Sydney went off, and I must take my hat (or as Lawsy would have it, my Akubra) off to the NSW community, you guys know how to rock! The night went really well, the change in beer was well received (although the light beer was the winner) and the absence of the Karaoke machine was actually mourned by many (I just can’t win with the Karaoke sin!).

The night finished really nicely with a quiet dinner with my favourite VSTS blogger, Rob Caron and his lovely wife Nicole, and my fellow Melbournite and VSTS MVP Joe Sango. It was nice to unwind with Rob, Nicole and Joe, and especially since most of us (including Nicole) have shared the last 12 months getting intimate with VSTS and Team Foundation Server, and it certainly doesn’t look like it’s going to end here.

Next was the day launch, and again, it was awesome to catch-up with the punters, and listen to peoples experiences with VS 2005 and SQL Server 2005. Joel Pobar from the CLR team was there, and it was awesome to chat to him about the process and tools we use internally when developing something like the CLR. Joel is a great guy, and I’m really looking forward to getting him down to Melbourne for some presentations. I also sat in on a great presentation by Object Consulting on their Process Mentor integration with VSTS; these guys have a great offering, and I think the next few months is going to be an exciting time for the whole VSTS process integration space. We were also fortunate to be visited by our favourite event punter, Bare Foot Guy, who regularly makes it to all our Sydney events (I first observed him at my Security Summit session with Nigel Watson; BFG came into the packed theatre, and promptly lay on the ground at the front of the room below the stage and enjoyed our session from the floor) to ensure the content and quality is of the highest level. Thanks BFG ;)

The night festivities then started at Andrew Coates’ house, where he and his wonderful wife Sam hosted most of the speakers and visitors for some dinner and laughs. I always love catching up in that kind of setting, and always get the best stories from Dr. Greg. He and I spent a month one week in Malaysia together, and I thought I had heard most of his awesome stories, but last night he pulled out some rippers, which always makes the night worthwhile.

So now Franky and I are sitting in the departure lounge (we’re boycotting the Qantas Club because it’s always full of power tripping stuffed shirts…note to Lords of QC, relax, it’s a complimentary service, not an indication that you’ve socially “arrived”) with this old dude (we’ve named him Pops) who is into his 8th beer (and it’s not even 12pm) and has some of the most serious old school bling I’ve ever seen (and a huge patch on his blazer that reads “Golf Club”)…right!

Canberra, ‘ere we come!