Community Day 2009 in Copenhagen

It has been a while since I had a good technical post on this blog, and this is will not be one either. Instead, just a few brief words on a very successful event for geeks in Copenhagen that took place last Thursday. Sponsored by Microsoft and co-presented by the Danish development community, Community Day 2009 Copenhagen delivered what it had promised: A day with free beer and food, interesting presentations and lots of networking across the usual technical boundaries. While the event, previously exclusively with a focus on Microsoft technology, was dominated by seasoned .NET developers, we, the Ruby crowd, was well represented as was the PHP programmers.

Daniel Mellgaard Frost, Developer Evangelist with Microsoft Denmark, had put together a diverse program where only two talks was devoted entirely to Microsoft technologies (Silverlight and LINQ), but six out of eight talks was about web development in some form. I did a talk on ActiveRecord, the O/RM of Ruby on Rails, and according to the many happy comment I got afterwards, it went pretty well.

One really great thing about Ruby is that you can start writing code in front a crowd that have never seen the language before, and they will understand everything you are doing – provided, of course, that they know another object-oriented programming language. Ruby is such a beautiful language that it instantly appeals to most coders, and that makes it a pure joy to do a presentation mostly based on live code examples such as I did.

It also helps that ActiveRecord has an impressive number of features to show off, and even though I don’t how much it really mattered, I think I made a good tactical choice in demonstrating the O/RM running against a Microsoft SQL Server instance. This post, by the way, is what helped me to get my Mac to talk to SQL Server, but bear in mind, that if you run an older Ruby version and/or use the installation that comes with Leopard, that tutorial will upgrade you to Ruby 1.8.7 running via Macports.

Here is the presentation slides from the talk (in Danish), and here is the very limited quantity of code I wrote.

I also lead an open space meeting on jQuery – the presentation on the topic was unfortunately canceled in the last minute – and although I am still learning the many aspects of this great Javascript framework, I think every web developer owe it to his or hers own productivity to take a look at it. Doing Javascript development with jQuery and Firebug is immensely effective, not least because of the literally thousands of open source plugins that have been written for the framework by the community.

Thanks for Daniel, Microsoft and the community sites for sponsoring and organizing this fun and inspiring event – I look forward to next year.

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