Event Reviews

Sat, December 3, 2005, 11:05 AM under Events
It occurred to me that, besides being busy with commuting and my current project, I have also participated in a number of events recently without reflecting on them, so here goes.
TIP: Read them bottom up, since that is the order I wrote them in.

- DNUG meeting
Date: 30/11/05 Location: Microsoft offices in Soho (London)
I’ve described the venue further below so will not do it here again. This was the first time I managed to attend the Dot Net User Group meeting and I will be back for more. The topic was patterns and architecture by Matt Deacon of Microsoft. Most interesting were the follow up conversations down the pub including debates on the differences between consultants, permies, contractors and “body shops”.

- VS Launch event in London.
Date: 15/11/05 Location: Novotel hotel in Hammersmith (London)
Very disappointing on every conceivable front:
1. Sure you served me lunch but at the breaks all you can offer is water and smoothies? What happened to chocolates, cakes, biscuits, beer etc?
2. Where are the freebies? Just flyers doesn't cut it, give me some toys.
3. On a more serious note, (I am sorry, but) the sessions were poor not only on delivery (OK, only half of the ones I went to were very poor) but the actual choice of content was inexplicable. I was reading the session titles and couldn't get motivated to go to any of them.
4. Where was Avanade's presence? We are platinum sponsors in the US, silver sponsors in the UK, and one of the reasons I decided to attend in the end was to help at our stand - nobody told me there wasn't one!

- MVP pint & pie
Date: 14/11/05 Location: The Chapel Public House in Edgeware Road (London)
Every so often, the UK MVPs are invited to a "pie & pint" evening at a pub (a number of these vents run across the country). Our lovely FGM pays for our food and for our drinks in exchange for us making complete fools of ourselves - fair deal if you ask me :-) I had never gone to one of these before as the nearest to my home is the London one and I never worked in London before; now that I do, I get to attend evening events like this and I certainly will again.

- Training "Excellence"
Date: 8-9/11/05 Location: etc The Hatton in Farrington (London)
This was the first time I went to the etc conference in the Hatton and it is not a bad venue that serves great food. It was also the first time I went on training that was *completely* non-technical, with a mixture of Avanade employees from *all* disciplines. It is a public course that promises to change the way you view your life (and then it is up to you to act on that). It was delivered by these guys. Sorry Nick, I haven't started my master list yet but it is on my... TODO list.

- Mobile developer nuggets
Date: 27/10/05 Location: Microsoft offices in Soho (London)
The location for this event dominated my thoughts. Our own Avanade offices are on Wardour Street in Soho and I get people cracking jokes about that, but have you seen where MSFT offices are? You have to avoid offers for s3x, regardless of the direction you approach it from! Into the building and it turns out when they said "it is in the swimming pool room" they weren't joking. The room is basically a swimming pool with no water in it and with some modifications to make it usable as a presentation room. David Goon had his delivery well practised and I am definitely stealing the idea of "nuggets" for a future talk; it sounds much better than "tips and tricks". There was a break between the 1-hour stints and we enjoyed pizza and beer - definitely going back to the next MSDN event there.

- DeveloperDeveloperDeveloper II
Date: 22/10/05 Location: Microsoft UK HQ in Reading
I had a blast. I only got a chance to attend 3 sessions and the top one in my book was Ian G's Avalon session. Ian if you want my feedback, replace some of the "why" time with demos - but other than that, it was top class. My two sessions were very well received, with both rooms "selling out". My apologies to the people that were turned away, but even standing room was taken! Full credit goes to the C# team for the debugging enhancements in VS2005 and especially to the Class Designer team: those topics sell themselves and all I had to do was deliver the facts.

- QuickStart
Date: 04-07/10/05 Location: Avanade HQ in Seattle (down town)
When you join Avanade, you get your induction in the Seattle office, along with a bunch of people from other Avanade offices around the world. The induction consists of fun, basic consultancy skills training, fun, team activities, fun, education on Avanade processes/tools, and, of course, a lot of fun. My only complaint is that I cannot do it all over again. It is worth you joining Avanade simply to go on this course!

- MVP Summit
Date: 28/09-02/10 2005 Location: Microsoft HQ in Redmond (Washington)
The most frustrating event I have ever gone to. Imagine you have just attended something (film, opera, theatre, sporting event, whatever) and you came out of it *super-excited* but could not tell anyone anything; now you know how I feel. In a nutshell, with VS2005 not out of the door yet, we had a chance to participate in the specs for the next version and get insight to plans that have only just made it to paper. As you'd expect, it is the discussions with product group members during the breaks that were the most interesting. Demos of bleeding edge technology were in abundance, but I better stop typing before I spill any beans...

- MSPress Publisher's Summit
Date: 26-27/09/05 Location: Microsoft HQ in Redmond
Shouldn't really include this since I did not attend, even though I had registered. Found out the content was not geared towards my interests, plus I had already submitted my book proposal (MSPress, how long do you need to reply - a simple yes or no will do).

- Indigo Roadshow
Date: 27/09/05 Location: Washington University in Seattle
This was a single session that lasted 3 hours, thus giving us an excellent introductory overview to Indigo. The two speakers were Richard Turner and Ari Bixhorn (saw Ari first time in Barcelona teched 2002, and every time he proves that he can host a good show). Plenty of demos and audience interaction meant that I stayed awake, even though I had performed a marathon trek earlier in the day to find Bruce Lee's grave in Lakeview cemetery.
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