Last weekend I attended SoCal Code Camp sessions at CalState Fullerton.
SoCal Code Camp (http://www.SoCalCodeCamp.com) is a regular event held at CalState, Fullerton facilities in wintertime and USSD, La Jolla in summertime. The event is free and is highly supported by software development community. If you are a good presenter and have some info to share with fellow programmers consider signing up as a speaker for the next event.
The topics were quite diverse: for every time slot in the schedule there were at least 2-3 sessions of my interest so the choice was tough. I ended up going to talks on XBox Kynect SDK, HTML 5, Microsoft MVC, T4 templates in VS2010, new Async in .Net 4.5, WordPress, and Tropo API (voice and SMS apps).
Usually all the talks at SoCalDevCamp fall into three categories. Some of them are useful for my current job assignments, covering technologies and practices currently in use by our development team. Other discuss new trends, latest and greatest, something our team might adopt in the future, as well as technologies outside of my current field of expertise (say, discussions on Java or PHP, since I currently work with .NET). There are also talks not directly related to programming. These may include project management, agile techniques and such (how about a talk on “Driving electric cars” – I’ve seen it in the schedule).
A real gem in the last category was Gary Hoffman’s talk on Memory Improvement techniques. Gary is an excellent speaker. You can find his blog about code camp at http://theskillfulbrain.com/?p=101 with the link to his presentation at the end of his blog.
With huge leap in technology lately I find myself memorizing less and less facts and relying more and more on software tools to search for facts when I need them. That’s what we have google, bing and yahoo for, right? Why memorize the capitals if you can look them up online any moment? Why concentrate on the route to your friend’s house when you have a GPS? So does this trend benefit our thinking process? Well, I’ve heard people saying: “Stop filling your head up with junk you don’t need!” But doesn’t our brain need facts and experience as base materials for creative thinking? How many times have you solved some problem you’ve been working on the whole day when driving home or loading your dishwasher or getting ready to go to bed? Vital question is “do we have access to search engines at that time”?
Gary explained several techniques that help you memorize lists of objects (Capitals, U.S. Presidents or WCF configuration settings – why not?), numbers (phone numbers, SSN, street numbers), and even content of the books you read, which is obviously a lot more complex method or rather a combination of several memory techniques.
Tags: Code Camp, SoCalCodeCamp, memory techniques
General | Randomness | Software Development
Remember those days when your HTML code was auto-formatted in early versions of Visual Studio? While I don’t miss this feature (who does? ) there is an auto-format option for XAML in Visual Studio 2010 I usually turn on as it improves readability of XAML.
The option is somewhat hidden in configuration of VS2010: select Tools >> Options >> Text Editor >> XAML >> Formatting >> Spacing >> and check “Position each attribute on a separate line”.
Now compare Snapshot A below showing default XAML code in VS 2010 editor (see how you have to scroll back and forth to make any sense of XAML) with the Snapshot B showing the formatted version of the same XAML.
Snapshot A: Default Formatting of XAML
Snapshot B: Formatted XAML
To format a section of XAML just select it and either use the hot-keys “CTRL-E, F” or select Edit >> Advanced >> Format Selection in the Menu.
Tags: Visual Studio 2010, XAML
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