Some preliminary notes from //build/ 2011

Raymond Chen

Hey everybody, I’m down at the //build/ conference. (The extra slash is to keep the d from falling over.) I’m not speaking this year, but you can find me in the Apps area of the Expo room today until 3:30pm (except lunchtime), and Friday morning before lunch. I’ll also be at Ask the Experts tonight. There are so many great sessions to choose from. The one I would attend if I weren’t working that time slot would be Bring apps to life with Metro style animations in HTML5. Instead, I’ll probably go to Building high performance Metro style apps using HTML5. Fortunately, the sessions are being recorded, so I can catch up later. (At PDC 2008, I learned of a class of conference attendee known as the overflow vulture. These people decide which sessions to attend by looking for the ones that are close to filling up, on the theory that “500 people can’t be wrong.” These people often fail to take into account the room size. A talk in a 200-person room which fills up is not necessarily more popular than a talk in a 500-person room which doesn’t.)

Here are my observations so far:

  • At the airport, I heard a page for “Katy Perry”. Normally, my reaction would be, “Oh, that poor woman has the same name as the singer.” But since I’m in Los Angeles, I have to give consideration to the possibility that it really is the singer.
  • On the ride from the airport to the hotel, I observed part of a police car chase, or at least two police cars rushing through traffic with lights on. Welcome to Los Angeles.
  • I decided to walk from my hotel to the convention center rather than taking the shuttle bus. Along the way, I spotted a bus coming down the street. The driver parked the bus in the right-hand lane (a lane which is normally used for driving), got off, and walked into the Carl’s Jr. I took a peek inside, and he was at the counter ordering breakfast. I guess he figured the bus wouldn’t fit in the drive-through. Welcome to Los Angeles.
  • I thought it would have been funny if Michael Anguilo had said, “And we’re making these devices available to attendees for just $500. [beat] Just kidding. You’re each getting one for free.” Or pulled an Oprah. “Everybody, look under your chair! Ha-ha, made you look!”
  • You spend a good amount of time listening to the music that plays before the keynote begins. Imagine having that as your job. “I write music for conferences. My music is peppy, but not too much; hopeful, but with a little bit of attitude. And not so good you want to dance to it. And I have to write a dozen different versions, each one exactly fifteen seconds longer than the previous one. Oh, and it needs to segue into a higher-energy version when the speaker arrives on stage.”
  • The City National Grove at Anaheim is not a city, not national, and not a grove. I do concede, however that it is in Anaheim.
  • If you look closely at the //build/ logo, you’ll also notice that the second slash has partially decapitated the b. I tried reproducing the effect here, but my CSS-fu isn’t powerful enough.
  • Bonus: The hotel I’m staying at is hosting a conference on hotel conference security. I wonder who provides security for that conference.


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