On Thursday, we had our last VSX European Tour event at the Microsoft office in Budapest. It was wasn't just a talk for a user group this time. It was a half day event focused specifically on VSX.
Sandor Nacsa from the Budapest office helped us set up the event. We had the pleasure of sharing the day with Gabor Ratky and Novák István.
We started off the day with István's presentation of VSX. The room was pretty fully with around 40 attendees. His presentation was in Hungarian, so we didn't really understand it. But from previous conversations with him, we know that his presentation was about his personal experience with VSX. More or less of a high level overview with a twist of what's good and what's bad. In case you didn't know, István and I met last year at TechEd EMEA where he learned about VSX. Since then, he has been very active in the VSX community, and he is the mind behind http://www.codeplex.com/learnvsxnow/. If you haven't been there, I would highly recommend it as it has a lot of great contents.
Jean-Marc and I presented next. Sandor had arranged for an interpreter for the session, as a small number of the attendees don't speak English. So it was the first time we presented our talk with an interpreter. I must say that it is very different with an interpreter because you need to pause after a couple of a sentences. Jokes don't work quite the same, and I can also see some of the audience who understand English feeling a little bit annoyed because they are hearing everything twice. In fact, I thought most of them didn't need translation as most of them laughed at our jokes even before the interpretation. There were many good questions related to the FileCodeModel, DSL and the VS Shell. We kind of expected the high interest though, since it is half day event focused on VSX.
After our presentation, it was Gabor's turn. Although his presentation was also in Hungarian, he only had a couple of slides and he was showing code most of the time. So we were actually able to follow. I was already very much looking forward to his talk before he started because I had read the abstract and he mentioned something about a USB rocket launcher. I was very curious about it.
His demo was a lot of fun (even when I don't understand Hungarian)! He brought these toy rocket launchers that connected to the USB port and you can control it through the computer. The part I loved the most about it is that it even has a laser pointer 🙂 He then showed how to build a VS Service that controlled the rocket launcher, and then hooked up the tool window to show the user interface that let the user control it. It was a lot of laughs, but it was also very educational. I told Gabor afterwards that I really loved the demo and I am going to steal it 🙂 Below is a picture of all four of us that we took at the end of the day. You can even see the rocket launchers at the corner.
After the VSX Day ended, Jean-Marc had to leave right away for the airport. Kalman was very kind and took me on a short tour of the office building. If you had read my last blog entry, you would know how I met Kalman. He was excited to see the things the VSX community is doing and he said he would be interested in partnering with Gabor and István if there are things he could help with. I think with these 3 strong VSX guys in Budapest, there is a lot of potential to establish a VSX hub in Hungary!
I am very grateful for all the people who have helped us make our trip a success. I just returned to Seattle, so I still have a lot of follow-ups and thank-you's to write. Hopefully, we have helped spread the word and educate more developers about VSX in Europe through this trip. I think more importantly, we have established some important relationships with developers as well as Microsoft field tam members and we will be able to work more effectively in the future.