Microsoft@Siemens conference

Technical stuff, Work
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I’ve been taking part to a conference in Erlangen in collaboration with Microsoft. It was a very interesting event, an occasion to meet people from Microsoft Germany, and to continue the collaboration started long ago. I was asked to make a presentation about WPF, and I chose to show how we use WPF in the project I work on, and also to add a few words about the social implications of introducing WPF in a traditional, industry oriented firm like Siemens. “Social implication” is a strong word, but I think that for many people, WPF is going to change how we develop code, to change responsibilities in a way that is “shaking” their world a little. That should not be underestimated. I got a good response from the audience, and I think that these thoughts are hitting a spot. I am going to hold a similar talk in TechDays Switzerland in March (the week after MIX), and I am impatient to talk about this to the audience.

Yesterday was a big day too, I hosted a 4 hours workshop about WPF and Silverlight. We spent that time coding, showing demos and concepts, making examples, building applications. I am always amazed how easy some things are (for example, building a dynamic reflection effect in less than 10 minutes, or making a non-square movie player in a transparent window), and also how different and complex other things are (for example data binding or data templates). One of my messages on Tuesday was aimed at the managers: Have respect for the technology. It is amazing, but you must allow time and effort to educate your developers. It is worth it, because they will be so much more productive eventually, but they will need some time in the beginning. It is crucial that they get it right.

Today is the conference’s last day, and it is an executive meeting. I feel quite out of place here (must be one of 3 persons without a suit and a tie). Nevertheless, it’s really interesting to hear Eddie Amos (who came from Redmond for this event) talk about the future of Microsoft, and the future of the techology.

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