Conferences and Staying Fresh

Back from the Southwest Fox conference, where I was pleased to present on the topic of refactoring. One presentation introduced several of the more useful refactoring topics and illustrated how they can be applied to Fox code. The second presentation took a real-life FoxPro code from it’s procedure based incarnation to a class that could be compiled into a DLL and then I used that DLL in a VFP form as well as in a Visual Studio WinForm.

I hope the topics were well received. From the comments I did get, I felt I’d hit the mark in showing how applicable the technique is for FoxPro code be it from 2.x or post 3.0 versions. Of course, I can see now how I could have improved the presentations. It’s a bit daunting to present along side the other very experienced, very capable presentors.

In addition to presenting, of course I attended as many of the sessions as I could. I took away two key ideas or reminders. One from Craig Berntson’s Agile presentation and one from Jim Booth’s data session. First, from Agile, deliver working software often! Second, from data, write down a one or two sentence domain definition for each entity in a database; from the database to each field (or datum, in my mind). That will uncover the physical structure the logical structure needs.

Conferences are a must-do, in my opinion. I’d been away from them for a couple of years while I had some other obligations. I’d missed them more than I realized. Why are they worth the time and money to go? They revive a fresh interest in my work. Being exposed to so many different ideas and approaches, too, reminds me of the possibilities.

For FoxPro , in particular, it’s important that the community supports the conferences. I hope that 2007 gives us more opportunities to get together as a community and share the wealth of our collective experience.


5 thoughts on “Conferences and Staying Fresh

  1. Nancy,
    Sound like awesome sessions.

    It’s weird when you go back to conferences after not being at them. I’ve had other obligations too for the past two years which keeps me away and it looks like those obligations will keep me out for at least another year. But when I started going back in 2003, I felt the same way.

    But this is also why I think it’s important that conference organizers or attendees blog or showcase the content as much as possible. The content is important but the main value, to me, of conferences is in the networking and being able to grab down a speaker and ask them specific questions about their topics.

    Great post. Thanks

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