Day 4 - Closing Rambling

Technical content of this issue - 1 out of 5

You're all a big part of the show...

Congratulations to Phanindra Mankale who was the first to identify Hank Kingsley's traditional opening monolog to HBO's "The Larry Sanders Show." Hey Now - Phanindra receives a free subscription to the next Biff's PDC Newsletter. All second place finishers will receive 2 free subscriptions to the next Biff's PDC Newsletter.

Final Word on the Intimate PDC

OK, the smaller scale PDC is now over. I gotta say, after the registration I was ready to call this my last PDC - the event seemed to completely overwhelm the venue. There continued to be occasional issues throughout the week two days. I have a strong anti-herd instinct (big surprise there!), so wherever there was a crowd I just went somewhere else - this helped me avoid 30 minute wait for a phone when the distribution started. Walking through a light rain to get to lunch in a big tent on the soccer field was unavoidable, but we survived. I have no idea how 999 people overwhelmed the Lucky Strike bowling alley at the Wednesday night party, as I skipped the event to work on this newsletter. Besides, having spent intimate time with my fellow attendees all day I didn't really want to date. I'm sure that if Microsoft decides to host the PDC on campus again they will take lessons learned from this event and make it better. My concern is more with the lesser value of the short event. The cost of registration was comparable to PDC's past, but the amount of content was shorter by several sessions - I don't think this had to be a result of the smaller size, but might have been a product of they just didn't have anything else to say (see editorial below).

Editorial - Conspiracy Theories

To my understanding, PDC's have usually been held to announce big new initiatives in Microsoft technology - this has definitely been the case in the more notable PDC's: COM in the early nineties, Internet development in 98(?) (remember Blackbird), .NET in 2000 (still my favorite), Azure in 2008. This one definitely didn't have that kind of clout. In fact, after having a PDC in each of the past 2 years, I understand that the original plan this year was to not have a PDC. Did the late decision to have a PDC drive the venue change in any way? So why another PDC so soon...why indeed?

On the flight home I'm perusing the latest MSDN magazine and took the time to read the editorial. The author is discussing the imminent introduction of Windows Phone 7 and its prospects against iPhone and Droid, and includes this quote-

But at the end of the day, folks buy smartphones because of the apps they can put on them. It will be crucial for the developer community to have a heaping helping of apps ready to go at launch, and many more soon after.

And that is the reason for this PDC. It was clear from the keynote that the Phone was one of the stars of the show this week, but not an overwhelming presence. I, for instance, didn't attend a single Windows Phone session. But IE 9 wouldn't have gotten a PDC, nor would Entity Framework Code First. This PDC was an integral part of preparing for the Windows Phone 7 launch. Get the biggest Microsoft geeks together, get 'em juiced up over the new toy, give 'em one of their own and set 'em loose on the world. If 1000 new Windows Phone developers is good, unleashing 5000 new disciples would have been even better - which leads me to believe the venue change would not have been their first choice.

Regardless of any of my speculating above, it was a good PDC, but not great. The sessions were informative but not groundbreaking, the logistics decent but not flawless. As opposed to the PDC's referenced above, this one will be remembered as "the small one". I'm not sure if I got my money's worth and will think twice about springing for tuition and travel for a 2 day PDC in the future.

Letters! We Get Letters!

Lots of new letter writers this year! Sorry to some BPN vets who got squeezed out - gotta be at the top of your game now folks!

PM from MD defines - In all of the alien land (outside the USA) intimate per Her Majesty's English means "inform"

So do the Macy's in London have an "informational apparel" department?

SH from CA sighs - It's nice to finally be off the hook for the opening C# joke. I've canceled my therapy sessions and am now ready to move on with my life. Which brings me to F#...

Better keep going to therapy if you're moving to F# - you won't get very far if you're dysfunctional.

Ed. note - if you laughed at the response above (and you know why you laughed) then you have achieved true geek status.

That's it for this year, I'm going to take a rest and spend some time memorizing the rhymes from the BPN theme song from yesterday (I see all the code and I watch it run...)

DJ, Biff's PDC Newsletter