CASCON 2006: Day One

October 16th, one of those sprite, luminously sunny fall days that so wonderfully bridges the gap between summer’s heat and winter’s chill. Half way through the month, yet inside the Markham Hilton Hotel something just as exciting as the changing seasons was beginning its run.

may have only started but it was already running like a well oiled machine. Registration was a breeze, and the peckish assortment of breakfast goods and complimentary “welcome bag” only added to the positive early morning vibe that this conference was giving off.

The IBM Center for Advanced Studies organization was spot on, and it was crystal clear that workshops such as the Ajax workshop had attracted a far larger crowd than simply those who had registered in advance for it. A stream of hopeful people tried to make it onto the waiting list, like theater goers standing hopefully in the cancellation line on the first night of a sold out Broadway play. This doesn’t surprise me for a moment, given Ajax’s immense popularity. A similar scenario will no doubt be replayed with other “hot” topic workshops like Ruby on Rails and hands-on Web 2.0.

This isn’t merely foreshadowing. I know by the fact that the two Ruby on Rails workshops that I’ll be giving filled up within a few days of being announced, that Ruby’s increasing popularity is spreading rapidly through the IT world. Evident because the Ruby community itself, didn’t actually garner any particular hype about CASCON. These are Ruby enthusiasts who independently decided they really wanted to be a part of such an exciting event.

I sat down and began my CASCON (2006) experience with the highly interesting, Agile for All: Supporting the Human Element in Agile Development. Presented by bright industry experts and academics. It reminded me once again about why I value agile methodologies.

Tomorrow afternoon (or rather, I should say, this afternoon as, as it’s 6.30 AM at the moment) I will be presenting an introductory Ruby on Rails with DB2 workshop. A repeat of which will follow on Wednesday afternoon.

What I’m giving is a relatively basic lesson, intended for people who are just finding their footing when it comes to working with Rails, or even for people who will be tasting Ruby for the time here. It’s definitely an interesting workshop – I just hope that my attendees were able to get more sleep than I was tonight.

As I lay awake with the excitement of CASCON day number two (of which I will certainly blog about tonight) ahead of me, I feel confident that the remainder of this conference is going to be terrific.

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