Techorama: what an awesome conference!

ctodx
17 May 2015

Last week, Don Wibier and I manned the DevExpress booth at Techorama, what I’d characterize as the premier developer conference for Belgium. It was in a delightful little town as well: Mechelen, just north of Brussels. Even better, Techorama was in a local multiplex cinema, Utopolis – it was weird seeing posters for movies on the walls for a conference.

Canalside in Mechelen

The organization of the conference was superb: 800 attendees, 50-odd speakers, a dozen exhibitors, WiFi that worked and wasn’t underpowered, and no problems worth mentioning. It was lucky, shall we say, that Don is a native Dutch speaker: the majority of attendees, I’d guess, were Flemish or Dutch and I only had the odd occasion to practice what little French I have left. It helped of course that we had swag to help the conversations along; such as t-shirts, mugs, mouse pads, laptop stickers. We even raffled off a couple of portable bluetooth speakers.

Don in the DevExpress booth at Techorama

And what conversations we had! Don managed to get in some demos – yes, actual demos of the product! The most popular topics were undoubtedly ASP.NET and DevExtreme, although many of the customers we met (and we met many) confided into using mainly WinForms in their projects. There was also a healthy interest in Universal Windows apps, a topic we shall be talking about in some detail very soon (perhaps even sooner than you think).

Don demoing at the DevExpress booth

All in all, over a fairly intense couple of days, we managed to speak with most of the attendees, I’d say; some even more than once. It’s great to see such passion about developing software and such excitement about what the .NET (or Visual Studio) future brings. Thanks – dankjewel! – to all who came to say hi: I shall certainly recommend we come back next year.

Saint Rumbold's Tower and Cathedral

Wacky moment of the trip: this is Saint Rumbold’s Cathedral with its iconic unfinished tower, visible for miles around. In Dutch, that’s Sint-Rombout, which is also the name of a well-known brand of coffee – Rombouts. Confused, moi?

In a week’s time it’s Microsoft TechDays in The Hague, Netherlands. More double Dutch for me!

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