What would get over 400 techies to give up a beautiful Saturday and spend the day inside learning about SQL Server and .Net? It was the IndyTechFest held in Indianapolis yesterday! Brad McGehee, Jessica Moss, Kevin Kline, Jimmy May, and I joined several other MVPs, Microsoft employees, and local experts presenting in 7 tracks. Jessica and I also hosted a WIT discussion similar to the one held each year at the PASS Summit.
The organizers, including SQL Server MVP John Magnabosco, did an excellent job, and the day proved to be a very high energy, learning extravaganza. Held at the Indy Marriott East, the facilities were fantastic, and I only noticed a couple of logistical glitches. The fact that the organizers were almost always available to chat with speakers and attendees led me to believe that they did a great job preparing for the day and mobilizing volunteers.
Probably the most interesting session for me was the introduction of the Windows 7 phone for programmers. We were able to see how the phone will work by viewing the emulator. They talked about the requirements to get programs published for sale for the phone including the use of Azure cloud services to let the phones do less work and, therefore, allow more battery life. I was reminded of a time about 20 years ago when lots of little shareware programs were sold for the PC. I had the dream of coming up with an idea and writing a program that could be sold from a shareware catalog back then. That dream never happened for me, but I think that lots of developers in the room now have a similar dream for the phone.
Overall, I enjoyed IndyTechFest a great deal and look forward to attending next year.