I was glad to attend the Microsoft Developer Conference yesterday in Chicago. Despite the snow, there was (I'm guessing?) maybe 500 developers. It's always humbling going to these events and seeing so many top developers. Besides the usual star-lineup of speakers, I also get a kick out of meeting other devs/architects in the same situation as I am. While the presentations are good, I see the main purpose of these events is networking and talking to real people face-to-face.
My key take-aways:
There is absolutely too much for one single person to learn. Doesn't matter how smart you are, or how much time you think you have, you cannot "do it all", therefore a critical skill for any devlead or architect is how to delegate and empower other people to innovate new things.
Team Foundation Server looks very interesting. Because we started our product back in .Net 1.0, before TFS existed, we wired up our process with all these open source packages like CruiseControl, now MSBuild (replaced NAnt), some issue-tracking system, SVN, etc... So, we've already got a lot of momentum there, but TFS looks very promising. I got to talk to several people here, like Angela Binkowski, Paul Hacker, and others whose blogs I don't know (sorry), and they made a good case. I'll probably blog about this more later.
There are a lot of smart developers in Chicago and the midwest region.
I'm hoping that some of these people will be future speakers at the LCNUG.
I was also excited to see the Lake County .Net Users Group get a huge plug after Ron Jacob's keynote presentation.