Scenes from TechDays Vancouver, Part 5: Day 2 and Beyond

Day 0 (The Day Before)

TechDays typically happens on a Tuesday and a Wednesday; we usually arrive on the Sunday or Monday in order to prepare the venue, our speakers and our own presentations. The afternoon of Day 0 is usually spent setting up the computers in each of the track rooms and in the Collaboration Lounge and “Ask the Experts” areas.

Here’s Christian Beauclair taking a tour of the facilities on the afternoon before TechDays.

Christian Beauclair in the hallway at Vancouver Conventioon Centre's West Building

I usually see Samantha Wong at Microsoft Canada’s headquarters in Mississauga, but last week she was with us at TechDays Vancouver, minding the table for the WebsiteSpark program, which gives free development tools available to eligible fee-for-service web design shops.

Samantha Wong, minding the WebsiteSpark table

We made the TechDays venue available to CloudCamp on the evening of Day 0. The Vancouver one was quite well-attended. John Bristowe, pictured below with the camera, took some photos of the crowd:

A crowd of CloudCamp attendees gathering as John Bristowe takes a photo of them

We’re usually quite busy with other things on the evenings of Day 1 and Day 2, so we hold the speaker dinner on the evening of Day 0. We took the speakers to Town Hall, where they got a chance to hang out with us over food and drinks and play with the new Windows Phone 7 devices. Morten Rand-Hendriksen seemed particularly delighted to take WP7 out for a spin:

Morten Rand-Hendriksen smiles maniacally as he holds a Windows Phone 7 device

Day 1

Here’s track host Miguel Carrasco delivering a short introductory presentation for “Developing for Three Screens and the Cloud” track the at the start of Day 1. We have introductory presentations on both days; they ease the audience into the day and tell them what to expect from each track.

Miguel Carrasco delivers the welcome presentation to a packed room

Also presenting in the “Three Screens and the Cloud” track was Aaron Kowall:

Aaron Kowall makes a presentation

Both developer tracks were well attended. Here are some scenes from the other developer track, “Optimizing the Development Process”:

Packed presentation room

Packed presentation room

Day 2

We’ve always got extra goodies to give away at TechDays. This year’s bonus prize was a special Halo Reach edition of the Xbox 360, and Lowell Picklyk was the lucky winner. Here he is, being presented the prize by Barnaby Jeans:

Barnaby Jeans and Lowell Picklyk hold up the box for the limited edition "Halo Reach" Xbox 360

Here’s Anthony Vranic talking about some of the new goodies in ASP.NET 4 WebForms:

Anthony Vranic makes a presentation

And here are Aaron Kowall and Miguel Carrasco watching Anthony:

Aaron Kowall and Miguel Carrasco, seated and watching a presentation

In addition to the usual developer and IT pro tracks, we added a new track to TechDays: the Local Flavours track. Unlike the other tracks, whose content comes from other big Microsoft conferences such as TechEd North America, MIX and PDC, Local Flavours’ presentations are the creations of developers and IT pros in each city.

In Vancouver, the last Local Flavours session was a special treat: a recording of a DotNetRocks show with DotNetRocks stars Richard Campbell and Carl Franklin interviewing Pete LePage, Senior Product Manager for Internet Explorer. IE9 Beta had been released earlier that day, so it was the perfect time to interview him.

Here are Richard, Carl and Pete being introduced to the audience by John Bristowe:

Richard Campbell, Carl Franklin and Pete LePage seated as John Bristowe introduces them

Richard Campbell, Carl Franklin and Pete LePage seated as John Bristowe introduces them

Richard Campbell, Carl Franklin and Pete LePage seated as John Bristowe introduces them

Day 2 Evening

After the end of TechDays, we tore down the computer setups in the session rooms, “Ask the Experts” area and Collaboration Lounge and packed them for shipping to Edmonton, the next TechDays city (TechDays Edmonton takes place on October 5th and 6th).

The day wasn’t over yet: we changed out of our TechDays clothes, dressed up a little and made our way to Glowball Grill in Vancouver’s Yaletown district for an IE9 blogger night, where 604-area tech bloggers, tech press and other notable nerds were shown IE9 in action.

Here’s Arnaud Gabaudan, the consumer lead for Internet Explorer, welcoming the crowd:

Arnaud Gabaudan makes a quick speech to the attendees in the lounge area of Glowball Grill

John Bristowe waits “in the wings” to do his presentation after Arnaud’s introduction:

Arnaud Gabaudan makes a quick speech to the attendees in the lounge area of Glowball Grill as John Bristowe watches

And we’re off! Here’s John’s grand tour of the new, faster, more standards-compliant beta of IE9:

John Bristowe's presentation, as seen from the bar

And tucked off to the side were those of us in the bar. We still had a pretty good view of the presentation, plus we had easy access to drinks!

The scene at the bar

Don’t worry, John; I’m paying attention – I just pay better attention when I’m enjoying a Bloody Caesar:

John Bristowe's presentation, as seen from the bar

Day 3 (The Day After)

We held a Coffee and Code on the day after TechDays at the Take 5 Cafe at Granville and West Hastings, a stone’s throw from our hotel, and the site of the foundings of a couple of Vancouver tech groups and startups. I started Coffee and Code at the beginning of 2009 as a way for Microsoft to be better in touch with and more accessible to developers, it’s been going strong ever since.

The scene at Take 5 Cafe

The faces I know in the pictures above and below, from left to right:

  • Boris Mann (blue jacket)
  • Chris Nicol (red shirt)
  • Christian Beauclair (blue shirt)
  • Morten Rand-Hendriksen (green plaid shirt, far back)
  • John Bristowe (black t-shirt, seated farthest back)
  • Anthony Bartolo (rightmost blue shirt)
  • Mark Arteaga (rightmost in the white shirt)

The scene at Take 5 Cafe

We will be holding Windows Phone 7 Coffee and Code events in all TechDays cities. Watch this blog for announcements about the locations of upcoming Coffee and Codes!

The scene at Take 5 Cafe

The scene at Take 5 Cafe

This article also appears in Canadian Developer Connection.