MKE DOT NET Conference Summary

This past Saturday I attended a new Milwaukee developer conference, simply called MKE DOT NET. Taking place in Brookfield, WI, this was a very large conference that covered a variety of techniques and skillsets, from developers in the Milwaukee area.

I checked in around 8:15. The guest speaker, Uncle Bob Martin, made a great speech about how developers directly impact the fate of the world (for better or for worse) and laid out a great set of rules called the Programmer’s Oath. Some of my favorites were:

  • Don’t write harmful code – don’t cross the ethics line, no matter what.
  • The code I produce will always be my best work.
  • I will provide with each release, quick, sure and repeatable proof that each element of the code works.
  • I will produce estimates that are honest in both magnitude and precision.
  • I will never stop learning and improving my craft.

After the introduction, we broke out into conferences. There were a lot of interesting ones that I had to miss due to time conflicts. I’ll describe a few of the more memorable ones here.

It’s More than Feature Toggles: Continuous Delivery – Dan Piessens

This one went over, among other things, feature toggles and how they are useful. It’s basically a mechanism to switch between features or configurations at run-time. Dan showed that by using a controller action along with app settings, there is less risk with something wrong happening if someone flips a bunch of app settings on or off.

Creating a Real Time Strategy with Unity – Dan Sagmiller

The next conference I attended was developing games with Unity. I found this course particularly interested since I am a gamer, and have looked around in Unity before. The presenter showed the basics of creating a bare-bones RTS (Real time Strategy game) in Unity. I was able to pick up these basics for when I eventually create something in Unity myself.

Azure App Services – Michael Weinand

I’ve always been a fan of Azure, so some of the presentation was review, but there have been some changes  to the Azure portal, as well the services. There are two new types of apps – Logic Apps and API Apps. Logic apps connects data across different platforms (kind of like middleware). API apps are used for RESTful hosting. The Azure Mobile Services is now just called “Mobile Apps”. The new portal is okay, though I kind of preferred version 1. Otherwise Azure does pretty much the same thing it used to do.

Overall, this was a great conference, where I met tons of developers from different companies. I would recommend it and will probably be going next year as long as it continues!

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