Last weekend I was out in Phoenix spending some time with Alan and the natural beauty of the Southwest. I spoke at the community launch event in downtown on the Thursday before and then did a guest appearance on the .NET Rocks road trip on Friday so we figured we’d stay the weekend.
The launch event was a lot of fun, I had the privilege of speaking about the SharePoint developer tools in Visual Studio 2010 that the team I’m on built. (I’ve been interviewing team members about them on Channel 9 so check them out if you haven’t already.) There were about 20 SharePoint developers there out of probably 100 attendees and they were so excited to see these tools baked into the VS box. Package & feature designers and deployment, Visual Web Parts and LINQ to SharePoint got some cheers and nods from everyone so that was fun. Yes, all but one of my demos were in Visual Basic (my comfort zone) and a couple people came up afterwards and thanked me for it so that was really nice. The rest of the event was great too, Developer Evangelists Sara Ford, Bruno Terkaly and Daniel Egan were there as well as MVP Scott Cate talking about all things Visual Studio 2010.
On Saturday, Sara and I decided to tackle Camelback mountain – a super-popular hiking spot right in Phoenix. We took the Echo Canyon Trail which is 1.2 miles up to the peak at 1,280 feet. The short distance and elevation gain is very similar to the kind of hikes I do here in the East Bay Area, so I wasn’t worried about that. What was challenging was the terrain – covered with huge rocks that you had to climb all the way up. I’m glad I brought my full-fingered gloves. The other challenge was all the people! Wow, I am not used to that many people on a trail, even in Yosemite. But, dodging all the other hikers, I made it up in an hour and back down in 30 minutes so I think I’m in pretty decent shape.
I always pack a first-aid kit, survival kit, knife, and a frisbee. Yes a blue frisbee that has VB in big white letters. You never know when you’re going to need a VB frisbee. So once we got to the summit I found a good overhang rock and Sara took some photos of me holding it over Phoenix. Yes, VB rules over Phoenix… literally
Alan and I plan on taking a driving trip through the Southwest very soon. I love it down here and I’d love to try and tackle some more awesome hikes. If you live in the area, let me know what your favorites are and I’ll add them to my list.
Thanks Phoenix, see you next time!