Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Review: Cleveland .NET SIG 3/11

Last night was good for a lot of reasons, but was lacking in a few others.  First the good.

The speaker, Miguel Castro, was great.  He is a very energetic speaker with a lot of relevant experience.  His talk on URL rewriting using Module and Handlers was informative and interesting.  The presentation had the right combination of details and high level overview to both demonstrate the "why" and the "how" of URL rewriting.  He included multiple methods to achieve the results and gave advantages and disadvantages to each method.  Examples were clean and to the point as well, not cluttered with things that he admitted you would need in a real-world app (like error handling, caching etc.), but demonstrated the needed points.  I learned a ton and definitely plan to see him talk again if he's ever in the area.  Since this was his first trip to Ohio though, I don't expect to see him in the area again any time soon :).

After the event a group went down to the Winking Lizard for drinks and conversation.  That is where the good networking/community building took place.  There were about a dozen people total went to the bar, which isn't too bad since this was only the second or third time it was done.  It was a good group too, Richard Broida, Jeff Blankenburg, Sarah D. (Not even going to try spell it :)), and a bunch more people came by.  We talked Day of .NET, SIG stuff, and other technical topics but basically it was a bunch of BSing.  Apparently Jeff is nearly as big a smart ass as I am, made for a fun conversation.  There was also more interest in starting a user group in the Akron/Canton area, it might be time to get that going.

Now for the bad.  At the actual SIG event the crowd was dead as usual.  Almost no interaction from the crowd.  Miguel did his best to get interaction started but the crowd just didn't get it going.  At the after-party (that's right, it was a geek after-party), there was some discussion on what can be done to facilitate a more interactive group but personally I don't see anything changing anytime soon.  If we start a group in the Akron/Canton area though I do see us doing things a little differently.

Overall I had a great time, learned a lot and met some cool new people.


Anonymous said...

Thanks for your review John! I wanted to make it this week, but have a deadline on Thursday I can't miss. I'll be there next month. Good luck with the Akron/Canton group.

Richard Broida said...

Thanks for the review, John. Next month I will be the speaker, and I'll try to improve the crowd participation. If I don't you can slam me! I'll start with some flattery: the title will be "The Intelligent Programmer's Guide to BizTalk."

John Stockton said...


Good luck on the crowd participation. If you need a few stooges, um, I mean, participants, I'm sure you can get a few of us to volunteer :).

Miguel said...

Thanks for the good words, John. For what it's worth, I've seen "deader" crowds. Yours weren't as bad as they could have been and they at least reacted to my pittiful attempts at humor :). All in all, it was a good group, of good size, and I really did enjoy myself.

Sarah said...

Ooh! Stooges... nyuck nyuck nyuck! I'd volunteer for that ;)

Nice review, John! And thanks for not even attempting my extremely Polish last name :)

Anonymous said...

Good review, John...

I was thinking of quoting it in my company newsletter to see if we can encourage some of our developers to participate.

If you're amenable, please send me an email at "kenneth at".