Not Bad For an Inaugural Post

If only last Monday was a little longer, I would have got this blog set up in time to write about my experiences in Toronto at VSLive. Oh well, you’ll just have to settle for this (longwinded) summary.

I was in Toronto because my group (Elisa, Mike, Tyler and me) won Imagine Cup for Canada! Check out Mike’s blog for more on our entry, or check out this press release from UVic.

Microsoft Canada flew us out there to officially announce us as the winners at the keynote address for VSLive in Toronto. We arrived on Tuesday and did a rehearsal with the keynote speaker, Jay Roxe. After that we got treated to a big dinner at Tony Roma’s by the good folks at MS Canada. The next day, at the end of the keynote, we got up on stage to demo our app and accept the Imagine Cup trophy from Lasha Dekker of Microsoft Canada.

Then we spent some time answering questions for some of the tech press there at the conference. We found out the next day that we were the first press release from the conference! (That link will probably not work in the very near future.) It was all very cool. The rest of the day was spent in downtown TO where Mike and Elisa did a TV show for a local Toronto station. Then, back to the conference for Midnight Madness, where we heard Billy Hollis and Richard Hale Shaw talk about smart clients, things that suck about VS 2003 and other things. Billy Hollis was a very entertaining speaker; Shaw, not so much.

The next day, we got to attend some of the conference talks. I went to an intro of ASP.NET 2.0 by Rockford Lhotka, he only had an hour and barely touched the surface of the changes, but they look really cool; and then a great talk by Kate Gregory on tweaking what you get from VS for Web Services. We’ll have to see about applying that in the worlds. After some much needed sleep, we met up with the guys from ObjectSharp, an conference sponsor who laid on a pimped out bus to treat the speakers of the conference. They were extremely generous to invite us on the bus as well.

The bus was the high point of the conference by far. There were so many cool people on that bus: DataGrid Girl, IUnknown, Keith Pleas, David Totzke and Billy Hollis; and everybody from ObjectSharp: Barry, Dave, Julie, Bruce, Andre and Dan. Everybody was so welcoming and friendly. Let me take the opportunity to thank everybody, especially Barry and Dave for laying on the bus, and inviting us, and paying for everything. It was a wonderful experience.

Two other guys I’d like to thank were Jay Roxe and PaulYuk (sorry, no blog link) from Microsoft. They both spoke at the keynote and were on the bus with us. They were extremely smart and friendly guys. If everyone is that nice at MS, I definitely want to work there. They were also very patient with the questions and comments of an admitted MS fanboy. 🙂

Finally, I’d like to thank everybody at MS Canada for making the trip possible and treating us so well when we got there: Daniel, Sasha, Anthony, Jordana, Craig, and Lasha. If I forgot anybody, I apologize.

Alright, enough of my gushing. I had a lot of fun though, and I’m really looking forward to Brazil.

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