After many years of reading about it, I eventually got to go to the recent Microsoft PDC. Unfortunately, I didn’t get to go as a delegate, but as an exhibitor on the Red Gate booth. It was amazing to see so many developers in one place, and we got to give lots of demonstrations of our product and field many interesting questions.
I also got to attend the two Keynotes. The first concerned Azure and Microsoft’s commercial service which will be online in February. The second concerned Windows 7 and Silverlight 4. Silverlight seems to getting closer to a platform that supersedes technologies like ClickOnce for delivering applications onto corporate PCs.
I did get to attend two talks. F# for Asynchronous and Parallel Programming by Luke Hoban and Rx: Reactive Extensions for .NET. Both talks were very interesting. F# has been an interest of mine for a long time and it’s good seeing it as a first class language in Visual Studio 2010. The talk covered asynchronous workflows with examples that downloaded data from the cloud, and moved onto the parallel extensions. Reactive functional programming has been an interesting area for some time, and seeing some of these ideas making their way into C# is very encouraging.
I have started to watch some of the other pdc talks which are available here on video. The most interesting so far have been the talks by Stephen Toub on support for concurrency via the new Task class and extended ThreadPool (ManyCore and .NET 4) and the panel discussion of the future of programming.