Monday, October 27, 2008

Live from LA

Well, here I am. After an agonizing 11-hour flight from Amsterdam to LA in a Boeing 747-400, I’m finally in the City of Angels, also known as Los Angeles California. Fortunately, the entire Dutch .NET community joined me on this KLM flight, so we spend loads of time discussing architecture….NOT. In fact, the only things people were discussing was about the hotel they were staying, what place to see and the external hard drive with Windows 7 we were supposingly going to receive this week. However, Alex Thissen, Maurice de Beijer and me have actually been discussing some of the design choices I’ve made in my demo code from the SDC presentations.

Anyhow, it’s Sunday right now,and I’m currently attending the pre-conference day. Even though I tried to go to bed as late as possible in order to make sure I was really sleep, I’ve had a horrible first night at the otherwise really decent Westin Bonaventura hotel. There were multiple Halloween parties and after having diner with some other colleagues, Olaf Conijn and I went to have a drink at a lounge bar at the rooftop of his hotel, The Standard. From there, the view on the surrounding hotels and sky-scrapers (like the AON Center and US Bank Tower) is awesome, and for somebody who has a slight anxiety for heights, quite tricky.

For the pre-conference, I chose a rather interactive session by Brian A. Randell, an MVP on Team Foundation Server. He shared quite a lot of his best practices on infrastructure, working in teams and getting the most out of the suit of products. I sure took a lot of notes on things to check-out when I’m back home. The day was concluded with a panel discussion hosted by Brian Harry, the Product Manager for the entire Visual Studio Team System team. This allowed us to ask questions about certain design decisions and future improvements. One particular feature I liked is the fact that you can divide your team into smaller sub-teams (security groups) and have work item queries that filter by group. Before that, you had to use areas for that and assigning a work item to another team usually also required to change the area.

By the way, check out the pictures at the PDC site to get an impression of this first day.