Follow @RoyOsherove on Twitter

Overcoming fear: My experiences from the .Net Deep Dive event

Jackie Goldstein also writes about his experiences from the event (he hosted a session about worst practices in .net).
Addy Santo writes more about the event on his blog.
So does Moshe Eshel with lots of details.]
It was an amazing rush to speak last week in front of a crowd of a 1000 + developers.
Us speakers had to be at the conference hotel at 7 am to do sound adjustments. Having been to a wedding the night before I had only slept about 2 hours, but I got up with no problem. I had an adrenalin kick with the alarm clock. When we did the sound checks the sounds guy attached a wireless microphone headset to me face. I felt a little like Madonna before a show (and I actually used this thought in my first talk). As I was entering the main lecture hall (a thousand seater) I was with awe. It was a little like entering a cathedral because it was so quiet and bit and empty and full of seats. It felt weird and scary to realize that very soon, all these seats will be full and will look to me on stage.
I kinda wanted to go home.
My first lecture was coming up right after the main assembly lecture by Yosi. That was a long and horrifying hour. My stomach was turning and I my body was yelling at me to go to the bathroom. There were no butterflies, but elephants would have been a good guess for what was going on in my gut at that time.
I was wearing my MVP shirt on and this guy being me wanted to ask me a question. I could not even think clearly at this point so I politely asked him to ask me later after my talk. He didn’t seem to like that response all that much but Ohad, who sat next to me saved face and answered him for me. Hey mister. If you’re reading this please accept my apologies. Also to all those who tried to approach me after my talks and couldn’t get me to talk straight with them –sorry. I had too much on my mind and too less sleep to deal with it.
In any case. Yosi kept mentioning my upcoming lectures in his talk as he was demoing some of the new functionality of VS 2005. As he was talking I started thinking of ways in which I would answer some of his demos with my own demos and that relaxed me quite a bit. But I was still nervous enough to just leave and disappear under a rock somewhere.
Then Yosi finished speaking.
Michal Geva called my name.
I started walking up the stairs to the stage.
In one second all my doubts, fears, hesitations, worries, butterflies, elephants – whatever was bothering me went away. I was faced with a simple and undeniable truth: This was going to be awesome. And fun.
As I got on the stage I had already felt completely at home with the bunch of strangers in front of me. I had 5 minutes to set up my gear and get started. When the time came and I was introduced I turned on winamp and put up the starting theme of the Matrix-revolutions movie. I then put on my sunglasses and informed the audience that this lecture was going to be about cool stuff. I think they liked it. Plus the first slide was an empty screen with a large icon and the words “certified cool” on it.
Oh, prior to that I asked the audience if I look like Madonna while doing a “vogue” motion in front of a 1000 people. They seemed to laugh. I took it as a yes.
The cool-tools presentation went pretty smoothly. The biggest round of “ooh”s was when I showed the Refactor! Addin as it switches parameter order visually. A definite demo candidate for any lecture. I actually finished about 3 minutes ahead of time. I forgot to demo Reflector, which is an amazing miss, though I’m not sure how many developers don’t know of its existence by now.
The second presentation went smoothly as well. Nothing in particular to tell about it really. It was the pause in between my two lectures that was interesting. Addy Santo and myself went and had lunch outside the hotel and had a really interesting conversation about geeky stuff and life in general. Did I mention that Addy will be speaking at the upcoming .net architects user group this Sunday? He’ll talk about InfoPath mainly.
After that there’s a geek dinner at “el gaucho” in tel Aviv so feel free to drop in from 9 30 on wards.
One thing I did ask the audience in the beginning of the second lecture was "If there was an Agile user group, how many would want to attend?" Sadly only 7-8 people raised their hands out of maybe 400 attendees. I should have posed the same question at the end of the lecture, I'm sure more people would have raised their hands at that point.
If you are interested in attending the Agile Israel user group, send email to Agile at osherove dot com and tell me. I'll add you to a growing list of participants.
I also mentioned that I will start redoing the TDD workshops that we used to do at Magen for the community. Already got several emails to attend that (If you are interested in attending these free 3 hour workshops email me to TDD at osherove dot com)
In conclusion, this conference has been an amazing experience. Thanks for the opportunity, Yosi! It was great seeing all of you there! Thanks for dropping by and saying hi. It was great to see familiar faces :)

Head-First books from Oreilly (and free sample chapters)

Cool Tools Every .Net Developer should be aware of