‘DevDays’ – my first MS event in my short software career till now. I definitely was excited about it and after reading through the agenda covering Whidbey and Yukon, I had expectated quite a bit of mental workout. I got a pass for Devdays Bangalore after a lot of nail-biting suspenses and finally on May 5, i hoped all that was expected was about to happen.

The opening keynote was very normal, not something i had expected after reading through some of the opening notes that have been delivered recently in many conferences. hmm.. Well after that, another developer who spoke, promised us to show the nitty-gritties of programming because this is ‘DevDays’ ! Ha, there’s something assuring, i thought.

Then we moved on to the technical sessions … the interesting bits eh !!

The first one was about ASP.NET 2.0. They spoke about Master pages, personalisation, Role based authentication as all inbuilt features in the upcoming ASP.NET versions. Thats cool. But haven’t i already read all that online. Show me something else interesting, something thought provoking, some complex application where it could be used, saving valuable developer time. But ahem, to my dissapointment, the session ended very soon without any surprises. Even the question and answer session at the end of it was very short 🙁

Then was the session on Winforms and CLR 2.0. The speaker detailed about Generics, partial types and Iterators. Wow cool ! Again, can’t anyone read the online entries from innumerable people talking about these basics. This is not what i want or expected. What happened to the anonymous delegates, and details on all that was mentioned and all the other really neat stuff that the MS devs have spent hours to include in the upcoming release ?! Not a word. Very dissapointing really … About Winforms, there was something new, some new controls but not anything other than that they have shown in the Winforms site.

Ok. Now comes the hands on session. How cool ! Am gonna do some cool code in Whidbey finally. I do not have to toil anymore with collections that are loosely typed with Objects. We can create strongly typed Generic classes over which we could apply constraints and manage to create a robust collection !!! With all that hope we entered the hall, only to find that there weren’t enough seats left. Ugh. Share the computer with a fellow programmer. Ok. Not bad. We could do something like XP here, aha. Or so i thought. The instructor got onto the podium and started dictating exactly what to do. Hello ! These are not kids here for God’s sake. Do give us the requirements, and we will code it out. If we need help, we will look into Google, MSDN or ask help from someone who knows this stuff. Don’t and Never dictate. After 10 mins, i lost all the vigor with which i entered into the place. So much for hands-on sessions …

After the lunch there was the Yukon session. There were quite a bit of surprisingly new things. But probably IMHO there was quite a bit of focus of the Reporting services, which could have been dealt with in later sessions. But anyway this one was good ! Ah at last. Then came the hands-on for Yukon. Oh God will these people never change their ways … More dictation again …

It was in the back of my mind that we have the ‘Ask the experts’ session anyway to clear all our doubts. No problem. Since this was scheduled for more than an hour, we were expecting to see some interesting questions and some thought provoking answers here. But, it was dissapointing again ! Not on the part of the experts, but on the developer’s side.

Certain things dawned upon me then. Ofcourse I was not the only guy who was bugged by this contentless showcase but then we have all been following blogs and all the discussion that has been happening in the past year. May be that is the reason why these sessions weren’t interesting at all. As someone said in the Keynote, I was expecting to see some hardcore nitty-gritties of programming in Whidbey and Yukon but instead it just turned out to be an overview of the basics. There could have also been an indepth session on the CLR 2.0 which covers behind the scenes on the exact kind of things that the CLR does for each of the new constructs and how it is being handled. That would have been very interesting. Also, I would have certainly liked it a lot if the speakers didn’t treat the developers like kids and start popularising the absolute ‘drag-drop-build an application’ philosophy.

Well, at the end of the day, for all the money’s worth, we got a bunch of 4 CDs containing Whidbey, ASP.NET Resource Kit and an Infopath SDK ! Cool ! But wait, where’s my Yukon ??! Hey, please give me a copy … Why did you forget that ?!

There goes my perfect sessions. What a start 🙁

Scoble, is there any reason or background why the DevDays sessions were like this in India ?! I’m sure i am not the only one with this opinion. Mahesh, Babu shared my opinion about the event and so did many others who had come over. Any thoughts or comments anyone ?