This past weekend I attended the Alberta TechFest (an event put on by Calgary .Net User Group). TechFest resembled a code camp, but provides more seminars / sessions geared at a higher level. The sessions were geared towards: project management, the big picture of the Agile process, open source alternatives, as well as some in depth (show me the code type) presentations on Mock objects (using Rhino Mocks), Microsoft’s new Acropolis framework, Test Driven Development (TDD), and Refactoring.
- The session on Agile Project Planning With User Stories, and Refactoring Automated Unit Tests Using Test Smells and Patterns presented by Gerard Meszaros. I’ve been on a couple projects that could be characterized as “Bad Agile”, so Gerard’s presentation hit many chords, one of the comments he made really stuck out. He said something like: “it’s not about the Agile process, it’s about the results, it’s about delivering…don’t be dogmatic”. Sure it’s obvious, but it’s nice to hear it from someone else. I’m currently in the process of purchasing Gerard’s book: xUnit Test Patterns: Refactoring Test Code.
- Mock objects with Rhino Mocks was another great session (by Shane Courtrille). I’ve been using Rhino Mocks for a couple months now, but there’s always so much to learn from someone with more experience.
I’m trying to make it a point to attend more of these events in an effort to expand my community.
Windows Vista Programming with Kate Gregory – Kate briefly covered some of the exciting aspects of Vista Programming. Kate is an amazing speaker, and a true C++ guru, she may have sparked my C++ renaissance.
Barry Gervin’s impromptu session on Unit Testing and Visual Studio Team System (VSTS) – Barry gave an excellent presentation without a single power point, it was more of a question and answer period and Barry had the answers. Interesting topics included Test Driven Design (TDD) with VSTS, Team Foundation Server (TFS) Tips, and a brief overview the newest version of Visual Studio (Orcas) – which will have Unit Testing baked into the Professional / Developer version.
Chris Dufour’s great session on the Windows Communication Foundation (WCF), where the power of WCF and Service Oriented Architecture (SOA) were unlocked. Kudos to Chris he’s also the organizer of Toronto’s code camp.
It was a great event. I met a lot of great people with a common passion for development / programming. I’ll definitely be attending more, and I’m even toying with the idea organizing one here in Ottawa. :)
So what is Code Camp all about?
A Code Camp must follow these rules:
- By and For the Developer Community – Code Camps are about the developer community at large. They are meant to be a place for developers to come and learn from their peers. Topics are always based on community interest and never determined by anyone other than the community.
- Always Free – Code Camps are always free for attendees.
- Community Developed Material – The success of the Code Camps is that they are based on community content. All content that is delivered is original. All presentation content must be provided completely (including code) without any restriction. If you have content you don't want to share or provide to attendees then the Code Camp is not the place for you.
- No Fluff _ only Code – Code Camps are about showing the code. Refer to rule #1 if you have any questions on this.
- Community Ownership – The most important element of the Code Camp is always the developer community. All are welcome to attend and speak and do so without expectation of payment or any other compensation other than their participation in the community.
- Never occur during work hours – We understand that many times people can't leave work for a day or two to attend training or even seminars. The beauty of the Code Camp is that they always occur on weekends.
Read more here: http://www.torontocodecamp.net/
If your attending then I'll see you there. :)