Another beautiful and informative day here in Orlando, FL at Visual Studio Live 2010. I would have to pull my old conference materials for comparison, but I really like the 4-5 class per day format. I seem to remember 6 or more classes per day in the past which can maker for a really long day especially if learning new concepts. However, this format has been perfect.
Had great classes with industry leaders like Leonard Lobel, Gus Emery, and Jason Bock. I also must note that one of the best byproducts of these conferences is the side conversations and networking that occurs informally. Everyone at these conferences is here for one reason: they are the leaders of their respective teams or companies in reference to software development and related ares and love what we do. For this reason, everyone is eager to chat, talk, and discuss their jobs, work, applications, etc which is quite nice.
One new product I learned of today was Microsoft WebMatrix. http://www.asp.net/webmatrix This is an all inclusive tool to rapidly build web applications using shared pre-built components built by the development community, and hosted on IIS Development Express. What I was instantly amazed by was how Rabi Satter (@rsatter42) wrote in '1' line of code (no joke) a Twitter client that searches for a keyword that took me probably 500-1000 lines of code (between Silverlight client and WCF proxy service) to do essentially the same thing. OK no denying that is nice, and the technology offers more of the same (Twitter, Facebook, Wiki, Blogs, PayPal, etc). It is still in Beta and will probably not revolutionize web development and having everyone run away from their current platforms, but it certainly will have a presence.
Lastly, I had the unique and great pleasure of dining this even with 2 prominent leaders of our industry, Rocky Lhotka and Jason Bock. Seeing how I have listened to them speak, read books from them, Twitter feeds, blogs, etc. it was a real nice experience to hang out with not only some top echelon developers, but also some just really cool guys. Everyone at dinner liked the band Rush (hey, who doesn't) which made for some good conversation as well. I hope to hook up with you guys more in the future and highly recommend those of you in the industry to check these guys blogs out as well: http://www.lhotka.net/ and http://www.jasonbock.net/JB/Default.aspx