Professional Programmer Notes

or just call this my soapbox

Archive for May 2010

Code Camp Report

with 2 comments

Name: Chicago Code Camp 2010
Where: Illinois Institute of Technology, Chicago, IL
When: May 1, 2010

My Talk


I had an opportunity to present at the Chicago Code Camp. My talk was titled, “Seven Habits of Highly Effective ASP.NET MVC Developers.” It is a long title derived from Stephen Covey’s best selling business book, “Seven Habits of Highly Effective People.”

Similarly, the content of my presentation was derived from the habits and principles that Stephen Covey introduces in his book. The difference is the technical spin that I apply to make these principles relate to the job of developing web applications using Microsoft’s ASP.NET MVC framework. I presented habits that we as developers should adopt in order to effectively begin and maintain our web applications over their respective lifecycle.

Surprisingly, this topic was very popular at the Chicago Code Camp. Initially, I was expected to present in a room that seated about thirty people. However, the room quickly exceeded capacity and I was asked to present in a larger room. The seats in the larger room were quickly taken, and some attendees sat along a window sill in the back of the room.

At the conclusion of the talk, I had some great discussions with a few people with questions ranging from organizational concerns to technical implementation. I was able to answer many of the questions or offer relevant suggestions.

Overall, I felt like the presentation was well received. The initial feedback available on Twitter gave me the feeling that the experience was a pleasant one. Here are some example tweets that I read shortly after the talk:

“Learned a lot from your MVC talk. Hopefully you can go to CVNUG code camp some day”@cksanjose

“Highly Effective Habits of MVC Developers by Curtis Mitchell. This guy is crazy awesome”@jonathanbaltz

“Liking the MVC presentation. The speaker is really up beat. Keeps you interested.”@itsff

Talks I attended


Ioke ( by Ola Bini )

Ioke is an experimental language written by the presenter of this talk. It runs atop the Java Virtual Machine and it is inspired by many of the features in languages like Ruby and Lisp. It is a very impressive programming language. However, it is not intended for use in production applications. Ola Bini did mention he is working on a newer programming language. I am hoping the new language implements many of the features in Ioke, and become a viable language to use in production scenarios.

Limelight ( by Micah Martin )

Limelight is a framework written and actively maintained by Micah Martin’s company, 8th Light Incorporated. The framework allows developers to create desktop applications in the popular Ruby scripting language. In addition, the development experience is simple yet powerful. Limelight employs a web development-like paradigm. And, it makes deployment of these applications over the web very easy.

Micah also explained that Limelight applications should be considered rich internet applications (RIA) as well. He demonstrated Limelight links – a hyperlink that can be used to download and launch Limelight applications from a server. This eases versioning and maintenance of desktop applications because the deployed software is hosted on a server like a web application. And, users automatically get the most recent version when they launch the application from a web-enabled computer.

Making the web “F#”unctional w/BistroMVC ( by Scott Parker )

This talk focused on two things of interest to me: Microsoft’s newest .NET language, F#, and an alternative Model-View-Controller web framework, BistroMVC. The presenter was entertaining and very comfortable throughout the talk. He did a good job at targeting the “F# newbies” like myself and many others in attendance. The talk included a good introduction to F#. Unfortunately, due to time constraints, we weren’t able to get a good introduction to BistroMVC.

However, I learned enough to pique my interest in both technologies. I am going to definitely learn more about F# and do some more investigation into BistroMVC.

Web Testing with Visual Studio 2010 ( by Richard Campbell )

Microsoft released Visual Studio 2010 on April 12th of this year. They have put a lot of work into improving the features related to testing. Richard Campbell gave a very entertaining and educated talk on how to leverage a small portion of these new features to stress test our web applications.

Personally, I have been looking into some of the web testing capabilities of VS2010 from an automated integration test perspective. It was great to learn about and see the stress-testing features.

Richard is the founder of and Product Evangelist of StrangeLoop Networks. His company specializes in optimizing web applications. He demonstrated his expertise in the subject matter and delivered a great presentation on how to use VS2010 to make sure your web application can perform.



I am very happy I attended this event. There were approximately 550 registrants and slightly more than 300 attendees. The attendees, presenters, and organizers included notable leaders from the .NET community such as:

  • Scott Seely, co-author of "Effective REST Services via .NET: For .NET Framework 3.5", founder of Friseton, LLC
  • Micah Martin, founder of 8th Light Inc. and co-author of "Agile Principles, Patterns, and Practices in C#"
  • Robert “Uncle Bob” Martin, author of "Clean Code: A handbook of Agile Software Craftsmanship", co-aurthor of "Agile Principles, Patterns, and Practices in C#", and founder of Object Mentor
  • Rocky Lhotka, creator of the widely-used CSLA.NET framework
  • Carl Franklin, co-host of the popular .NET Rocks podcast
  • Richard Campbell, co-host of the popular .NET Rocks podcast

To name a few.

This code camp met my criteria of successful code camps. It was well-organized, supported by a great development community, consisted of diverse technological topics, and concluded with downright awesome giveaways. I hope I have an opportunity to attend future Chicago Code Camps.

Written by curtismitchell

May 3, 2010 at 2:40 pm

Posted in Uncategorized