Last weekend (Saturday 24th July), I flew to Adelaide for the South Australian Code camp. The numbers were a bit low this year, around 30 by my count, but the mix of people there was great.


First of all, I must mention the catering. From what I understand, Peter Griffith had organised the local scouts group to handle the catering. So at the coffee breaks there was coffee available, but also a nice selection of pre-cut fruit, slices of cake and biscuits. It was great to see fresh fruit available at a geek gathering! Lunch on the Saturday & Sunday was also well done. It was a BBQ with a onion, sausages and thin steak slices available. The scouts had gone all out with a selection of different salads available to accompany the meat. Top work for a free event!

Saturday sessions

Rob Farley – data visualisations

Rob gave a demonstration of using some of the SQL visualisation tools to do things like mapping post codes onto a map. But he went further and demonstrated power pivot being used to plot Adelaide school census data over the post codes on the map. So he was able to twist the data and show things like which postcode had the most bachelor degrees, etc.

James Chapman-Smith @enigmativity – Lambdas, Monads, LINQ & the Reactive Extensions

This was my top pick of Code Camp SA. He talked about Lambdas, Monads, LINQ & Reactive extensions, and he blew my mind. To me this is exactly what Code Camp is meant to be like, going off the beaten path and exploring some crazy concepts instead of another “intro to TFS/Sharepoint/Azure” talk.

James did a good job of building from the basics up and explaining how all of the different pieces are related to each other. I always knew that LINQ had “deferred execution” in it, but now I have a much clearer idea of how Funcs, Actions, etc. work, but also now how Functional programming languages must hang together. Great work James!

slides are available

Paul Stovell @paulstovell – Real world MVMM in WPF

My vote for “best flowing presentation” goes to Paul. Paul did a very good job of setting the scene for his talk. He started with the basics, explained exactly what he was doing, then would move on slightly and explain a bit more. He never jumped straight over to a piece of code and pressed F5.

Miguel Madero @mamadero – Blend 4

I’m embaressed to say that I fell asleep in it. The first few minutes I was awake it was great, and I wanted to continue to watch it. But I had been up since 4am and just could not will myself to stay awake. Apologies Miguel!

Liam McLennan @LiamMcLennan – Behaviour driven development using StoryQ

This was interesting. Liam talked a bit how no testing is bad, unit testing is ok, but BDD tests are better. The example was given that you can continue to develop, but after a while you lose context for the old tests, and you can’t be sure that v5 of your code still does everything that was in v1 of your requirements specifications, meaning that you need to do full regression testing with each release. He showed how StoryQ can be used to link each of your tests back to business requirements, meaning that when you go to release, you can show that all of the old and new requirements are still being tested and are passing.


Sunday Sessions

Omar Besiso @OmarBesiso – I’m not a web developer, and you shouldn’t test

Omar discussed how you don’t need to create a full enterprise ready application for every project that you are doing. If you are doing a small $2,000 website for someone as a side project, sometimes it is fine to take shortcuts. Omar showed that just by using some standard control toolkits and some LinqToSql data sources, you can quickly pump out a bunch of features quickly ready to hand a basic feature website back to the client. He argued that “sure, you might have to rip it all out later and rewrite it, but seeing as it only took me 10mins to write just then, you are only throwing away 10 minutes worth of coding.

Justin Taylor @JTango18 – Get started with MEF

Justin demonstrated a prebuilt Silverlight application that was using MEF to extend the functionality of the front end. He showed how new MEF modules could be written to change the grouping options of the data he was showing

Wrap up

I needed to leave after lunch to catch my plane back to Melbourne, but I am glad that I took the time to attend the conference. The conversations during lunch times & dinner was great.

And also a big thanks to my current employer Hazaa who paid for my hotel & flights, that was really nice and an added bonus.

By David Burela