Valery's Mlog

Mindlog of a Freak
October 15th, 2008 by Valery Dachev

DevReach v0.8

I am quite busy lately and there are really lots of things to share but I just don’t have the time to. However DevReach 2008 is worth paying the attention. The most of the sessions were fascinating and the speakers were awesome! We really did have loads of fun and it seems all those foreign speakers enjoyed their stay in Bulgaria. I am actually looking forward to seeing them at the upcoming conferences!

I was impressed by Julie Lerman‘s presentations on The ADO.NET Entity Framework so you should (I mean should) stay tuned for the upcoming books on that topic as it is something really great you get for free. It is actively being developed and opened for any suggestions. You can find many resources on the topic at as well as in the literature that is about to be released in the next few months.

Another speaker who pinned my attention was Miguel Castro. Windows Communication Foundation is here to stay and Miguel made that obvious. I’m about to look into how to workaround the problems we have with using WCF and replace .NET Remoting. Miguel also presented us some tips & tricks about using HTTP handlers in our ASP.NET applications to secure our file downloads. Sadly his sense of humor is not recognized the States but we really enjoyed it. We all enjoyed Lilly too but that’s another topic… :-P

A software that I’m looking forward to see is Telerik OpenAccess ORM presented by Jan Blessenohl. Although I’m not the biggest fan of the company that actually organized DevReach 2008, it seems that OpenAccess is something that will come in handy as a replace of my own ORM library that I really hate using. :) I was able to take of Jan’s time to answer the whole bunch of questions I had prepared during the session and it seems custom serialization for individual object properties is the only thing that will keep me away from incorporating OpenAccess in our products. I’m personally looking with great curiosity at its launch date somewhere in the beginning of November.

Carl Franklin was also there with some great presentations. Although I was not that impressed by the simple program you can chat with, I was stunned by the idea to manipulate MIDI devices (over the wire) using .NET applications. No! I was stunned by the fact I hadn’t played with writing such code as I already have a digital piano with a MIDI interface. However I promise I’ll create a program for writing C# code using a MIDI keyboard as soon as I have the time to!

There are also so remarks that would like to mention as I intentionally entitled this post “DevReach v0.8” (instead of 2008 or ’08). There are a few things that need to be done in order to get to a stable 1.0 release. Nevertheless I guess the feedback from the attendees will point the guys who organized this awesome event to the problems they have to solve in order to make it perfect.

  1. The venue. Unfortunately it is a lesson that was not learnt. The Inter Expo Center is too far from (the center of) the city and with almost no public transportation available (incl. taxies). It really makes some sense to rent a bus for the attendees from the center (with a few stops in between) or at the least call a few taxies at the end of the conference.
  2. The venue again. Some of the halls were really, really small. The idea for real-time streaming of the presentations in another hall is good but no one really likes to be away from the event without the ability to take part in it (e.g. asking questions).
  3. The catering. It gets worse with every single conference I visit. Yeah, the catering at Microsoft Days 2007 definitely holds the record as had to go to McDonald’s in order to get some “lunch” as there was just no food left when we made it out of the presentation. But this one was really awful – we had to eat all of that cold and not tasty at all crap for whole two days and I would gladly trade my lunch for a cheeseburger… Oh, no onions? Not an option. I was really considering ordering something from the nearest (1-2 km) restaurant. The guys from the catering company sometimes left their place leaving us doing ourselves coffee and tea with broken machines.
  4. The registration took some time too. We were at a developers’ conferences after all and it was kind of funny to see a single girl look up our names in a printed list on her table instead of having 2-3 girls with computers in front of them. So… the opening session and the first presentation started a bit late. I hope we haven’t missed something.
  5. The wireless Internet access was a bit unstable and the bandwidth was low. That almost killed one of the coolest presentations of Carl Franklin.

So… that’s it! :)


3 Responses to “DevReach v0.8”
  1. The organizers says

    1. That’s a valid point. Unfortunately, Sofia doesn’t have that many places which can accommodate a conference of this kind. Most hotels have a big conf room, and a few smaller ones. We researched the issue in great detail, but IEC still seems the only option except for the National Palace of Culture. The NPC has too many problems to be considered:( If you have ideas about other places which have a conf room that can hold up to 500 people and has 3-4 other rooms which can hold 150-200 attendees, we would be happy to discuss and see what we can do for 2009.

    2. Valid comment again. This was more of a temp solution. For 2009 we will try to arrange space onthe ground floor and break it down into several conf rooms so that there’s ample space for all attendees.

    3. Unfortunately, we don’t have much control over what happens on the conference days. When we evaluate vendors, we get served food that’s really good.Much to our regret, the quality of the food is not the same during DevReach. Next year we will try a different approach – if we are not happy, the vendor will have to make a partial refund. If we, and more importantly the attendees, are happy, they will get a bonus.

    4. Point taken. Next year the registration process will be much improved. And while we do admit that there were omissions on our side, the IEC helped considerably by making two people from our staff wait for 30 mins “because someone forgot to come to open the premises”.

    5. We’re surprised by that one as this was one of the things we wanted to do differently compared to DevReach 2007. WNext year we will get even more bandwidth. Hopefully there won’t be issues.

    Thanks for your feedback! If you have any other sugestions, drop us a line or just continue the discussion here on the blog.

    The organizers

  2. Thank you for reading this blog and once again for the great event!

    Back in 2006 Microsoft tried something that I personally liked – they hired Arena Cinema – Mladost for two (Microsoft) days.

    Would you consider renting the last floor for example (if enough for the attendees) and restrict the access to it for two days as I suppose big movies are shown in the larger halls on the lower floors.

    It would be fine if there is no catering as there are some places attendees could buy food from at any time they want to. There is also a lot of parking place as well as reasonable transportation to the site. And it’s near the offices of many companies (incl. some ISPs :)).

    Unfortunately I am not aware of the price Arena Cinema in Mladost would give but I don’t think that they make much profit during business days on the last floor of the cinema. But I think that attendees would gladly spend some money there on food and movie tickets. :)

  3. Download Cinema says


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