So, over the weekend I attended ALT.NET Houston Open Spaces 2010. I wasn't too sure what to expect since I had never been to this type of event before, but I must say, I was pleasantly surprised.
Starting on Friday, I attended a free half-day workshop about "Advanced WPF" hosted by Jonathan Birkholz. This five hour workshop went over everything from the basics of WPF, to dependency properties, to making "designable" applications. This workshop successfully cleared up many questions I had about building WPF applications. After the workshop, I unfortunately had to leave a little bit early, but it was during this time that the rest of the attendants threw their ideas onto the table and selected the topics to discuss on Saturday and Sunday. A wiki schedule of the sessions, and the information they covered is available here.
On Saturday, I began the day by attending the session on CSharp 2 to 4. This session went over a lot of the hidden features in C# that developers may or may not know about. Following that, I attended the How to Architect a Smart Client App session. A lot was to be learned in this session as we discussed smart clients working connected vs. disconnected, the impact of security, and smart client architecture. Following these two sessions, it was lunchtime, and we of course had the customary pizza lunch as is to be expected at these types of things. The only difference was that this pizza was the HUGEST I've ever seen. I swear a single slice must have been about 1' wide and 3' long. Shame on me for not taking a picture.
After Lunch, I attended several more sessions including Creating a Fluent API, Mono, and MEF. MEF was the most important session for me personally, as I've been working on an extensible application in my own time. By attending this session I finally got a chance to discuss MEF with some fellow developers who had also taken an interest in it.
All-in-all, I really enjoyed the event. Having such an open format really allowed all of the developers to openly discuss their experiences and ideas about several technologies. If given the chance, I strongly encourage you to attend this event next year, or if possible, one like it in your city.
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