The SELA Developer Days conference has been adjourned 🙂
My one-day session today, titled Windows Internals for Busy Developers, was something I came up with a couple of months ago and was sure it wouldn’t be popular – after all, we have a five-day Windows Internals course and most people interested enough in the subject would want to attend the full training with labs, demos, and detailed walkthroughs of all Windows components.
I was surprised to find 16 attendees in my class, all eager to learn about Windows architecture and components, diagnostic tools, kernel debugging, and internal data structures. I think it’s really awesome that developers (busy as we are!) find time to attend a training session which doesn’t have a well-defined outcome; at the end of the day, I’m not sure if I can promise that you’ll be better at something in particular, but I’m willing to bet that you will have learned something new and become a better developer or systems architect.
We had time today for the following:
- Brief overview of Windows architecture, user-mode and kernel-mode separation, primary components
- Deep focus on exception handling, interrupt dispatching, and system service (“syscall”) dispatching
- Birds-eye view on thread scheduling, including SMP scheduling
- Overview of the implementation of Windows synchronization mechanisms (dispatcher objects) and spinlocks
- A taste of local kernel debugging and “real” kernel debugging of a simple driver deployed to a virtual machine
- Foundations of kernel crash dump (blue-screen) analysis
Other sessions today included Debugging the Web with Fiddler (I am so out of touch with Web developers :-)), WPF and Silverlight Smart Client Architecture Deep Dive with MVVM and Beyond (winner of the longest title), and Introduction to Test-Driven Development. I’ve already heard great feedback about the other sessions.
This concludes the conference; I’ve had a great time, although I can barely feel my feet after a week of full-day sessions. We are looking forward to hosting similar conferences during the year, what with BUILD/Windows giving us lots of new subjects to cover 🙂