On June 21st, I attended the first Lansing Day of .NET.
After picking up a presenter mouse from Target Saturday morning, my friend Chris and I arrived at the event around 8:30 (just as the first session was starting). As I was walking in, I ran in Patrick Foley, Alan Stevens (along with is wife) and Dan Rigsby (along with his wife). After a quick registration, I hit the speaker room to catch up with people and to try and put some last minute changes into my slide deck and verify my VM was working.
I was in the second time slot of the day which was good because it meant the attendees would be somewhat awake. I was happy to see several of my tweeps/friends in the audience (including Chris, Dave Redding, Alan Stevens, Mike Wood and Alan Barber – I’m sure there were more, so I apologize if you’re not in this list). I forgot my notes at home, so my talk (Introduction to Castle ActiveRecord, or Stop Writing CRUD!) was pretty much from memory and I know for sure I missed a couple of points I wanted to make. The session was only an hour, so I felt a bit constrained by the time (most events I’ve been to have had 70-75 minute sessions). Other than that, I think it went pretty well. I need to do a better job of not leaning against the wall (that was one thing my tweeps commented on). I’ve got a few weeks before I give this talk at Codestock, so I’m going to be re-working it a bit.
After my session, I bounced between Jay’s IoC talk and the speaker room. While it sounds silly, some of the *best* conversations at events like this happen during the sessions – whether they’re in the speaker room or the common areas.
Lunch, of course, was boxed lunches. :-\ I sat and talked with Jason Follas, Chris and a few others. At one point, I caught up with a couple guys I worked with years ago (Pradeep and Fritz).
After lunch, I bounced between Patrick Steele’s Monorail talk and the speaker room. The next session I attended was Jennifer’s “Intro to WPF”, but I bailed pretty quickly. The pace of Jennifer’s talk was faster than my brain wanted to keep up with, and there wasn’t much I hadn’t heard from talks at other events.
For the last session, a bunch of us decided to hit Len Smith’s NHibernate session. As he is quick to point out, the talk didn’t go so well. I’m not sure what happened, but he struggled through most of the talk. I can tell you from experience that once something goes wrong, it can be very difficult to recover. I also know that NHibernate is a big subject and you can really only scratch the surface in an hour. If he gives the talk again, I’ll make sure I check it out because I do think it’s good information.
The absolute *worst* part of the day was having to listen to the Mayor of Lansing talk. It would be one thing if the guy had an IT background, but he was there for the photo-op and that was it. :-\ He had no clue who we were, what we were doing or why we were doing it. Please…if you’re organizing an event, try to keep the politicians away.
After the event, about 20 of us headed to the after-party at Jeff’s house. I’m not sure I can do it justice other than to say it was the event of the year. It’s always cool to see friends in a completely relaxed atmosphere. There was great food, music and lots of good conversations. Jeff and his wife did an amazing job of putting this party together! I was introduced to Keith’s “The Elder” drink which consisted of vodka, cranberry juice, orange juice and Sprite. It was good enough that I eventually had a second. While she couldn’t make the event, Sarah and her husband showed up at the party!
Chris and I started the 90 minute drive back home around midnight. It was a great time, but we really had to get going. As in Cleveland, I was a bit sad having to leave all my friends, but I know it won’t be long before another event rolls around and we’ll see each other again.