Despite the miserable (yet normal-for-Melbourne) weather, I was excited to attend my third DDD event in Australia. I find they share the same vibe; a bunch of developers hanging about, talking about development, sharing stories, and joking around. It's a perfect environment for learning and connecting with others in the community. And, of course, since we're big-time supporters of the developer community, I was there, representing Telerik and Kendo UI.
I had made all the necessary preparations for the event, which included carrying along my Apple 27" Thunderbolt Display for demos:
Free swag, on the other hand, was an issue I didn't adequately prepared for. I foolishly thought that 50 Kendo UI t-shirts would be enough. It wasn't. This compelled me to share the following quip on Twitter:
I had a wonderful time talking to attendees. While some knew about Kendo UI, the overwhelming majority knew about Telerik.
On a side note, now that I have a few months of experience as a Developer Evangelist at Telerik, I'm starting to see a common pattern at events like these. For example, a lot of folks know who we are and what we do. Our conversations start out the same way, "Hey! You're with Telerik, right? We use your tools! There's great. Here's a question for you..." It's great to see that - for the most part - developers love our stuff. And, let's be honest: it makes my job a whole lot easier when you have happy customers. Most of the time, I'm problem-solving at these events.
Frankly, I wouldn't have it any other way. It's great to chat with customers. That's why our support events like DDD Melbourne. It gives us a great opportunity to have conversations like these with developers. That stated, this great experience is embodies our online support as well. You should give it a try if you're experiencing problems or wanting to provide feedback. We love receiving it!
At the end of DDD Melbourne, I suggested that we meet at a nearby hotel for a beer (or two). For more than obvious reasons - aside from the beer - this is one of my favourite aspects of any conferences; the conversations you get to have outside of sessions, either in the hallway or (in this case) the hotel.
Kudos to the event organisers! DDD Melbourne 2012 was an awesome event.