In Canberra (Australia’s national capital) we stayed at Hyatt Hotel Canberra, which was quite elegant. The event for Canberra was held at the National Convention Center. The community launch event at Microsoft Canberra was terrific as I finally met Anthony Borton and Geoff Appleby. I also spoke briefly with Mitch Denny, who I met a few years ago at an ASP.NET event in Redmond. Unfortunately, we had to leave the event a little bit early to rehearse with our new demo partners, Anthony Borton & Chuck Sterling. During rehearsal we had Nicole run over to the hotel for take-out ice cream.
The launch event went well. David Treadwell did the keynote with Prashant doing the main demo. During the afternoon sessions, I felt my tester portion of the Managing the Software Development Life Cycle session was pretty good, if I do say so myself. With an audience half the size of Sydney’s, it was less pressure and a lot less intimidating.
When leaving the convention center, we were presented with some awesome gifts from the Microsoft Australia Ready Launch team, which are much appreciated. Thanks Sarah & Team!
In Canberra, we went to Charcoal Grill Restaurant for Frank Arrigo’s Steak House Tour of Australia. Per usual, it was an excellent choice. The food was excellent and the wine Jeff Alexander chose (a Thistle Hill Cab Sav) were excellent. This was one our smaller gatherings, but David Treadwell (my boss’s boss’s boss’s boss) joined us (us being my wife Nicole, Frank Arrigo, David Lemphers, Jeff Alexander, Andrew Coates, and myself).
The next morning we caught a flight with Frank & Jeff to Sydney. We planned on spoiling ourselves with a deluxe stay at the W Sydney, but due to a reservation snafu, we wound up at the Westin Sydney – but we still splurged and went with an Executive Suite room. Of course, we’ll have to make up the difference between the standard Microsoft rate and this one. Tomorrow morning we begin the long trek back to Seattle, where we’ll arrive two hours before we left Sydney thanks to time zone changes & crossing the International Date Line.
All said, this was a most excellent adventure. I can’t say enough good things about the Microsoft Australia team – their hospitality was first-rate and they made us feel part of the team throughout our stay. You guys rock! I look forward to returning the hospitality the next time you’re in Redmond. Also, thanks to Julie MacAller, Joan Crites, Michael Leworthy & Prashant Sridharan for making this trip possible.