The second day of sessions at the Software Industry Conference begins.
Again, I awoke reasonably early, despite having a late night (i.e., early morning) that included a little bit of beer. Alas, again I also found no omelets or other tasty breakfast goodies, so I instead reflected on the night before. After closing down the reception, I had drinks with Mitchell Vincent, of K Software, and Ryan Smyth, of Renegade Minds, who had again flown in from South Korea to attend SIC.
During the evening, I ran into another attendee who represented herself as an/the owner of [Swedish company], the makers of [product name withheld], a very well-known anti-spyware product that I happened to use. I mentioned that I had noticed some issues (specifically, failure to process messages and responsively update the window during scans) that could be fixed to improve the software, offered in the spirit of constructive criticism. The response was so defensive, an absolute refusal to accept that there could be something wrong and implication that I did not know what I was talking about, that it immediately felt like an argument; I was, frankly, astounded. Color me unimpressed…
Anyway, the sessions of the day did not hold much draw for me, for various reasons from “been there, done that” to “not yet applicable”. I did, of course, attend the ASP luncheon, which was decently attended and worthwhile, if just for the company around the table. That event, like much of the day, was spent schmoozing with other shareware industry professionals. This is the true purpose of this (or any) conference.
The one session that I did attend today, and had looked forward to, was Effective Software Design, given by Nick Bradbury of Bradbury Software. This was a different take on practical software design topics by another experienced software designer, in the same general category as my presentation from last year, but a completely different approach to the subject. I enjoyed the talk but, personally, did not find that elusive golden nugget or pearl of wisdom in it. The main takeaway point was really in the description given in the (online) schedule: Simplicity ain’t so “simple”.
The activities for the evening were Exhibit Night, complete with food, and a reception following, featuring a chocolate fountain. The SIAF used the same (effective) method for getting attendees to visit all booths: filling a provided map with rubber stamps from each exhibitor entered one into a prize drawing. In the middle of this process, I agreed to sit down for a quick video interview (as did a couple dozen other authors) with Michael Lehman, of Microsoft, to be shown on MSDN Channel 9.
The highlight of Exhibit Night was, surprisingly, the food. In particular, the Swedish meatballs were excellent. I usually find myself doing too much networking to eat much at these, but I made a point of taking some time to enjoy these as well as the roast. The story (well, rumor) was that the hotel had no recipe for Swedish meatballs, so Michael “Doc” Callahan actually provided instruction for the cooks. True or not, they were certainly tasty.
The prize drawing was actually pretty amusing. Randomness requires seemingly non-random events to occur on occasion, and this time (by chance) prizes went to at least one family member of each entered SIAF board member, as well as to most ASP leaders in attendance. This include me; I won a copy of SureThing CD/DVD Labeler Deluxe 5.0, thanks to Jim Mayall and MicroVision Development. (This was particularly welcome, as I had just had to purchase a LightScribe DVD writer before leaving, and had bought a disc printer just prior, and this software will handle both.) Of course, the relatively small conference size, and still fewer drawing participants, combined with a reasonably large number of prizes meant that odds of winning were pretty good.
Immediately following was a reception, hosted by TrialPay, which featured a flowing chocolate fountain, along with ice cream and various other items, such as pretzel rods, on which said chocolate could be poured, as well as a few extra goodies such as cheesecake. (My personal dessert intake was minimal, having stuffed myself with meatballs earlier.) The other feature of this reception was the Magic 8-ball-esque toys given away, blue and about the size and texture of a stress relief ball. I ended up with two of them and, yes, I heard the inevitable jokes on the way to my hotel room.
Will there be another SIC diary posting soon? PROSPECT GOOD