Steven Smith in Vermont and a GREAT Cacheing presentation

Ahhh peace and quiet, now I have some time to write another overdue post.

I was able to lure Steve Smith to speak to Vermont .NET with the invitation of a free weekend getaway in Vermont which was extended to his wife Michelle and daughter Ilyana. Unfortunately, Michelle and Ilyana weren’t able to come, but Steve did come for the weekend. We tried to get him away from the computer a little. Food worked, including some Ben & Jerry’s in downtown Burlington and dinner at two different local restaurants that brew their own beer.

I think it was really good for my husband to see that I am not the only lunatic with the type of work habits that I have and that a lot of time spent on email etc is just part of how things work around here. Steve and I stayed up late working. Steve got to sleep in late – I still had to get up and walk the dog! hee hee

We had a lot of fun, bundled Steve up in the appropriate gear and took him snowshoeing in the Green Mountains (we access the Long Trail from our back yard). I took a look at all of his cotton clothing and scared him into accepting loans of a lot of our technical stuff. Cotton is dangerous to wear winter hiking – read “hypothermia” – just like in programming, it’s all about “what if…“. Anyway, Steven, totally inexperienced with this stuff was great. I also was disappointed to see that I have really lost a lot of strength from sitting in front of the computer all of the time. So I have to try to get out more. It’s why we live here. It’s what I love.

Monday of course was the user group meeting. We just had the ASP.NET Roadshow a few days before (via Live Meeting from Boston!!) so unfortunately a bunch of people had used up their “night out” and there were only 20 people there. Too bad for the others. We also had free pizza that night thanks to DataDirect! (Thanks guys yumm yumm)

Steve drilled into cacheing and focused solely on that. This is a phenomenal presentation if you have an opportunity. Steve has the luxury of focusing on ASP.NET in a way that gives him true expertise. I have been programming with ASP.NET for 2 years and I learned SO much on Monday. Some stuff I may have seen and glazed over before. But this time there is no problem with the lessons sticking. Also he spent some time on Whidbey which is always good for the group. They think I’m some kind of koolaid addict and I’m trying to make sure they understand that it is important to start paying attention to Whidbey now so that they can jump in and leverage the goodness when it arrives.

The other thing that I was really impressed by was Steve’s presenting style. I paid attention because I have a lot of talks coming up. Steve is such a natural. It is a huge thing to be talking about something you know so very well. Becasue of that, he is really able to communicate the information. And I think I told him something he never heard before, he has a great “radio” voice.

Amy Sorokas from SAMS/QUE shipped some books for the meeting including of course Steve’s co-authored ASP.NET Cookbook. Thanks Amy. They arrived 15 minutes before we left for the meeting. And Steve dragged along an extra HUGE suitcase filled with books and swag to give away.

All of this was possible because Steven was doing an INETA event in Montreal the next night. So we worked things out so that he could come to Vermont also. So I get to say thanks once again to INETA and thanks to Guy Barrette (one of the new Regional Directors) who runs GUVSM in Montreal for helping to coordinate all of this.

Blueberry pancakes on the house for all!

Here’s some proof (oh and steve just posted as well with these pics! )

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