Scenes from TechDays Calgary

by Joey deVilla on November 18, 2009

I – along with a good chunk of Microsoft Canada’s Developer and Platform Evangelism team – am in Calgary for the fourth leg of the TechDays Canada seven-city tour. TechDays Calgary is taking place in the BMO Centre on the Calgary Stampede grounds. Wanting to be a good guest, I decided to observe a local custom:

joey devilla

I haven’t worn my flaming cowboy hat in ages!

As far as I can tell, I’m the only attendee who brought a cowboy hat. The only other similarly-haberdashed people on the premises are the Calgary Stampede staff and the washroom signs:

washroom signs

There are a number of Christmas-related events taking place at the BMO Centre before and after TechDays, so the place is all decked out for Christmas:

nutcracker and tree

The isn’t a Santa Claus on site, but we do have IT Pro Evangelist Rick Claus delivering goodies:

rick claus

…and Rick’s session has drawn quite a crowd:

ricks room

ricks room 2

Another well-attended session was Introducing ASP.NET MVC, which was delivered by Tom Opgenorth:

tom opgenorth

Here’s the ASP.NET MVC room, already filling up a full 15 minutes before the start of the day:

asp net mvc room from stage

Tom ended up speaking to a room packed to maximum capacity:


The people who couldn’t fit into the ASP.NET MVC sessions were still able to catch the proceedings on a monitor outside the room:

asp net mvc overflow

Meanwhile, next door, Developer Evangelist John Bristowe delivered the Practical Web Testing presentation:

john bristowe

And one door over, Adam “Adam Bomb” Carter (the first guy to suggest to me that I get a job at Microsoft) spoke at the Inside the Application Compatibility Toolkit 5.5 session:

adam carter

Here’s a scene from the speaker prep room that reminded me of the Sesame Street song One of These Things is Not Like the Other:

speaker room

“Look! I’m at a conference, watching the proceedings of another conference!”

john bristowe watches PDC stream

And just outside the speaker prep room, Rob Burke and D’Arcy Lussier chat:

rob burke darcy lussier

Things seem to be going well, if IT Pro Evangelist and TechDays man-in-charge Damir Bersinic’s thumbs-up is any indication:


And down the hall, the Ford Flex featuring Microsoft’ Ford Sync technology awaits some passengers:

ford sync

Someday, arranging for conference wireless will not be an arduous, expensive affair, but in the meantime, we set up these hard-wired internet access stations. Note the anti-bacterial lotion beside the laptop – a sign of these H1N1 times. If I’d had any foresight, I’d have bought a lot of Purell stock:

internet station

This article also appears in Canadian Developer Connection and Global Nerdy.

{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

Donald Simmons November 18, 2009 at 5:11 pm

Call me an idiot, but what does the “sunset” symbol on the Cowgirl bathroom sign mean? I’ve been racking my brains here.

Joey deVilla November 18, 2009 at 5:14 pm

Donald Simmons: It’s the logo for Child-Friendly Calgary. I assume it means that there’s a baby-changing station in the bathroom.

Donald Simmons November 19, 2009 at 12:05 pm

Wouldn’t the Diaper symbol (present on both signs) indicate the presence of a baby-changing station?

extra88 November 19, 2009 at 12:54 pm

So the symbol on both signs (that’s not a person in a wheelchair) is what, a diaper with a safety pin behind it? A) it doesn’t look very much like a safety pin B) who uses safety pins on diapers anymore?

When I saw that symbol, I only noticed it on the Men’s sign. My best guess was it was a penis behind a banana-hammock-style swimsuit. Sort of a universal symbol for “you’re doing it wrong.” Then I saw the same symbol on the Women’s sign and was at a complete loss.

Regarding the “Child Friendly” thing, maybe you can change a diaper in both but only the women will be friendly about it 😉

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