Live! From Edmonton! It’s Code Camp!

What is Code Camp?

For a brief description about code camps, check out the Code Camp Manifesto. One of the great things about code camps is that they are run by the community and for the community. Another great thing about code camps is that they are free to attend, which is great for folks who are looking to learn more about particular technologies and processes around software development.

An Overview of Today’s Activities

Earlier today, Bil Simser (@bsimser) and I woke up bright and early and headed north to Edmonton Code Camp (#YegCodeCamp):

Calgary to Edmonton 

The event is occurring at the Grant MacEwan Downtown Campus in the Robbins Health Learning Centre (in Edmonton) and looks to be well-attended. A big-time kudos needs to be conveyed to David Woods (@gotwoods) for helping to organize today’s event:

Session – “Bring Out The Git” by Tom Opgenorth (@topgenorth)

The first session that I attended was Tom Opgenorth’s presentation entitled, “Bring Out The Git”:

Tom’s presentation provided a good overview for folks wanting to learn more about Git (distributed version control system). He also provided a brief overview of GitHub, which provides a centralized repository for various Git-associated projects. (I arrived late so I missed a lot of his presentation.)

Session - “Stupid SharePoint Tricks” by Bil Simser (@bsimser)

Bil Simser (@bsimser) is a Microsoft MVP who lives and breathes SharePoint. (Whenever I struggle with SharePoint, I light up the “SharePoint BatSignal” for his help.) His presentation focused on tips and tricks around SharePoint development, which an emphasis on tools used by the developer community to extend the functionality of SharePoint. In his presentation, Bil highlighted a tool that I had not heard of; STSDEV (Simple Tools for SharePoint 2007 Development). This project is total goodness. From the CodePlex project page:

STSDEV is a proof-of-concept utility application which demonstrates how to generate Visual Studio project files and solution files to facilitate the development and deployment of templates and components for the SharePoint 2007 platform including Windows SharePoint Services 3.0 (WSS) and Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007 (MOSS). Note that the current version of the STSDEV utility only supports creating projects with the C# programming language.

Another tool Bil mentioned was WSPBuilder (SharePoint WSP Tool), yet another CodePlex project. There’s a great introduction to this tool available from Michael Bowersox here. According to Michael, “it is a tool that, in my opinion, every SharePoint developer should be using.” Sounds nice!

Overall, it was a great overall for developers building solution on SharePoint today.

Session - “Accelerating Development Using Convention-over-Configuration” by James Kovacs (@jameskovacs)

James has been talking a lot about convention over configuration recently. You can listen to his interview on the subject on .NET Rocks! here. In his presentation, his thesis is that there are numerous benefits for convention as it can transform the way we think about software development, leading to better usability and productivity. In his presentation, he cites numerous examples of framework in the .NET world that employ this idea, including ASP.NET MVC. For his first set of demos, he built an ASP.NET MVC application for Darth Vader:

Throughout his demo, he cites jQuery, which employs convention to a high degree. As an example, he shows how to naming convention greatly improves the productivity of a developer by associating behaviours with specific element IDs without a great deal of code.

(More to come.)


Videos and Other Social Media Goodness Relating to Edmonton Code Camp

Bil Simser (@bsimser) posted a brief interview with me on code camps while en route to Edmonton:

An interview with David Woods (@gotwoods) about Edmonton Code Camp:

D’Arcy Lussier (@DArcy_Lussier) hanging out at lunch:

And the wrap up! The swag session!

A few other links of note include:

  • Facebook event page for Edmonton Code Camp is here.
  • Follow the conversation on Twitter via the hashtag, #YegCodeCamp.

This article also appears on the Canadian Developer Connection blog here.