Chris Alexander

On Engineering

#ukpdc10 Full Time - wins all round

29th October, 2010

So the #ukpdc10 event has come to a close. While developers attending the event in the US get yet more content to enjoy, over on the east of the Atlantic we’re calling it a night. But what a brilliant event it has been!

First of all thanks must go out to the UK team for putting together the event, and dealing with so many geeks in the same very small space for so long! I know I have had a great time and I’m sure many other people have come away enlightened and enthused as a result.

I tried to get to a variety of the sessions on offer (while keeping up with the others via Twitter and Google Reader on the iPad) so as I was in the Framework & Tools talk on C# 5 earlier, after I had played with Kinect (watch out for some more content on that coming up soon) in the break and then dropped by the Windows Phone 7 session on top tips for building Windows Phone 7 apps.

This session was very much the pinnacle of what you could possibly do with a “top tips” session on WP7. To help them along, they had developers from two consulting companies who were commissioned to build the Facebook and Twitter apps for Windows Phone. As they only had 2 months to put them together, they learnt a lot about optimisations, best practices, and designing great user experiences while fitting in with the various brands and guidelines involved. I won’t go into all of the tips, but it is well worth checking out the video if building apps is something you really want to get involved with. From broad design theory, such as combining the branding guidelines of the Metro user experience with the experience already created and carefully managed by the brands, to tips for optimising your app to make it faster (and seem considerably quicker too) when loading up from being tombstoned.

To keep my balance I also dropped into the final Cloud session, which discussed AppFabric Services. AppFabric provides platform-level services to developers. Currently the services are split across AppFabric on Windows Azure and AppFabric for Windows Server. The advantage of the services is that developers don’t need to manage them (for example, managing your own memcache against using the caching AppFabric service, which are entirely managed automatically) and also that they are available through more than just .NET - PHP, Java, and other languages can all talk to them.

So it’s all quiet now at Microsoft HQ, time to call it a night and start digging through all of the info that’s coming out tomorrow!