TechEd 2013, Day 4: Scrum in Waterfall, DirectX and Tina Turner

On the 4th day of TechEd, there’s always a rush to get of lot of things done: expo promotions and booth visits, final sessions, special offers and the closing party. Fortunately, I had my day planned to attend a few sessions and to visit the booths which had special promotions. As for the special offer of TechEd, I had already picked up my Surface earlier in the week.

To start the day, I visited the almuni lounge in the morning, to get some blogging done. Unlike earlier in the week, when I was using the seating area outside the lounge, I had discovered that there was an actual private lounge beyond the doors. There were round tables with extension cords and power outlets. There as an endless supply of snack and drinks, served all day long.

Alumni Lounge

As the expo was winding down, the booths were preparing to end their day early and vendors were giving away prizes. One of the biggest prizes was a Ducati Monster motorcycle from AvePoint, which invited cheers and applause from the crowds.

The morning sessions included a deeper look into Knockout by John Papa. This was a great follow-up to the previous day’s introduction to Single Page Applcations. To follow up on this topic, I would recommend checking out his videos on Pluralsight, and of course, my post from Day 3.

During lunch, the organizers hired a small band to play live music to bring to life the spirit of New Orleans. As we trudged along the food lines to grab our final lunch of TechEd, we were greeted by smiling faces and loud music.

Lunch Music

I hopped through a few sessions in the afternoon starting with a Scrum Under A Waterfall lecture from Benjamin Day. He explained how Waterfall people don’t like Agile because they don’t get it. But Agile (and more specifically Scrum) becomes necessary to help us get quicker results, and also helps us fail early so that we can make changes in our process as necessary.

In a real-life environment, we may be forced to work in a Waterfall environment. But, we can still introduce Scrum in such a Waterfall environment and leverage the strengths of each. The speaker called it a “grumpy marriage of two processes”. Hopefully, it will evolve into a more refined Scrum process, when the stakeholders recognize the strengths of Agile.

For more information, check out the speaker’s page on Channel 9:
http://channel9.msdn.com/Events/TechEd/NorthAmerica/2012/AAP313

Being an independent game developer, I was eager to attend a DirectX presentation by speaker Eric Battalio. He showed some code sample in VS2012 and C++. He also suggested that we should get the Visual Studio 3D Starter Kit. For more information, check out the links below:

For more information, check out this tutorial on Channel 9:
http://channel9.msdn.com/posts/VS-3D-Starter-Kit-Dice-Roller

Finally, I sat through Brady Gaster’s session on ASP.NET Web API. It was a good follow-up to the previous session on ASP.NET Web API that I had attended. I have already worked on a work project using Web API Controllers, and it’s a great way to expose HTTP verbs from a web server application to serve as the back-end from all sorts of clients.

For more information on this topic, follow the link below:
http://channel9.msdn.com/Shows/Web+Camps+TV/ASPNET-Web-API-Queryable-with-OData

After the day was over, all of us reconvened at the Mercedes-Benz SuperDome for the Closing Party. NFL quarterback Drew Brees showed up to say a few words and toss a football to lucky fans. In addition to local talent, we also got legendary singer Tina Turner, who stormed the stage and also invited TechEd participants up to the stage with her.

All in all, it was a week well spent. Good food, good learning and good networking!

This is one of a series of posts about TechEd. You can see the index page at:
http://WakeupAndCode.com/teched-2013/

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