Today, I'm finally heading off to Microsoft's MIX10 conference in Las Vegas, where developers and designers get to "mix" it up. The pre-conference buzz this year has been even higher than usual, and not just because people have been getting carried away drinking the Microsoft Kool-Aid.
Early leaks about Windows Phone 7 Series (FINALLY, something to compete with the Apple iPhone), Silverlight 4, Internet Explorer 9 and a whole host of announcements around the upcoming Visual Studio 2010/.NET 4 release mean that anticipation is high, especially amongst those of us who earn our daily crust from Silverlight Development. It looks like our early gamble that this was a technology that was going to prove to be crucial to writing state-of-the-art applications is now finally starting to pay off.
And then there's the Microsoft Courier device, which makes the forthcoming Apple iPad look extremely sub-standard, ASSUMING IT'S REAL! Hopefully we'll find out how real the device is over the next few days, even if the rumours suggest it isn't planned for launch until 2011.
I'm still undecided as to which sessions I'll be attending - every time I think I've narrowed my choices down, new sessions get announced. Talks on Real World MVVM, Silverlight Testing, a new Microsoft Silverlight Analytics Framework, MEF, WCF RIA Services and, of course, Windows Phone 7 Series are all at the top of my wish lists, but frequently clash. With video of each session being made available online within 24 hours of being delivered, final decisions aren't that important and will likely come down to which rooms have seats left in them, and other logistical issues.
What I can state with certainty is that I'll be attending the Silverlight 4 bootcamp and ASP.NET MVC Bootcamp pre-conference workshops on Sunday, 14th March.
However the sessions and workshops are not the reasons for my attending MIX10 (I still think you get a better experience of these by being a 'virtual' attendee, and with The Channel 9 Live From MIX Show streaming continuously every day of the conference I think that's even more true. What I'm most looking forward to, and the real reason I'm flying over 5000 miles to attend, is meeting many of the Silverlight developers I've 'spoken to' via Twitter, as well as those I already know from having attended MIX in previous years, or through the London community scene.
Party-wise, I know I'll be attending the EMC Consulting Oasis and MIX Tweetup on the Sunday night, as well as the Brits Booze-up and Main MIX Party on the Tuesday night. I hope to meet some of you there!
I will have the loan of a mobile phone during my stay, so if you want to make a specific arrangement to meet up send me a message on Twitter (@irascian) and I'll be happy to send you my number.
I'm hoping to blog each day from the conference (and pre-conference, although pre-conference blog entries are more likely to be appearing on my personal blog rather than this work-related one).
All the early indications are that this is going to be one of the best, if not THE best, MIX conferences held to date. I can hardly wait!