Annette Fowler

AspDotNetStorefront Conference – Summary

Est. Reading Time: 4 minutes

I’ve already blogged about each of the sessions that I attended on Day One and Day Two of the conference, but feel compelled to share my overall impressions as well…

Overall, a very successful conference!  I learned a lot and am excited to go back to the office and put it into practice.  I also met many other people using the product to do some really interesting and exciting things.  I’m comforted that Vortx has committed to maintaining the same (or better!) level of support and community that I’d come to expect from the previous owners and I recognize their sincere commitment to high standards and dedication to the product.

Because I can’t seem to write a blog without a bulleted list, here are some other quick thoughts:

  • I think the length of the conference was just right.  Three days would have strung it out too much and one would have been way too crammed.
  • Not sure how I feel about the two “track” approach.  There were several sessions that were held simultaneously that I wish I could have attended.  Unfortunately, I’m not really sure how to fix that and still keep the two day format.  It would have been great to have gotten the agenda a little bit in advance so that we could have made the decisions about “who’s going to what” in advance.
  • HURRAY for the organizers that got the coffee flowing all day on Thursday!  Even the most dedicated of developers start to get hazy around 3pm in a darkened room without a caffeine jolt.
  • The staff (both hotel and Vortx) was extremely responsive and helpful
  • Sessions and breaks were well timed and everything started and ended precisely on schedule
  • The master of ceremonies/magician/announcer was brilliant…  Bravo!
  • I think the conference could have benefited from an “Ask the Experts” or other open brainstorming-type session.  Despite very active forums and helpful support, there’s really nothing like sitting down with one of the “inside guys” and picking his brain.  Lots of times I don’t really need to know exactly how to do something, just whether or not there’s an easy way to do it (vs. the dreaded source code modification!) or if there’s an add-on out there that already does it (bonus!).  To keep the session from getting too detailed or bogged down, maybe asking for questions ahead of time would be effective?
  • Organizers did a good job of making sure that the participants did not feel that every vendor was trying to push their products on them, but I do wish there were a few more hands-on examples of how to do things in the product itself.  I don’t mind seeing a vendor’s solution in action during a session as long as it solves my problem and it isn’t a hard sell.  I don’t feel like any of the vendors that I met would do that, but that they did feel constrained to not advocate their products too much.
  • Post the slide decks to the presentations immediately after the session if at all possible.  Alternatively, make it very obvious (maybe in the agenda booklet) exactly how and when the slides would be available.  Someone asked about the availability of the decks at every single session that I attended and there was lots of confusion about where and if they would be available.

Keep the up the enthusiasm and commitment to being a company with very high standards and commitment to the AspDotNetStorefront community!  This was clear in every facet of the conference and made me proud to be associated with you all!  WELL DONE!