Tuesday, May 24, 2005

Monday Evening

So last night I took the Light Rail downtown (end to end - Mall of America to 5th and Nicollet) to a dinner and roundtable hosted by Magenic at Morton's: "The Intersection of OO and Microsoft Productivity Products" presented by Rockford Lhotka (who I once heard speak about .NET at work). Our architect was supposed to go, but he was out of town, so he passed it on to me. The presentation was fine - extremely short, I think it was a chance to wine-and-dine potential customers and allow some networking - and primarily about the direction Magenic sees the trends going as far as where your logical layers live and how you access them. The official spiel stated:

"Many developers work to build object-oriented software solutions, often using business entity objects. At the same time, businesses are increasingly using productivity products such as BizTalk Server, SharePoint Portal Server and Microsoft Office to build applications. How do these concepts intersect? Can OO design be used in a BizTalk or SharePoint solution? Can Office be used as a front-end or reporting tool for an application based on business objects?"

The dinner itself was excellent - everyone but me and the only guy evidently not from the U.S. originally had steak - I had salmon in a butter sauce. It was my attempt to regulate how much I was eating which was entirely offset by the real mashed potatoes and the bottle of red wine they tricked me into drinking by filling the glass every time I wasn't looking. There were managers and tech vps and various tech-oriented individuals from about a dozen companies like GMAC and Dow Jones - all of them extremely interested in how I fit in with my company as a lot of them actually sell us information or services or compete in some way.

I got to ask Rockford the question I always wanted to ask him - do people think you look like Chris Sells (pic)? The official answer is that the DevelopMentor people in particular always note that. They both even have/had the word 'Evangelist' in their job title for a while - so they're alike in many ways. When Rocky said "and good things happen...then you send it somewhere else...and good things happen", he even sounded like Chris.

I also had the very weird experience of seeing a guy in an orange Blubber Run t-shirt on a bike on the corner after I got off the train. I thought, "cool, Blubber Run" and then quickly realized, "Damn weird, that's my brother in law, Ceri." He bikes home from downtown every day - I didn't even know where he worked, I just happened to be walking by as he was headed home. I guess that's proof that the metropolitan area is still pretty small when you get right down to it.

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