15 October 2008

VSLive! Las Vegas - Day 1

The first day of VSLive! Las Vegas is now in the books.  This is my first time attending a VSLive! conference so I wasn't sure what to expect.

The keynote was given by Stephanie Saad, the Group Program Manager for Visual Studio Team Foundation Server.  She discussed the use of Team Foundation Server throughout Microsoft and some of the challenges they ran into while using the product.  The scale at which they make use of Team Foundation Server is somewhat staggering in comparison to the seven developer teams at the company I work for.  Along with one of her co-workers, I don't recall the name (sorry), they also presented some of the new features that will be available in VSTS 2010 - mostly around the tracking and reporting of project-related data in Microsoft Excel.

I spent most of the rest of my time in TFS-related sessions with speakers such as Benjamin Day and Brian Randell.  All in all, it was a great start to the conference.  So far, based on the size of the conference rooms, the number of attendees, and the speakers, I would have to say it's relatively comparable to the Heartland Developers Conference.

Being in Las Vegas for the first time, I decided I had to check out at least one show.  So, I decided to go to the Phantom of the Opera at The Venetian.  I've seen Andrew Lloyd Webber's Phantom of the Opera in Des Moines and Omaha and thought I could use those shows as a basis for comparison.  I must admit, the show at The Venetian pretty much blew the others away!  In all fairness, the show at The Venetian has a dedicated stage and auditorium built solely for the purpose of The Phantom of the Opera.  This allows the effect to be top notch.  Although I'm not sure who was playing the parts of the Phantom, Christine, etc. the singing was phenomenal.  If the other shows in Las Vegas are of this caliber of quality, then there are indeed a lot of great shows in this town :-)