Presenting to the Portland Area Dotnet User Group (PADNUG) was an absolute blast…despite having my demo crash.
Jay Schmelzer and I headed down to Portland on Thursday afternoon (yes, this did make it the Jay and Jay show. VB keeps the simple things simple) and did our reverse user group tour that night. The reverse user group is a new addition for this tour that we’re borrowing from an event that we went to in NorCal – instead of just us presenting to the user group, we ask some people to come in and tell us what type of apps they’re building and what they like about the product (okay, they can also tell us what they don’t like.) One of the questions that I always ask is what type of sample applications people want to see. I’m planning on building a number of sample apps over the next 12 months. Let me know what type of applications you want to see built – examples that I’ve heard so far include a workflow engine, an online/offline blog aggregator, and a task management application.
After the reverse user group, we headed over to the Intel campus where we presented to a crowd of about 70 people. The auditorium was small enough that we had a really interactive experience – which was great when we were getting feedback from the crowd and bad when my demo of Visual Studio Tools for Office wouldn’t work. I debugged the problem later and it turned out to have to do with copying the demo onto a new machine. This was the first time that we’d talked publicly about the Visual Basic Power Pack, which is a small set of controls to which we’re planning to release the source in June. It’s things like a blend panel, notification window (“toast”), task pane, and a few others. It’s not likely to move the world, but it’s still a pretty cool set of controls. What do you think of releasing the source to things like the controls. How much do you want to take a look at it?
Jay Schmelzer went next and did a great demo of Whidbey. We’re using some pretty recent bits for all of the demos that we do – This is great because it means that you can give us feedback on what the product actually looks like and not so great because, well, let’s just say that bits under production aren’t always the most predictable things during the demo. The audience was pretty jazzed about Whidbey and it’s always fun to demo edit and continue. Guaranteed applause.
The User Group tour is continuing for another couple of months – check it out at http://msdn.microsoft.com/vbasic/worldtour. And, yes, we are actually going to make this a “world” tour. Look for additional info coming on Europe and Asia within the next few weeks.
Thanks to Jim Blizzard, Chris Pels, and lots of others for help in getting the World User Group Tour kicked off.