TechDays 2010: Edmonton

This year Microsoft finally brought TechDays, its Canadian technical training conference, to Edmonton. Some of us had been asking Microsoft to add our city to the cross-Canada tour for a while, and when enough people spoke up, they listened. And it paid off too. Initially Microsoft was expecting 250-300 people to register for the Edmonton event, but we blew that out of the water! Nearly 500 people registered! And judging by the large crowds, I’d say that most of those people attended too (it’s probably quite uncommon pay the registration fee and then not attend).

There is always criticism of the sessions offered at TechDays, but I think they had a decent mix this time around. Lots of introductory stuff I suppose, but that seemed to match the makeup of the audience. The addition of the Local Flavours track was a good start toward including some more diverse content as well. I was the track host for the “Optimizing the Development Process” track, and I did two presentations of my own.

TechDays 2010

My first presentation was Top 10 Mistakes in Unit Testing, adapted from a similar talk that was done at TechEd. The goal of the session was really to get people thinking about the little things that can help them be more successful with unit testing. I included three demos: a simple MS Test demo, a more involved demo using Ninject and Moq, and finally a demo showing JavaScript unit testing. Here are some resources for the session:

For my second presentation, I teamed up with Devin Serink to present A More Programmable World with OData. We talked about open data in general, about the work the City of Edmonton is doing, and then showed how easy it is to create and consume OData services. We spiced things up by using some PHP and Google Charts in the demos! Here are some resources for the session:

I thought both talks went well, and I hope people found them useful!

TechDays 2010

Given the success of the inaugural TechDays in Edmonton, I’m sure they’ll be back again next year. You can follow along as TechDays continues to travel across the country using #techdays_ca on Twitter.

Joey wrote about Day 1 here, and you can see the rest of my photos here.