We'll we've got a raft of live events coming up in SoCal for developers in late October and early November. You may be thinking, hmm...which one(s) do I go to? how do I choose? I'll write a bit about all them here, maybe that will help you to choose.
If you can afford it, PDC08 is always inspirational, exciting and just plain old fun. Our tip, bring your boss with you. No, we don't mean actually hang around together at the event, just convince your boss that the content is so compelling (which, actually, it is) that they have to be there! Then, of course, so do you, right?
PDC runs Monday, Oct 27 through Thursday, Oct 30 - here's the schedule (with optional preCons on Sunday, Oct 26). Why PDC? Well, we (Microsoft) show nearly every new thing we are working on there. Stuff like Windows 7 and much more. Take a look at the sessions list to get a flavor. While there you also get direct access to the majority of our product group teams who are presenting there, so, really, what could be better than that? Oh, and there's keynotes from people like Scott Guthrie, etc...You can watch a bunch of videos on our own Channel 9 about PDC as well.
PrePDC you have some interesting choices. If you are registered for PDC, then you may want to attend a PDC preCon. My personal favorite, of course, is the one that I am facilitating - that is WomenBuild - SeriousPlay with Legos. If you plan to attend any of the PDC preCons, you must register separately for them. Oh, and WomenBuild is the only PDC preCon that is FREE for registered PDC attendees.
Alternatively pre-PDC you can attend the first-in-LA CodeCamp - by developers for developers on Saturday, Oct 25 and Sunday, Oct 26. Of course, you don't have to be registered for PDC to attend CodeCamp. Like most CodeCamps, it's FREE. Here's the session list for SoCalCodeCamp. SoCalCodeCamp is being held on the USC campus. Most presenters are working developers, most sessions (but not all) have information about current .NET technologies. There are sessions about non .NET developer technologies as well. I've attended (and spoken at) many CodeCamps (San Diego, Orange Country, SVC) and always find them to be informative and a great place for networking.
Very alternatively pre-PDC, you can attend LA BarCamp. It's being held Saturday, Oct 25 and Sunday, Oct 26 at the Mahalo offices in Santa Monica. It's also FREE. In case you aren't familiar with BarCamp-style events, there are kind of similar to CodeCamp, in that community members make, mostly technical, presentations. The big differences are that, even though there is a session schedule, the actual sessions aren't posted until the day of the event. Usually there is a paper grid with post-its, so that there is extreme flexibility in session topics and times. Also, presentation topics tend to be more varied - I've been at barCamps where there are deep technical presentations along side with presentations about crafting and metaphysics. BarCamps are quite alternative, more emphasis on fun, so if that's what you like, then go there!
After the PDC/Code Camp/BarCamp frenzy is over, there is still more for you. We are having our own local, little shin-dig in Irvine for our developers (and ITPros) from Tuesday, Nov 11 to Thursday, Nov 13. We're calling it TechDays and you can register (it's also FREE) already. We are working on finalizing speakers now and will be posting information about them on the TechDays website soon. You can see from the registration that we've got 'best of PDC' content and more for developers, along with topics of interest for ITPros. The event is modular, meaning you register (and attend) the parts that are interesting to you, that is you may choose to attend only Tuesday morning and Wednesday afternoon, etc... This is a new type of event for us and we'll be interested to see how you like it. Of course, there will be surprises and updates as we get closer to the actual event.
We're really interested in putting on and supporting live events that you find useful and fun. I welcome feedback on all of these events. Also, I'll actually be at most of these events (yes, you may wonder how I can actually be at three events at the same time), so you can just find me and TELL me in person!