Another Southwest Fox is in the bag, and let me tell you this conference is still going strong. We saw a lot of hands go up when they asked how many people were new this year, which was outstanding. Folks are already starting to blog about their experiences, and Steve Bodnar from Geeks and Gurus is posting a ton of great photos from the event on our FaceBook page.
This was my 5th Southwest Fox experience, and my 3rd time there as a speaker which I will tell you is quite an honor. Look at the names of some of the speakers, now look at me. Now look at them. Now at me. You can see why it’s a thrill to be chosen as a speaker. I think my sessions went ok, and one in particular went very well thanks to some fantastic audience interaction.
I did my “SSMS for Developers” session that I’ve done at a couple of SQL Saturdays and once again I got this particular reaction, “I’ve been using SSMS for years and I still learned new stuff.” That’s really gratifying to hear! One person commented, “It went by too fast!” Well, that’s why the Southwest Fox organizers require the speakers to submit whitepapers to go along with their sessions. I really try to just put ideas in your head during my sessions, and expect you to follow up on the details by reading the whitepaper.
The other one I did was “More Fox on the Run,” which surveys the mobile application landscape and addressed two major issues that you’re going to deal with when developing mobile applications that aren’t always connected – how to make sure the application is cached, and how to make sure the data is available and in sync with the master database. The most common feedback I’ve received on this one is along the lines of “It’s good information but not specific enough.” I understand that, so I’m going to expand my whitepaper to include specific code examples of how to accomplish what I’m talking about, and even make the app and sourcecode available to you to play with.
As an attendee, I can tell you the conference was an absolute treat. Once again the food was incredible every time, the camaraderie amazing (including a piano player from the xBase++ side of the aisle). Oh, did I mention that this was a joint Visual FoxPro / xBase++ conference? It was, and that was cool too because xBase++ may be a logical avenue for Visual FoxPro developers in the future.
They keynote by Jennifer Marsmann was about Windows 8. She did a terrific job promoting the features of Windows 8, though I’m not sure I’m yet convinced that Microsoft has any future in the tablet market. Windows 8 looks like a decent desktop upgrade for Windows 7 however, which was unexpected since mostly what we’ve seen from Microsoft marketing are the tablet and touch features. A lot of consumers will be confused by the distinction between the Windows 8 RT version and the Windows 8 Pro, and will be disappointed when they buy a table that doesn’t run their custom apps.
I say lots of great sessions, many by guys named Rick: Strahl, Borup, and Schummer. You can see the session list on line and envy me, but why don’t you mark your calendar now for Southwest Fox 2013? It’s October 17-20th, and you won’t be disappointed.