SIC 2007 Diary, Day One

The Software Industry Conference gets underway in earnest.

After a good, and much needed, night of sleep, I awoke reasonably early, thanks primarily to a two hour time difference between Denver and home. Although I do not regularly eat breakfast, I made a point of going to the lobby to see what the conference had to offer. Alas, there were apparently no sponsors for breakfasts this year, so the spread was the standard “continental breakfast” provided free at almost every roadside motel (although I am sure that the SIAF got nicked good for it). Lacking the tasty omelets of years past, I decided not to eat.

Instead of breakfast, I decided to visit and check out the hospitality suite for the ASP (Association of Shareware Professionals), since I am on the Board of Directors. It was nice to have a place to sit down and relax, and this was the first time I saw the new ASP “20th Anniversary” T-shirts, as well as the cool USB rechargeable flashlight giveaways. A decision had been made to forgo the usual booth at exhibit night in favor of this room, and I was suitably impressed. (The food there was almost the same as upstairs, too.)

Unlike previous years, the SIC 2007 schedule did not include any “must see” sessions, and even among the ones that looked interesting, I did not have any conflicts (with two desirable sessions running at any given time). This is not to say that there was nothing worthwhile, however. I was looking forward to hearing from Bob Walsh, of 47 Hats, and David Intersimone (a.k.a., “DavidI”) of CodeGear (nee Borland), who were both attending/speaking for the first time, as well as several repeat speakers who are always entertaining and informative.

The first session I attended was Blogging for Your Business, presented by Bob Walsh. If his name sounds familiar (other than from the previous paragraph), it is probably due to his excellent book, Micro-ISV: From Vision to Reality. This session, though, he was speaking about good blogging practices, another topic on which he has “written the book” recently. The main takeaway points of this talk, for me, were that one should write on consistent topics and post regularly, two guidelines that I violate liberally here. A couple of tips given were to write news roundups and have a few “timeless” (i.e., not time critical) articles written in advance. One of the last comments, during Q&A, was that a blog author should not regularly put pictures of his cats on his blog (“for instance”); some of us had a good idea from whence that example was drawn.

As a bonus, Bob gave out copies of his new blogging book, Clear Blogging: How People Are Changing the World and How You Can Join Them, to a few worthy attendees. One of the recipients was Ben Weintraub, of Merit Software, with whom I was sitting and who was kind enough to pass the book on to me. I plan to review it in a future posting (even if the book tells me not to do so). Thanks, again, Ben.

I skipped all of the sessions in the middle of the day, spending most of my time hanging out in the ASP hospitality suite, where we had a leadership meeting during lunchtime. Later, I went to the session by David Intersimone, Native Code Application Development – Tools for ISV(s)/MicroISV(s). It was a knowledgeable presentation, but, alas, not terribly enlightening for me (being experienced with development tools). The primary point was that there is definitely a place for native code development and that CodeGear, at least, was not going to abandon us real programmers entirely for .NET anytime soon.

The evening reception, as usual, was hosted by Digital River, who seem to be renaming their e-commerce solutions to DR globalDirect, not that this changes any of their questionable practices or is even reflected on the web site yet (suggesting the relative importance of smaller ISVs in their long term plans). The more significant news, though, is they they do learn, albeit slowly; after two years of ridiculously loud music, this reception almost allowed people to actually talk to each other. The one mistake, however, was that the county fair-themed events included “ring the bell”, so every few seconds there was a loud crash of a hammer (almost never followed by a bell sound).

As the reception ended, some activity moved into the hotel bar…

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