This post is a bit late, since it's over a week since I got back from SD West in Santa Clara, CA. (March 3 - 7).
There was some great technical content and some very interesting people at this conference, but what made the week memorable for me and the family was that I was scheduled to speak at it. My session was during the last slot of the last day (they always save the best for last, right?). Still mulling over the ideas and inspiration gained from the Groovy/Grails Experience last month, I spent most of my spare time in my room working on my slides, which my kids proofed for me from home. (slides and code sample can be downloaded here)
This is the first of the Dr. Dobbs family of conferences to have any Groovy or Grails presentations: it had one of each. First on Monday Andy Glover gave a very interesting and entertaining half day tutorial on Groovy. You could feel the excitement in the room. In fact a guy sitting next to me leaned over at one point and said "This stuff is amazing!"
Later came my session on Agile Web Development with Grails .... I thought I had my nerves under control, and the audience was involved and had many good questions. It was obvious that these folks were thinking about how and if they could start using Grails. After it was over, it was great to have several people stay and offer nice comments, or ask additional questions. However, one kind lady made the comment that it was "very brave of you to get up there in front of all these people". Perhaps my nerves weren't quite as controlled as I thought.
While the Groovy and Grails aspects were a high point for me, there was some other good stuff at SD West. The Beautiful Code panel was a lot of fun and contained some good insights. The Developer Bowl was a hoot and a half and, James McLurkin of MIT gave a very interesting presentation on robotics and how to save the world by being a geek. Then there was Uncle Bob. Robert Martin has always been one of my favorite speakers and although I only caught one of his talks this time, Clean Code was terrific. We all know shorter methods are better but Uncle Bob gave some very practical suggestions and examples of how to do it.
It was all good, but I'm glad to be home.
PS: The kids didn't really have to carry me on a stretcher, but its good to know that if I ever need this type of assistance, they are up for it.