Today Microsoft held a Visual Studio Launch Event at the Colorado Convention Center in Denver. Being a Microsoft event, it was smoothly executed, albeit lackluster compared to the spectacle that is PDC and the main VS Launch Event hosted previously. But there were only minor things to humbug! about on this particular day.
Firstly, the keynote a speaker a GM from Microsoft turned out to be kind of a chauvinist. He made reference repeatedly to "the wives who got drug along just for the software" which was mildly offensive. And then again to when "your mom wants to make a database of recipes". For me personally, I don't care, but it was interesting to hear the comments from the women behind me who seemed to be a little peeved. They kept whispering, "He needs to stop saying that." and similar things. I agree, his comments made him look ignorant and narrow-minded. You would think if they were going to spend such effort on an event like this, Microsoft would ensure their speaker was charismatic and somewhat politic. Add these mildly offensive comments to an otherwise bland, dry, and grossly repetative presentation and you have an instant recipe for nap-time.
The second gripe was the caliber of speaking talent in the break-outs. Specifically the database guy who talked about scalability, security, and whatnot. I haven't heard a more monotonal and lifeless speaker since grade school. Add that to the fact that he completely skipped the demos on new T-SQL functions in favor of a very one-sided and lame SQL CLR demo. Why on earth would he be pushing this crap!? And if it was decided that for some reason we need to be force-fed this ignorant drivel at least get someone with a little energy who can speak some inflection. And it would help to provide a demo that isn't a comparison of a stupid way to solve a problem with a faster way to solve the same problem with equal stupidity! You could have gotten a room full of database engineers excited about using actual SQL features instead of essentially saying that what they've been doing for years is wrong and they should move to another language! I rarely get so disgusted with a speaker but this was truly horrendous.
Other than those two issues, the food was passable, the staff helpful and the facilities very good. It was a pretty good day.