Wednesday, 10 December 2008

CodeRage 3

CodeRage 3 seems to have gone pretty well judging by those who were involved with it. I'm pleased, it's good that CodeGear/Embarcadero does this because it shows that they're focusing their mind on the developers (and possibly trying to showcase for potential new customers).

There will always be an argument between real vs virtual conferences and I don't want to restart that one off again. Real ones cost money for both the host and the delegate, but you get face-to-face contact and a feeling of something good happening. Virtual conferences are free (at least to us, the attendee), allow us to attend without having to travel to different countries. For me, I simply couldn't travel to the States every year to attend a CodeGear conference (no matter how much I wanted to) so it's a viable alternative.

For me though, it seems to have had some backwards steps this year. Firstly, and I'm not the first to bring this up, the registration process was much more awkward. And I think that's being kind.

Last year, I had a good timetable of talks and rooms, and could register for each session individually. I knew what was coming, when it was and how to see it.

This year, the agenda was vague. "Day 1 Morning, Room 1". And the registration details were for the whole morning, not just for individual sessions. This made it harder to know when I should be attending the session I wanted to see.

So I thought I'd register for all sessions, that way I'm covered. I downloaded the iCalendar file from the registration page and it practically block-booked me out for the entire week. Totally ridiculous. I ended up having to go through all the calendar entries and put them into one per day, amending the notes so that I had all the registration details for all the rooms at all parts of the day. In the end, it was next to useless.

To the point where I stopped bothering trying to attend. Partly because I'm flat out at work and the conference came second best. Not CodeGear's fault, this is the downside of the virtual conference - it's too easy to get distracted. But partly because I ended up thinking "I'll just download the sessions later and watch them when I want".

I've been trying for 2 days to download just one session from the CodeRage downloads page, but every attempt fails with an error about the connection with the server being reset.
So close, 82%!

Last year I'm sure these were available to download by FTP which is much more reliable.

I rarely but in a bad word about CG but I'm disappointed with the organisation of the event this year, although once (if) I finally get the sessions downloaded, I'm sure I won't be disappointed by the quality of the speakers.
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