Another informative day at CodeCampOz.
The day kicked off with a chat from Paul Glavich about Atlas and some general discussion of Ajax functionality. This was an excellent introduction for me about the details under the covers (my understanding of Atlas had been sketchy at best up until then). Paul is an extremely likeable speaker and yes, I will be buying 3 or 4 copies of your book Glav…
Susan Entwistle presented on Future directions in modelling tools, and I have to admit I was really struggling here. It didn’t help that we had a few web servers down back at the office, and I was trying to connect via a 53Kbps Vodafone card (anyone remember what dial-up is like? no, I didn’t think so – well it really sucks). Everything is sooo slow it drives you nuts. And no, I couldn’t use the CSU wireless because it was open and potentially everything I was sending would have been available – not a chance I was willing to take. So, my apologies Susan, I wasn’t really paying attention.
The pick of the day was definately Rocky Heckman’s talk on Hacking Applications. Rocky would have sent cold chills up the spines of most developers as he demonstrated the ease with which he could hack into web sites. Sure, he only had time to focus on SQL Injection as the easiest line in, but what struck me after eas the discussion amongst people. ‘I don’t allow SQL injection on my sites, so we are fine…’ and similar comments. Hello! I’m not worried about the sites we develop (well, I am ofcourse), I’m worried about all the sites I’ve used in the last 12 months that have taken my credit card. My guess is that most are easily susceptible to attack… so the question is not if, but when. My personal approach has been to have a backup credit card (which to date we haven’t used), because we know sooner or later our main card is gonna be hijacked.
And ofcourse I am have fallen into the trap of just focussing on the minor things like credit cards (which after all are mostly covered by insurance nowadays anyway). The major things are your entire identity and sensitive company information. I won’t go on, we all know the risks. Rocky’s talk was a much needed reminder on how easy it all is. Top marks.
After lunch, Joseph Cooney and Deepak Kapoor guided us through some Advanced Concepts in WPF. This followed on from Joseph’s session with Chuck the day before and filled in some of the coding details to be used with WPF. A good presentation and one that will be interesting to follow as Microsoft releases further updates.
Mitch Denny was impressive with his coverage of TFS branching and Quality Gates. This is a topic every software manager needs to think through carefully and Mitch’s overview was a helpful thought provoker. He also explained how Microsoft manages to re-release bugs that had been fixed in earlier patches… it all comes down to how well your configuration manager merge the branches. Stuff that up and you are in trouble.
The final session of the day for us was Greg Low’s analysis of how to Avoid Recompiles in SQL Server. This was my number 2 pick for the day. Greg is ofcourse a master presenter and there are always a number of gems in his sessions. I wasn’t aware of this, but did you realise that just having something like a SET DATE statement in your SP will ensure it is always recompiled – there is never any cacheing? No, I didn’t, and there countless other moments that had me groaning about code I’ve been writing for years. Hopefully Greg will post his presentation notes because I have already forgotten countless other gotchas. I’ll link to it here if it becomes available.
So, that was our day. Sadly an early flight meant we couldn’t stay for Paul Glavich’s advanced session on Atlas, which would have been excellent no doubt. Overall an extremely fruitfull weekend away. My head is chockas with knowledge (and worried about how I can possibly process it all).
CodeCampOZ is an excellent event and should be on every developer’s calendar. Greg Low and Mitch Denny have again organised a superb event. Congratulations guys, and thanks also to Microsoft who picked up the tab for the pizza and broadband usage.