Live From San Francisco, it’s VSLive!

IMG_1271 I’m here at VSLive! at the BEAUTIFUL Hyatt Regency at Embarcadero Center in San Francisco. I love this hotel. Lots of great memories here. And besides the funky architecture of the buildings, there’s a cool atrium that has a mesmerizing fountain in the middle of it as the floors wrap around it.

I love VSLive! because the developers here tend to be like me, writing some sort of business application, be that web or Windows or Office/SharePoint based. There are a lot of locals here but I also met a few people that came from other countries.

The first day was off to a great start. Jason Zander, GM of Visual Studio, showed off the latest build of Visual Studio 2010 which is re-written in WPF. He showed a few of the cool productivity features too. You can read about it here and here.

I then had two talks back-to-back. The first was on LINQ best practices and tips and tricks and I had a good turnout of about 60 people. (Considering tat registration was down from last year because of the economy, I thought it was a good turnout.) It was fun to show off the language features that enable LINQ and then start ripping into LINQ to Entities and LINQ to XML providers. Here’s some LINQ talks I used to pull it together that you can check out.

The next session was the Future Directions for Visual Basic and it was basically the same session as Paul Vick and Lucian Wischik did at PDC. I was having a slight issue with a slow VPC but other than that I think it went well. I hope I did Paul and Lucian proud. :-)

After my sessions were over I attended Bill Sheldon’s talk on VSTO and SharePoint where he walked through the OBA Sales demo that is available on CodePlex. I’ve been writing a series of posts on a simple OBA Northwind scenario so it was helpful to see what kind of techniques are used in this more complex example. (BTW, I will be back to the OBA series soon — lot’s of conferences lately!) This demonstration included defining a custom content type in the document library that opened a customized Excel document that pulls in sales forecast data. It also is a good demonstration of a more complex workflow so that was also pretty cool.

Later that evening there was a welcome reception and an Ask The Experts lounge. I manned the Visual Basic "booth" — it wasn’t a booth it was a whiteboard with some chairs — but I still managed to write out code on the board. Man though, my hand writing stinks! You can tell I’m a keyboard-only person. :-) I ended up having some good conversations with folks about SharePoint development. Then dinner and drinks and a few more drinks. Very fun.

Today Tim Huckaby and Scott Stanfield showed off the Microsoft Surface and multi-touch applications. VERY COOL. I had the opportunity to play with this at PDC and it is pretty darn fun. Now I’m sitting in Walt Ritscher’s WPF data binding 101 talk and it’s goooood. I’m learning a lot of nifty types of binding  — not just to properties on data objects like I show in the videos, but also how to bind to other UIElement dependency properties, and the detailed features of the binding class. He also is showing off some cool formatting and error handling techniques. I’ll have to play with some of that when I get home and do a couple more videos.

Tonight I have a panel discussion with a bunch of folks so that should be a lot of fun. I can’t wait to see what questions the attendees will throw at us. I’ll report back tomorrow and let you know how it went! Now it’s time to head off to Billy Hollis’s talk on managing data in Silverlight (yes, I like data and shiny UIs today). Here’s Billy and me and a few other pictures I snapped today:

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