Yesterday I attended the Microsoft DevDays 2005 in The Hague. The MSDN TechNet briefings in Veldhoven I attended last year (was that October or November?) were great. Because the DevDays would (or should) be even greater I could hardly wait for DevDays 2005 to begin! Here’s my short opinion on the DevDays 2005. Interested in a more elaborate version? Comment!

Keynote
Prashant Sridharan kicked off with a killer keynote. This guy alternated humour with fact, example with slides and gave an overall really good presentation. I listened to him with ease for almost one and a half hour and after that I was sure: the DevDays were going to be great!

Visual Studio Tools for Office 2005
The name could make you think otherwise, but this session was about Visual Studio (2005) Tools for Office (2003). Lex Oskam made the crowd enthusiastic about these tools, which make it possible to create rich applications within a Word or Excel document. Great session to follow Prashant’s keynote.

Software factories
The guy who spoke here wanted to share a lot of information, and that’s where it went wrong: the story he told was very scattered and sometimes he was quiet for just too long, indicating he himself lost the line of his story. Being complicated, software factories should be made concrete. Unfortunately this presentation stayed to abstract.

BizTalk in action
There were two guys for this session, and why became very clear during the first demo: one of them was there for the presentation, the other was the technical guy who actually knew how the stuff worked. His presenting skills were not all that good… The demos were too simple: “This is what we made and look, it works!”

ASP.NET Web Services 2.0
Starting out, this session promised to be one of the best of the day. The speaker was very good and told his story very interesting. Near the end he went in too deep, and lost some of his viewers. I think this session was too complicated to be given at the end of such a tiring day.

Overall
The DevDays didn’t bring what I hoped they would bring. The sessions I attended were mostly too abstract or too boring. The day started out great with the keynote and Lex Oskam’s presentation, from then on it seemed to get worse with every session.