"Welcome" sign at Techdays 2009 Vancouver

It’s Monday, September 14th, which means that TechDays Canada 2009 has begun! We’re at the Vancouver Convention Centre in beautiful Vangroovy, the first city of sevencities we’re visiting in our tour. We’re travelling across Canada throughout the fall to show off the latest and greatest things that developers and IT pros can do with currently available tools and technologies from Microsoft.

"Welcome" sign at TechDays 2009 Vancouver, showing the Vancouver Convention centre behind it.

Last year, I was a mere presenter. This year, I’m the lead of the Developing for the Microsoft-Based Platform track whose abstract is below:

platform_track

Learning key skills to develop rich client and web-based applications on the Microsoft-based platform is what this track is all about. In this track you will learn how to develop rich, interactive and interoperable applications for both the client and the web using our newest tools and frameworks. You’ll learn how to build software that helps to give your users the best experience possible, whether it’s a program running on Windows 7, a website built on ASP.NET MVC or a Silverlight-based rich internet application. You’ll also learn how to build services that can deliver data to almost any platform and internet-enabled device. And finally, you’ll learn how to build these software and services in ways that are modular and maintainable.

Here’s the room in which my track in taking place, as seen at 8:30 this morning (Pacific time, naturally), with a half-hour to go before the sessions began. We were already picking up a decent crowd:

Ballroom A filling up

First up was Zaheera Valani of the Silverlight team doing the presentation What’s New in Silverlight 3, where she showed off the features in the latest version of Silverlight. According to the rule of thumb for Microsoft software versions, this should be the version that really catches on, and the early signs indicate that this seems to be the case.

Zaheera Valani presenting "What's New in Silverlight 3" at TechDays 2009 Vancouver

As I write this, my co-worker in Microsoft Canada’s Developer and Platform Evangelism group, Qixing Zheng, is doing the Expression Blend for Developers session. That’s right, it’s not just for UI designers – it’s also a pretty good development tool:

Qixing Zheng presenting "Expression Blend for Developers" at TechDays 2009 Vancouver