Note: Cross posted from IUpdateable from Eric Nelson.
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On Saturday 35(ish) developers met up on rainy day in Birmingham to take part in an Open Space Code day on the Windows Azure Platform.

Around 5 of us had experience of Open Space meetings or developing for Azure prior to the day – and I think only two of us had experience of both :-) As I was on point to keynote the day and make sure it was a success, I did turn up with a few concerns matched by a good deal of excitement. My primary concern was that people would expect to be trained – and the Open Space format is most definitely not that. But it is about learning and it is about contributing and helping others to learn.

I have created a separate post on the Open Space Technology format if you are new to it.

To cut to the chase – it all worked out stunningly well. I had a great time throughout and everyone seemed to leave happy.

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Me – near the end when it was clear people were having fun!

At the end of the session I went round everyone in the room to get them to share something they had learnt during the day (which I will post on later – the good and the bad). We also did a few show of hands which TBH blew me away.

  • 100% managed to get a Windows Azure application running locally and deployed and running in the cloud. (Actually one chap didn’t – but he emailed me later on Sunday to say he had sorted out the problem – a typo)
  • 100% would recommend the format of an Open Space Code day to a colleague
  • 100% plan to spend more time looking at Azure in the future.

100% on all three is awesome and is a testimony to the openness of those who attended to try out something new, as much as it is to the Open Space format and the Azure technologies.

I did want to thank:

  • Dave Evans who made it all happen,from inception through to event registration, biscuits, fun lunch at the local pub and much more. Top man.
  • Hugo Russell for hosting us throughout the day and allowing us to use the building (the excellent Birmingham Science Park) – and for sorting out the powercut and the wireless!
  • Geff Lombardi for doing lots of “grunt work” during the day
  • My colleagues David Gristwood and Martin Beeby for sharing the load during the day
  • Everyone who attended for helping everyone to their left (You needed to have been there!)

On the day we had:

  • Lots of “hello world” level apps being built
  • Lots of migrations of databases to SQL Azure – including production databases
  • AppFabric development
  • MVC development
  • PHP development
  • WCF development
  • Hybrid on-premise and cloud being tested
  • VS2008 and VS2010 RC

A few others have also posted about the event:

And lots of tweets including:

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