A year ago, the Chicago Coder Conference was a popular conference with presentations on Java development. This year, the organizers reached out to the local .NET community to expand the conference to include Microsoft technologies. Local user group leaders and Microsoft Evangelists (including me) found speakers to deliver content on .NET, Azure, and mobile development to complement the Java presentations.
The resulting conference took place Thursday and Friday May 14 and 15 in the Chicago Loop. Over 400 attendees showed up to hear presentations on everything from Cryptography to Exception Handling to software testing. It was impressive to see attendees from the Java and .NET communities exchanging ideas.
Many Java developers stopped by the Microsoft booth to share their impressions of the Redmond-based company - some positive and some negative. Many were appreciative of the fact that Microsoft was sponsoring what had been a Java-only conference and still contained more Java than .NET content.
It was good for me to hear the ideas of Java developers - one presenter passionately lamented the absence of a free tool to test static .NET methods.
And it was good for them to learn about some of the open source and cross-platform technologies available from Microsoft - most were unaware that you could deploy Linux, MySQL, and Oracle to Azure.