What a week last week was, my brain is seriously hurting for two, no wait, three reasons.
So naturally I have to say a big thank you to everyone that presented at both the London and Cambridge conferences. If you didn't go you missed out, huge amounts of quality content from great speakers, all jam packed into one day. Also thanks to Carsonified for organising the events and to Neil Davidson Red Gate's joint CEO for pushing to bring DevDays to Cambridge fingers crossed he does the same for the Business of Software Conference one day!
Unfortunately by the time the Cambridge DevDays was announced I had already purchased the London ticket, but at only £85 it wasn't such a problem, sadly their was a lot of duplicate content but enough not duplicate to make both days worth the money. I was pleased to see the Android and iPhone talks in London, as well as Jon Skeets talk (turns out he is real and not a robot designed to test the limits of the Stack Overflow scoring system).
The real bonus for the Cambridge event was the post DevDays party, how often can you say I spent Friday evening in a pub with Jeff Atwood, Joel Spolsky and Ryan Carson, and yes, free beers from Red Gate! - apparently their a great company to work for (did I mention free beers?). I got to speak very briefly with Jeff as he was trying to escape, now most people swap business cards, Jeff on the other hand gave out stickers an awesome Coding Horror sticker, a testament to Code Complete and Jeff's Coding Horror blog that I've been following for years. The only question I have now is where is worthy enough to stick it probably on the front of my Dev box (I tend to keep the case and upgrade the components as it's a great case so it will stick with me for years sorry about the pun!).
Apparently this was Jeff's first time in the UK, so Jeff if your reading this I hope you had a good experience and got to see a slightly different side to the Austin Powers version of the UK. It was great that you decided to come over.
If you didn't make this year it sounds like theirs a really good chance they will do the same again next year, and thanks to the careers.stackoverflow.com special offer they announced that was only available during the coarse of the DevDays talks, you get to sign up for $29 for 3 years rather than the normal $99/year, that alone pays for the ticket very quickly (assuming your serious about taking control of your job hunting and are looking to work for companies who love their devs rather than certain others that don't appreciate the value a good developer brings) it will be really interesting to see how the careers site changes the face of recruiting.
Write ups of the DevDays events are slowly starting to appear so I won't boor you with my half remembered version of the actual content, for London check out http://www.horsesizepills.com/2009/10/dev-days-london.htm or http://johntopley.com/2009/10/30/stack-overflow-dev-days-london-2009 and for Cambridge http://thom.org.uk/2009/10/31/diary-of-a-schwag-hag/ possibly the only thing missing was that in London Joel entered wearing a union jack cap and hideous London T-Shirt very tourist, I was hoping he was going to wear a cap and gown for Cambridge, but sadly not. I should mention he changed out of the tourist outfit very quickly after his first talk!
Probably the biggest let down of the two days was my HTC Magic battery not really making it past lunch. Ouch! That's what you get for trying to use Wi-Fi on your phone.
Well I'm off to fry my brain some more with the excellent TekPub NHibernate videos, I really want to watch the GitHub ones as well but I don't think my grey cells can cope with that on top of everything else. Huge thanks again to everyone involved in DevDays and for bringing it to Cambridge.