I've my my share of rest from DevTeach, and now, as I prepare for next week (going to Edmonton and Winnipeg for user group talks), I have some time to reflect about the past week, and tell you some of my thoughts about this wonderful, wonderful conference.
First thing is first - This is by far the most fun conference I've been to both as a speaker and as attendee. Because less than 500 attended (I think), it was really easy to interact with a lot of people at the conference, including geek dinners on a daily basis, lunches, and true interactive sessions in the Agile Track.
On that, I'd like to give a big, big shout out to Scott Bellware, the dude who made the whole idea of a full agile track possible at all, and for bringing 3 Israelis from far far away only to talk there. It was a big risk, but I think everyone agrees that is paid off (which I'll elaborate on later in this post)
It was pretty amazing to watch as Oren (Ayende) was accepted as a full on rock star into the conference. His open source work and blog have made him a celebrity, and Oren was fulfilling that role quite superbly by giving cool, demo-filled presentations, where he showed his true Resharper-Jedi strengths.
Oren came into the conference a celebrity, but he walked away a rock star. I've heard so many names for him. anything from "The Gentle Giant" to "Resharper Jedi" to "That guy who doesn't sleep". They're all true. And I think he was quite surprised by such a warm welcome. Heck, I was starting to be a bit jealous myself!
One of the nice highlights of the conference was during the evening after all the talks were over. Oren was invited to do an "OR/M Smackdown" session along with Ted Neward with the .NET Rocks guys. It was done in a theatre complex at the hotel, and was one of the most intense back and forth I've seen. If you don't know, Ted Neward can be quite an opinionated guy, but Oren sure as hell gave Ted something to fight about.
The day after that we had long long evening of a geek dinner, which was finished off by a piano, Carl Franklin's guitar and geeks running around with their laptops. It was so much fun. Jazz was playing and we were all talking and having so much fun.
It' was quite a treat to get together with the CodeBetter bloggers. If anything, it's safe to say that each and everyone of them was so different than I expected. Jeremy looks nothing like his picture on his blog, and seems to be a much more calm and reserves person, yet very smart, intuitive and full of great thirst for knowledge. Scott is by far the craziest of the bunch, with hilarious comebacks. We were bantering for the whole week, with some sentences which I hope never see the light of the blogsphere ;) JP Boodhoo is clearly a Resharper Jedi in his own right, and so much into TDD that we had a lot of common language. I also sat on in a TDD workshop that he and Scott were doing and got a lot of interesting pointers!
It was like meeting old friends from 20 years ago, and they all changes physically, but mentally we were all still little kids playing and joking with each other. :)
There's going to be another DevTeach in Vancouver this November 26-30. I wish I could be there, but it looks like there won't be a budget to get me there (maybe Ayende will make it, who knows). If it's even half the fun we had this week, I'd highly suggest going there. Worth every single Canadian dollar, Eh?