I just got back from the StackOverflow's DevDays conference in the rainy (at least today) San Francisco.

I was really glad to see Joel Spolsky, Jeff Atwood, and the whole StackOverflow team in person, as well as listen to great talks in the following topics:

9:00 – 9:50    Joel Spolsky Opening Keynote
9:50 – 10:45    Mark Harrison Python
11:00 – 11:55    Rory Blyth iPhone
11:55 – 12:25    Joel Spolsky Fogbugz
13:30 – 14:25    Scott Hanselman ASP.NET-MVC
14:25 – 14:45    Jeff Atwood Stack Overflow
14:45 – 15:40    Daniel Rocha Qt
16:10 – 17:05    James Yum Android
17:05 – 18:00    Yehuda Katz jQuery

My own favorite topics were in the following order of fun/usefulness level:

  • iPhone (though I'm interested in Android development myself but it's always good to check out the competition) – it was fun and not boring. Quirky, jittery, OCD all come to mind.
  • Joel's keynote (Hi, Joel, I'm @ArtemR ) – I welcome the discussion of simple vs feature rich, though Joel has talked about this on his blog multiple times.
  • jQuery – nice intro into history of jQuery and competition with other frameworks. The technical level of specific examples was quite basic.
  • Android – this is the topic I'm mostly interested in and unfortunately the main speaker got substituted by a guy who has obviously not presented in front of a large crowd before (sorry, I have to criticize – you'll do better and better each time! Just don't worry so much and know your stuff) and was pretty much a recent college grad from the looks of it. He did a pretty decent job at making the code run but a really poor job of marketing and explaining Android's weaknesses and strengths, as some people on twitter pointed out.
  • StackOverflow review – quite brief but fun. Thanks Jeff!
  • Python – very odd that it was even there – just a look at a few lines of code from the infamous Python google-like suggest algorithm.
  • Qt – didn't really care for it but sat through it. Nokia, meh. Next!
  • ASP.NET, Fogbugz – I skipped as I didn't care much for those

Overall, I feel like the information presented in all sessions was pretty basic but I guess that was the idea – a little bit of everything for everyone.

The absence of WiFi was pretty disappointing as I think it was advertised but I didn't care much for it. Kept everyone more concentrated anyway.

The free memory upgrades by Microsoft was an AWESOME move (though mine is already at 4GB and they didn't give out 4GB sticks)!

Lunch was decent – Boudin. Lots of drinks and snacks.

Well worth $99.

Twitter #devdays results.

Cross-posted to Meta-StackOverflow.

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Artem Russakovskii is a San Francisco programmer and blogger. Follow Artem on Twitter (@ArtemR) or subscribe to the RSS feed.

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