Accordion, Instrument of the Gods It Happened to Me Slice of Life Work

Slice of Life: Official Photos from Techdays

For the TechDays conference’s stops in Vancouver and Toronto, Microsoft hired Vancouver-based photog extraordinaire Kris Krug to take photos of the Developer and Platform Evangelism team, which includes Yours Truly. The photos were taken during the conference, which meant that most of us were wearing the official TechDays shirts, which were colour-coded to match the conference track in which we were leading or participating. The track that I lead is Developing for the Microsoft-Based Platform, and its colour is orange. Luckily the folks who made the shirts had a pretty snappy shade of orange (the label refers to the colour as “Spark”) that I can rock.

Most of our photo shoot was on the promenade outside the Vancouver Convention Centre, looking out over the water. He just had me play tunes on the accordion while he shot photos, so they’re all pretty candid shots. Here’s one of the photos that Kris took of me.


There are more of me and the rest of the DPE team in Kris’ Flickr photoset.

This article also appears in Global Nerdy.

It Happened to Me Slice of Life Work

Slice of Life: Working Away at the Smart Mouth Cafe

Rick Claus working at the bar at the front of the Smart Mouth Cafe, Gastown, Vancouver.

My co-worker Rick Claus (that’s him in the photo above) and I have spent the morning working on the final preparations for Microsoft Canada’s TechDays Vancouver conference at the Smart Mouth Cafe in Vancouver’s Gastown neighbourhood. It’s a rather nice place the work, the staff are friendly, the coffee’s pretty good, and the bar at the front offers a nice view of the street.

Geek It Happened to Me Life Play

Your First Warning: Vancouver, September 11 – 18

Photo of downtown vancouver at night, captioned: "September 11th - 18th / Vangroovy", with arrow pointing to Fairmont Waterfront hotel

I’m going to be in Vancouver from the afternoon of Friday, September 11th until the morning of Friday, September 18th. I’m there first and foremost to manage the “Developing for the Microsoft-Based Platform” track of the TechDays conference, then to meet up with the local tech community, but also to enjoy the city I fondly refer to as “Vangroovy”.

Here’s what I’ll be up to:

Coffee and Code Vancouver: Saturday, September 12th

"Monkey" latte art

My coworker John Bristowe and I will be holding Coffee and Code on Saturday, September 12th from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. (Pacific time, of course) at the Take 5 Cafe on Granville (429 Granville, near Hastings). We’ll be there to talk about TechDays, The Empire and the tech industry in general – but it won’t just be geeky stuff; we’ll provide scintillating conversation about accordions, the Calgary Flames, deep fried snack foods, “Am I metrosexual or not”, life, the universe and everything. I will have the accordion with me, so tunes are definitely on the menu!

You can register for Coffee and Code Vancouver on its event page.

TechDays Vancouver: Monday, September 14th – Tuesday, September 15th

TechDays 2009 Canada banner

TechDays is Microsoft Canada’s cross-Canada tour, where we highlight what you can do with currently-available Microsoft tools and tech that you probably aren’t doing yet. We take the content from the infinitely more expensive TechEd North America conference (admission fee USD$2000), update it, and have local techies present it near you at a price you can afford (CAD$299 if you caught the early bird rate, CAD$599 otherwise). You get great content at a great price, and we get to make contact with tech communities across the country. Think of it as “Geek Global, Spend Local”.

TechDays Vancouver will be happening at the Vancouver Convention Centre, which is also the venue of…

Demo Ignite Camp: Monday, September 14th @ 7:00 p.m.

Demo Ignite Camp banner

Since we had the Vancouver Convention Centre booked for two days, it meant that we had these big rooms lying fallow on the first night. I wanted a pajama party for accordion players, but since that idea got nixed, I called on Boris Mann and suggested we hold a DemoCamp-style event. The end result: Demo Ignite Camp!

Thus far, we’ve got 5 out of 8 presentation slots filled:

  1. Joey deVilla’s Ignite Presentation: Do the Stupidest Thing That Could Possibly Work.
  2. Avi Bryant will demo Clamato, a Smalltalk dialect that operates within the JavaScript runtime.
  3. Dima Berastau will demo RestfulX, a RESTful framework for Flex and AIR applications.
  4. Carson Lam will demo TransitDB, his Vancouver transit information web app, which won the PHP FTW competition earlier this year.
  5. The folks from Ayogo will present their iPhone games built using the PhoneGap cross-mobile-platform framework.

I’m more than happy to drop my Ignite presentation to make room for a demo or Ignite by someone local. I’m already hosting, and Demo Ignite Camp is about the Vancouver tech scene, not me!

For more information, see the Demo Ignite Camp event page.

Launch Party Vancouver, Wednesday, September 16th

Launch Party Vancouver logo My fellow TechDays coordinators and I will be attending Launch Party Vancouver, which is:

…a lively mixer for the city’s brightest entrepreneurs, tech junkies, and bloggers, who are doing it, have done it or want to make their ideas happen here. The goal of the event is to connect BC’s growing community of Internet and new media leaders with investors and other trailblazers across Canada and abroad.

Founded by local entrepreneurs,  LPV is not your typical networking event. There are no presentations or panels to be found.  But what you will discover are the individuals responsible for making Vancouver one of the greatest start-up cities in Canada.  Every event features local, early stage new media companies strutting their stuff and sharing their ideas with the community.

It’s happening at Circa Resto Lounge from 6:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m.; tickets are available via EventBrite.

This article also appears in Canadian Developer Connection.


DemoCamp. Vancouver. September 14th. Details Soon.

Demo Ignite Camp logo

Actually, you can get some details now – go check out the Upcoming page for this event.

Geek It Happened to Me

The TechDays $299 Deal

A quick announcement for Canadian techies who read this blog:

For the price of this (an Xbox 360 Elite or $300), you get all this (conference sessions, opportunities to meet people, a supercharged brain, Microsoft TechNet subscription, developer resources, a happy cat)

The early bird price period for Microsoft’s TechDays conferences in Vancouver (September 14-15) and Toronto (September 29-30) ends soon! For more details, see Canadian Developer Connection or Global Nerdy.


Ottawa Coffee and Code at Bridgehead This Thursday!

Photo of the Peace Tower at Night (taken by the Poissant Family)I’m going to be in Ottawa this week doing a presentation on web accessibility, so I’m taking advantage of my being there and declaring a Coffee and Code event for this Thursday, June 18th at the Bridgehead Cafe at 109 Bank Street (at the corner of Bank and Albert). It’ll run from 12:00 noon to 5 p.m..

I will be joined by my fellow Microsoft evangelists from the area, the guys I like to refer to as “Les Bons Gars”:

  • Christian Beauclair
  • Rick Claus
  • Pierre Roman

Come on and down and join us at the Bridgehead for some coffee, food and conversation! We’ll be there to answer questions, hear your comments, show you what we’re working on and even hook you up with a copy of the Windows 7 Release Candidate.

This would be a good time for you Ottawa-area Developers and IT Pros to come and give us your suggestions for the upcoming TechDays 2009 cross-Canada conference, a two-day deep-dive conference covering what you can do with Microsoft Tools and Technologies. TechDays will stop at Ottawa on December 9th and 10th, and we’re picking out our topics and speakers. Come by Ottawa Coffee and Code this Thursday and let us know what you’d like to see and if you’d like to present at TechDays 2009!

(Creative Commons photo of the Peace Tower at Night taken by the Poissant Family.)


In Transit

Vancouver Convention Centre

Flying to Vancouver today to speak at TechDays Vancouver tomorrow. If you’re in the ‘hood and want to catch up and talk tech, accordions or whatnot, drop me a line!