Yesterday in Brussels, we made our first of a series of presentations in our European tour. I met up with Jean-Marc in the morning at the Microsoft office in Brussels. We ran through our preparation work one more time to make sure we have everything ready.
At noon, our host Katrien from DPE took us out to lunch. We discussed ways we can better reach European developers. I told her about our plans to have a VSX conference around TechEd EMEA timeframe in November, and she readily agreed to help us promote the event in Belgium. One piece of information that I heard over and over again in the past but didn't really sink in for me until now, is that Europeans don't really travel to neighboring countries. But hearing it again directly from a European while I am Europe is finally making it sink it. Katrien stressed that aside from very big events like TechEd, there really is no way that we can put on an event that have developers from other countries come. Good thing we are going to have another VSX developer event around TechEd EMEA timeframe in Europe again this year.
We met with some internal teams within DPE in the afternoon. We discussed the positioning of VSX and how it fits into the bigger picture of what Developer Division does and what Microsoft does. There were a couple of developer evangelists and consultants in the room who had a particular interest in DSL, so we also took some time to discuss the future roadmap of DSL.
After our meetings in the afternoon, we had to go to the user group meeting location immediately. Ordina was one of the big sponsors for this Visual Studio user group in Belgium, and the meeting was in one of its offices. We arrived an hour early because a couple of companies wanted to meet with us to discuss future VSX roadmap and how they can work together more closely on their VSX related projects. For obvious reasons, I won't disclose who they are.
At 6:30 pm, our presentation with the user group began. We were happy to see that the room was full and there were over 70 attendees from my estimate. For over 2 hours, Jean-Marc and I spoke about different areas of VSX. He did a great job at presenting the demos and the audience was very engaged. Katrien kindly took some pictures for us during our presentation and you can see them below.
After our presentation ended, we heard from the organizer of the user group that the feedback was very positive. I hope he wasn't just being nice to us :) Anyway, we had a meeting with another company afterwards and they had built a very interesting project on VSX (again, I won't say who it is as I haven't asked for their permission to blog about the meeting). Too bad they didn't bring a demo, but we agreed to re-engage once I return to Redmond.
So at 10 pm, we finally got back to our hotels. It was a very exhausting day, but I think it was very well worth it.