infrequent grumblings of a software engineer and then some… (also some Delphi programming)

Delphi Tage 2009 – Recap

Posted by tier777 on 2009-06-07

[deutsche Fassung dieses Artikels: siehe voriger Eintrag]

So, I am back from this year’s Delphi-Tage (“Delphi Days”) in Hamburg and had a little time to let the impressions sink in a little. As has been mentioned by many participants, the uniqueness of the venue will be hard to top for future events (but then, why should it have to? – after all, it’s the overall-experience, the people, the sessions and of course Delphi that should be the main attraction, shouldn’t it?)

Der Veranstaltungsort - Die Cap San Diego

This year's venue - The Cap San Diego

Publikum bei David's Keynote

Audience at David I's Keynote

(more pictures can be found in the coresponding  album on the DelphiPraxis forum, as well as on the Delphi-Treff site)

A big praise to Daniel Wolf for organizing the “pre-con” barbecue at “cult” football club FC St. Pauli’s where we met in a nice setting with great food and a couple of nice cold beers where you could also chat pleasantly about non-programming, non-Delphi-related topics for a change, all in the middle of the vibrant (German part of the) Delphi community.

The main event started on Saturday morning. Attendance was pretty high (over 250 people, including speakers and exhibitors, if I overheard that correctly). I was especially pleased to see so many “out” themselves as first-timers during the hand-raising section at the conclusion of the event. And the average age of the audience was also way lower than I have seen at similar events in the past which can only be a good sign, right?

David I’s keynote offered little new to anyone who had been following the coverage of last month’s  Delphi Live! conference in San Jose. It’s nevertheless always a joy to see and hear David talking. You just totally get that there is someone who’s truly got his heart in what he’s saying.

After a quick break started the first round of sessions, whereas I myself unfortunately wasn’t able to see a lot of it as I had to leave during the coffee break to find a less pricey parking space for my car and only returned (quite out of breath and sweating) for the second half of Jeroen Pluimers‘ very hands-on talk about IDE-addins and other useful tips for increasing developer productivity. Though, as at that point the room was so full that I had to stand in the doorway to the adjoining second session room, where Bernd Ott was doing an equally interesting talk about Subversion I was only able to watch and listen with half an ear and eye.

Bernd Ua - Softwaretests

Bernd Ua - Softwaretests

After that I went to see Bernd Ua’s talk about software testing and DUnit which I watched from quite an unusual viewpoint (see picture to the left). In the meantime the time for my own talk was rapidly approaching and as this was going to be the first of its kind since almost exactly 9 years to the day (minus a month), my tension was rising considerably. As a result I could unfortunately only watch the first half of Daniel Wischnewski’s entertaining talk about the  Windows 7 Taskbar as at that point I had to step out for a quick breath of fresh air.

My own talk then was a bit of a mixed bag: While I did manage to shed most of the nervousness and was able to answer all questions from the audience, I feel that in hindsight I probably made some less than ideal decisions about weighting the individual parts of the talk in an effort to get everything in there that I had announced I would cover. Sadly, time ran out on me even before I got to the concluding segment about Extended MAPI and Redemption so I could only hasten through the slides about those topics rather than actually show some practical examples.

Well, one should learn from one’s mistakes. I will try to cover the bits that got a bit of a short end here on the blog in the form of more videos and also to do better at the next live talk. I hope everyone was still able to take away something interesting for him or herself. Please feel free to post any unasked questions here on the comment thread.

One note to the organization team regarding breaks: Please make sure that next time there will always be at least 10 minutes between sessions. That way people will actually have some time to get from one session to the next if it is in a different room than the previous one and also to step out to catch some fresh air or for taking last break’s coffee to the pottery department and so on. Furthermore, as a speaker you typically also need a couple of moments before you have got all the wiring in place and your notebook booted up properly. As most speakers (including my predecessor and me) made use of their time slot to the very last second that set-up time had to count against the regular session time while all the while the audience was already champing at the bit. 😉

The day’s finale in the Gröninger Brauhaus was quite pleasant and fun. In my mind the pub/restaurant visit at the end has really become a stock item of the Delphi Tage events in its own right.

The first thing I found in my inbox when I turned on my computer for the first time since my return was a belated (actually, it had arrived a mere 30 minutes after I had left for Hamburg) email from the Add-in-Express team, containing a 30% rebate coupon for the attendees of my talk. I will make sure to include that in my slides before I send them off. Speaking of which, the slides of the entire event (including mine) will shortly be made available  via the DelphiPraxis forum as one big downloadable ZIP-archive. I will post the link here once it is available.

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