his summer and fall have been an absolute blast. I attended a number of user groups and conferences. The fun started in April with my first Code Camp. I flew to Boston for Code Camp then went on a minor North American user group tour to Vermont, Montreal, and Toronto. That was just the beginning. After my user-group tour I spoke at DevTeach in Montreal, attended PDC in Los Angeles, attended two DevConnections shows in Las Vegas, attended the MVP summit in Seattle, and finally spoke at Code Camp in Seattle.
Attending conferences as a speaker and as an attendee is always fun on a number of different levels. Attending as a speaker is fun because you get to share the things you've learned with other developers. It's also fun because some of the questions you receive can sometimes challenge you to explore ideas in new ways. Attending as an attendee (nice alliteration, huh?) is also fun because sometimes it's nice to let someone else drive the bus for a while. By attending sessions you get new ideas by seeing how other developers work.
While attending and speaking at conferences and user groups can be fun, it's not the ultimate reason for attending. This year I was fortunate enough to network with some great developers. At every stop I was able to connect with other high-caliber developers and have some very intensive "geek" discussions. At Code Camp in Boston I discussed development issues with Sam Gentile. In Vermont I chatted about the business of consulting along with a litany of development issues with Julia Lerhman. Montreal was a great town to discuss numerous trends in the .NET market. PDC was a great place to discuss future trends. I attended a particularly interesting dinner with Markus Egger, Robert Scoble, Julia Lerhman, Jim Duffy, and a number of other cool kids. At the MVP Summit it was 24/7 geek discussions with folks like Miguel Castro, Nick Landry, and a large cast of characters.
After each user group and conference, two things happened to me. The first is that I get tired-attending these conferences and user groups wears you out. And after I recover I feel reenergized. The .NET community is alive and kicking and I can harness the energy of these events into new forms of development energy. I highly recommend going to conferences and user groups both for the content and for the interaction you share with other developers.
New Items for CoDe Magazine
- This month we're starting a new editorial section called the "MVP Corner." In every issue we will dedicate space for Microsoft MVPs and other pundits to express their opinions in our magazine. If you have an idea for an editorial, send me an e-mail.
- In addition, look for our CoDe Focus issue on mobile development where we feature articles targeted at developers who are writing code for mobile devices.