Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Mix08 Recap

My recap of Mix08 has to start with a big thank you to Jeff Blankenburg, and the small company he works for based in Redmond, WA. Jeff got me a ticket to Mix (QSI got me the plane ticket and hotel stay), then once I got there he got Colin Neller, who runs the Memphis user group, and myself tickets to the Blue Man Group. Then when the White Death hit Columbus and our flight home got cancelled, Jeff put us up in his room for the night because he was staying one more evening. (Oh, and he loaned me $40 at the craps table…but he told me the juice is running on that.) If your DE is to drive more interest, JB is doing a good job getting me around the Microsoft community.

Second big thank you is going to go to Steve Harman. Steve and I both work for Quick, and roomed together while at Mix. (That’s the rest of the “us” that Jeff put up courtesy of the Blizzard of ’08.) Steve has a number of contacts in the community, and he introduced me to everybody he knew, and some he didn’t know. (And after our interesting trip home, Steve and I didn't kill each other, and we're still speaking.)

So, with Jeff and Steve leading the way, easily the biggest part of Mix for me was the people I met. There were a number of sessions I didn’t go to as I stayed in the Open Spaces/Sandbox area to just talk with people. So, I may have missed a Silverlight session, but I got to spend about 35 minutes talking to Phil Haack about the ASP.Net MVC framework. The guy writing that framework has to be a pretty solid source of information. Later I watched the Steve Balmer keynote with Rob Conery. Rob shared a lot of what his general development practices are, and what tools he uses. (I didn’t luck out and have beers with ScottGu like Steve did, though.)

I did get to a few sessions, though. The highlight one for me was Scott Hanselman’s talk on the ASP.Net MVC framework. Since I’ll be doing one of those myself on March 26th, figured I better watch Scott to get some materials to borrow...er, I mean get ideas. I also got to see Nikhil Kothari talk about ASP.Net AJAX apps moving forward, which was pretty cool for me since I got a lot of information from Nikhil back when I was picking up on what was then ATLAS. One of the better sessions was a panel discussion on Open Source and where it’s headed. The panel consisted of Mike Schroepfer (Mozilla), Rob Conery (Microsoft), Andi Gutmans (Zend), Miguel de Icaza (Novell, Moonlight), Sam Ramji (Microsoft). They took questions which started the discussions, which got heated at times, but raised some great points. In hindsight, I wish I’d had found another panel discussion to go to.

All the sessions, including the keynotes (the Guy Kawasaki, Steve Ballmer keynote should not be missed) are available online now at http://sessions.visitmix.com in a number of formats. All that information is great, so in the end I really won’t miss any sessions I wanted to see, but the opportunities to meet the people I met aren’t available online. Here’s looking forward to Mix09 already.

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