Perth .NET DevJam 2010

I had the privilege of doing a brief presentation at the 2010 Perth .NET Community of Practice DevJam last night. I haven’t spoken at an event like this before, so it was a new experience for me — I managed to get the timing about right after a few practice runs, and got a two-screen Keynote slideshow working without being able to test it first, but I didn’t know how to zoom in on a slide so the guys at the back could read the code (for future reference: control + two finger drag, but the “Allow Exposé, Dashboard and others to use screen” preference setting must be enabled first).

My presentation covered my experiences migrating a BizTalk integration solution to NServiceBus. It’s a fairly niche topic, but it was nice to get some positive feedback from a few audience members during the drinks & pizza afterwards.

Of the other presenters, I particularly liked Mike Bain’s presentation on SpecFlow and WatiN (and not just because he was also presenting on a MacBook). I’ve played with WatiN before, and while it seemed powerful enough, the prospect of building a comprehensive UI test suite in code looked daunting. Mike’s example of strongly typed pages to build a more concise DSL seems sensible, and I think having something like SpecFlow at the front-end (even if the tests are being written by developers rather than BAs or dedicated testers) would help provide more structure and direction. I would imagine you’d get the most benefit if you’re using structured acceptance criteria (see my earlier post on the Agile Perth User Story meetup).

All of the other presentations were high-quality; I probably got the most out of Piers William’s coverage of Rx and Mike Minutillo’s inventive approach to dealing with thread synchronisation in a .NET 2 WinForms app.

The pizza & beer rounded out an enjoyable evening – Mitch Wheat deserves significant kudos for putting events like this together.

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