Make Web Not War – The Aftermath

On May 27th, 2010 at the site of Make Web Not War, Brave Developers from Open Source and Microsoft Stacks shared the field of battle to learn how to leverage Open Source Technologies on the Microsoft Platform.

Upon registration attendees received a notebook and a chain of guitar picks, which also had a 2GB USB attached to it. The guitar picks were used for an ingenious social game, each chain had a few picks of each language with some languages missing. The chain was used as a pass to get into the Truce Party, which meant the attendees needed to go around and interact with other attendees to get all 5 language picks. There were some bonus “Make Web Not War FTW” white picks in circulation which were handed out by Microsoft employees for participating in random activities throughout the day.

The Event

This event didn’t feel as if it was a free event, as soon as I walked into the main room it felt as if I was at a major Conference like Microsofts PDC. There was plenty of activities for any attendee to participate in  including, a green screen booth where you could star in your own short, a podcast booth where you could talk with a Microsoft Evangelist, an information booth where you could learn about TechDays a two day conference on Microsoft Technologies, a Xbox lounge with Beattle’s Rock Band, and an area every geek would love a HackFest put on by PHPQuebec and devLAB Montreal. The event also included a catered lunch featuring pasta salads, hamburgers, and hot dogs all of which were incredibly delicious.

The Sessions

The Conference was split out into two tracks, offering up both Lecture, and discussion panel sessions. The sessions and the HackFest started shortly after the keynote.

The Keynote

The keynote entitled “Makers of the Web” by Joël Perras outlined how the web has changed over the years. Joel has worked on Projects including the PHP frameworks CakePHP, and most recently Lithium. Being a blogger for 10 months, I normally take a lot of time to finish my blog posts, but for the Make Web Not War event I decided to try Live Blogging.  Here is my first ever Live Blog on Joël’s Keynote. For a more experienced live blog head on over to NVI Solutions for their blog on Joël Perras’ talk. The main point that should be taken away from Joel’s talk is that “Interoperability is not a feature, it’s a requirement”. This means that regardless of which language you use to develop your solutions, and what operating system it is running on, it should be working the best it possibly can for your users.

CodeFest – With PHP Quebec, devLAB Montreal & Windows Azure

I started the day off at the Code Fest, watching fellow Windows Azure Specialist Colin Melia. Colin gave a great overview of the Azure Platform including how to deploy an ASP.NET and PHP Application into Microsofts Cloud. If you would like to learn more about Windows Azure, check out Colin’s Post on Deploying a PHP Application on Azure. I also have a number of posts on converting, and deploying applications on Windows Azure.

Special Thanks to PHP Quebec, and devLAB Montreal for sponsoring the Code Fest and giving me the ability to talk to attendees about Open Data. One attendee I was speaking with, Louis-Philippe, had this to say about open data.

Winning the Web with Mobile

The session that really caught my interest was the Windows Phone session with Joey DeVilla and Paul LaBerge. Windows Phone which is promised to be released before this holiday season, is turning some heads in the Mobile market. Typically the Mobile Devices that have been released by Microsoft were focused on keeping their branding consistent across platforms. With the new phone, the team has focused on making a more user centric interface keeping the most important features front and center based on Usage. Even more incredible is the fact that Microsoft is releasing all of the tools required for Developing for the phone, free of charge.  For more information on the session check out my live blog on Windows Phone.

For The Web Competition

With over two dozen entries into the competition Microsoft Staff sure had their work cut out for them to come up with the final three entries for the FTW Competition. The finalists had three rounds to compete aginst each other to inform the crowd as to why their application should win.

TaxiCity – A student project from the Centre for Digital Media. Created by – Mohamed El Eryan, Dashan Yue, Seth Marinello, Jordan Braun, Sagar Datta, Dhruv Adhia, and Ryleigh Kostash.

Find-a-Home – Created by – Wicked Code aka Timothy Dalby

Project Tholus -Created by – Fmaz aka Francois Mazerolle

After the three rounds, the audience went to vote and named Timothy Dalby (Front-Centre in Grey) [Find-A-Home] Winner of the Contest! and Dashan Yue (Holding WebNotWar Shirt) [TaxiCity] runner up.

Peace Restored

Now that the dust has settled, and everyone returns to their cities of origin, there are many things that have been taken away from this unique conference.  The knowledge and experience that have been shared between all the attendees that participated in the event is something that people could benefit from. However the real important return from the conference is all the new friends that we take away, everyone has their own unique ability which can complement your skills.  I look forward to reconnecting with all the people I have met at Make Web Not War.

Additional Resources