All the speakers were quite good and I had a great time. Benaroya hall was perfect.
Here are some notes/comments I jotted down. This is not complete, these are just the things I cared to note.
Talked about the trade offs between simplicity and power when designing user interfaces. It was a good talk but much of it sounded familiar to me, but that is probably because I've been reading Joel's works and listening to the SO podcast for a while now.
Demonstrated ASP.NET MVC 2 using Visual Studio 2010 beta. I've been using ASP.NET MVC since the beta so much of this was familiar to me, but he did discuss some interesting new features, in particular using code templates to create strongly typed references to resources (such as Jpeg images) in your views (although I admit I sort of lost him in how to actually accomplish this, as he was clicking away).
Demoed iPhone development environments using iPhone SDK (objective-c) and Monodevelop (C#). Rory seemed to know both obj-c and C# well enough to draw comparisons between the languages which was useful to me.
Pretty good demo of Fogbugz 7 and Kiln, enough to convince me to try it. Didn't know before this that it was free for startups and students. Kiln/mercurial demo was great but was a bit disappointed that it is currently only available in hosted version of Fogbugz.
For lunch they had a neat idea of separating groups of tables and labeling them (A-F I think), each with a different topic (e.g. Social Networking, Languages, Startups), so that you could sit and have lunch with those interested in the same topic. I had a pleasant lunch and talk with a group of like-minded people (in my case Startups).
Good presentation, I knew much of it already but was good to get reinforcement from someone who knows this stuff. He pointed out some good links I didn't know about:
- Web tool on his site for testing jquery selectors.
- Plugged his ebook: jQuery Enlightenment
- Mentioned Microsoft was now hosting jquery scripts on their CDN (Google already doing this), I dug around and found more info here.
Dan is from Nokia and talked about the Qt framework which Nokia bought from Trolltech and converted to open source. This was interesting to me because it was the only topic of the day I had no prior knowledge of. But after his talk I will look into using Qt for Windows Mobile development as a possible alternative to raw Win32 and .NET compact framework.
A notable link he mentioned was getjar.com, where you can download mobile apps for various devices.
Provided quick overview of Python. Used Python 2.6.x for examples but spoke about 3.0 at the end. Good talk but the font colors he used in his presentation for the Python keywords were blue on black, which literally gave me headache after a while. Some links to tools he mentioned that I didn't know about:
Demoed Google App Engine dev environment using both Java and Python. I had read about this but actually seeing a live demo and seeing how easy it was to get a quick hello world app going was quite interesting.
Steve is a professor at University of Washington (UW) in Seattle and he talked about the research behind Microsoft's Photosynth (I did not know that MS licensed this from UW). This was the last talk and at first I was considering leaving because I was quite tired from sitting most of the day (and also I wanted to avoid the traffic rush out the opera hall).
But his presentation was interesting enough to keep me put. There wasn't much that helped me as a working programmer, but I was impressed with the work Steve and his colleagues have done and his explanation of some of the computer science behind it.