Fun Fun Fun at the Tallahassee Code Camp

 

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I had a blast at the code camp, even though I burned through $1,100.  Well I brought my family too, so I wasn’t exactly the role model of an economy traveler, more like a mini vacation.  

Joe Healy asked me why I wanted to go all the way to Tallahassee.  Being all about telling the truth in an attractive manner I responded with, “So I can learn to be a better speaker.”  The fact of the matter is I just don’t want to do a bad presentation where people know me. But the audiences seemed to like it.  I had a couple of people ask me if I was available for work.  I had to ask myself, “They just saw the presentation and still want to work with me?”  So, I’m looking forward to giving these presentations locally.  Presenting locally could still be a problem though.
David McNamee, who somewhat represents Microsoft, covered his face and shook his head 7 times. On the upside, 2 of those times he  used only one hand.  I took the session hostage, by explaining to Dave that I would kick and scream like a spoiled little girl if he tired to carry me out.  During the previous week I had nightmares of someone banging a great big gong and pulling me off with a hook.
I’ve been working with the Beta 2 for this presentation and I thought I had a really nice presentation all laid out.  I have a dual processor on my workstation and the VMWare can only use one processor.  The processors between my laptop and my workstation are a little over 1ghz apart and the drives are a bit different quality as well. That withstanding, I can normally prepare images on my workstation and they run just a bit slower on my laptop.  I was experiencing a timeout problem which wrecks havoc on state.  Not to mention that the expectation in quality of what you say is directly proportional to the long pause just before you say it.  It’s sometimes difficult to make, “ . . .  and we check the checkbox ( when it finally appears ) and click “OK”. . . ” sound more profound than it really is.
In all I had three presentations the first was a cute little Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow kind of thing that I didn’t expect many people at, but there were quite a few. Something like 17% of the conference attendees.  Then I had the BDC walkthrough where I showed how to get data from the adventure works database and finally an adoption chalk talk.  I expected the most people at the chalk talk, ironically we got the fewest.  That to me seems to be the hardest thing to do.  Computers are easy - they do what you say, if you tell them correctly.  Working with people can be like herding cats.  Some folks have an agenda that conflicts with other folk’s agendas.  I actually have a couple of books on negotiation just for implementing SharePoint. And that’s not fairly stated I just happen to implement SharePoint a lot more than any other enterprise application.  It’s any application that has such a broad reach across an enterprise that causes the people problems.
I think the chalk talk was the most profound, even though we had the fewest attendees.  John Holliday, and myself (in order by first name) were the speakers.  I thought we were going to fight about to use FrontPage or not to use FrontPage, but we covered a lot more ground than that.  We each shared what we thought caused a successful implementation and the audience members shared their various levels of successes.  Some common denominators were building applications that are useful and timely, training, buy in from the upper management as well as the folks who actually do the work.  We also talked about the roles that corporate culture has to play and how different techniques can be used in different situations.  And somehow got a very interesting tangent about the future and how adoption will be easier.  Technologies like workflow and what ISV’s are going to bring to the table, ect.  It was very interesting and engaging for us and for the audience members.
Dave had to run, literally, he’s participating in a marathon on Sunday.  I met John Holiday for the first time and drove him back to his hotel.  We shared our history with one another.  I love conference, user group meetings, and all these get togethers.  It’s great to meet other people and share experiences and see how differently people arrive to where they are today.  If you ever get a chance to meet John, be sure to ask him how he got into programming.  It’s one of the most interesting stories I’ve heard.

On to the party!
This party was outside on a partially covered patio and the weather was great.  There was a band playing some pretty cool music and lots of ladies dancing around.  Well, so I was told by some single guys, as I am married I do not notice that sort of thing on my own.
I like the parties after these events.  There you get to meet people in their most natural and crudest forms.  Well ok, maybe I’m the only naturally crude one.  But I learned a lot there as well.  I learned that I am not a code whore as I always previously thought. I’m a Code Escort.  This was taught to me by Steve Lane who obviously has been a consultant for a while.  A ragged Tom Fuller was there, apparently he had just flown in from New York where he spent a week long of intense training.  Developmentor kicks ass.  I poured some beers down his throat, to help him feel better.  He was planning to catch a ride with someone going south as I’m writing this I’m wondering if he’s not still in Tallahassee?  I really hope he’s not holding up a sign that says will SOA for food!  Joe Healy was making rounds while Keith Rowe was handing out OP shirts for those who were inappropriately dressed.  I met Jim Wooley and Noah Subrin for the first time a couple of really great guys and got a chance to rub elbows with other speakers as well, like J.T. Taylor, Vinay Ahuja, not to mention all the other speakers and attendees.  Oh and the bartenders name is Emily, she’s just earned her degree in Art History, moving to Atlanta in 6 weeks and doesn’t have a job yet.  I’m so frustrated seeing people go to school for four years and not being able to get work in what they have trained for.  Let’s do that networking thing.  If you or someone you know can help her let’s hook her up.

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