Last week we had the DevDays 09 event. A two day event packed with more than 50 sessions in which i did 3 sessions (technically two and a half).
The last time we had a local DevDays event was in 2004. Which brings back some memories, Due to the foulness of someone who shall remain nameless i was invited to speak for the first on a Microsoft event (something which has been repeating ever since). It was a session about the on the defunct Shadowfax
Since then Microsoft didn’t organized any local Devdays (in 2005,2007 and 2008 we had TechDays) but this year IT was left out so we had DevDays which is mainly a developer event.
This year i was present in the architecture and the developer tracks. I did three sessions:
ARC206 Patterns & Anti-Patterns – While attending a session on Teched EMEA, me and Jota agreed that not only it was the best session we had attended so far. That we should present it on DevDays 09 :-).
It was a presentation about Architectue Patterns & Anti-Patterns, the first (and only :-)) mistake we did was placing patterns on the title since we only talked about architecture anti-patterns.
The presentation went very well, the room was packed (actually it was overflowing the people present exceeded the capacity of the room (which was 150 people)) and people seemed to genuinely like it (at least the session feedback was unusually high for an architecture talk). The presentation was based on Teched EMEA’s ARC 203 Architectures: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly. Based being the operative word. We not only cut the presentation in half so we could concentrate on the most important issues we also rewrote the content. If I’m allowed to say so i think we somehow manage to surpass the original presentation. :-)
The session went so well that me and Jota are already conjuring what we should come with next time. :-)
TLA206-Scrum e Team System – This was a mixed and ungrateful presentation. I wanted to do a talk on both Scrum and Team System. Since the time was short i had to base my session on the assumption that people were allready familiar with Scrum and had a vague idea what Tem System is.
In this session I’ve shown the three available process templates to use Scrum with Team System, namely:
I’ve tried to enumerate the advantages and disadvantages of the three alternatives and i showed how you can leverage Team System while using Scrum. I did this by demoing Scrum for Team System and how you can complement it by using Scrum Dashboard to have a complete and visual grasp of the progress of your sprint. I’ve also shown how you can use Conchango’s TaskBoard to let you plan and manage your sprint more easily in a graphical manner.
The session was well received by the 120 people that were present.
TLA303 – Customização e Extensibilidade Team System – This was a session on customization and extensibility of Team System. This was a 300 level session and it was assumed people knew what Team System is. Perhaps this scared people off because the session wasn’t full. I don’t have an official count, but by calculations there were probably 68-80 people on the room. This is a purely hands on session. The session has 5 slides with content (excluding titles,etc) on which 3 are images, so it leaves us with 2 slides of information. The rest was done purely on a Virtual Machine with VSTS doing demos. Customization and extensibility is a topic that can be talked for hours so i had to focus my talk on a few topics. I’ve chosen these ones:
- Customizing a process template (including reporting)
- Using the Object Model
- Work Item Custom Controls
- Source Control Checkin Policies
In this session I wanted to do something different. Instead of the usual show the power and ease of process customization demo by demoing how it is possible to customize a process by adding a field to a bug to allow you to list the client who reported it or the date that is expected to have this feature implement or such trivial task.
To show the power of TFS i did a demo totally unrelated to software development. I created a process template from scratch to manage a soccer championship. Not only i modeled the games fixtures (so we can track the calendar, the results, which games have already been played,etc) I’ve also used it to model the workflow of the logistics that happens behind the scenes the allow the game to happen (you know, arrange the police escorts,referees, game reports, notify the press in sum all the tasks that need to happen before and after a game).
The has been modeled using TFS built in capabilities.
- Areas to segregate different divisions (1st division, 2nd division,etc)
- Iterations to model championship seasons and game weeks
- Global list to hold the list of teams
- Team Queries to see which games are scheduled, already played,etc,etc
To show the power of the object model I’ve created two demos
- One that draws the whole championship fixtures in a random manor by creating all the work items that represent a game
- An editor that allow you to see the games (leverages the team queries defined in the process template), edit a game or create associated tasks to a game.
Since the referee have to send reports about the game and sometimes they may include in the report non advisable words I’ve also shown how do develop a custom checkin policy to recommend referees not to include some words in the report. :-) (If you are Portuguese and keep up to date with soccer behind the scenes maneuvers this is much more clearer. Como diria o Octávio “Vocês sabem do que eu estou a falar”)
The session went well (not great but well), but the feedback was positive and people seemed to like my non traditional demo. :-)
I have to refine some of the demos and to make the story and the transition between the demos more smooth. To make things more easy i wanted to have a slide explaining the things i was leveraging in a demo, but this required a second project to show the slides while the demos were happening and a second project simply wasn’t available. Alas next time things will go smoother.
I thing overrall DevDays was very positive. As a whole things seemed to went rather well and this year the evaluations (at a general level) seemed to be above last events average.
At a personal level things went well too. I pulled of the fact that I had to present three sessions in two days.
Not to escape other events tradition, I was stalked by the usual Paparazzi which at the end of the last day managed to corner me and made me mumble a few words to a camera.