Home > PDC, TDD, Test Driven Development > PDC 2005 – Day Three Review

PDC 2005 – Day Three Review

PDC is now over and I finally have time to tell you
about Day 3. 🙂

It started with an outstanding session “Advanced
Data Access Patterns” by Pablo Castro. We saw Pablo in a great Data
session (DAT200) the day before (he coded by hand avoiding code snippets which
drew some jokes among the speakers) so we knew we were in for a good one
witha whole session by him. The format for the session was fantastic
– he planned the agenda based on the 4 most common ADO.NET problems based on
customer feedback and then proceeded to answer them all with examples and
implementations in ADO.NET 2.0. He showed off the new SqlDependency class
and how it can be used for “smart” caching with notifications of changes being
sent back from SQL Server (wow!). He also delved into how DataSets can now
be used as an efficient caching system (harking back to the late 90’s idea of
the “in memory database”) and then proceeded to layer a series of custom Qxxx
classes with the DataSet to show how joins, projections and filters could be
used on the tables in the DataSet. Pablo stated that the new DataSet in
ADO.NET 2.0 has been significantly reworked to improve performance – putting a
million records in it is no longer a problem. They have eliminated the
exponential performance issues where things degraded based on the volume of
data. Definitely look for Pablo’s session (DAT408) in the post-conference
slides and downloads.

I caught a Team System presentation
(TLN312)in the afternoon but it had a few glitches (the first I had seen
at PDC). The demonstration of testing (both unit and web/recorded tests)
and coverage analysis seemed a little rough around the edges. Being
seasoned TDD’ers, we might bea little critical but the IDE seemsa
little cluttered and might not be optimal for productivity. The
web/recorded tests are also a strange thing for TDD since they appear to require
the UI to exist to generate the test. The presenter did show a “convert to
code” feature so maybe the recorded is still useful. To explain: writing
the test first (as TDD requires) is difficult if the UI has to already
exist. Bearing in mind that Team System is a first release and carries
loads of features, I think it is fair to give a little slack and say that it is
a remarkable platform and achievement by Microsoft. I can’t wait to free
up a full system (not a VPC) for an install!

I got to meet up with our local Microsoft Developer
Community Champion, Geoff Snowman,
in the Track Lounges to compare PDC impressions. Geoff was impressed with
the tracks to date and pointed out the strategic vision across all technologies
that PDC provides which was something that hadn’t occurred to me.

Bob (yes, the Bob) and I also started discussions
on a new thycotic venture, project ihawu, in the afternoon. Keep posted
for more info on ihawu.

The trip was rounded out by a fantastic steak
dinner at the local Morton’s that evening
which was a fabulous end to an exciting week.

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