This is a big week for the development community. The biggest is //build happening in San Francisco. //build is an awesome conference, but I can’t swing for those swanky tickets every year. My team at KiZAN is headed to Code PaLOUsa instead, and exciting things are happening at Code PaLOUsa again this year.
I began my morning by meeting some new developers, which is what I truly love about being at conferences. I chatted with several people around the technology stacks they are using, how they’re handling automated testing, continuous integration, and cool side-projects. Despite the technology stack, I always find that we’re all doing similar things and running into similar problems.
.NET Core 1.0
The first session I attended was all about .NET Core 1.0 and ASP.NET Core 1.0. Chris Bohatka had a lot of content prepared for his morning session. Although were were plagued by poor internet connectivity, Chris made the best of it – flash drives were passed around and WiFi hotspots were opened up to the HUGE audience.
IoT in a Cloud-connected World
In the afternoon, I went to Nick Landry’s session on IoT. Nick’s gave us a tour of the IoT’s world equivalent to “Hello World”, which is a blinking LED. We took a journey through Arduino, Particle, and Raspberry Pi, learning how to use bread boards and basic electronics skills to start making. The winner from Nick’s session was the Particle IoT device, from Particle.io. The particle is an inexpensive, WiFi-enabled board built around a free cloud development platform. In Nick’s demos, he showed us how to connect to the Particle, configure WiFi, write some code, and deploy via the cloud. In addition to the pulsating light of the Particle, I was enchanted by the ease of use and small form factor of the Particle. I will be buying on of those in the near future.
I also learn about an inventive Kickstarter campaign for my boys: Cubetto. They can program the robot to move through and around obstacles with a simple programming language similar to Logo, but with wooden pieces. The video is a MUST see, and I can’t wait to unbox this in September when it arrives. We’ve been into robot at home recently (see my post on the robot app we built with NativeScript), so this will be a fun and educational toy for the whole family to play with.
Continuously Learning and Meeting New People
As the day wrapped up, I found that I was continuously learning and meeting new people throughout the day – inside and outside of sessions. At the speaker dinner, I met Adina Shanholtz and Heather Shapiro. They’re both technical evangelists at Microsoft, and doing cool things. Heather works with python, R, and Power BI, which is a new area of interest for me. Adina works in game development with Unity, which is about to explode in the .NET community due to the impending release of HoloLens.
After a fantastic day 1, I can’t wait for a packed convention center on day 2. So many more people to meet. Hopefully, I’ll see you there!