We’ll Be in Montreal This Week

Montreal: photo of poutine

Microsoft Canada’s Developer and Platform Evangelism team is headed to Montreal this week, where we’ll be getting together for our annual team meeting as well as to help run the Make Web Not War conference on Thursday.

We’re not travelling in the usual way either. We’ve hired out a VIA Rail car to take us and a lot of Make Web Not War attendees to Montreal in style. The car’s rigged with power, wifi, Xboxes, Rock Band, monitors and other goodies to make the five-ish-hour trip even more enjoyable for all that nerdy brainpower on board. The train leaves Toronto on Tuesday morning and returns on Friday – watch this space for reports from the train as well as from Montreal!

This article also appears in Canadian Developer Connection.


This Week: Ottawa!


Last week, I was in Montreal, this week I’m in Ottawa. Once again, I’ll be road-tripping with my coworker, Damir Bersinic, IT Pro Evangelist and supreme field commander for the TechDays Canada cross-country conference. Watch this space for reports from both Ottawa and the road!

If you’re on the Toronto-Ottawa route and would like to join us for a coffee, let us know, either via email or in the comments!


Road Warrior Office of the Day: London, Ontario

This article was originally published in Canadian Developer Connection.

I’m currently in London, Ontario at the Delta Armouries London hotel, where my coworkers Rodney Buike and Qixing Zheng will be doing a presentation for EnergizeIT later tonight. We’re spending the day polishing our presentations and getting the usual administrivial stuff done.

We didn’t want to spend our day cooped up in our hotel rooms, so we asked one of the hotel staff where the business center was. I didn’t relish the thought of hanging out in a business center all day; although they usually have more table space than your typical hotel room, they’re usually some small windowless cave.

We were told that the business center, which used to be located in the basement had since closed. “We got a lot of complaints from women who didn’t feel safe going to get some work done in a basement room late at night,” he said, “so we set up a computer with a printer in the lobby, and another one up in the lounge, where you can work.”

He pointed in the direction of lounge, where we saw this:

Entrance to the Cantata Lounge at the Delta Armouries London Hotel

Well, that’s several steps up from a business center!

(In case you wondering about the architecture of the hotel, it used to be an actual armoury where soldiers were trained during the two World Wars.)

Here’s what the lounge looks like. There’s a bar in the corner, which isn’t open as I write this (around noon). Qixing and I are the only ones here at the moment; I suppose it gets a little busier in the late afternoon:

Canata Lounge, as seen from the far end

Canata Lounge, as seen from the bar

Here’s something most business centers don’t offer – but should! I may have to sample some of their wares later tonight. It’s business research, you know:

Banner on brick wall: "Classic Malts of Scotland: Glenkinchie, Dalwhinnie, Cragganmore, Oban, Talisker, Lagavulin"

And instead of the windowless caves that most business centers are, we have this view:

The lobby as seen from the Cantata Lounge

Qixing and I have set up office in one of the big round booths in the lounge. Here’s Qixing and our “road warrior” office setup:

Qixing and computers in one of the round booths at the Cantata Lounge

In case you’re wondering where the accordion is, it’s in my room. I’m bringing it out later tonight, when we’ll be speaking in the presentation room, whose entrance is pictured below:

Fountain in front of entrance to large ballroom at the Delta Armouries London

If you’re coming out to tonight’s EnergizeIT event in London (in the hotel’s ballroom named “The Gunnery”, it’s free and isn’t completely booked yet), we’ll see you there!