Counting Down to devLink

Once again, I’m getting ready to head to devLink, a conference put on by developers for developers. It’s a great opportunity to network with some of the most talented developers in this part of the country. I feel like a little kid counting the days til Christmas – I’m that excited about devLink! But why?

Networking with People

I look forward to reconnecting with friends and meeting new people as well. I haven’t seen some of my friends since Columbus GiveCamp, others since Stir Trek, and still others since CodeMash. So it’s been a long time since I’ve seen a lot of them, and I look forward to socializing with them.

You never know who you’ll meet at devLink. This year, I hope to meet more people who’ve been following me and who I’ve been following on Twitter. I also am supposed to be meeting a guy who I’ve been playing online games with for many years, which I’ve been looking forward to for awhile now. If you haven’t met me in person yet but are going to be at devLink and happen to see me there, introduce yourself!

Learning New Things

There are plenty of things that I’ve been interested in, but I haven’t had time to focus on them as I’ve been focusing more on IronPython, Python, SQL 2008, Silverlight, and Mono – the topics of my latest presentations. I’m hoping to possibly catch a few sessions on things related to ASP.NET and databases in general, as that’s what I tend to focus on in my day job.

But the deep dive sessions and the scheduled talks aren’t the only ways I’m looking to learn. I’m looking forward to talking with others and hearing their stories. Most of all, I’m looking forward to learning more from the more casual conversations – be it while hanging out in general or in the area known as Open Spaces.

Open Spaces

On Friday, we have the Open Spaces opening circle – where you will hear the basics of Open Spaces, how they operate, and how to get involved. Whoever shows up to talk about a topic is who’s meant to be. If you don’t feel that you’re getting anything out of a particular discussion, feel free to invoke the law of 2 feet and find something that will catch your interest.

I’ve been to a variety of events now that have done Open Spaces, and I’ve seen all sorts of topics. My favorite Open Spaces discussions include “Software Craftsmanship in the MS Culture” (done at the July Cleveland C#/VB.NET SIG), “Microsoft and Open Source” (run by Sara Ford at devLink 2008), and a talk on building a community (another from devLink 2008). I liked how improptu the topics were and that the people who showed up were truly interested in the topics at hand. When you get people who are truly interested, discussions tend to move a lot better.

I’m curious to see what people will propose for topics this year. I’ve been thinking about this, and VBA is not “all the way”… so we’ll see if I run with that at all.

At the end of the conference, there’s a closing circle to recap the lessons and experiences of Open Spaces. If you’ve participated in any of the Open Spaces discussions during the event, I’d highly recommend going to the closing circle to see how it all went.

Microsoft Tag Rumors

If you were at Central Ohio Day of .NET in April, you probably remember the Microsoft Tag hunt. Well, it’s on again for devLink. Want to know more about when and where? Keep an eye out for those Tags, and make sure to have your Tag reading device with you to join in on the fun!

Conclusion

devLink has a little something for everyone. Their talks have been broken up into the following tracks: SharePoint, Project Management, Database, Web Application Development, Architecture and Practices, Languages, Client Application Development, and the Open track. I’ll be speaking on Friday afternoon about Mono, MonoDevelop, and using C# in cross-platform development. I’m anticipating a great event this year, and I hope to see you there!

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