DEV Intersection 2015: .NET conference in Las Vegas

8 December 2015

This year Las Vegas, the city of contrasts, casinos, and entertainments, held one of the biggest global IT-conferences — DEV Intersection. As usual, NIX expert team didn’t miss the opportunity to take part in this incredible event and went to Las Vegas for .NET-adventures.

How it was

For a whole week, the incredibly amazing and gorgeous MGM hotel turned into a brain center under the Microsoft flag. The ballroom halls were equipped with all of the necessary stuff for workshops and reports. Over 3000 specialists from more than 50 countries came to the event for new bunches of knowledge and positive emotions.

The conference itself could be divided in two logical parts: main part and workshops. NIX Solutions team managed to visit each workshop and each report — that is why we consider this trip to be super productive and useful for our engineers.

On the first conference day, after check-in, each participant got a personal ID (badge) with his name, which he had to show to the controllers before entering lectures and even lunch rooms. In addition, there was also a list of important workshops on the badge. Fortunately, there were enough check-in counters, so no one had to stand in line for a long time.

Besides the IDs, each participant received a pen, knapsacks (for papers and presents), various surveys, conference program, and gift cards, which offered a chance to win various presents: from the usual T-shirts to a trip to the Caribbean for two people.

During the conference, each participant could have breakfast or lunch in specially prepared hall with pigeons flying above, and staff who was trying to catch them (although this only happened once, eyewitnesses would remember it for a long time, we guess).

The conference reports were divided into several streams: DEV intersection, IT EDGE intersection, and SQL intersection.

Reports

Each conference day started with reports from the Microsoft experts in a large hall and a small gift with the company’s brand mark on each participant’s table.

Steve Guggenheimer, CVP and Chief Evangelist at Microsoft, was the headliner on the first day. He spoke about Microsoft development direction, company’s count on open source, and of course, he didn’t forget about Azure. Also he presented several demos on devices — SurfaceBook was definitely among the most interesting ones, our guys say. The topic of Azure was raised on each day of the conference.

The main conference part started on the next day with reports from Scott Guthrie, Executive Vice President at Microsoft, Cloud and Enterprise Group and Bob Ward, CTO at Microsoft CSS Americas. Scott spoke about the latest Azure updates and future releases and shared the platform development plans, which are to provide great opportunities for working with a large amount of data and impressive potential for analysis of this data. He emphasized the transfer of compute capacities to cloud storage: it is clear that these are the technologies of the future. Nowadays, though the developer is the most in-demand profession in the world, the requirements for specialists are increasing, as they are main knowledge holders in the world of IT technologies.

Being inspired by Scott’s report, NIX team chose the streams and went to reports, starting with “What’s New in C#6, with a Peek at C#7” by Kathleen Dollard.

Judie Lerman explained how to understand and use Domain-Driver-Design, and why it is really worth paying attention to. Then our guys attended the report of Juval Lowy, the founder of iDesign, who spoke about the specifications of Software Project Design usage.
NIX experts found this information very interesting and useful. After the report, they were looking forward to testing Juvale’s formulas, so it would be possible to estimate a project’s liveness and perspectives. Besides, Juvale managed to put a new face on the Project Architect role and gladden the audience with such bright characters such as monkey developers and empty suits managers.

After attending all available reports, at least the NIX Solutions experts felt the 10-hour time difference with Ukraine and went to sleep. During the conference evenings, everybody could take part in different lotteries with prizes, and on the next day the guys from Telerik organized hackathon with free food and prizes.

The second day started with very tasty cinnamon buns and Scott Hanselmann, Principal Community Architect for Web Platform and Tools, who explained the changes in ASP.NET platform. Scott informed everyone that the new .NET core has become a real cross-platform framework and can perform anywhere: no matter, whether it is Apple laptop, Linux server, or simply Raspberry Pi. Moreover, .NET, which was an open code before, now is a real open source framework. It means that any developer worldwide can make his contribution to the common activity of the world .NET-community. During the second conference day, our experts learned how to improve code quality and received important information about the importance of leaders’ qualities in developers; besides this, they were told about the latest updates on C# and how to plan the project, taking into account risks so that it can be completely under control.

In the evening, our guys received their sacred XBOX ONE and Surface 3 with Windows 10. An Expo-zone, which was opened for two days, included nearly 20 companies, who demonstrated their new products: anyone interested could try them and receive gifts: pens, t-shirts wrapped in box brains from JetBrains, and a free monthly subscription to PLURALSIGHT.COM. Besides, one could find out more about new tools for both developers, who create new features, and product owners, who implement them.

The third and final day of the conference was opened by Jason Zander, Corporate Vice President at Microsoft Azure. He spoke in detail about the Azure features, how easy is to raise and promote Azure apps, and the options, which the developers can apply for system management and analysis; Jason also provided quality examples for each topic.
NIX experts highlighted the reports about the right usage of EF: what features should be applied, how to break the habit of designing apps based on database, and how to start designing based on domain only.

In the evening, the organizers held a discussion panel, and then the conference ended with a grand closing ceremony, where one could take part in a sportive lottery and answer such “difficult” questions such as:

In .NET 4.0, how can you determine if your process is running in 64-bit mode?

Variants:

  1. Is64BitProcess
  2. IsNot32BitProcess
  3. IsUsingLotsofMemory

The lottery was held by quiz-masters of .NET Rocks! podcast, Carl Franklin and Richard Campbell.

Workshops

One could attend master-classes for a couple of days before and after the conference, from 9 am to 5 pm. The narrators saw to the master-classes so that not only were they practically useful, but they also provided the participants with the necessary theoretical knowledge. Each morning was devoted to theory; practice was after dinner. The lack of coffee was the only thing that disturbed our guys while digesting the received information after dinner, NIX experts say :).

Our guys highlighted several workshops: among them were Zen of Architecture and Troy Hunt. The first one was devoted to correct system design: what should be taken into account and how to develop the customer’s idea into a working product, staying within budget and terms. Then, at Troy Hunt, a web security expert told how to detect and use system vulnerabilities.

However, other workshop speakers were also great; actually, we can say this about all of the conference speakers. It is obvious that they have a lot of experience and can find interesting and actual report topics and know what they are talking about.

After the DEV Intersection 2015 conference, our guys got many bright impressions, a bunch of new knowledge, and a huge portion of new ideas. Inspired by .NET-evangelists, our experts were looking forward to sharing their new knowledge with other developers. And they did it: at the end of November, a NIX Solutions speaker spoke about the main news from the world of .NET at Sync.NET conference in Kharkiv.