I'm so impressed with the organizers of this conference. In some ways, the "grass roots" effort exceeded the effectiveness of "professionally" organized conferences. Some of the highlights:
- Bruce Eckle - Listen to him speak if you get the chance. Abstract but a good message: we must experiment to learn; your assumptions are probably wrong; designing up front will likely miss the mark
- Ted Neward - I love it when people break through the religion and the BS to tell it like it is. Ted discussed embracing both Java and .Net to create the best solution to a business problem.
- Pillar programming problem contest - I spent about an hour trying to figure this one out on a spreadsheet and failed miserably. ;-) (I think I'm missing some constraints...) Regardless, it was a fun exercise and likely, a great way to attract solid developer candidates.
- Video games - I've never been a gamer but I find the innovation intriguing. The Wii over at Quick Solutions seems to be the biggest draw. XBox 360 at Microsoft was a close 2nd.
- Booth babes at Compuware - Enough said. (Note to Compuware: guys, this just won't yield candidates...we're not that shallow)
- Free pop - I don't drink pop but a lot of developers do. Props to Pillar for dropping $1000 on pop Thursday
- Open Spaces - A concept from Bruce Eckle and Martin Fowler for informal, engaging gatherings to experience ____ (fill in the blank). A neat idea.
- Wireless access (free!)