I was at the MSDN Developer Conference in Boston today. It was my first developer conference of any type and was pretty interesting. At first I was a bit taken back by the whole evangalist tone but I guess that's to be expected at that sort of event. The attendence was larger than I thought it would be. 300 people I'm guessing?? I suspect the average age was 25-35 years old. The ratio of guys to girls was probably 20 to 1... at least. It was tough to guage the vibe of the event. Unfortunately I had to go back to work after lunch.
The keynote was largely focused on Microsoft's new Azure services. Azure is thier cloud computing platform and seems pretty cool. I think they envision it competing with Amazon's EC2. I also attended a session on ASP.net/jQuery.
If you haven't heard yet, jQuery is officially being supported by Microsoft, even shipping it with Visual Studio This is interesting primarily because it is open source. Chris Bowen, a "developer evangelist covering the Northeast US", promised to our faces that Microsoft will _not_ 1) fork jQuery, and 2) embrace, extend, and extinguish jQuery. Microsoft says they will contribute to jQuery though.
I hope that we were not lied to. Call me a skeptic but can't you see a scenario, where five years from now, there's some feature that they just absolutely need but jQuery doesn't want to add? Browser compatibility comes to mind. I guess we'll just have to wait and see.
If you want to kill a few minutes (or about 60), I was first introduced to jQuery by a video link I found on Slashdot last year some time. The video is of a 12-year-old kid named Dmitri who gives a presentation about jQuery at a Google event. The presentation is, on one hand, painful. Dmitri is obviously not a polished speaker. However, if you can make it throught the um's and ah's, the content is dead on and its neat to see such a young guy weild jQuery like a grizzled veteran. He's pretty good with the DOM as well. Here's the link.