So today I decided to ditch school and participate in Stack Overflow Dev Days 2009. I thought the conference was pretty good and the student price of $10 was amazing! The turn out was a little less than I had anticipated but I suppose that just left more room to spread out for those of us that went. I got there pretty early, 8:15am, checked in and grabbed a seat. They were serving coffee and some muffins.
There was a bit of swag available:
- A Multi-Bit Screwdriver, “…to give to your friends that need to screw something.” ~Joel Spolsky
- Stack Overflow, Server Fault, Super User and Fog Bugz stickers
- Fog Bugz Pamphlets
- For those that got in early (like me =D) “Painless Project Management with FogBugz“
- Dev Days buttons
- Fog Bugz notepads
Stuff I liked:
- The Python talk and dissection of the Google spell check algorithm by Mike Schiraldi of Reddit
- This presentation was really well layed out, easy to follow and appealed to the geek in me as it ran in xterm on python haha. Pretty slick Mike…
- The jQuery talk by Cody Lindely
- Most, if not all of Joel’s talks were highly entertaining. He talked about Fog Bugz and all the features that the software has, such as:
- Not technically a feature, but ya….Fog Bugz 7
- Fog Bugz Kiln, tight Fog Bugz integration with hg
- I talked to Joel a little during one of the breaks and sadly support for git is not on the roadmap, and he said it probably won’t ever be….*sad panda*
- Also not a direct feature, but part of a plugin for Fog Bugz, Balsamiq Mockups I think this app has great potential to interact with prospective clients
- The QT (cute) presentation by Daniel Rocha of Nokia. This presentation really impressed me, he did actual coding (yes typing), compilation and a demo on 3 separate platforms and they all worked flawlessly. Kudos Daniel! This presentation also showed QT’s cross platform power, seamless migrations from one platform to another, that was pretty slick.
- Jeff Atwood’s talk about random junk. I wished his presentation would’ve gone on longer it was pretty entertaining. He’s actually a really nice guy, I talked with him during one of the breaks and he gave me some coding horror stickers =D
Stuff I didn’t like:
- The provided wifi was pretty crappy, I found myself tethered to my cell for most of the day. It was just unmanageable. I would have thought they would have gotten this right, especially after Joel’s writeup on conference wifi.
- A lot of the presentations went backwards in my mind. I think the presenters should show the power of said technology first (get the fancy demos out of the way) and then talk about the code/app/etc. that powered that demo. This probably would’ve worked much better for Rory Blyth and his iPhone presentation. There were a lot of boring coding sessions that didn’t need to take place IMHO, we’re developers and we can figure out syntax on our own….rtfm.
- The Google Apps Engine talk by Jason A Cooper of Google would’ve been more captivating if he had spent more time talking about the product/service and less time typing code. Though he did show off some fancy gChat integration stuff that wow-ed the crowd, that was pretty neat.
- The keynote was an interesting take on software design, I really liked what Joel had to say on Simplicity vs Power. It basically came down to: write elegant code so your users don’t have to make lots of decisions. Though I don’t think you should take elegant and make your code a giant unreadable 1 line mess. That’s a total maintenance buzz kill.
Well I think that’s it for now, see you all next year!