MIX 08 - Day 2

By James at March 06, 2008 05:04
Filed Under: Life in General, MIX 08

Ugh.... I guess I enjoyed the party at Tao a little bit too much. Ok, get ready and head down to eat. I am so glad that I'm staying here in the Venetian. Geoff is staying at "Hooters" of all places and it takes him forever to get here. I meet up with him, just as we head into the dining room. We grab our food, then sit at a table occupied by a single woman. As we're talking about the previous day, she interrupts and asks, because of our conversation, if we're Developer Evangelists. She is the Microsoft DE for Belgium. I find it interesting how much tunnel vision we get in our lives, thinking that Microsoft is only here. And, now proof slapping me on the head, is sitting right there. The three of us start talking about what she does, the format of her presentations, if she is on the same track of technology as over here. A great discussion, until Geoff asks if she's "Belgish". sigh.....

The first presentation is "Real World AJAX with ASP.NET" by Nikhil Kothari. I'm not too interested in the topic, Silverlight 2 is out after all, but Nikhil is a freaking genius, writing Script#, and I want to see what he has to say. Most of what he says is interesting, and is focused on using the ASP.NET AJAX stuff, something I need to get back into, but then his last piece is on using Silverlight 2 as a means of local storage. "Aha" I say. This can solve some issues with my work. 

15 minute break then onto ""Creating Rich, Dynamic User Interfaces with Silverlight 2". This is a cool presentation, given by Karen Corby a dev on the Silverlight team. She talks about how to extend and create your own SL controls. Next comes lunch, then the second keynote with Guy Kawasaki and Steve Ballmer.

This was interesting. Ballmer invited Kawasaki to interview him, asking him any questions he wanted. The two were on a raised platform sitting in comfy chairs. Ballmer was more animated than he was at the 2008 launch, which was nice to see. With about 20 minutes left, audience members were allowed to come up and ask Ballmer questions. Most of the questions were good. One reporter asked what he was planning for the Seattle Supersonics, and he responded it was not an appropriate question and wouldn't answer.

Ok, so now, here is your chance to ask the CEO of Microsoft any question you want to. Think hard. Come up with a good one. Instead some dork wastes his chance by asking "Now that the DVD wars are over and BlueRay won, what is Microsoft going to do?" It's not like Microsoft is going to fold up and go out of business. Ballmer responds with, "We'll switch to supporting BlueRay".

All the sessions I want to see next are full, and pitbull security guards don't let anyone in if there are no chairs. Great. At least they'll be online later. So I head over to the "Sandbox" to see what's happening. I grab some more swag for the kids, and find Woody Pewitt (Microsoft DE for So Cal). We get some logistics figured out for the Code Trip and chat about the User Group and such. I play around with the Hands On Labs that are setup, then start heading over to the next presentation, "Developing ASP.NET Applications Using the Model View Controller Pattern" with Scott Hanselman.

This presentation just ROCKED! I'm an active reader of Scott’s blog, listener of his podcasts, viewer of his webcasts, and thought I knew what to expect. But seeing Scott live is absolutely great. How Scott takes a difficult subject and turns it around into a casual conversation, is a feat which is difficult to do. He makes it seamless and natural. Scott’s interaction with the audience as he’s presenting is priceless. As a speaker, and facilitator myself, I got a kick out of Scott’s handling of the various interruptions during the presentation, and his referencing of crazy eval comments.

Do yourself a favor and go to http://sessions.visitmix.com/ Search for "The ASP.NET MVC Framework" and watch the show.

That's it for the business of the day, it's time for some fun. The CodeTrip bus is down in the loading dock and the team is giving tours. They'll be leaving in a little bit, so I want to see where I'll be sleeping. It's a great time with a lot of excitement. Lynn just keeps on introducing me to all the Microsoft people, including, Greg Visscher (her boss), as a great influencer telling them how much I love building communities.

I meet up with Geoff. Rich shows up, so we head out to eat and drink.


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About the author

James James is a five time and current Microsoft MVP in Client App Development, a Telerik Insider, a past Director on the INETA North America Board, a husband and dad, and has been developing software since the early days of Laser Discs and HyperCard stacks. As the Founder and President of the Inland Empire .NET User's Group, he has fondly watched it grow from a twice-a-month, early Saturday morning group of five in 2003, to a robust and rambunctious gathering of all types and sizes of .NET developers.

James loves to dig deep into the latest cutting edge technologies - sometimes with spectacular disasters - and spread the word about the latest and greatest bits, getting people excited about developing web sites and applications on the .NET platform, and using the best tools for the job. He tries to blog as often as he can, but usually gets distracted by EF, LINQ, MVC, ASP, SQL, XML, and most other types of acronyms. To keep calm James plays a mean Djembe and tries to practice his violin. You can follow him on twitter at @latringo.

And as usual, the comments, suggestions, writings and rants are my own, and really shouldn't reflect the opinions of my employer. That is, unless it really does.

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