Ok, so maybe my last blog post was a bit premature. I made it to the meeting only 50 minutes late – just in time for the second session. Unfortunately it was not very well attended, however that was very fortunate for me. Because I got asked a question and I knew the answer, so I got a cool book – Microsoft .Net Compact Framework (Core Reference)! I’m not sure who sponsors the books – I’m guessing its Microsoft South Africa – but I’m seriously thankful to whoever it is that sponsored it! 😀
Mario spoke on Serialization, and the bit that I did see was pretty good. His code was well done, and he definately knew what he was talking about. I guess I’d put it as a level 300 talk in Microsoft’s ratings. (I’m not too familiar with what constitutes what level talk, but it was pretty in depth which puts it above a level 200 but not down to assembly code which makes it less than a level 400) He spoke pretty well – I kinda got lost once or twice but then I wasn’t sure if it was because I missed the first bit, if I was just being stupid, if it was just because it was late at night after a long day, or if it had anything to do with what Mario had said. I think I might just have to try and get hold of his VS.Net solution so that I can step through all the code to try and resolve the few outstanding questions I have. (I’m still not 100% sure why the XML Serialization created two identical objects in the one scenario when the Runtime/Binary Serialization didn’t… well, I think I know why the XML did its thing, but I’m so not sure why the Binary one didn’t do it)
After hearing good feedback about Mario’s last talk, I decided to make some mental notes during the session so that I could keep them in mind when I do my talk on Reflection in June. His code was incredibly neat, well commented and pretty much exactly what I’d like my code to look like. I think I’d like to use the space we have to present in differently…
There were very few people there, and we all sat in the one half of the room… So from left to right (as you faced Mario) you had Mario in the corner behind the speakers podium-thingy, then a large empty space where the projector was projecting, and then us just right of center. Now with the late hour and long day I actually found it kinda difficult to concentrate, especially when the podium is kinda in the dark, so its not that easy to see the speaker. So any time when he spoke for too long my eyes kept wandering towards the big VS.Net that was being projected on the wall – which actually was rather un-inspiring. I’m not really sure how I’d change that because its kinda a pain to keep changing between VS.Net and some other screen just so that you can answer someone’s question in full and not have their eyes wandering around. But I think I’d either ask the guys to move over to the same side of the room as what I was standing on, or I would walk out from behind the podium when I wasn’t using the computer. (But then I wouldn’t want to end up standing in the light of the projector and casting a horrible shadow on the screen behind me so I’m not too sure how that would work either)
I must also start practicing so that working on someone else’s pc isn’t a hassle – looking at the size of the font and how little code could fit on the screen, I’d get lost quite quickly. So I think I’ll do a run through with my PC in 800×600 mode just to be sure that I can have some experience. (I’m not saying that Mario didn’t do this, its just that I noticed that the screen seemed to fit far less code on it than I’m used to, so I need to be prepared for that)
I also think I’ll try and pre-prepare some questions to ask people before I even arrive at the talk so that it doesn’t become a “Guess which number I’m thinking of” game. (Not that this happened tonight either, but I’m just planning) But this is getting off the point of the post…
The talk was good, I learned a bit more about Serialization than what I knew before I went there, and I got to chat to some other developers.