Visual Studio Launch Event, Reno NV

Since I live only about 200 miles from Reno I figured I would volunteer to deliver a session at this VS Launch Event last Thursday. I love driving and figured I could easily handle a 3 hour drive over the Sierras on 80 this time of year. I stayed with a friend who lives about 10 minutes away from the Peppermill where the event was taking place. Bruno Terkaly, Bay Area Developer Evangelist, ran the show and delivered the keynote.

I figured there would be a lot less people here than in the San Francisco Launch session I delivered but it turned out there were about 200 people that showed up. The difference between the two events was that SF had many concurrent sessions running and Reno split the Dev and IT Pro tracks into separate parts of the day, Devs in the afternoon. So everyone had all 200 people in their talks and there was just one big room for everything.

The goal of my talk was to speak to the new features of VS 2008 particularly the WPF client designer/developer paradigm (including a simple demo of Expression Blend), occasionally connected scenarios (OCS), and WCF hosted Workflows. I also added a demo of the client application services and threw in a LINQ to XML with Excel in the end because I had some extra time.

Everything worked without a hitch except for one minor step I forgot but recovered right away the minute I ran it. Although there were more web developers in the audience (through a quick poll of hands) many people came up to me at the end of the talk asking me about good books on WPF as well as data binding. There were also lots of great questions and interest about the OCS support and VB’s XML literals.

Reno was surprisingly a great turnout and had a big group of developers in the area. After my talk ended I grabbed a bite to eat with Bruno and the other speakers at a buffet (of course! What’s Nevada without an all-you-can-eat buffet?!). But I couldn’t stay too long, not because of the residual smoke that was clinging to my hair and clothes, but because I had to drive back home that night and wanted to make it back before midnight. It was a great adventure though!