The week after PyOhio, I had to speak at devLink in Nashville, TN.  This was my 3rd devLink, and I have enjoyed attending it each year.  It’s a great time for me to see my friends, learn about technologies I want to know more on, network with others in the field, and overall come back home to put my new knowledge and new contacts to use.  This was my 2nd year as a speaker, and this year went much better than last – demos weren’t failing, and despite the back-to-back-to-back talks on the last day, things went really smoothly.  It was great to talk on social networking, web analytics, IronPython, and PowerShell.

I actually attended the Women in Technology gathering on the first day.  Many of you know that I am not a fan of WiT gatherings typically – I’ve seen too many that are “This is how I’ve been burned, and yet I continue to fight the fight” kind of gatherings, and I can’t be bothered with those.  This one was not that.  This one was a great discussion on how we can get women involved and how women are still a rarity.  There are a few of us who are in hiring positions, and it’s sad to see that there aren’t many females applying for technical jobs in general.  I liked that it was a great chance to network with other ladies in the field.

While I was down there, I also caught a few sessions on Silverlight and Windows Phone 7.  Now if you haven’t seen Windows Phone 7 by now, I recommend you check out the Windows Phone 7 developer site and play with it to see what’s coming.  I sat through James Ashley‘s presentation on “Advanced Windows Phone 7 Series Development” and learned about how WP7 dev is like Silverlight 3 + all of its goodies.  I also learned about the concept of tombstoning.  After James’ talk, I caught Pete Brown‘s talk on “Beyond Hello World: Windows Phone 7 Silverlight Development Deep-Dive” which covered more Windows Phone 7 tips and tricks that weren’t covered in James’ talk.  I really enjoyed the fact that they talked about what was in their talks and that there was very little overlap.  That was great!

On the purely Silverlight side, I caught the beginning of Shawn Wildermuth‘s “Architecting Silverlight Applications”.  Working on Silverlight professionally, I found this talk helpful in that it provided me things to keep in mind while architecting Silverlight solutions.  

When I wasn’t sitting in sessions or giving sessions, I was talking with my friends on some ideas that you’ll see from me in the future.  One of the things that I can talk about is that David Giard recorded me for an upcoming episode of Technology and Friends.  Dave chats with friends on technology-related topics – including (but not limited to) the cloud, MEF, Javascript, testing, PowerShell, community events, PMing, SSIS, and F#.  If you haven’t seen it yet, I highly recommend checking it out.  Their conversations are quite interesting to see!

Overall, I really enjoyed devLink.  There were plenty of opportunities to link with other devs.  My only concern though is that there were so many awesome talks that I wanted to see during lunch and would’ve missed lunch if I went to all of the ones I wanted to catch.  Skipping lunch isn’t a good idea for me, so I had to miss some of the talks I wanted to see.  I really like the idea of a keynote or large talk during lunch rather than sessions.  Overall, though, this was still a great conference!

Thanks to John Kellar, Leanna Baker, and all of their volunteers who helped make devLink such a great success!  Looking forward to devLink next year!