Friday, April 20, 2007

Devscovery Denver 2007

James and I just got back from Devscovery last night. This was the first of four Devsovery conferences that we will be exhibiting at this year and this one was held in Denver, Colorado. It was the first time that either of us had been to Colorado and we were pretty excited about it.

Our trip started off pretty tough again. It was no where near our last trip, but it wasn't looking good at our gate. We were scheduled to leave Columbus to Chicago at 9:30AM. Of course, the flight got cancelled due to "maintenance problems" and we had to reschedule our flight. I called and talked with a guy for 30 - 40 minutes before our call got dropped. Finally I heard an announcement over the loud speakers about a direct flight to Denver. I rushed over to the gate where this flight was scheduled to leave and I was able to get James and I on the flight at the last minute. YES!! Finally something is working in our favor. We will actually get to Denver earlier than if we would have gone through Chicago.

We arrived in Denver around 2:30 on Monday afternoon and got settled into the Hyatt Regency Tech Center. James checked into his room and I checked into my room. James' room had a plasma TV and an iHome theatre system for his iPod. My room had a better desk, but that is about all it had going for it compared to James' room. I had an old radio alarm clock and a 27" TV. I guess I had a little better view, but... whatever. The first thing that we did was catch up on some shut-eye. Neither one of us got much sleep the night before and we didn't have anything to do until tomorrow morning Tuesday, so I went to my room and slept from about 6PM Monday until 7AM Tuesday. I felt rejuvinated that next morning.

Tuesday morning, we got our breakfast and walked over to the Microsoft building (which was about 100 yards from the Hyatt) and got our booth setup. We attended the keynote which was hosted by Jeff Prosise. It was very motivating to see what Microsoft plans to do with SilverLite. After the keynote, James and I basically sat at our booth most of the day and worked on our presentation for Wednesday's lunch session. Once the sessions were all over, we went back to the hotel and got ready for the Colorado Rockies game against San Francisco Giants (thanks Wintellect!). The game was pretty uneventful other than the fact that Jeff Prosise got to be on the big screen and the "chicken guy" got kicked out right next to our group. :) "Free the Chicken Guy!!". It turned out to be a great game because the Rockies came back and won, 5-3! :) When we got back to the room, we tried to work on our presentation a bit more. James and I worked on it until about 2AM then I went back to my room and crashed.

Wednesday morning came way to quick and we actually both slept in a bit. James called me about 7:30 and I had some major cotton chops from drinking at the game the night before. We ate our breakfast, headed over to the Microsoft building and started finishing up our presentation material. We worked most of the morning and afternoon on our presentation and eventually rescheduled for the Thursday since we had broken the functionality a bit. Once we rescheduled and didn't have anything else to do, James and I headed out for the mountains. This is where our "Colorado Experience" really started. I'll definitely have to post the details of this trip in a separate post (trust me, it deserves a separate post). When we got back from our AWESOME trip, we tried to finish up the presentation yet again. :) We worked in James office until 2AM again and actually had some really cool stuff working, but we'll finish the fine-grain details of it tomorrow... I went back to my room and crashed hard.

So Thursday came and we slept in... again... at least I did. I woke up around 7:30ish and called James. I got all my stuff ready to check out and we met for breakfast around 8:30AM. We got to the Microsoft building around 9:15ish and really worked on finalizing our presentation. We had hyped ourselves up too much, I'm sure. The presentation went "OK". There were lots of things I would have done differently, but at least we now know. James and I are going to work on the presentation of the topics so that we can do better for Day of .NET and Devscovery - New York.

Wintellect has some great speakers and their speakers are very knowledgable. The Devscovery conference is a great conference for anybody that wants to learn about up and coming technologies. James and I sat through Jeffrey Richter's session on C# 3.0 features and learned a lot. That dude, knows his stuff. :) I must admit that it's quite humbling to sit through a session about some of the "next-level" .NET topics, and then turn around and drink beer and talk with the speakers in a social setting. This is especially true for me, because I'm a huge book junky and I've see their names on so many books that I just kind of put each of them up on a virtual pedistal (right or wrong, it's true). It was very cool to actually talk with them in a casual setting. For example, I actually got the opportunity to "shoot the shit" with Jeff Prosise at the Rockies game and he is a very personable guy. The whole time I was talking with him I knew that this guy was a "coding god" to many people all over the world. I (personally) have a couple of Richter's books and James actually claimed that he learned MFC from Prosise's book. When I told this to Jeff he stated that he didn't know whether to stand tall and proud or duck. :) Oh yeah, I had a moment of realization that Jeff Prosise looks like Mark Miller (mainly their profile). When I told Jeff this, he indicated that he had never heard that before. This was suprising to me, because they could almost pass as twins... Am I crazy? Keep in mind that the two pictures I've linked to give the similarities no justice. You would almost have to see them together in person to find the similarities.

On the last day of the event, Wintellect had a raffle. James and I threw in a t-shirt for each attendee and John Robbins had everybody put on our t-shirt for a group photo (pictured above). How cool is that? What would be really cool is if they use this photo on their site, because everybody in the picture is wearing a Data Dynamics t-shirt. I'm no marketting guru, but I think that would be a "good thing". :)

In conclusion, we made it back to Columbus late last night, ON TIME and unscathed. The trip will be one to remember for sure. Be sure to look for the next post that describes our drive through the mountains...

Update: John Robbins posted the same picture and gives his rendition of the event: Excellent Devscovery Denver

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