I spent half of last week at the Alt.Net Seattle Conference 2011. It started with two days of workshops and ended with two days of open spaces. For me personally the four hour workshops did not work well. There was a good intention to let us get lots of hands on experience but in practice a lot of the workshops felt like a presentation with some extra time to experiment. Personally I'd rather have shorter sessions giving me the opportunity to hear more different things. Also the for the open spaces I missed the concept of starting with a few lightning talks followed by open spaces rather than just having a lot of open spaces. But all in all it was a good experience.
I started with a workshop on WCF Web Api which was interesting, especially since the examples showed in a good way how I could customize my services in an easy way. Second was a workshop where we discussed organizational and team health and how to "fix it". Lot's of interesting discussions there. Then there was a great introduction to reactive extensions. Made me think what an IObservable wrapper for CCR would look like (guess I'm not the first one). Definitely need to look into that some more. Last workshop for me was on advanced threading. It was a good lecture with some really good points but not really "advanced" in my opinion. It was certainly "advanced" if you don't work a lot with threads I guess.
The next two days were open spaces and the highlights for myself was a good discussion on cheating for benefit, Insertion of Confusion containers and Rabu. Wonder if it's just me or if open spaces are always best in the beginning... There was also an interesting side track where people worked together on open source projects. i kept away from that this time...
As a final note to self; the next time I start a company I'll make sure to pick a name that makes food sponsoring easy (a local company provided cheese burgers for lunch).