I saw where someone posted a mention of the MS article “A Guide to Building Enterprise Applications on the .NET Framework.” This article is horrible. It provides no value what so ever to developers. I, as a developer and someone that builds applications that have large numbers of users and millions of transactions each day, sees ZERO value in this article. It tells me nothing of value. It has no code within it. It is nothing more than marketing drivel. This article is not a guide to building enterprise applications but a sales pitch on using their technologies. There is no code. No specific situations addressed. No performance implications of doing anything. Basically, there is nothing that provides value to me as a developer. Halfway through the article, I felt like the child that had been given a lump of coal for Christmas as a joke.
This is the reason that I am not going to the PDC. Why should I pay $1,500 for the right to walk into the PDC, pay for a cross-country plane ticket, hotel, all the other stuff that goes along with going to a conference, be out for a week, take time away from my clients, and not provide value to my customers to go to this conference. This doesn't cost $1,500, it costs more like $8,000 (commonly referred to as driveout price). I am tired of going to these conferences and not seeing code. Of the last four conferences that I have been to, three were of minimal value. I went to TechEd 2001. There were two sessions that I attended that I thought were pretty good. Everything else was babble and bored me. I have been to some private conferences, that were nothing but marketing babble also. The private conference that I went to in July of 2001 was awesome. It was the only one. Before you think or say, but by learning these technologies before others, you provide value to your customers, I would like to state that it is hard for a developer to learn these technologies without having code samples, with best practices information, copies of Yukon, Longhorn, and Whidbey to take home (which will happen according to what I have heard), and good solid believable and repeatable numbers to back these statements up with.
Before you say, but MS is going to be showing .NET 2.0, ASP.NET 2.0, Yukon, and Longhorn at the PDC, I know that, but I still don't want to pay money to listen to a sales pitch.
The bottom line on this rant is that if someone wants to market to the developer community, they need to provide code samples, solid architectual information, prerelease code as available, and other items of value to myself as a developer. Quit trying to repackage marketing information for management types and say that it is for developers when it isn't. I feel that I get better information on weblogs.asp.net, AspAdvice.com, Developmentor lists, private newsgroups, and Asp.NET Forums than I do by going to conferences.
PS. I am not comparing TechEd to PDC. I am comparing PDC to the private conferences that I went to.