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Thanks to Clint Edmonson, I got a chance to go to Mix this year.  While Las Vegas was absolutely frustrating (it was the week of St. Patrick’s Day AND Spring Break week), Mix itself was outstanding. hungover

We kicked it off with a keynote from Bill Buxton. Each Mix attendee got a copy of his book on Sketching User Experiences. Bill is THE MAN when it comes to UX design, and he did not disappoint. He was energetic, animated and passionate: everything you look for in a speaker. It is always enjoyable to see someone passionate about what they’re speaking about. Even though, I loved Scott Guthrie’s keynote. I have to give the presentation win to Bill. As a matter of fact he was the MOST passionate and most enjoyable speaker of the conference (for me).

Scott Guthrie came out after Bill Buxton and announced that Silverlight 3 Beta was now available for download. There had been some speculation beforehand so this wasn’t an absolute shock, but good news nonetheless. The real kicker was watching the crowd react to the Red Polo. We also got mini talks from Erik Saltwell (SuperPreview), Bill Staples, Joel Spolsky and Jeff Atwood, and many others.

The rest of Wednesday found me learning about ASP.NET 4.0, building wireframes and improving my UX design skills. Thursday, I learned more about Expression Blend, Extending ASP.NET MVC for the Mobile web, Sketch Flow, and UX Design Patterns. On Friday, I got even more Silverlight, learned about the Dynamic Language Runtime, and then bounced around to hear a bit about ASP.NET Data Access and a tiny bit more Silverlight. In between the phenomenal sessions, I hung out at “3rd Place” which was a large room with about 15 couches and twice as many chairs. At each grouping of chairs and couches was a white board with a country name on it, like “London” or “Australia” and anybody could go write a topic on the white board and start a conversation. Those who wanted to join a conversation, could simply walk around to the white boards and see what people were talking about and just join in. Unfortunately, I didn’t figure out the system until the end of the day Thursday. I know, I’m a loser.

Each night was another Microsoft Mix party. Wednesday night was the party at Tao. From 6-10pm, Microsoft had an open bar set up at Tao, at least I think it was an open bar. If it wasn’t, I stole a couple beers from Tao on Wednesday night. Thursday was “Together @ Mix” at the Lavo Lounge. Again, it was either an open bar, or I committed some petty larceny. After, Kevin Grossnicklaus and I met Arsen Yeremen and we went to the Grand Lux to grab a bite and shoot the breeze. We talked about software development and software architecture as a practice and life in general. It was a really good time. On Friday, there was a Geek Dinner at The Grand Lux Restaurant. I had a better time at the dinner I think. I got to sit next to Shawn Wildermuth, Justin Etheridge, Dave Ward, Rob Zelt and Brian Henderson. We had some really good conversation about the state of development and the community. These are some SHARP guys and I really enjoyed talking to them. I then foolishly decided to walk down the strip to Mandalay Bay (at the other end of the strip). It was a LOOOONG walk, but I did see a lot of amazing stuff and picked up a Del Taco Macho Combo Burrito and a Kingburger from Fatburger.

All in all a positive experience. Even though the sessions were great, I think the best part of the conference for me was meeting all the great people. I got to meet Chad Moran and even met Phil Haack and John Lam briefly. I also met some people with interesting products, but I’ll blog more about that later.

Thanks to Clint for the ticket and to all the great people I met.

‘Til next time.


Posted on Wednesday, March 25, 2009 2:11 AM | Back to top

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