Web 2.0 Applications with ASP.net MVC, Entity Framework and jQuery
First of all to the session itself. What has been presented was mainly the MVC framework and very little to the usage of jQuery itself. The session did not contain much new information for me personally, as I have watched already a couple of ASP.net MVC video tutorials. Moreover, having worked with J2EE and the Spring MVC framework you don't have a lot of difficulties as the concepts are nearly identical. When I then started working in the .Net environment with ASP.net WebForms it just felt strange. I understand Microsofts core idea behind the ASP.net WebForms design decision about hiding away the web's request/response paradigm, making it more similar to the WinForms desktop development but that's the wrong way and now they seem to finally have understood it.
I just love the MVC concept. It again brings the developer much nearer to the actual web, making it easier to integrate modern Web 2.0 technologies like jQuery or equip your webapps with HTML5 features. Finally the MVC paradigm is popular for being in favor of unit testing.
What I lacked was a bit of an outlook onto some of the popular patterns such as the module or singleton pattern.
Entity Framework: Tips, Tricks and Best Practices
Personally this was the best session in terms of new information I got. The main content was about using the Entity Framework in a layered architecture, how to properly separate entities and the EF configuration and context and some of the drawbacks and advantages of each alternative.
RIA Best Practices
This session concentrated most on ASP.net Ajax, the ScriptManager and UpdatePanel. Wasn't so much what I expected, as I consider MS Ajax to be somehow obsolete, given MS's official support for jQuery now. Moreover there wasn't anything new to what I had already worked with.
Generally speaking, the two days at BASTA! On Tour were quite good and revealed some interesting things I did not yet know. At least they did lead to discussions which is always a good sign :)