Last week, or better this week that just ended I have been to the Microsoft Patterns and Practices Symposium summit which is a very cool 7 days Summit for Software architects, Microsoft and non.
Redmond and Seattle
It was the first time for me also to be in Redmond, or better to visit Seattle and the suburbs like Redmond, Bellevue and Seattle city. What can I say? Its really a cool and nice place, it remembers me home ( I am from the north of Italy) with all these trees and mountains but in the same way a techy and commercial place. Really enjoyed. For example if you ever been in Bellevue which is a nice suburb of Seattle, you get free internet wireless all over the city and the service is provided by the city administration, really nice!
I have been to the open market near downtown (Pike place market) which deserve really some time as it has nice fresh food and funny things and in the major malls in Seattle, bought stuff for me and my wife and enjoyed the company of a new friend coming from Nebraska.
I also saw the first Starbucks Unfortunately I didnt have time to go up in the SpaceNeedle but I saw it from the street, pretty cool!
I met a lot of people from all over USA and there were also some people from the Europe, for example I worked in a open space workshop with 4 guys from Turkey, 1 guy from Kodak in USA and other people from other places which I dont remember right now (sorry guys about that ).
Of course I also enjoyed some nice food. I tried for the first time the Cheesecake Factory which is a Restaurant chain (not fast food) that has a very price/quality ratio and got probably the biggest Strawberry cheesecake slice I ever had Have been also the Sushi Line and to some very good Sushi restaurants too for less than 20 bucks! Forget about having such deal in Bermuda.
The Symposium conference and the Microsoft organization were simply amazing. I cant say anything about that starting from the Check-in moving to the transportation facilities ending with the catering and the sessions. Everything was really well done.
I had the great opportunity to meet all the guys working at P&P and speaking directly with them; I am not going to mention any name specifically otherwise I will have to mention all of them as they are all great guys!
The conference was organized in 5 days plus nightly events and a pre-conference workshop which was on Prism V4 in my case.
Anyway, every day the conference was following a specific path, like Back-End, Front-End, Design and so on. I just attached a picture of the full schedule in order to make you understand better what you lost if you were not there with me!! If you are interested about the speakers you can find the full list at this address: http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/practices/ff797017.aspx.
It was funny to see Robert Martin in the open key-note, he is also known as Uncle Bob. You may listen him for hours and hours its really an amazing man!
At the end we had a visit to the Patterns and Practices offices which are really designed ad AGILE offices and the guides was Michael Puleio. I cant post pictures or anything like that (I believe there is an NDA about that, but I am not sure) but I can guarantee you that they have built a very nice a developer oriented workspace there! I am really envious for them
Anyway, in conclusion, smart people, nice easy and very flexible and available; if you consider that they are all senior software/architect and most of them are MVP or work for Microsoft. Great time, new friends so for sure I will be there again next year!