I forgot one notable event on Day 2. That was the live recording of .NET Rocks! which was held over lunch. Carl and Richard interviewed Gert Drapers and Cameron Skinner on the newly announced Visual Studio Team Edition for Database Professionals (formerly known as “Data Dude”). I don’t work in this area but from the discussions at the recording as well as at the VSTS party that evening it seems that the product is a good start but it may have some maturing to do.
Day 3 started late (mostly because Day 2 ended late), I didn’t get to the conference center until just before noon. I skipped lunch so I could spend some time doing Hands-On Labs. I think these are the hidden gems of conferences like TechEd or PDC, particularly when it comes to future technologies. Everything was already setup for me to try out WinFx, LINQ, VSTS for Database Professionals, SharePoint 2007, Office 12, and so on. These are particularly good as a follow-up to a breakout session.
In between the two sessions I caught in the afternoon (including Beat Schwegler’s excellent talk on “Architecting Applications for a Service-Oriented World”) I managed to torment D’Arcy Lussier a little bit. You see, D’Arcy has been a little bitter about missing TechEd so I thought I’d add fuel to the fire by emailing him some shots of the biggest attraction at the conference, the magic snack tables. While he was impressed with the “high carb, high sugar, high fat chocolate bar goodness”, he was not so impressed by the “freaking bucket of fruit”. Some people do eat healthy and even perform this odd ritual called exercise at some place called the gym. [:)]
I spent the evening catching up on email and blog reading until about 9:00pm when the RubyCLR Bird’s of a Feather (BOF) session (run by John Lam and Scott Hanselman) started. The way they hosted the event – with Scott taking on the TV talk show host role and John acting as in the guest – worked exceptionally well. The discussion helped me grok more of who John see’s as the initial target market for this product and how it can build some initial momentum.
After the BOF a bunch of the ObjectSharpees headed out for some beer and pool. We dragged along Mario Cardinal and Guy Barette as well as a few other people we met on the shuttle to the hotel. I had a long conversation with Mario about architecture and what he’s doing with the Visual Studio Talk Show (sort of the French .NET Rocks!). In my opinion, conversations and networking opportunities like these are really what makes the conference valuable.
Day 4 was mostly about networking. I hung around the blue area in the Technical Learning Center (TLC) and walked the expo hall. I did catch an excellent session on application security given by Jesper Johansson in the afternoon.
The evening was spent in Faneuil Hall. It began with some nice Prime Rib at Durgin Park (established before you were born) and finished with the .NET Influencer’s party at Ned Devine’s Irish Pub. Note to Jean-Luc: next time leave the laptop at home. [:)]