We’re all back home after having a blast at Devscovery in Denver. Thanks to everyone that attended, as always you made us work our behinds off with all the great questions and challenges. I always enjoy conferences for purely selfish reasons: I learn a ton! Everyone is working on all sorts of interesting applications and I get to hear about the challenges and pain they are experiencing. We do something pretty cool at Devscovery called One-On-Ones. All attendees can sign up for 30 minute slots with any speaker. I got to talk to two different really sharp guys who are each working on some extremely interesting software products. I hope I was able to give them some decent advice about the software business. It was also nice to see that both guys realized that technology is only about 10% of any product. I’ve talk to so many developers who think just building it is everything. Without sales and marketing, you have no product at all.
For the evening event in Denver, we took everyone to a Colorado Rockies baseball game and the consensus was that it was great. Our seats were along the third base line and Coors Field was one of the better ballparks I’ve ever been to. It’s very fan friendly with unobstructed views for everyone. As the Rockies were playing San Francisco Giants, the section to our right had some huge Giant’s fans. We all agreed that the “Chicken Man” was the highlight of the show. This gentleman would stand up and do a chicken dance every time a Colorado pitcher would walk Barry Bonds. Considering that it seemed like the whole stadium was booing every time Bonds came to bat, we credited the Chicken Man for his chutzpa in the face of the enemy. As the beer flowed, a Rockies fan decided he had enough of the Chicken Man and started a fight! We told the police that the Chicken Man was innocent, but a police officer told us they have to throw both people. Our motto became “Free the Chicken Man!” Oh, yeah, I guess there was a baseball game going on at the same time and the Rockies amazingly scored five runs in the bottom of the eighth to win it.
Back at Devscovery, I was happy to see a good turnout for my talk on Unit Testing and Code Coverage Best Practices. Considering I was up against WPF and C# 3.0, it was nice to see the people were interested in quality. It was a great group and we got a great recommendation from one person about Selenium. His organization had excellent luck building major ASP.NET test with it. While I’ve generally used the Visual Studio Web Testing Tools, I’m starting to look hard at Selenium this week based the high recommendation.
All the Devscovery daily sponsors, Data Dynamics, Microsoft Tablet PC, SPI Dynamics, telerik, and Verio, were great and numerous attendees told me that they enjoyed talking with them and not being “sold” anything. They also gave out a lot of good swag to attendees as well. The Data Dynamics people had t-shirts for everyone and as I was giving them out at the lunch drawing, it dawned on me that it’d be pretty cool to have everyone put them on so we’d all look like twins. We couldn’t fit everyone in the picture, but it’s great that all the attendees went along with the spur of a moment thought.
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Even though I’m an engineer, I can come up with a great marketing idea every once in a while! The Data Dynamics people were very happy to see that many of their logos running around. The bar has been raised for the upcoming Devscoveries in New York City, Redmond, and Silicon Valley.