Ann Arbor Day of .NET 2008 Recap

This weekend, I was up in Ann Arbor for Ann Arbor Day of .NET. I arrived there on Friday, where I hung out with a group of friends for a bit before having to head back to the hotel to finish my presentation. Saturday morning, I was up early to look at my presentation one last time, as I had a 9am time slot.

When I arrived, I saw Todd from Domino’s and Chris Roland working the registration table. Once I checked in, I went to find out where my talk was so that I could setup my laptop. I found Dan Rigsby, and since I knew his talk was right after mine, I figured that he was in the right room. We ran into a room assignment problem, but once we got the right room assignment, Dan and I worked on getting the projector setup for our room.

My talk was on the new data types in SQL Server 2008, which was based on a talk that I had given in September at the Ohio North SQL Server SIG. I briefly covered the datetime data types, as I wanted to focus more on hierarchyid, geography, geometry, and filestream. Since Jason Follas was giving his spatial talk, I sent people to see his talk for more detail so that I would have more time to get into hierarchyid and filestream. My slide deck and scripts will probably be made available by the end of this week.

After my talk, I took some pictures of the event and talked with some of the sponsors. From there, I joined a few people downstairs for lunch, where we had an impromptu women in technology discussion.

AutoCollage from my AADODN Collection

After lunch, I had to confirm rumors that Dave Redding photoshopped a picture of me from Cleveland Day of .NET into his presentation. Sure enough, I made it into the last production of the “C# Variety Show” (albeit someone needs to learn to photoshop things a bit more proportionately). Now if you haven’t seen Dave’s presentation before, let’s just say that it isn’t for the sensitive audience. It’s quite sexist and can easily be seen as offensive, but that’s just Dave. Honestly, as bad as it sounds, I really liked how he explained programming concepts in a way that others could relate to it easily. Poor Dave, though, had a tough crowd – quiet food coma after lunch probably didn’t help, but I think more of us were afraid to be heckled. None of us use delegates… none of us use event handlers… and we got Dave mad enough to swear when he asked how many of us clicked a button in Visual Studio. Oops!

The last session I caught was Brian Prince‘s “How to Be an Architect”. He had me help him pass out swag – yay for green Microsoft stress balls! The stupid move though was giving me a marker for the white board and telling me to write down what they were saying. I’ve got pictures from that session, and I will make a separate blogpost specifically for that. If you haven’t seen Brian’s talks before, I’d definitely recommend checking them out. I’m a developer that has to think like an architect every now and then, but I’m better as a dev than an architect. I liked how Brian explained what an architect is and just what it is that they do. His slides in this presentation are in the same style as his “Soft Skillz” talk, which really bring a point across without killing the audience with bullet points.

There were so many sessions there that I’d have loved to have seen. But I haven’t successfully cloned myself to be in multiple places at once, so I will have to attend more events and maybe catch a few more sessions. However, the main reason why I go to these events is to see the people again, and I met a lot of new people and saw a lot of my friends who I’ve met on Twitter and at the various events I’ve attended this year. This was definitely a great event — thanks to all who made it happen!

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