CodeMash Blog 2 of 10

Recently, CQL sent seven of its developers to a large software development conference called Codemash. CodeMash is a unique event that educates software developers on current practices, methodologies, and technology trends in a variety of platforms and development languages such as Java, .Net, Ruby, Python and PHP. Different than most conferences, this three-day event ‘mashes’ together ideologies and individual developer experiences to discuss, learn and even attack certain problems. Following is our Codemash Installment #2 of 10:

Migrating Apps to Azure

This 4 hour session was split into two smaller sections. The first was an intro to Microsoft's cloud platform, Azure. The biggest difference between something like Amazon and Azure is that Amazon takes control of the hardware for you, but leaves the rest alone; you still need to manage IIS and .NET, etc. With Azure, you have an entire Application stack; you don't need to worry about IIS and service packs and all that ‘stuff.’ The benefit is less management, but with the potential drawback of less flexibility.

We also talked about reasons to go to the cloud, and a long list of things to remember when moving to the cloud (e.g., sessions and logging, etc.). In the second half of the session we took an app from Codeplex and converted it to run in Azure.

Why Our Customers Should Care: For purposes of growth in the Cloud industry, expanded use of Cloud services by companies already using the Cloud, security concerns, and hosting costs and server workloads, many clients are examining the impact of utilizing the Cloud for support of their business applications. Some recent trends identified by Cloudspectator indicate some interesting direction of Cloud computing. (1) $150 Billion: the size of the Cloud Computing Market by 2013; (2) 70% of companies currently using cloud services will move additional applications to the cloud; (3) 54% - amount of respondents citing Security as their top concern for transitioning to the cloud; (4) 60% - server workloads that will be virtualized by 2014 – up from 12% in 2008

Responsive Web Design

This was actually more of a design talk, but I enjoyed it, anyway. "Responsive" web design means designing your site so that you have 1 site (not a separate tablet version, and a separate mobile version, etc.) that scales well to different sized screens. Flexibility is the new “hotness” when it comes to sites. Responsive web design is a different approach than traditional web designing, and speaks more to the ability to render a site across different devices (tablet, smartphone, laptop, etc.) without having to design the same site to fit the specific device. There are some definite “gotchas” that a developer must be aware of, but overall, customers demand flexibility in the presentation of their software applications.

Why Our Customers Should Care: Businesses understand that their customers interact with their systems from a variety of devices. All businesses should push their software development partner or internal development team to recommend tools or processes that make it easier (and more cost effective) for sites and applications to be served up to customers.

Database Migrations for Web Applications

This was another deployment talk, but this time talking about Database deployments. The speaker talked about versioning and migrating changes. He specifically showed a particular tool (fluent migrations), but mentioned several others that are similar. This talk further supported the importance of Automated Deployment Management. The importance of Automated Deployment Management, in software development, seeks to identify efficiencies in deployment of applications.

Why Our Customers Should Care: Making deployments more efficient should have a direct cost benefit for client software development.

Check back for Codemash Installment #3 of 10.

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