javascript heavy, and I found the WPF presentation highly relevant, since we have a lot of desktop client applications in our line of business, and the WinForms applications are looking a bit dated.

A special thanks and shout out to Michael Neel and his staff and all of the presenters and sponsors on a job well done.