#NhDay - A post-mortem debugging session

Published on 2010-10-10

Warning: This is an un-edited dump of words because Twitter isn’t sufficient

Everybody who attended and organised

Well - that was fun, I am really thankful to those who voted for my session and for Simone for inviting me to speak in the first place – I was apprehensive about coming to speak in a country whose language I knew precisely zero words of (not to mention having to get about in the first place), but everybody was so helpful that it wasn’t a problem at all. I did ask the tourist information office for the translations to three useful words so I could at least pretend I’d made an effort (“Hello”, “Thank-you” and “Sorry” will get you everywhere in life Winking smile)

A massive thanks to everybody who contributed to my food bills over the weekend (I was all ready to pay for dinner in our informal post-event meal but I was forbidden from doing so – wowee!). Also, the NHibernate t-shirt looks great, and I’m proud to be wearing my allegiance to this fabulous ORM – especially as it has my name on it.

The Alt.net community in Italy (and Simone) deserve a massive congratulations for a very well organised event, and also a massive cheer for managing to get so many people to attend probably what is the first single OSS product oriented conference for .NET ever. I was amazed by the turnout and also pleased by the quality of developer who turned up to see the talks and ask discuss software outside of the sessions.

Getting Fabio and Oren to do a Q&A session at the end of the day was a stroke of genius, and I really enjoyed listening to the discussion ebb and flow whilst I sat at the back writing RavenDB code!

Oh yes, in the periphery of the event you could barely get me to shut up about RavenDB, and it was a good opportunity to catch up with Oren and rapid-fire through ideas for improving the developer experience (two very late nights later and I’m now amazed at how different RavenDB is already, although I suspect I was more of a hindrance than help towards that aim!).

I shouldn’t be allowed out by myself

Can’t write a blog entry of thanks without tipping my metaphorical hat at the passport officer who helped me renew my passport in time for the event – it was touch and go after over the phone I was told it would take a week and I’d have to miss the event, turns out if you ask nicely enough and are polite, that bureaucracy can be circumvented even in the London Passport Office. *sweet*.

Onto the subject of my talk – what can I say but apologies for being so disorganised, I’ve just bought a new laptop bag and I forgot to pack my VGA/DVI adapter, I had to borrow an foreign laptop for the talk which had some crazy key placement (four keys just to output a curly brace!) AND re-sharper installed (which I don’t use, yes I know). Oh, and my talk was set up to use MySQL and I had to change my configuration to point at an MS-SQL database, with so many things different I ended up overrunning and making a bit of a meal of things.

I got a lot of laughter from the audience as I tried to work my way around these issues, and I apologise that no doubt it got a bit old towards the end of the session – I hope that people still got something out of it!

Ending on another note of If you’re going to stay up until 4am writing code in a hotel lobby, make sure you d o it in your hotel, trying to get back into your hotel room at that time in a locked compound when you don’t speak the native language is pretty damned hard – especially when your swipe card has stopped working because the automated system has decided that at 4am on the morning of your departure you shouldn’t be trying to get into your room! Oh well, I managed to get a couple of hours sleep thanks to hotel security opening my door for me.

Basically were it not for the kindness of strangers the weekend could have been very different indeed, it’s a miracle that I even manage to tie my shoelaces in the morning!

The actual content

I enjoyed the talks, and I was pleased to see the second track was actually very busy and full of good content, and the main track was also of a good quality, definitely a good mix of technical and high level overviews and from the sound of things using the #nhday hashtag I wasn’t alone in thinking this.

The desert


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