MSDN Code Camp: An outstanding event
I just recently presented two sessions at the recent MSDN Code Camp and found it to be one of the best events I have attended to date. For starters, to give a bit of credit to one of the primary organizers of the event, Morgan Baker did an incredible job of organizing the event and making sure that all went so smoothly. Kudos to her!!! There were a number of sessions presented by local talent and their sessions really reflected their expertise. As a consultant who is involved in local user groups, it made me proud to see many of my peers follow through so effectively.
Of all of the sessions, the one that I must say that I really enjoyed the most was the VB vs. C# debate. In one corner we had J. Ambrose Little representing the C# side and in the other corner we had Stan Schultes taking the VB side. This debate reminded me of numerous debates that I have had with colleages on the same topic. The primary difference, I must confess, is that Ambrose and Stan argued their points much more elequently than I ever have. Not only were they eloquent in arguing their sides, but you can see their backgrounds shine through as they each drove home their positions. What really added to the event were the jabs that each took at each other and how they got the audience involved. At one point during the event, Stan received the "DVD stuffed in mouth" penalty. I think that this type of event had a potential to be quite boring, but with these personalities on board and with the Angry Coder on hand to moderate the event, it was a blast. Overall, it was a great combination of information, tons of insults flying on both ends and an agreement that we should really learn both languages and that the difference betweeen language syntax is not really all that important overall.
From my own personal C# vs VB experience, I come from a VB background and have a definite preference to VB. For the last 8 months, though, I have been involved in a C# project and have been coding in C# pretty heavily. At first, I really had issues with the C# IDE and some of the nice features that VB offered that I missed, having to switch to C#. Today, though, I am pretty comfortable with it and can be productive in both. At times, I even find myself automatically thinking in the C# syntax rather than VB. Yikes!!! I think that the preference of language choice has to do with what happens to be your first language. Since my background involves numerous years working with VB, I will always be more comfortable with VB no matter how long I am working with C#. I am sure that if I came from a Java or C++ background, the reverse would be true. This is similar to a spoken language. Even if you spend many years speaking a second language and get to the point of being able to speak conversationally in it, you will always feel more natural in your native language.
Perhaps the part of the day that added to the event more than anything was the after event .Net Pub Club. This Pub Club meeting was the largest of all time. Woo Hoo!!! For those of you who have never been to a .NET pub club event, YOU MUST GO. If you think about it... socializing and .NET. What a wonderful combination. The .NET pub club offeres us developers an opportunity to chat and network in a relaxed environment. Having a beer in hand can really make the difference. Russ Fustino, .NET Pub Club founder and for which no Pub Club event would be complete without, was on hand to really add to the event and chat with fellow .NET geeks. I have been to a number of PubClub meetings and always enjoy them. They are a good opportunity to really get to chat with fellow .NET geeks. Big thumbs up to Russ for making this happen.