Despite the recent war situation in Iraq and the SARS situation in Toronto, DevTeach succeeded to present the event where others failed (making reference to other conferences who had to be cancelled at the same hotel recently) by regrouping an overall total of 200 professionals in the business. For a first event, DevTeach team has delivered a respectable developers conference who made use of recent technology such as wireless access as well having combined a French track among the regular session tracks which included 55 .NET sessions, 24 SQL Server and 28 VFP Sessions.
On Saturday, two pre-conference events were presented. "SQL Server Development for VFP Developers", presented by Jim Duffy, was opening the conference in the morning followed by "Visual Studio .NET Fundamentals", presented by Rod Paddock, in the afternoon. Both pre-conferences were having a duration of four hours. Saturday night was the night of the Keynote which usually starts the event. Ken Levy and Yair Alan Griver presented it within about an hour and a half. This Keynote was filmed on video. It is not known yet if this would be made available.
The technical sessions started on Sunday. For three days, attendees had a choice of selecting among eight rooms to attend a session. The sessions were having a regular duration of one hour and 15 minutes. The trade show was also running all conference long. Attendees had the chance to network with vendors during breaks, sessions and lunches. The conference ended on Tuesday afternoon with the closing session. DevTeach owners thanked several people involved in the event and mostly all the attendees. A lot of prizes were also raffled during that session.
DevTeach was also an occasion for several parties to hold meetings. The most important was a meeting with several user group leaders from the .NET, SQL Server and Visual FoxPro communities. It was held on Monday night just before the Bonus Session which was hosting two user group meetings at the same time. The main goal of the meeting was "How to make the .NET community stronger?". The example of the Visual FoxPro community was given as an example of success were over the years this community stood strong together with a strong desire to continuously help each other and build a stronger product.
It was proposed to work on a specific idea which had been evaluated since some time ago, which consists in having a common Wish List for the .NET products. It was presented the idea of creating a committee to study the project. The basic idea is to create some mechanism, similar to the Wish List kept at the Universal Thread for Visual FoxPro, allowing the VFP team at Microsoft to interact with the collected data and providing a general status of their wishes back to the community. As of today, the .NET Wish List on the Universal Thread is running in the .NET Zone. We invite any .NET developers to monitor it and contribute with their wishes.
A few items were also raised about enhancing the .NET Zone where most of the items discussed have been delivered since then. Among other related issues, the discussed Universal Thread Web Service has been converted to an ASP.NET Web Service and can be consumed from VB.NET, Visual FoxPro or any other development environment. Specific .NET Zone methods have been added as well in the Universal Thread Web Service.
DevTeach owners, Jean-René Roy and Richard Mertl, confirmed the intentions of holding another event. Expectations to double the number of attendees is realistic considering the boundaries this one has faced for its initial event. You can follow the entire official coverage of that event from our Conference Coverages site at http://www.utcoverage.com/DevTeach/2003. Our report includes 14 videos as well as 122 images. DevTeach site can be reached at http://www.devteach.com.