Thursday, 13 February 2014

NorDev Review: Room 101 & More Than Just A UML ORM for .Net?

For this first time in its short history, Norfolk Developers used a different venue for its evening event. Fusion at the Forum is a great space for technical events with its wall to ceiling projector screens that wrap around most of one wall of the room. Why the change? Simply because we could and we wanted to see what it was like. And we loved it!

It’s difficult to determine the predominant programming language in Norwich. There’s some PHP, some JavaScript, some Ruby and some Java. There is also .Net, but we haven’t seen very much .Net at Norfolk Developers before tonight. Scott Price clearly know his stuff and is a very fluent, flowing and interesting speaker. He is obviously very passionate about the ECO Framework ORM and crammed a huge amount of material into thirty-five minutes. We suspect he only scratched the surface of his material.

In a twist to the much-loved panel format, Paul Grenyer hosted a Room 101 style competition, with the help of his beautiful “assistant”, Vickie Allen. (Assistant: noun, Person who does all the hard work.) Competing for fame, glory and the offer of a NorDev t-shirt, were:

  • Chris Holden, Unicycle rider, master of disguise, and incidentally Software Developer for Validus
  • Tim Stephenson, Photographer, Musician, and incidentally Head of IT for Liftshare.com
  • Adam Wilson, Cartoonist, tech event addict and incidentally self employed PHP Developer at Spotted Paint

Items were offered to the audience for submission to Room 101 under three headings.

Round 1: Languages, Microsoft’s Classic ASP & VBScript were sent to Room 101 at the expense of Java and XML.

Round 2: Practices, Waterfall project management is no more, at the expense of “Emails without subjects” and, controversially, Pair-programming.

Round 3: Wildcard, wave goodbye to Non-Technical Managers but be warned – Arrogant Programmers and Microsoft’s Sharepoint are here to stay, at least for now.

Tim won the competition, with two of his choices making it into Room 101 – where they will presumably stay for all eternity, used to torture those who we suspect do not truly love NorDevCon. Classic ASP will be especially effective, development in which has long been considered a gross human rights violation. The loss of the waterfall methodology may well stymie the development of future spacecraft, though this is a price we are all very willing to pay. Even the dinosaurs, when faced with a choice – a waterfall project to build a rocket that could save their species, or near-certain extinction, faced their demise with pride. It’s just common sense.

Chris was the runner up, with an excellent addition to Room 101: The Non-Technical Manager. All Non-Technical Managers are now required to report to Room 101, to live out their days giving Classic ASP software development tasks using the Waterfall methodology to those who doubt NorDevCon. Did I mention that NorDevCon has a track devoted to local developers and issues affecting women in tech? I love NorDevCon. I’m sure you do too.

In my opinion, all runners-up should have been given prizes. As such, I hereby award Adam the prize for “Most Heartfelt Pleading” – despite none of his suggestions making it to Room 101, as he described his nightmarish experiences with subjectless emails, his pain was clearly mirrored on the faces of all attendees. Chris is hereby awarded “Best Paul Grenyer Lookalike & Impersonation”, a dubious honour that I am sure he will either cherish forever or deny vehemently, but which he has earned admirably.

In all, this was a highly entertaining format, one I hope we can repeat in the future – mainly because, I think we all agree: Java, XML and Sharepoint have long outstayed their welcome.

Words: Paul Grenyer & Matthew Bennet-Lovesey

Originally published on the Norfolk Tech Journal.

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