I spent a fun week in Redmond, in the Patterns and Practices Summit.
James Newkirk is my new hero. He gave a very good presentation about xUnit, and said some things that it's good to hear these days, like "dependency injection is not required by most applications", and that it reminded him about when one learns about the "Visitor Pattern", and wants to apply it in every place but at the end of the day in a lot of contexts there are much simpler solutions. I proudly got a signed copy of TDD Driven Development in Microsoft.NET to take home with me. I like pragmatic people.
Looks that Patterns and Practices team is having a hard time deciding if they should focus on just guidance or in code + frameworks, or deciding how to balance them. The fact that most people takes the frameworks they produce as "Microsoft Products" from which they expect support and back compatibility makes things more complex. I prefer some form of code than just documentation, and frameworks instead of just samples. Now, if the people expect their deliverables to be products, perhaps they should be, and they should try to convince whoever needs to be convinced inside Microsoft to productize their efforts. There are a lot of big customers who depend on their bits.
The Nerd Dinner in Crossroads was a lot of fun too. Some pictures here. John Lam attended and IronRuby almost monopolized the conversation.
Scott Hanselmans' second presentation about himself and his first weeks in Microsoft was hilarious. He mentioned LolCode and John Lam stepped in to show the LolCode implementation on top of the Dynamic Language Runtime.