Friday, March 31, 2006

DEC 2006 thoughts

I had a great time in Las Vegas this last week at the DEC 2006 conference.  It was great connecting with so many of the participants as well as the personalities involved in the presentations.  There were some really good presentations that I attended (e.g. Guido, Dean & Joe, and Stuart’s), and getting to speak one-on-one with so many of the product manager’s of the involved technologies was great.  The conference was big, but not TechEd big, so the interactions were of much better quality in my opinion.

I was surprised to run into only a couple people from Avanade there, however.  Being a large Microsoft consulting company, I would have thought we would have more folks from our infrastructure practice there learning, if not speaking themselves.

The last day of the conference was fun.  We had a nice dinner with a bunch of folks – Katherine Coombs, Joe Richards, Dean Wells, Paul Williams, Don Wells (Dean’s dad), and Eric.  Listening to the different accents and slang (Dutch, Welsh, English, and Aussie/English mix) was a trip.  On a side note – if Paul Williams is any indicator – Welshmen eat entire cakes for dinner and prefer their cow-flesh raw.  When asked, “what temperature” he would like his burger cooked, Paul looked around quizzically and said, “warm?”.  This was after, of course, he had devoured a 10 lb. brownie (not joking here) for lunch – we are talking a dense pile of chocolate that could cause serious injury if dropped on a man’s foot.

I did not have a hotel room for the last night before my 7am flight back to Cleveland.  Initially, I had planned to stay up the night and just go to the airport nice and early.  However, after Gil, Katherine, Dean, Jorge, Paul, and Ulf decided one after another to go to bed, I would have been left alone with the hardcore gamblers/insomniacs/general freaks in Vegas at that hour.  Ulf was kind enough to let me have his extra bed for 3 invigorating hours of sleep before departing for the airport.

If Gil would have me back next year, I would definitely do it again.