Anyone off to the MS Office Dev conf?

Heres the link.

Here is some info on the tracks

Its in San Jose, California in Feb. Which would make a nice change from the freezing drizzle we’ll be enjoying in Cumbria.

I toyed with the idea of presenting (well offering), probably trying for the real world track (whaddya mean I’d never get on the executive track??!)

But when I really thought about it I’m not sure the event is aimed at people like me. As the agenda is not finalised yet I couldn’t check. (I sometimes feel a bit like me and my clients are getting left behind by Microsoft).

I live in fear of Microsoft conferences overrun with Sharepoint content, and Contoso use cases. Its not that I don’t like Sharepoint, far from it, its just a bit far away from my day to day focus. I’ve never worked anywhere that resembled Contoso or Adventureworks or FoodMart. If they invented a new use case called BigBankWithObstructiveISDepartment then that would be something I could relate too.

I’m delighted that MS are putting on the event, and they recognise Office developers as a valid and important part of the ecosystem. I hope they get the attendance to prove it.

If it were in Europe I might be able to get it past the budget committee (even though its probably definitely cheaper travel and accom in the US). I actually have clients nearby in Mountain View, but the chances of getting the two to tie up are pretty slim.

Is anyone planning on going? Anyone proposed a session? Anyone know more on the content? Or speakers? Anyone from the Excel community presenting?




14 Responses to “Anyone off to the MS Office Dev conf?”

  1. Rob Bruce Says:

    Is anyone actually using Sharepoint? I’ve only ever known companies that actively avoid it. For example, one job I worked on involved Microsoft’s (awful) web Content Management System. Microsoft ‘upgraded’ this by integrating it with Sharepoint. The company I was working with moved to a different CMS system.

  2. Simon Says:

    Funny you should say that Rob, someone asked the same at the conf.
    As far as I am aware Sharepoint is massive, MS number 1 best seller, tons of work available, the future of everything etc etc. Of course that is almost exclusively from my dealings with MS directly. None of my actual clients are using it.
    I think I should look into this some more…

  3. Biggus Dickus Says:

    It looks like i am going to be doing a couple of sessions there – one on VBA in Excel (hurray) and one detailing a project I have done for MS internally using Excel 2007 and Sharepoint Doc Libraries 9cool stuff). As we discussed Simon there were some issues (?) but I have overcome them in my own mind.

    I agree that there will be a HUGE obsesison with SP but I’m gonna try to interject some real-world help for attendees – I just hope someone attends my sessions ;-)….

    p.s. We all must be missing something because i keep hearing about all the Sharepoint activity out there and all the opportunity out there but I don’t see it anywhere……..on the other hand there are lots of opportunities using VBA and Excel and Access whihc get no attention from MS marketing. I’ve never understand that but have learned to let my eyes and ears be my guide.

  4. Biggus Dickus Says:

    By the way Simon I just saw a list of presenters and your name was on it (??))….

  5. Harlan Grove Says:

    Just a series of assumptions and guesses.

    1. Sharepoint is relatively complex to install and administer, so meant for mid to large size businesses.

    2. That so, IT departments control it. Meaning other departments don’t get to do ANY development for it.

    3. Unless most of you get the bulk of your work from IT departments, your potential clients may not be able to use any Sharepoint solutions you might be able to build for them.

    4. Your potential clients may not know how to program or what Sharepoint is, but they’re smart enough not to seek software development work for systems they wouldn’t be allowed to use.

    5. Ergo little or no Sharepoint development work except for in-house, IT department developers or outsourced southern Asia development shops that specialize in Sharepoint.

    So, how many Sharepoint jobs available in Mumbai?

    [Pure aside: having worked for financial services companies that have been using Lotus Notes for the last decade and a half, it’s nice to see that Microsoft is finally providing similar facilities. In another 5 years it might even be time to see if they’re worthwhile.]

  6. Simon Says:

    Dick – maybe I should give them a shout then, happy to go if it doesn’t leave me out of pocket. Although the VSTO project I wanted to talk about didn’t happen in the end. But I have some possible Excel/C++/xll/SDK stuff to talk about.

    Mind you have you noticed how no-one ever shows C++ at MS events these days? C# all the way.

    Harlan, I’ve mainly used Notes, but I wouldn’t say I was a big fan, I’m not that keen on outlook either btw. I am in the process of moving to Thunderbird which seems ok so far.

  7. Biggus Dickus Says:

    “happy to go if it doesn’t leave me out of pocket. ”

    Don’t count on it ;-)

  8. Biggus Dickus Says:

    “5. Ergo little or no Sharepoint development work except for in-house, IT department developers or outsourced southern Asia development shops that specialize in Sharepoint.

    So, how many Sharepoint jobs available in Mumbai?”

    Best analysis I’ve ever heard on that – truth – plain and simple…


  9. Harlan Grove Says:

    Simon, I don’t mean Notes just the e-mail client. I mean Notes the groupware application, with multiple users in multiple locations using the same centrally stored database concurrently, each user opening forms containing embedded objects which could be entire spreadsheets, just as an example, and once saved, specific entries in those embedded objects could appear as fields in records in the Notes database.

    AFAIK, Notes doesn’t provide a simple means of providing the equivalent of Excel Services, but when opening an embedded object in a form, Notes can also be made to open additional stored files in the resulting child process. So open an Excel workbook and Notes can also open an XLA stored in a hidden form within the same database (or another database) with a library of udfs that the embedded workbook could use. Granted the Notes developer would have to add the logic needed to make this happen, but the end-user would see Notes presenting a workbook with more than out-of-the-box Excel functionality.

    This is different than attaching a file within the body of an e-mail or rich text fields within Notes discussion databases.

  10. Simon Says:

    Where did you see the list of presenters?
    Harlan – yes I should have been clearer, I’ve never really investigated the groupware features. Sounds like it could work well.

  11. Biggus Dickus Says:


    On an internal MS Sharepoint site about the conference.


  12. Simon Says:

    I just found myself slated to do xlls on the client track.
    Looks like an ODAC reunion!

  13. Biggus Dickus Says:

    I have some new jokes….

  14. Simon Says:

    Fit for public consumption??

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