The TechDays conferences that we’ve been holding across Canada span two days and have no evening events. This means that the venues are “lying fallow”, with plenty of A/V, presentation and demo equipment doing nothing on the evening of the first day. That seemed like a waste.
“Why not,” we thought, “open up our venues to community events on the evenings of Day 1?”
We were able to do this in four out of the seven TechDays cities this year:
We put together each event with local people in order to make sure that each one had its own “local flavour” and fit the needs of the local audience. For Ottawa, we decided to approach two very different groups: the Ottawa IT Community, which comprises a number of .NET user groups, and Startup Ottawa, who are the Ottawa analogue of DemoCamp Toronto.
The event had two hosts: Glenn Schmelzle, from Startup Ottawa:
and Colin Melia, representing Ottawa IT Community:
The first presentation of the evening was This is My Language by Charles Wiebe and John Hansen, who showed us their programming language, Jetfire, which is built on top of the .NET Dynamic Language Runtime:
Next up were Scott Lake:
…and Craig Fitzpatrick:
…who presented Swix, their social media marketing metrics system. It looks both useful and beautiful (its UI shows the sort of rich interfaces you can build with jQuery), and Christian Beauclair and I both agreed that we could make us of it in our developer evangelism work.
After the Swix presentation came Islam Gomaa, who took us into the land of enterprise IT by talking about implementing ISO 27001 security:
The event went smoothly thanks to Christian, who once again provided invaluable assistance by helping the presenters get their machines hooked up to our A/V setup quickly:
Scott Annan talked about Techdrifters, a system for road warriors, cafe coders and people who work in coworking spaces to find an interact with each other. I must admit that it’s a topic close to my heart:
Jean-Rene Roy did the final presentation, a look at Microsoft’s Sync Framework – nope, not the car audio system, but the file synchronization system that bears the same name:
With the presentations wrapped up, we made our way to the Clock Tower brew pub on Clarence Street, where we enjoyed good conversation and a few drinks, including a round bought on my corporate card.
I’d like to thank Colin Melia, Scott Lake and Glenn Schmelzle for providing all the local help in getting Demo Night in Canada together, the presenters and the attendees who made it out to the event, in spite of all the snow. Let’s do this again soon!
[This article also appears in Global Nerdy.]
Thanks to you & the MS crew for hosting Demo Night in Canada. You & I injected the fun energy that reminds everyone that tech is far from boring. But we were also among the first people to see some seriously smart apps from people who are definitely going places. They're the reason we evangelize about technology and in my case, why I'll keep speaking, writing and make a fool of myself on stage!