This past week I had the pleasure of traveling to Las Vegas to attend Microsoft’s fifth MIX conference. The two keynote sessions were filled with lots of flare and eye-candy, but since I’m not an IE fan and I am not particularly interested in migrating away from my iPhone, I wasn’t too terribly wow’d. What did sneak up and fascinate me during the second keynote though was Bill Buxton’s talk on natural user interface design (which can be found here). He’s an incredible and eccentric man whose passion for technology has its own gravitation field that will pull you in.
Most of the sessions I attended were Silverlight 4 focused, as I’m somewhat the designated Silverlight coder at my office. Every Silverlight talk I attended was informative, but the one that stands out the most is Rob Eisenberg’s Build Your Own MVVM Framework. The entire talk is terrific, but specifically his use of “yield return” with asynchronous calls to produce an effect known as coroutines blew my mind. He said it would be a mind warp, and he was correct.
I also attended several talks by Scott Hanselman on various subjects and they were all equally informative and hilarious. He could honestly conduct an hour of standup using his laptop, a projector and an instance of Notepad.exe. He also encouraged all of us to blog about him using simply “Scott” as the link to his blog, so that he can bump his Google/Bing search ratings up higher than Scott Guthrie’s. Now you see why I only linked on the name Scott a moment ago.
In addition to my first trip to a major MS conference, this was my first visit to Las Vegas! The city was beautiful and the food was pretty great. Wednesday night we walked up the strip and back and loved it. The water show at the Bellagio was particularly great. And if its true that what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas, then roughly $20 happened to me in Vegas because they did not come back home with me.
The only disappointing element of the trip was that our greedy selves were hoping for some cooler swag from the event. PDC last fall gave free netbook laptops to all attendees! …we got t-shirts and a thermos. Oh well, maybe I’ll have to go to PDC this year. Free Windows Phone maybe?