I spent my entire day today at Microsoft IDC, Hyderabad where I had a wonderful experience at Community TechDays organized by the Microsoft User Group, Hyderabad (MUGH). For people wondering what Community TechDays is - It is a multi-city event conducted quarterly by the technology community for Developers, Infrastructure Professionals, Architects, Project Managers and Students. This was the fourth Community TechDays series in India but the first one I attended.
The event started at around 9:30 and there were two parallels tracks - one for the Developers and another for the IT Professionals. Having registered for both, I attended the sessions which I found interesting in the two tracks. On a whole there were 5 sessions which I attended. I will give a brief description of the sessions I attended and will try to get the technical details on my Tech Blog sometime soon. But no promises on that :)
The first session was on the Data compression options in SQL Server 2008 by Arun Shankar which was pretty good. It covered how the database can be compressed during backup and various data compression techniques like row level compression and page level compression to reduce the size taken up the database. Following that was a session on IIS End to End by Muqeet Khan. To be honest, I didn't have much experience on IIS but had a reasonable exposure to web servers as a whole. So learnt a lot through the session and loved the concept of running languages like PHP and Java in IIS 7.0.
The next session I attended was on Cloud Services with Windows Azure Platform by Arun Ganesh. This was one session where content was very good but time was a major constraint. Initially he started with an introduction on Cloud Computing and a live demo on developing and deploying a sample application on Windows Azure. He also covered Azure Storage - Tables, Blobs and Queues with a live example. Though he introduced SQL Azure and Azure Services like Service Bus and Access Control, he couldn't cover a live example there. As I had prior experience in developing and deploying an Azure app, I was really looking forward for the demo on Service Bus and Access Control but was a bit disappointed at the end.
Post lunch, there was a session on WCF in .NET 4.0 and Windows Server AppFabric by Phani Kumar. This was a bouncer for me. With negligible hands-on experience on WCF, the session was way above my head. Though the speaker was explaining it well, me and my friends had a tough time co-relating it to what we did. The last session was more like an open discussion again with Muqeet Khan. It started with batch processing admin tasks in Power Shell and soon moved on how Windows works. It was more like a refresher of my OS class at college but more entertaining :D
The day ended with a curtain raiser of XBox Project Natal (more popularly known as Kinect for XBox 360) at around 4:30. I can't wait to get my hands on it when it comes to India in December this year.
Oh, the best part of the day - I guess we were among the youngest developers who came for the event today. It was actually interesting sitting in a crowd with people with work-experience of around 2-3 years with our work-experience of around 2-3 months ;)