Yesterday was TechDaysZA in JHB, and I was fortunate enough to have the pleasure of going to this wonderful event. My blog today will be about a few small things that I found interesting at this event.
It’s been quite some time since I wrote about a technical topic, and hope that what I found interesting will also interest you.
During the day there was quite a few sessions that was held, and I attended the following sessions:
- 09:00-10:00 Keynote
- 10:20-11:20 Windows Azure for developers: Moving your development environment to the cloud
- 11:30-12:30 What’s New for ALM in Visual Studio 2013 and Team Foundation Server 2013 – Part 2
- 13:30-14:30 Using MVVM to build cross platform modern apps
- 14:50-15:50 What’s new in ASP.NET
- 16:00-17:00 Web Sites, Mobile Services and Applications in Azure
The keynote in the morning was really well done, and gave us a kick start for the day with what is coming and to get you in a mind-set of where Microsoft is heading with their business.
One thing that caught my attention during the first few minutes is the mention of government assistance in funding start-up’s. Now they did not go into details, but I am sure to keep my eye on this one. I just hope that they give everyone a fair chance and not make it all about BEE.
For windows server Microsoft released a new version of the Windows Azure Pack. Now, for anyone who have worked with Azure before, this is awesome. The Azure Pack brings the same features and portal that you get for the public cloud to your own data centre. This allows you to create VM’s, websites, etc. in your own data centre just as you would on Azure. http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/server-cloud/products/windows-azure-pack/default.aspx#fbid=dHRfNZoqSyx
If you are looking for interesting Microsoft training, there is a very nice virtual academy with loads of free training on Microsoft platforms and services, I would definitely encourage everyone to go and get registered: http://www.microsoftvirtualacademy.com/#?fbid=ivZebnV28nF
During the ALM session I discovered something really interesting that was added to TFS 2013, it’s the web based test manager. This is a really handy feature for anyone that needs to set up test cases or do manual testing. It essentially allows you to capture the steps for each test case and run through them to perform your tests, while keeping track of the progress and allowing you to create bugs as you go. Have a look at this blog for an idea of how it works: http://www.improvingsoftwarequality.com/2013/10/tfs-2013-whats-new-in-web-test.html
During the MVVM session, Dave Russel discussed Portable Class Libraries for cross platform development. With just a little change in how you develop, you can share code across web, win 8 and win phone 8 applications by using dependency injection and the service locator pattern, very interesting topic.
In the ASP.Net session I discovered something really cool that I will be using in all my projects from now on, its called ccs less. Less is a style sheet coding language allowing you to create style sheets much like you would develop a system. Have a look at http://lesscss.org/ ,this is also part of WebEssentials for visual studio that you can download from http://visualstudiogallery.msdn.microsoft.com/56633663-6799-41d7-9df7-0f2a504ca361
Another very nice feature introduced in VS is Zen Coding, where by you can create html mark-up using css query language. Have a look at this blog http://blogs.msdn.com/b/cdnstudents/archive/2013/07/18/visual-studio-tips-for-html-web-or-windows-developers-zencoding.aspx
Zen Coding will definitely save time in creating the baseline html mark-up that we all need to do from time to time.
Overall I think TechDaysZA was a really well organized and well structured informative event. There was a lot of interesting topics presented. thanks Microsoft