Looking at Jeremy Miller's blog entry, it reminded me that I haven't gotten to this yet. So, here's the first stab at it. I'm unlikely to remember everything, but whatever. I will probably have a separate post to talk about what I took away from the event, how it did or didn't change what I think about Alt.NET, blah blah blah, but I'm already late on all of this, so here we go.
I arrived at the train station in Seattle around noon local time. My sister and her husband live in Seattle, so I was staying with them. I got a rental car and went to her place, and then we hit lunch while I waited for the event to begin. Two other guys I knew from Chicago, Sergio Pereira and Adam Tybor, flew in separately and were staying at the Marriott down the road from the event itself (which was hosted at DigiPen), and so I met up with them in the lobby bar a few hours before the event.
Digression #1: One of the things I thought about before getting to Seattle was how I should 'present' myself (for lack of a better phrase). I already knew the guys from Chicago, so I knew there would be some friendly faces, so to speak. From online interactions and email, I knew there were other people interested to meet me, and then others....well, maybe not so much. Shortly before the trip, for instance, Brad Wilson got all pissy on the mailing list because I said I didn't like HttpHandlers (of all things):
Digression #1.1: (I still stand by that, BTW...there are certain things that I guess can best be done with them, but otherwise, I think they are unnecessary and potentially troublesome. For instance, some of the examples that Ben Scheirman (IIRC, doesn't matter) gave on the mailing list were DEV only type things, and I very strongly think that the codebase between DEV, QA, and PROD should always be, unless absolutely necessary, identical. But that's a topic for another post, on my growing list.)
Because of this, I was thinking about printing up some T-shirts that read "I implement the IPrick interface" but decided at the last minute that it might not come across right to everybody, so I decided to wear my traditional native garb, which is a hockey jersey (two days of Penguins and also my Lemieux Team Canada jersey).
Digression #1.2: <rant>This is personal preference I know, but, if you are a jerk, or just strongly opinionated, please also have a sense of humor. Seriously. Most of the greatest work experiences, and even personal experiences, I've ever had have been interacting with very opinionated, 'asshole-ish', intelligent people who were really, really funny. To give a quick example: at my current client, Joe and Justin are the 'golden boys' of the local group. Justin is laid back, mostly polite, and funny. Joe is almost always angry, obnoxious, and funny. Working with both of them is great, but there are these transcendent moments when Joe is just being rude as all hell, and knowingly, but funny, that rock. One time he said (paraphrasing), "Well, I was hoping that you were going to implement that feature in this release until I determined you were too incompetent to do it...<reasonably long pause>...Do you think that was condescending enough?" Justin determined that if one took a transcript of a random conversation between Joe and myself, and removed all of the obscenities, it would be incoherent because most of the verbs would be missing. I love stuff like that. But anyway, seriously, don't be a humorless dick. </rant>
end Digression #1
Obviously, I didn't recognize that many people when I got to the hotel. I met up with Sergio and Adam, and was shortly introduced to Jarod Ferguson and Jason Grundy (and was lucky enough to talk to for a lot of the weekend). Scott Bellware was there along with those whom Adam takes to calling 'the Elutian Guys', but I didn't make an effort to introduce myself at the time (more on this later).
Digression #2: Completely unbeknownst to me at the time, a friend of mine who will remain nameless who is a Microsoft MVP supposedly introduced himself to Scott at the MVP Summit as 'jdn' and talked to him for some length before telling him he was kidding. I wish I had known this.
end Digression #2
Very shortly later, Ayende showed up. After a little while, I introduced myself to him, along the lines of "Hi, I'm John Nuechterlein, also known as jdn." He said glad to meet you, blah blah, 'how do you pronounce your name again?' I told him. Short pause. "Is it okay if I just call you 'jdn'"? Hilarious. Of course you can man.
So, since I rented a car, I did a little bit of taxi-ing, which was totally cool with me. Off to the event.
More in next post, sooner rather than later.