Code Trip - First full day

By James at March 31, 2008 15:59
Filed Under: Life in General, The CodeTrip

Well after an evening of coding and Bushmill's with Woody, going to bed (the rack) at 3:00 AM, and sleeping in a coffin, it's time for the first full day of my Code Trip adventure. The Code Trip riders always get a hotel room wherever they stop, so there are shower and ahem, toilet facilities. I need my coffee, so while Woody is making use of the shower, off I go to find a cup and call mi bella esposa.

All cleaned up and ready to go. But wait. Cal State Fullerton isn't that far away, and Woody has called ahead about parking - there is none - so, we cram into Erin's rental Hyundai to head up the freeway. Arriving at CSUF, we do see that parking is a problem. We find an empty spot, but no parking pass machine. Oh well, we're on a time crunch and an expense account, so what the heck. CSUF is a huge freaking campus. We walk. And walk. And walk. Then walk some more. It's ASB election time, with plenty of booths. Lots of the campaign signs look like they're running for president of the United States, a far cry from when I tried running for Treasurer of my junior high school with construction paper and crayons.

What's that delicious smell? Someone's serving hot dogs! And not Oscar Mayer's but big, juicy kosher dogs! Oh My! Jason starts drooling and buys a round for everyone.

Here is where I meet my next best friend David Robinson. David is the Senior Program Manager for SQL Server Data Services. He's a really neat guy who, quite liberally intermingles "f-this" and "f-that" into his vernacular. But the guy is smart as a whip, absolutely loves his job, and is one of those people, where 30 seconds after you meet them, you feel a strong and lasting bond.

I also get to meet Sam Stokes, Woody and Jason's counterpart in the academic field. Sam is the Academic Evangelist for Southern California and has setup XNA Day here at CSUF. The meeting starts off with a student Jason (sorry man, but I don't know your last name) who shows off several of the games the students have developed with XNA Studio. This is amazing what can be done with XNA and I can't wait to get Willie (my son) involved.

Jason takes over, and goes into much deeper detail about the history of game development, all the hard work involved, and how XNA makes it so much easier now. With that, he starts showing off some of the physics code he developed for XNA called "Imagination". Amazing, amazing stuff.

David starts his presentation on what SQL Server Data Services is all about. This is going to be so cool, access to SQL Data via "the cloud", with no interruptions and an extremely affordable cost of entry. Just think, pay for the bandwidth on pennies on the dollar, without the headaches of running a server room. Bitchen.

Presentations are done and it's time to head to USC for the afternoon session. I get to ride with Sam, who turns out to be an ok guy and starts asking me if I would be interested in working with/for Microsoft.

Time to pack up and head over to USC for another presentation, this time to a group of CS students, set up again by Sam. This is a much larger crowd, but they sure are different in attitude from the user groups I'm used to. Could it be the sign that said "free pizza and win an XBox"? Jason starts in with his presentation from last night, but quickly decides to switch tracks based on the groups reactions. Nice save Jason. Woody shows of the web camera app he built to take images of the bus from a variety of "strategically placed" web cameras located on the bus. Guess I'll need to keep that in mind for the next few days.

Sam keeps the group enthused by raffling off a few items during the breaks, interesting how he keeps mentioning the XBox. David starts off with his SSDS presentation, but since we're running out of time, he's gotta go fast. I mean really fast, like f-bomb fast. I think the group likes his style. As he's finishing up, he puts in a plug that his team is hiring, and afterwards I see he's getting mobbed by potential applicants and several students who want more information on the SSDS technology.

Time for the XBox raffle. And it couldn't have gone to a more perfect winner. A short, dumpy, pimple faced geek. The look on his face when he won....I love it!

Next stop, .NET geek dinner, run by a really great guy, Geoff Emery. We meet up at Havana Mania a great little Cuban Restaurant. A few Mojitos, and some Cuban Roast Pork, and it's the end of a great first day.

Tomorrow is coding, geeking, then Red Bull Party.

I'm so effing happy. I'm having the time of my life.

J

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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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