Top Notch Launch Event of SQL Server 2005, Visual Studio 2005 and Biztalk 2005
I just came from the Launch event of Visual Studio 2005 in Orlando, Florida. It was a real treat for me on many levels. For starters, this was the first time I ever helped to man an "Ask the Experts" booth. It gave me a unique opportunity to chat with .NET developers at all levels. The depth of knowledge in that booth was awe-inspiring. Regardless of the question, there was more than one person who had intimate knowledge of the subject matter. The variety of questions ranged from developers who were complete newbies to those who had been using VS2005 from early beta. I also had an opportunity to chat with some of the real heavy-hitters in our industry such as the legendary Kirk Evans. The angry coder, Johnathon Goodyear, was also presenting and was on hand in the booth as well. He has what is perhaps my favorite website of all time. I remember meeting him a long time back literally 15 minutes after I bought his book. When I met him, I had no idea who he was and when he said that he was Johnathon Goodyear, I though he was actually joking around and maybe even an imposter. After checking his driver's license and finding out that it was actually him, I told him that I just bought his book and his response was, "So, you're the one".
The keynote presentation was truly a site to behold. Although I have been using the tools for some time, I couldn't help but get caught up in the excitement of what the realease of these three products has really achieved. It is truly raising the bar for any other development tools and platforms. From my experience, whenever I start singing the praises of Microsoft's development tools to developers who work in other languages, they always respond with. "Yeah, we have been able to do that for years". It doesn't matter what feature I am talking about either. I won't name any languages specifically, but let's just say that the one I am thinking of rhymes with guava. This latest release, however, really brings the suite of tools together and the interoperability between the three toolsets will enable us to produce applications beyond anything that we have seen to date. You could not help but to have chills after leaving.
Following the event, I attended the Geek Laager party sponsored by the folks at the Orlando .Net Users Group. To top off a day of chatting with developers, including some who actually helped to develop the tools that I love, I had a chance to chat with them over a couple of beers. We talked shop, of course, but also had a chance to cover areas of our lives that did not involve technology (believe it or not). I had a good time chatting with the GeekGurl who sadly lost her GeekGurl licence place. If you happen to have a GeekGrl license plate on the back of your car, drop me an email. I also drank a beer or two (maybe more) with Tom Fuller, who showed us that Biztalk was nothing to be afraid of and gave a presentation that many developers were raving about as well as a few more beers with Joe Healy who actually came up with the name "Geek Laager" party. Overall, it was one of the best events that I have been to in a very long time.