Developer Express – TechSummit 2007 – day 2

Last Sunday, the 4th of November, saw me in Las Vegas for the second day of the Developer Express TechSummit 2007. Podcasts will be ready this week!

Today’s sessions covered the Developer Express offering in the ASP.NET arena and the IDE productivity tools CodeRush and Refactor ! Pro. Day one had seen demonstrations of the “desktop” offering in the way of WinForms, WPF and Silverlight – today was the web offering and the IDE tools show!

Mehul Harry was kind enough to deliver an excellent overview of the ASP.NET product line, focusing on the ASPxGridView, ASPxScheduler and the ASPxperience. As I understand it, this was Mehul’s first public presentation, kudos to Mehul, a job well done! Check out the on-line demos here.

Mark Miller and Dustin Campbell then took the floor to discuss Refactor ! Pro. It’s worth noting that Microsoft are using a free version of Refactor! in their Visual Basic 2005 and 2008 product lines – further details can be found here. Refactor! and Refactor ! Pro co-exist very nicely, as Mark was more than happy to demonstrate. Whilst a target of some 150 refactorings in place for the end of 2007 might seem like rather a lot, it seems that Developer Express are ahead of schedule and are likely to have more than 150 refactorings available for the start of 2008, an impressive feat!

After a short break, Mark returned to discuss CodeRush – an IDE productivity tool that, for me, has its roots in the Delphi product set. However, as Mark noted in a podcast that we recorded, it actually goes back further than Delphi, touching on the days of DOS! CodeRush might seem like it’s promoting arcane keystroke that require memorising. True enough, there is a learning curve to contend with, however once that curve has been flattened (and it’s a quick process), the keystrokes you have learnt are portable between the various languages supported by CodeRush. Equally, because it is no longer a chore to create (not necessarily write) code, you become used to doing this they way they should be done, i.e. less corners are cut – for example, how often have you not bothered with an exception block?

Closing the day saw Ray Navasarkian take the floor. Ray’s a down-to-earth guy who is passionate about his company’s offering. I managed to grab a few minutes of audio with Ray after day one of the TechSummit, just outside Morton’s Steakhouse. We chatted about the merits and successes of bringing together like-minded influencers who have a community spirit and enjoy sharing their experiences and tribulations with others.

Many thanks to Developer Express for inviting me to this conference: for me, it was very much worthwhile. It’s nice to get away from the day-to-day activities and just focus on one thing for a couple of days. Further thanks for affording me the ‘exhibtor’ pass to the DevConnections evening event – it was a blast, I caught up with a few folks from the UK (Alex & Dave), with the Falafel team from the Pacific coast and with Dr.Neil Roodyn (a man who follows the warm weather from one hemisphere to the other!)

Refactor ! Pro: 110+ Refactorings, Three Languages, One Keystroke.

CodeRush: Powerful. Efficient. Fast.

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Developer Express – TechSummit 2007 – day 1

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