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Gavin Greig [userpic]

En Route

April 18th, 2010 (02:24 pm)
current location: Newcastle Railway Station

For one reason or another I've never really had the opportunity to use a laptop while actually in transit, so I thought I'd take the chance to post while I can.

I'm travelling back North from London on an East Coast train and I have a seat with a power socket (essential until I bother getting a replacement battery). We're not long past Darlington. The handwriting recognition is holding up fairly well although the way the train is shoogling about doesn't help.

I've just spent the week staying with scottymcleod and Jan, and attending Microsoft's UK TechDays to coincide with the release of Visual Studio 2010. The value of the talks varied from OK but uninspiring, to "Ooh, must download that and try it out!" In the latter category, I look forward to being able to have some automatic checking of architecture dependencies and exploring programming for the Windows Phone.

It was good to see scottymcleod and Jan again, and also to have the opportunity to meet huskyteer for the first time. Posting as we pull into Newcastle...

Comments

Posted by: Tomm (hobbitomm)
Posted at: April 18th, 2010 01:58 pm (UTC)

*waves as you go past*

Posted by: Gavin Greig (ggreig)
Posted at: April 18th, 2010 02:28 pm (UTC)
Topper

*waves back, hanging dangerously out of window to look back*

Posted by: Toby Atkin-Wright (tobyaw)
Posted at: April 18th, 2010 02:38 pm (UTC)

With software development news, tutorials, and documentation available online, is there a real value in attending a physical conference? Other than the social aspect of course.

Posted by: Gavin Greig (ggreig)
Posted at: April 18th, 2010 05:52 pm (UTC)
Topper

Yes. It's dedicated time which is otherwise unavailable - and I do spend a fair bit of time keeping up in other ways. There would also be benefit in sending people who don't do that sort of keeping up, although that tends not to happen.

There is no social aspect (to the conference itself), though maybe that depends on your personality type.

Posted by: myceliumme (myceliumme)
Posted at: April 23rd, 2010 06:47 am (UTC)

I'm not convinced that all knowledge is posted online - yet. Also, quite often I'm asked by my colleagues 'how do you do X in InDesign, Photoshop or Illustrator?'. I usually find it's easier to show than to describe.

Also, we may realise that X can't be done but Y will achieve the goal. In such cases, physical proximity helps.

I imagine similar situations will occur in ggreig's profession - and everyone else's.

Posted by: Toby Atkin-Wright (tobyaw)
Posted at: April 25th, 2010 02:07 pm (UTC)

There is certainly a benefit in colleagues sharing knowledge and techniques, and for a “local expert” in the workplace. But I’m not sure that conferences — with their one-to-many presentation paradigm — would assist in this.

Workshops, on the other hand, could be good. And classroom-based training.

Posted by: myceliumme (myceliumme)
Posted at: April 25th, 2010 04:44 pm (UTC)

one-to-many presentation paradigm
Indeed. Apart from the value of forcing people to pay attention that ggreig has mentioned, my value would be found in the questions stage after a presentation, where on behalf of one, a few or many someone asks 'what about X'. If the presenter hasn't fully considered or covered X, then the presenter and everyone in the audience has the chance to benefit from this question.

Of course, this can be done on-line too, and people may have more confidence in asking on-line, especially if this helps retain some anonymity.

Posted by: Alice Dryden (huskyteer)
Posted at: April 18th, 2010 03:51 pm (UTC)
Alice Street

Good to meet you too - safe journey!

('Shoogled' is a great word which I first learned from Oor Woollie</i.)

Posted by: Toby Atkin-Wright (tobyaw)
Posted at: April 18th, 2010 05:47 pm (UTC)

Oor Woollie, the story of a lamb and his bucket?

Posted by: Gavin Greig (ggreig)
Posted at: April 18th, 2010 05:56 pm (UTC)
Topper

Safely back now!

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