My PDC 2009 from behind the scenes

Well, my PDC hangover is now by me and it’s time to reflect.  There’s no doubt the PDC is my favorite MSFT conference.  A big reason for that is that I mostly don’t have to work at this conference.  I typically don’t do sessions because the MSFT folks mostly insist on doing their own sessions on the future technologies.  But, at this PDC I did have to work.  And it was pretty fun.  Here are the 3 major things I was involved in and some amusing stories behind them:

Bytes by MSDN video series

Instead of being interviewed, this time I got to be the Interviewer.  It was totally fun.  I got to interview some pretty big guns…all friends of mine: Scott Guthrie, Tim Sneath, Dave Yack, Tim Heuer, Mark Russinovich, Rocky Lohtka, Mark Wilson-Thomas, & Scott Stanfield.  The “Bytes by MSDN Series” at PDC this year was run by Julie-Anne Arsenault and Nora Kelly of Microsoft and they deserve a ton of credit for the great job they did.

The first interview has been published.  It’s my interview with Scott Guthrie.  Watch it here.

The amusing part here is that in the beginning where we are talking…right before I turn to the camera I said to Scott, “This is the part where we pretend we are talking.  They won’t hear us because there’s trendy music they’ll overlay.  I’ll turn to the camera in a second and introduce myself and get started, but I wanted to tell you before I do that, that I hate Duke.”  That is where you see him laugh before we start.  Scott went to Duke. 

Nora sent me the following picture yesterday.  The amusing thing here is that it seemed like everyone I interviewed was twice my size….which is not saying a lot.  Here’s me, Nora, JA and Mark Russinovich.  Who doesn’t belong?  🙂

russinovich

I’m really looking forward to getting some grief over the Russinovich interview because one of the questions i asked him was something like this: “So, Mark, you are doing a kernel talk here at the PDC.  What is interesting for the .NET developer in that talk?”  and he proceeded to go totally over my head as my eyes glazed over… 🙂  what he did say is how much he likes .NET and how most of the world’s apps should be built in .NET.  coming from Mark that is pretty cool.  He is a pillar of Windows.

SnapFlow: Scott Guthrie PDC keynote demo

We (InterKnowlogy) had the pleasure to re-platform SnapFlow from Silverlight 2 to Silverlight 4 and implement a ton, if not all, of the SL4 features.  We were also involved in the port to Azure.  From a technical perspective it was a totally fun project.  We got SL4 bits months ago when I was not even allowed to distribute them outside of the team within InterKnowlogy!  That was a first.  Dan Hanan from InterKnowlogy did an amazing job of building the SL4 version of the SnapFlow application.  This was targeted from the beginning as one of Scott Guthrie’s keynote demos. 

snapflow

One story on the behind the scenes gossip on this one was when Samad Wahedi, CEO of Snapflow, and now a good friend of mine went on stage, his “cue cards” clicker and pptx machine was not switched over so he stood there, seemingly forever, and waited.  Back stage there were a lot of “f-bombs” and other general panic.  Me and the rest of the InterKnowlogy team watched in general amusement.  Thank god it switched over so Samad could deliver the demo flawlessly.

Samad

What you did not see in the Snapflow demo was all the awesome SL4 demos that we built into the app.  The full trust out of browser stuff Dan built is truly awesome.  For reasons that I am still speculating on and should not post in a blog it was decided that all the SL4 features we built were not going to be highlighted in the keynote.  I am looking forward to the SL4 version of Snapflow going live.  How would you like to model and deploy a Silverlight workflow application to the cloud in a matter of minutes?  that’s Snapflow

PDC Underground Event

How do you do a Microsoft Corporate VP keynote in a bar?  You don’t. But, damn, what a fun party!  Held at the infamous Conga room in LA.  This event is just fantastic because it’s run by all the great local msft folks.  and it’s free to everyone.  You don’t have to attend the PDC to go to it.  Free food and lots of free drinks…which is, of course, a problem in terms of keeping an audiences attention..even for Scott Guthrie.

scottgu

You can watch Scott Guthrie’s Keynote and all the other presentations on the PDC Underground Site.  Scott demoed the InterKnowlogy Silverlight Multi-Touch ScatterView control at this event.  it’s at the 45:30 spot in the video in case you cannot stomach the entire 2 hours of schtick…

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