CodeMash 2009 – precompiler

Got an early start for the CodeMash 2009 precompiler (day 0)  – despite the fact i didn’t get much sleep, partly due to my iPhone SDK crash course last night.  After talking with others, seems I wasn’t the only one staying up late, not surprisingly, many of the folks here are pretty active into the late evenings, whether checking in with the office, coding, playing games or hanging at the bar..  Either way, I was excited to check out the iPhone session first thing.  I paired with Nayan in the iPhone 101 session, whereas we literally had a [simulated] iPhone application working in 15 minutes!

I have to admit, I was quite a bit outside of my comfort zone, Nayan seemed to keep up a little better than me, the ENTIRE environment was new to me, as I had never programmed anything on my mac (despite me owning one for nearly a year) instead, i’ve used it to dual-boot mac/vista, but thats another story..  The 1.5GB SDK was pretty well organized and included xCode which is Apples development IDE.  After a few intro slides Chris Adamson helped to walk us thru a quick sample application whereas we built a quick browser, hooking up a simple UI with a textBox, button and webView.  We dabbled with a little objective-C and Cocoa, which was a bit of a hurdle for me, not having any ‘C’ roots, but other than syntax ignorance, everything made good sense.  

With this as my first iPhone exposure I’ve got along way to go before producing anything of value, but my goal at this point was to get exposed to it and better understand what, when and how we may look to embrace it over at Billhighway.

In the afternoon I bounced between two sessions, 1.) test driven development with .NET by Leon Gersing & 2.) turning the ship, by Dave Donaldson.  Both were good, TDD is a hot subject and am on a fact-finding mission to overcome the mental hurdles i have before we can begin the practice internally, but I’m off to a good start.  Dave spent time educating folks transitioning to Agile, while we’ve been doing it for a while, there’s always more to learn and improvements to be made – iterate right?

I wrapped up the day listening to a RIA panel, WWE style between the Silverlight, Flex and yes, javascript camps.  The winner?  Based on the emotional tone of the room and intellectual debate, I’d have to say JAVASCRIPT.  That said, as with everything in technology, each situation is different, and we’re best served by understanding the strengths and weaknesses of all available tools, technologies and processes so that we can implement the right tool for the job, when it crosses your plate.  I then shared a few adult beverages with some great folks I met; Vlad, Butch, Becky, and Wayne.  

Day 0 was a great pre-compiler and looking forward to the next two days at the actual “conference.”

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